It’s that time of the month where many of us start living our spookiest lives. It’s finally getting darker sooner, the leaves have started to change, and Halloween is just around the corner. So, naturally, we need to scare ourselves as much as possible.
There are many ways to do this: haunted houses, horror movies, scary stories, hilarious jump scare pranks on your friends and family, and more.
However for many of us, we want to just curl up with our gaming console/PC of choice and play something so immersive we can’t sleep for days. So, to help you with that lifestyle choice, we here at G FUEL have given you a short list of horror games that will scare the socks right off of you.
6. Hunt: Showdown
I would think that most people don’t consider most multiplayer games to have that scary element because at least you’re playing with someone. Normally, I would agree. Games like Left 4 Dead almost lose its horror element because you’re surviving together. However, with Hunt: Showdown, there’s a creepy factor that shakes down to your bones. This battle royale-esque game has some pretty disturbing elements, but even for a multiplayer, we dare you to try playing it in the dark solo with a chunky pair of headphones and watch how often you twitch at every little bit of audio in the game.
There are monsters almost around every bend, so not only do you have to survive them, you also need to survive the other players. The audio design in this game is designed to make you question nearly everything.
Did something just move or is it actually the wind? Was that a pig squeal or a monster screech?
Hunt: Showdown’s creatures really add the horror element here, but with this old world Southern Gothic charm, mystical powers, and twisted designs. Look out! A woman with a severely broken neck who shoots out poisonous bugs!
Blasphemous is a 2D Metroidvania set in a Catholic-themed apocalypse, and like seemingly every second game released now, has a clear Dark Souls inspiration. With its beautiful and gory pixel art style, oppressively moody soundtrack, and grotesquely tortured enemies, it’s easy to get sucked into Blasphemous’ doomed and miserable world.
Suffering is the perfect word to describe Blasphemous. The world is in ceaseless pain, enemies are aching by their own reality, and everyone is either dead or dying. Progress in this game also comes from quite a few grotesque deaths of your own. This is how the horror element is felt in this world. It isn’t about jump scares, it just makes you feel so uneasy as you play.
After a few minutes, you get this panicky feeling in your stomach like everything is wrong and everything will hurt you. That’s deep-seated horror, right there.
4. Dead Space
Sometimes older games let us down when we go back to them, and sometimes they still play as amazing as you remember them. Dead Space is one of those latter horror games. While, yes, some of the jump scares are not as great as the first time playing, it’s amazing what you forget, and it can still fright the bejeezus out of you.
Borrowing from Alien and other sci-fi classics such as Event Horizon, the 2008 release put players in the role of Isaac Clarke, an engineer trapped on a dying and drifting spacecraft. Soon Isaac finds out the ship isn't as empty as it seems. You discover a strange alien artifact has transformed everyone on board into hideous, flesh-eating creatures, each more disgusting than the last, known as Necromorphs.
Dead Space crafts a horrifying experience by limiting the player short on ammo (in the harder modes at least). He rarely knows what's going on in the continually shifting story, and all he wants to do is find his lost love. However, thanks to the music and gruesome sounds made by the creatures, you’re more likely to poop your pants first, which would make for an embarrassing meetup.
So much of the disturbing atmosphere is built on what you hear, and the amazing sound design uses audio to fashion an entire deadly space. Get it?
3. Resident Evil 2 Remake
While the original did give us old timers a great many scares as well as some infuriating puzzles, 20 years later, the new release is back on the best horror lists. The Resident Evil 2 Remake is a ground remake of the original game. However, while they do their absolute best to honor the past, Capcom built a new future for the franchise with a game series.
If you haven’t played it yet, I highly suggest it. It's a success, and it got top three on this list, because of how it melds old and new so perfectly and still sets a horrific tone. It's a fantastic retelling of Claire and Leon’s original attempts to escape a zombie-filled Raccoon City. They still include all the monsters, set pieces, and story that many older players will remember, but it also plays into today's horror sensibilities.
We have all gotten a little harder to scare, but the RE2: Remake merges all of that in mind with an almost beautiful level of indulgent gore, tight gunplay, clever puzzles, and some beautiful levels — all while keeping the scare factor up so that all our muscles tense up together. This remake is as essential now to your game list as the original game was back 20 years ago.
2. Layers of Fear
Most of the games on this list will make you jump or scream, but few can make you doubt what real life is. The top two on this list are two games that continually scare me half to death.
Layers of Fear initially appears very familiar as you explore a creepy empty house. It starts like a familiar Poe story. Then this Gothic horror story starts to unravel slowly as you play an unnamed artist. He starts to explore this creepy mansion and its secrets that were long ago lost. It starts to become increasingly clear that a descent into madness had overtaken the painter, and it expresses itself in the unreliable narration of the physical world.
As you walk through the house, the audio will feel like someone is just off screen. You’ll see doors disappear, or you’ll swear that you’ve been walking in circles only to have a painting melt in front of your eyes.
The game rearranges itself in such a way to recreate the main character's madness. So, after only a few hours, you'll find yourself questioning everything. Was that desk on that side of the room last time you looked? Are you sure?
Then you don’t remember seeing that doll there either, only for it to show up in the next three rooms in a random place too.
Where does this staircase go?
Now all the doors are opening and shutting all on their own! What is this painting? Oh, look, an ear.
Layers of Fear did a fantastic job with making a walk around an old house feel as creepy and psychologically terrifying as if The Shining hallucinated The House on Haunted Hill, and it’s a must play for horror fans.
1. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
I’m a huge fan of stories told in a way that would have H. P. Lovecraft smile. If being trapped in a monster-infested fortress without knowing who you are or why you're there sounds like a good time, then Amnesia: The Dark Descent was made for you.
You'll have to guide the protagonist to his own liberation while trying to maintain his sanity and yours. And like most Lovecraftian models, that means staying out of the darkness, in a huge building, where light is scarce. Although you get a lantern to carry around, be careful how you use it.
Plus those monsters that are infesting the fortress have a habit of popping up extremely unexpectedly. You have no weapons, you cannot fight them, and each new room is usually host to some unpredictable, spooky event that drains your characters sanity further.
If you’re looking for the best way to lose your own sanity while playing, you can always wear a pair of headphones and play Amnesia in the dark. If you manage to get through the infamous "Splish, splash" scene without loosening your bowels on yourself, congratulations, you get a gold star for succeeding where many others have not.
I’m trying to keep this mostly spoiler-free, but it’s by far the scariest sequence in a game you will ever experience.
A true horror classic.
There are plenty of amazing games out there that will scare you for nights to come. Halloween is still two few weeks away, so, you have plenty of time to play through some of these.
Here are a few quick honorable mentions that we also thought deserved to be here but didn’t quite make the full cut:
Do you have a game that you would like to add to the list?
Tell us in the comments section below!
This article was written by John D. AKA SomeBeardy2Love. John has been gaming for 30 years, has a bow tie tattoo, and watches nothing but anime and Bob’s Burgers. He also is a podcaster and a streamer.