10 Best Horror Games For Players Who Don't Get Scared

Despite the fact that modern games like Resident Evil: Village are pushing the boundaries of the horror genre in frightening new directions, some gamers have developed a thick skin from years of playing horrifying games. Even so, some games go above and beyond to scare the wits out of the toughest of players.

From slasher-inspired masterpieces like Until Dawn to supernatural terrors like P.T., the world of games has found a myriad of ways to chill users to the bone. Though there are a ton of great horror games out there, only a select few were scary enough to frighten even the hardened veterans.

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Devotion (2019)

Devotion Screenshot

Drawing heavily from Taiwanese culture, Devotion eschewed action in favor of atmospheric chills. The game follows a struggling screenwriter who explores his apartment complex which represents the different years of his life in the 1980s.

RELATED: The 10 Best Short Indie Horror Games Of The Past Decade

Mostly puzzle-based, the user navigates through the twisting world of the narrative and slowly begins to spiral towards the game's shocking conclusion. Many gamers have fought off hordes of zombies, or some other terrifying monster, but Devotion drew its horror from the interior struggle and is creepy enough to freak out even the toughest gamer.

Layers Of Fear (2016)

A macabre painting in the middle of an ominous room in Layers of Fear

Even though Layers of Fear is an indie game, it quickly gained a reputation for being scarier than established games like Resident Evil. The user controls an unnamed painter who slowly succumbs to delirium as he attempts to complete his magnum opus.

Through hallucination, the player learns the character's twisted backstory, and each new detail makes the game even more frightening. Instead of conventional action, the user explores the world and solves puzzles to advance further in the story. While it has a fair share of jump-scares, the real terror comes from the warped perspective which catches the user off guard all throughout.

Until Dawn (2015)

A wendigo kills Josh in Until Dawn.

Though quick-time events are usually an extremely unpopular gameplay style, Until Dawn modernized the mechanic and made it work for their terrifying purposes. After the mysterious death of some of their friends, a group of companions returns to the cabin where it happened to investigate and reconnect. While there, a series of strange events begin to pick them off one by one.

Heavily inspired by classic horror films like Evil Dead, the game plays like the scariest movies of the 1980s. Evolving from a slasher story to something much more terrifying, the branching narrative of the game allows for dozens of potential experiences depending on how well the user plays. With so many options, there are an almost endless number of ways that the game can spook its players.

Silent Hill 2 (2001)

A blond man stares into a dirty mirror in Silent Hill 2.

Even though the game is over twenty years old, Silent Hill 2 is still in rare company amongst other terrifying games. James Sunderland receives a strange letter from his late wife and returns to the mysterious town of Silent Hill to get to the bottom of the note.

RELATED: The 10 Hardest Bosses In The Silent Hill Series

Despite the limitations of its early-2000s technology, the game is nevertheless an atmospheric masterpiece. The town of Silent Hill is like a character in itself, and the fog-drenched environs seem to close in around the player as they get sucked into the game. There is a contemplative edge to the game, that is usually broken by shocking action moments which always keep the user on their toes.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010)

A deformed monster appears in Amnesia: Dark Descent

Helplessness is the name of the game in Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and the game takes the power out of the user's hands for an even more terrifying experience. In the 1800s, a man wakes up in a mysterious castle that is inundated with strange monsters. He must traverse the castle in order to destroy the baron, Alexander.

Unable to fight back, the player must evade monsters through stealth or by simply running away. On top of a conventional health meter, the player must also maintain their sanity meter which is drained by witnessing horrific events and being in the dark for too long. The game's spooky gothic location is unique to gaming, and the utter helplessness makes for an unbelievably frightening playing experience.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017)

The Resident Evil franchise has been terrifying gamers for decades, and Biohazard saw another transformation for the series. Ethan Winters is drawn to a mysterious plantation by his missing wife, and he is then captured by the strange denizens of the house.

Unlike the previous two installments, the seventh game focused less on action and more on the first-person exploration aspects that the series was known for. With a much weaker main character, the player's experience is made more difficult, and more frightening as well. Even though it marked a change, Biohazard is generally considered one of the best games of the Resident Evil franchise.

Dead Space (2008)

Isaac Clarke gets pounced by one of the necromorph aliens in Dead Space

Science fiction and horror have often blended for exhilarating results, and Dead Space was further proof of that. In the year 2508, the spaceship Ishimura is attacked by the reanimated undead after picking up a mysterious virus from a nearby planet.

RELATED: 10 Best Horror Games That Take Place In Space

Traversing the ship, the player not only has to take on legions of extraterrestrial undead, but also must manage a limited air supply. The scares are numerous, and the game uses its zero-g elements for compelling puzzle sequences as well. The cramped confines of the Ishimura is the perfect setting for a horror game, and Dead Space squeezed every bit of terror out of its simple concept.

Outlast (2013)

A mental patient pursuing the player in Outlast

The found footage genre took the movie world by storm in the late-2000s, and Outlast aimed to implement those principles and apply them to a shocking game. The user takes control of an investigative journalist who infiltrates an abandoned mental health facility in order to record evidence of patient mistreatment.

The player navigates the game through the use of the night vision filter on their camcorder, which uses batteries. There is no way to fight back and so the user must rely on stealth tactics to avoid being destroyed. Not only is the game chock-full of conventional jump-scares, but the gruesome nature of the story only helps to ratchet up the pulse-pounding terror.

Alien: Isolation (2014)

Amanda Ripley faces death at the jaws of a xenomorph in Alien Isolation

Essentially a perfect sequel to the classic film AlienAlien: Isolation brings all of the terror of the film franchise to the modern survival horror genre. Amanda Ripley journeys to a space station to learn the truth about her mother's disappearance. While there, she encounters hostile human and android forces, as well as the deadly Xenomorph alien.

Emphasizing stealth, the game gives the user a wealth of options to evade the cunning alien. It perfectly recreates the style of the original film, and the halls of the space station become a claustrophobic nightmare as the user dodges the game's intelligent A.I. Unflinchingly difficult, each second of the gameplay is dripping with suspense while any wrong move could spell disaster.

P.T. (2014)

Silent Hills PT gameplay

Acting as a playable teaser for the eventually canceled Silent Hills game, P.T. quickly earned the distinction as one of the scariest gaming experiences of all time. The user takes control of an unnamed person who is trapped in a loop that consists of a single hallway that grows more and more frightening with each pass through.

The game combined supernatural elements with gore and wrapped it up with some of the most clever and nefarious jump-scares in gaming history. The story is disturbingly subtle, and there are a host of gruesome details which reveal themselves upon subsequent replays. The player cannot fight back and instead must endure the horror of the story while trying to solve the puzzle. Despite being a simple teaser, the game is still lauded as one of the scariest of all time.

NEXT: 10 Games You Didn't Realize Were Inspired By P.T.

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About The Author Dalton Norman (284 Articles Published)

Dalton Norman is a senior writer at Screenrant who authors lists on a variety of topics from movies and TV, to comic books, and pretty much anything that strikes his fancy. He is an avid lover of film history, and enjoys imparting as much trivia onto his readers as possible. He has also contributed several essays to various online publications that pertain to film theory and criticism, and he brings his filmmaking experience to the table as a writer for the site.A graduate of the exclusive BFA Film Production program at the University of Central Florida, Dalton specialized in screenwriting and producing with an eye towards low budget filmmaking. In his free time, Dalton writes novels which he independently publishes online. His influences include the works of authors like John D. MacDonald and Tom Wolfe, and he tries to channel a bit of their unique energy whenever he writes.

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2022-07-11T18:54:42.000Z

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