The sun is shining bright, our diets consist of mostly ice cream and the idea of a dark and chilly Halloween season seems oh so far away. That is unless you’re a horror loving gamer! Because come the end of August we might as well be celebrating Halloween as we get treated to both Supermassive Games’ Man of Medan and XBox One exclusive – Blair Witch, both being released on August 30th. So if you’d rather shut those curtains and settle in with a scary game than go outside and sun yourself then I’m here with the top 7 horror games you can play right now! Because I’m talking horror today, it only felt natural to invite Respawning’s resident horror expert Luke along for the ride so expect many entries in this list from the man himself.
This was a weird one given it’s 3 games in one but this list is meant to be games you can buy on the current gen and this is the most common way of coming across the bioshock games these days. Bioshock may not be the first thing that comes to mind when talking horror due to in being so revolutionary in so many other ways but I still have fond memories of exploring Rapture with my tail between my legs and dear god that dentist’s office still haunts my dreams to this day! There’s an argument to be made that the horror elements were toned right down come Bioshock Infinite but that doesn’t take away from this collection being an absolute classic when talking horror.
Supermassive Games’ first horror outing will always be a personal favourite of mine. Yes it was cheesy, corny and even a bit cringe worthy at times but that didn’t stop it from scaring the absolute daylight out of me! It covers every horror trope that you can think of and if it was a movie, I’d probably hate it but when you’re actually in there living it, these tropes can be genuinely horrifying and if you tell me that you played until dawn and never felt scared then I’m just going to go right ahead and choose not to believe you.
I have a really weird relationship with Alien Isolation because whilst I love the game, I have never actually been able to finish it.
I have started the game about 6 times at this point and I keep getting to around the same point where the fear and tension becomes a little too much for me and I put the game back down again and don’t pick it up until I am ready… and then I just start all over again.
Alien: Isolation sits in a weird area for me where I genuinely believe the game to be TOO scary, I think this is largely in part to the inability to fight back against the constantly looming threat that puts the fear of god in me at all times… forcing me to stop halfway through playing it.
If you are a fan of the first Alien film (I don’t like Aliens, don’t @ me, I like the looming threat of one, not the ability to kill 50) then you will have a lot to love in Isolation and it would be a great addition to your games library, especially if you love sitting in moist patches after you shit yourself 3 times in a row.
Survival Horror for me is my favourite Genre of video game. Growing up playing classics like Silent Hill 2 and the Resident Evil series I am always chomping at the bit for more survival horror games to dive into.
This is why I was so excited to see the godfather of Survival Horror, Shinji Mikami, come back to the genre after so long away to create the Evil Within, and you know what? I loved the first game in the series and will be a staunch defender of the game until the end of days.
HOWEVER, I can see where people would take issue and even dislike the game. Which is why the Evil Within 2 is on this list. It seems that Mikami had listened to fan feedback from the original game and came back with a sequel that is better in every aspect.
The Evil Within 2 leans into it’s horror roots to great effect, however it also takes a moment to be genuinely funny and camp in all the right ways that made Shinji Mikami’s previous titles so special… I mean look at this:
This is true survival horror and it’s a great experience.
Now admittedly this could and maybe should have taken the top spot but there’s a giant asterisk next to the name of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and that’s the letters V and R. Being a VR game is what makes this a truly unforgettable experience and probably the single most terrifying experience a person can have without inviting Freddy or Jason over for a personal Halloween party. What stops it from taking the top spot for me is the thing that makes it special – the VR element. It stops a lot of players from being able to experience this the way it was intended as a lot of people don’t have VR and the normal version of the game is unsurprisingly left lacking. So for those with a VR headset this is your number one, for the rest of us we move on…
Oh look Mikey’s doing a list and he’s found a way to force The Last of Us in there! Well what else did you expect!? Now a little like Bioshock, there’s reasons outside of the horror elements that makes this one of (or in my opinion, the best) games of all time but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the genuinely spine tingling moments The Last of Us brought us. Having the clickers be blind and only react to sound was a smart move from Naughty Dog, meaning there were situations where you would have to sneak without making a sound, often coming face to face with the terrifying creatures that were once human. It was these dark, clicker filled levels that still stand as one of my favourite horror experiences of all time. Accompany that with the fact that this has one of the greatest stories and best character development I’ve ever seen in a video game and The Last of Us stands as an undeniable horror classic.
What can I honestly say about Resident Evil 2 that hasn’t been said before. The remake has taken my all time favourite horror game and SOMEHOW made it even better. The updated visuals, the new canonical storyline for both Characters and the absolute fear that it induced within me.
I honestly went into this game thinking that I wouldn’t find myself afraid because I knew literally everything about the original, yet somehow had me on edge for all 4 of my playthroughs. It had brought a fear back into me which I thought gone with most modern horror titles and made me so tense that MR X was going to beat me into oblivion that I spent so much of the game making actual noises of fear.
Resident Evil 2’s remake is, for all intents & purposes, a perfect game and not only my favourite horror game of this generation. One of my favourite games of all time.
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