Spooktober is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time for us to showcase 10 of the Best Horror Games this year! To check out newly released horror games, visit our page on all the New Horror games.
10. Lust From Beyond
Opening our list is a horror game with a strong focus on psychological and sexual themes. It’s a sequel to Lust From Darkness and this time around, you play as a new member of the Cult of Ecstasy, unraveling the secret behind its strange walls. It’s not a unique horror game. Anyone who has played Amnesia or Outlast will find its mechanics all too familiar. Solving puzzles and hiding from danger will never get old. What makes Lust From Beyond great is its stellar atmosphere. It takes inspiration from notable masters of the genre including Lovecraft and Giger. Expect impressive monster designs and detailed environments.
9. We Were Here
Total Mayhem Games’ indie horror project gives us the thing we’ve always needed in the genre: a partner. It’s about time two people will be able to shit their pants together when a jumpscare comes. We’ll be left to fend for ourselves in an unforgiving world, but at least we’ll have a friend. Separated into multiple chapters, grab a buddy or significant other and traverse an abandoned castle teeming with unimaginable horrors. It’s a game that relies on communication so players must work together to solve puzzles with only a walkie-talkie in hand. The first chapter is free to play for anyone willing to check it out!
Over the years, horror in gaming has evolved into more than just scaring the crap out of players. In Afterlife, it’s taking a unique twist to the genre: players assume the role of the ghost… in VR. Exclusively in Virtual Reality, experience the life of a spectral entity as you haunt the people responsible for your unfortunate demise. Despite playing as a wraith, the spirit world is looming with malevolent forces. Solving the mystery behind your death won’t be easy. For a VR title, It’s oozing with atmosphere and impressive visuals.
The call of Pripyat remains relevant and we’re still getting games taking place around the irradiated Exclusion Zone. At first glance, you might think Chernobylite shares similarities to the iconic S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games. It’s a first-person shooter and it centers on a ragtag group of characters entering an infested hellhole. What sets it apart, however, is its touch of roguelite and non-linear story progression. Each choice you make presents new possibilities for your journey in this radioactive wasteland. The story may be murky at times, but it’s compensated for its satisfying gunplay and stunning visuals. The game just came out and it’s getting a roadmap for future DLCs and content!
6. The Medium on PC and Xbox Series X
Team Bloober’s latest spooky IP is clearly inspired by Konami’s Silent Hill series. Even the game's soundtrack is composed by none other than Silent Hill veteran, Akira Yamaoka. This psychological horror title messes with the players’ perception of reality by putting them in-between two realities. As a Medium, survive the terrifying nightmare realm and use this otherworld to solve a variety of puzzles that affect the real world. The tense atmosphere and the foreboding sense of dread might not help with the game’s inconsistent framerate, especially on Xbox consoles.
Speaking of Silent Hill, Dual Effect and Abstract Digital’s horror title somehow feels like a spiritual successor to the legendary series. Tormented Souls is part Silent Hill, part Resident Evil. The fixed camera angles feel like we’re going back to the good ol’ days of 90s gaming. The only indication we’re playing a 2021 game is in its sharp visuals and responsive gameplay. This mysterious Mansion has a lot of nods to the classics but Tormented Souls has a lot of surprises for veteran survival horror fans too.
4. Days Gone on PC and PS4
Bend Studios’ ambitious open-world survival horror received a lot of praise during its time as a timed PlayStation 4 exclusive. Gone are the days (get it) when game exclusivity meant it will stay in that console forever. Except for Bloodborne. The future of PlayStation Exclusives have eventually found their way to the PC. Days Gone is among the first titles to make it out and it looks even better on powerful rigs. As a third-person adventure, the post-apocalyptic world is ripe for exploration and teeming with dangerous undead that roam in packs. Good thing we have our motorcycle to keep us company.
Novelty brings more atmosphere to a horror genre and that’s almost enough to lure us into its terrifying world. Mundaun’s hand-pencilled textures are brimming with personality despite its lack of color. Players craving for a Wicker Man or Resident Evil 4 kind of vibe will find something in its grayscale world. It’s a short experience and there are a ton of secrets to uncover in this bizarre town.
2. Resident Evil: Village on PC, PS5, Series X, PS4, and Xbox One
Big-budget horror games are guaranteed to scare the living shit out of players. Village took the world by storm with its werewolves and giant lady vampires. Ethan Winters returns to his first-person adventures and as usual his wife needs saving. Packed with a few ammunition and a trusty knife, his journey goes from zero to one hundred in a matter of hours in this crazy village of horrors. A DLC is in the works, promising more content that’ll set up the future of the series and will answer the game’s lingering questions. The PS5 version gets the highest playscore with the Series X version coming in close.
1. Little Nightmares II on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One
The top spot of 2021’s best horror game may not be for everyone. But for fans of Tarsier Studios’ acclaimed horror-platformer, this is a huge step up for the series. The sequel no longer follows the yellow-raincoat girl we’re familiar with. Instead, we’re stepping into the shoes of Mono, a familiar face from the first title. Help him make his way around this surreal and nightmarish world and escape from the many monsters that haunt him. It’s out on almost all major consoles, including the Switch, but the PC version gets the highest score of 8.91.