Show Mobile Navigation
Gaming |

10 Horror Video Games You Won’t Want to Play in the Dark

by John Munoz
fact checked by Rachel Jones
Feature image credit: Frictional Games

Unlike World RPGs and sports games, horror video games have fewer enthusiasts, and understandably so! In a world where everything moves quickly, the last thing you want is to scare yourself silly with a video game. However, if you are a brave soul who likes to explore, some fantastic horror games can keep you up all night.

Halloween may have come and gone, but regardless of how badly you miss it, there are straight-up horror video games that are not worth playing alone, at least not for the faint-hearted. From the ones with scary mental images to the ones with sudden jumps enough to cause a heart attack, here is a list of the top 10 horror games that you should not play in the dark:

Related: Top 10 Most Realistic Video Games

10 Outlast 2

Outlast 2 – Launch Trailer | PS4

Outlast 2 is a sequel to the original Outlast horror video game released in 2013. It is available for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, and PC gamers. The game links you to the events managed by Sullivan Knoth and his followers. Just like the original Outlast is played in first person, Outlast 2 seeks to make the experience trickier and scarier.

The game requires you to assume the role of a journalist who survives a helicopter crash and lands in rural Arizona. Together with your wife, Lynn, you are expected to investigate and uncover stories that no other journalist is willing to touch. There is no combat or self-defense mode; you can only run and hide as you try to piece together the puzzle. The darkness in this Arizona desert is so deep, but no one is willing to shed light upon it. The corruption level is sky-high, but you are expected to crack it.

Outlast 2 may start a little bit slower, but don’t be fooled; it is not only scary but also requires someone with a well-functioning heart and stomach.

9 The Madness of Death

The Madness of Death – Try Not to Stay in the Dark (Psychological Horror Game)

The Madness of Death is a short but horrific video game that only the chosen few can play. While the game lasts only about 30 minutes to an hour, you are guaranteed superb gameplay, an immersive experience, and outrageous psychological horror. The game follows the adventures of a man whose wife has passed away following a tragic accident.

From becoming surly and choosing to stay away from everybody, the man is only obsessed with ancient stories that entertain the idea of bringing the dead back to life. After a fortnight, the sister receives a letter encouraging her to visit her brother. However, the story turns scary when she doesn’t find him. Instead, she comes across an old box with symbols she can’t comprehend. In a different setting, the man picks up a stone which immerses him in a nightmare he can’t seem to escape.

The game has a player discretion warning; to be honest, you better heed it, especially if you are easily triggered.

8 Until Dawn

Until Dawn – Launch Trailer | PS4

From survival to action adventure, Until Dawn, an RPG game, has a little bit of everything. The game features eight teenagers who can’t leave the mountain and only have a cabin to keep them safe. They are surrounded by fear, and the tension grows, but they must make it out or die.

Until Dawn allows you to assume the role of any of the eight characters and be part of the scary adventure. You will be the sole decision maker, each with its consequences; you will either keep your team alive or die together. The branching storylines guarantee the butterfly effect. It separates the weak from the strong-minded. Its dynamism and unpredictability, coupled with the appearance of TV stars such as Hayden Panettiere, make the game worth exploring, especially for horror lovers (but not in the dark).

Initially created for PS3, you can play Until Dawn on PS4, and it was recently remade for PC and desktops.

7 The Last of Us

The Last of Us – Story Trailer

The irony of this horror video game is that it has won more than 200 Game of the Year Awards, yet it is as disturbing as hell. It is one that, if you play, you will go to bed thinking about the characters’ actions and their events. The game features characters Joel and Ellie, who have to survive together in a hostile environment following a pandemic. They must work together to survive in what remains of their country.

The Last of Us is super violent; you have to fight with enemies and shoot them where needed. Some scenes involve torture, and there is plenty of animal death. While the game is not blatantly scary, it’s one that you shouldn’t try if you have strong principles, and it’s one not to play in the dark!

The game is available for PCs and consoles, with the latest remake compatible with the next-generation PS5.

6 Murder House

Murder House – PSX Style Slasher – Full trailer

If you dread haunted house stories, Murder House is a video game to avoid! It is a classic 5th-gen survival horror game that relies on tank controls. When a news crew discovers an ancient, abandoned house, they break in to cover their story. To their shock, the home they have just broken into is haunted, and now they are trapped. The old building belongs to an executed serial killer Antony Smith, who is not ready to rest in peace.

Being a retro game, Murder House has no autosaves. Players rely on the limited pencils to save their progress, which was developed mainly for PS1 console gamers. If you are curious to discover who survives and who doesn’t, you should be prepared for a night full of horror. Just keep the lights on.

5 Dead by Daylight

Dead by Daylight | Launch Trailer

Dead by Daylight is a horror video game complete with gore, violence, blood, and mature content. It is a multiplayer game (4 versus 1) in which a player takes the role of a serial and savage killer while the rest try to escape and survive. The survivors’ advantage is that they play in the third person, making it easy to learn and remain aware of their surroundings. On the other hand, the killer moves in first-person and must try to find victims.

The game allows the survivors to collaborate and escape or be selfish and die alone. This, coupled with deadly killers and the constant fear of the unknown, makes Dead by Daylight very scary. The ambiance, chilling environments, and carefully selected music tops the already brilliant horror game up.

This game is available for PC and console gamers. Even though it is multiplayer, playing it in the dark can be a terrible idea. Careful!

4 Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Amnesia : The Dark Descent – Scary Gameplay Moments

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a horror video game developed in the late 2000s by Frictional Gamers. It became popular and unplayable for most people because of its unique focus on psychological horror and puzzle-solving. To make it worse, the game does not have any combat, so characters must survive through other means.

Also, most people think of jump scares as the worst form of horror; The Dark Descent doesn’t use this technique but is equally as scary. Instead, the game focuses on unsettling you by making you feel powerless in a downright tragic environment.

The game’s storyline follows a man (Daniel) fighting his demons and the monsters invading his world. He suffers from amnesia and is set in a pitch-dark house with only a lamp to help him navigate. With these details, are you sure you want to join Daniel in the dark while your environment is not lit?

3 The Evil Within

The Evil Within – Launch Trailer

Developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks, The Evil Within is a survival horror video game that very few gamers can play. Thanks to its fabulous creature design, it is as scary as possible.

Inspired by Silent Hill and Resident Evil, The Evil Within thrives on jump-scare characters. Players have to find things to help them survive in different chapters. The more you excel, the higher your chances of finding “safe havens” and improving your weapons.

The Evil Within is available for both PC and console gamers. However, the nature of the game and the sequence of the chapters require a strong heart and a perfectly conditioned stomach, as it can get scary and messy with every step. Definitely not recommended for dark playing!

2 Remothered: Tormented Fathers

Remothered: Tormented Fathers – Official Trailer

The fact that Remothered: Tormented Fathers is very realistic makes it scary to play. It is a survival horror video game that relies on psychology. Since filled with villains and heroes, it is tough to know the line between evil and good. Its plot overflows with almost unwarranted twists to create tension and anxiety.

The game’s storyline features Rosemary Reed, a middle age woman who goes to Richard Felton’s residence to investigate a crime. First, Rosemary receives a warm welcome from Gloria, a woman hired to care for Richard. However, everything worsens after realizing her true intentions; it’s now more about survival than finding the truth. There are many ways to survive in the game; you must be prepared psychologically.

The game’s film-like cutscenes, high-quality audio, and well-composed soundtrack make it very scary. It is available for PC and console games that play during the day (on a lighter but serious note).

1 Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Resident Evil 7 Biohazard – Story Trailer [PS4]

Resident Evil is like the mother of all horror video games; it’s impossible to discuss this category without mentioning it. Even though there are equally good previous versions of Resident Evil, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has taken the world by storm. Released in 2017, the game has been on top of the charts for about five years. Make no mistake; this version is horrifying!

The single-player game has its setting in modern rural America. It embodies everything that players enjoyed in the previous releases and more. It is purely about survival; only the wittiest and bravest survive. Players attest that this game’s atmosphere is the strongest they have ever come across. The long and short of it is, play Resident Evil 7 at your own risk, and don’t even try it in the dark!

fact checked by Rachel Jones