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Best Horror Games 2019: The 15 Scariest Games to Play Now

the last of us
(Image credit: Sony)

From the pixelated jump scares of the original resident evil to the modern psychological horror of games like Outlast and Amnesia, there’s nothing quite like a great horror game. Some are best enjoyed with friends, passing a controller a long as you laugh at every untimely death and cheap pop-up fright, while others are great for immersing yourself in a terrifying haunted house to see if you can make it out alive. If you’re craving something spooky for Halloween season or are just up for a good scare, here are the best horror games to play now. 

Resident Evil 2

resident evil 2

(Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil 2 is a terrifyingly stunning remake of Capcom’s 1998 survival horror classic, bringing the harrowing adventures of Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield to the modern era with some of the tightest gameplay and most immersive visuals the series has seen. This new take on Resident Evil 2 lets you explore the Raccoon City police department from a tense new third-person perspective, while keeping the same satisfying puzzle solving, explorations and story twists that made the original so memorable. Think you can handle scary games? Just wait until your first encounter with Mr. X.  — Mike Andronico

Man of Medan

man of medan

(Image credit: Bandai)

Created by Supermassive Games, the same folks behind cult hit Until Dawn, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan is an interactive horror adventure in which your actions dictate who lives and dies. It’s classic slasher film stuff: a group of friends explore a wrecked WWII-era plane, only to get sucked into a supernatural mystery that quickly turns deadly. Man of Medan is the perfect horror game for folks who like to get spooked with friends nearby — in fact, there are even online and local multiplayer options that encourage you to pass the controller to a friend. — Mike Andronico

Alien: Isolation

alien: isolation

(Image credit: SEGA)

Alien is the perfect sci-fi/horror movie. It’s quiet, intense, and terrifying. Not only is the central story completely plausible, but it builds a compelling world through well-placed background detail and offhand remarks. Alien: Isolation is the horror sequel the movie deserved, but never quite got. (Aliens was an action film, Alien 3 was boring, and we don’t talk about Alien Resurrection.) Playing as Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda, you have a chance to discover the truth behind your mother’s ill-fated voyage on the Nostromo — but you’ll have to sneak through a ship full of hostile crewmen and escape from another deadly xenomorph. — Marshall Honorof

The Evil Within 2

the evil within 2

(Image credit: Bethesda)

One of the better survival horror games of the past few years, The Evil Within 2 is a tight, tense 20-hour romp with an engaging world and no shortage of jump scares. Unlike the original game (which was headed up by horror legend Shinji Mikami), The Evil Within 2 has a more freely explorable game world, and gives you a sandbox of tools for approaching each combat encounter (sometimes the stealthy route is the way to go). While its story is filled with some B-movie cheese, The Evil Within 2 is a genuinely gripping horror adventure for fans of classics like Resident Evil 4. — Mike Andronico

Outlast

Outlast

(Image credit: Red Barrels)

Although horror games usually discourage combat, most of them at least give you the opportunity to fight your way out of a desperate situation. Not so in Outlast, where your choices are to run, hide or die. As photojournalist Miles Upshur, you must travel deep into the heart of the Mount Massive Asylum and document the horrors that induced psychosis in its inmates. Your camera is often your only source of light, and batteries are scarce. Few games make you feel quite as helpless as Outlast — or as relieved, once you finally sneak your way past the murderous patients who lurk around every corner. — Marshall Honorof

Blair Witch

blair witch

(Image credit: Bloober Team)

Inspired by the iconic found-footage horror film of the same name, Blair Witch is a psychological horror game about getting lost in the woods. After a child goes missing, you and your trusty dog Bullet must venture into the forest, solving environmental puzzles and engaging in some flashlight based combat as you unravel a supernatural mystery. The game’s camcorder puzzles pay homage to the original film, and the whole experience is just dripping with eerie atmosphere. Best of all, Blair Witch is only a few hours long and available on Xbox Game Pass, making it the perfect Halloween binge. — Mike Andronico

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

amnesia: the dark descent

(Image credit: Frictional Games)

Amnesia: The Dark Descent was one of the games that kickstarted the indie horror resurgence that’s still going on today. A young Englishman named Daniel awakens in a Germanic castle, with precious few hints about how he got there — and even fewer about the shadowy creatures that stalk its halls. The gameplay is remarkably simple: Walk from place to place and solve simple puzzles as you go. What makes Amnesia terrifying is the interplay of light and shadow, and how you can never be certain whether you’re being stalked in the castle’s oppressive Gothic environs. — Marshall Honorof

Until Dawn

until dawn

(Image credit: Sony)

If you’ve ever watched a slasher film and thought, “I could live through that,” Until Dawn lets you put your theory to the test. This PS4-exclusive adventure game lets you take control of eight obnoxious-but-endearing teenagers as they attempt to survive a weekend at a remote cabin. You know the drill: There’s a tragic backstory, a psychotic killer stalking them and their own petty high school drama to spice things up. The gameplay is simple, but Until Dawn lets you make tons of important decisions that can radically affect who lives and who dies. — Marshall Honorof

Resident Evil 7 (PS4, PSVR, Xbox One, PC, 2016)

resident evil 7

(Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evils 4, 5 and 6, whatever their other merits, were not actually that scary. Instead of claustrophobic environments and intricate puzzles, they focused on gunplay and big, loud, cinematic storylines. Resident Evil 7 got back to the series’ roots, by focusing the action on a rundown, Deep South plantation, inhabited by a dysfunctional, murderous family. The game’s first-person perspective helps you feel even closer to the action, which has some surprising ties to the existing Resident Evil lore later on. — Marshall Honorof

The Last of Us

the last of us main

(Image credit: Sony)

A seemingly endless horde of deadly abominations attacking you with perfect timing is terrifying, but you know what's really unnerving? The loss of humanity, which tears at almost every character in The Last Of Us, no matter how pure they are. While its heroes, Joel and Ellie, spend the game looking for ways to avoid those contaminated by a deadly fungal strain, the game’s true evil comes from the drama of those still alive turning on each other as their chances for survival fade. With The Last of Us 2 releasing in May 2020, now’s the perfect time to experience (or revisit) this unsettling all-time classic.  — Henry T. Casey

Slender: The Eight Pages

slender: the eight pages

(Image credit: Parsec)

You're walking through a forest in the dead of night, the way ahead illuminated only by a flashlight (with limited battery life). The sound of your footsteps is uncomfortably loud, and something might be moving in the dark, but you can't quite tell what it is. Your imagination fills in the blanks and creates a spectacularly terrifying unseen peril. That's the genius of Slender: The Eight Pages, which forgoes bloody gore and grisly splatter for eerie suspense, a growing sense of dread and a search for cryptic pages. The scrawled messages you find only heighten your feelings of unease about a strange, pale, faceless figure dressed in black.  — Mindy Weisberger

Bloodborne

bloodborne

(Image credit: Sony)

It might not be a “horror” game in the traditional sense, but the gothic, Victorian-era inspired aesthetic of Bloodborne is perfect for scratching your spooky itch. Bloodborne is known for offering a faster, more dynamic take on the brutal action-RPG gameplay that developer FromSoftware made famous, but its also just as well regarded for its look and feel, as you’ll explore haunted castles and fight harrowing bosses that run the gamut from skeleton monsters to bulbous plague beasts. Plus, Bloodborne’s difficulty alone is enough to make it scary. — Mike Andronico

Alan Wake

alan wake

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If Stephen King ever created a video game, it’d look and feel an awful lot like Alan Wake. (The first line in the game is a Stephen King quote, in case you were wondering whether the homage was intentional.) Crime novelist Alan Wake takes his wife on a romantic retreat in the Pacific Northwest — and awakens one morning to find that a week has passed, and his wife has disappeared. As Alan investigates, he’s pursued by shadowy creatures from his own dark imagination. Alan Wake is a nearly perfect mix of combat, exploration and unpredictable story twists. — Marshall Honorof

Dead Space

dead space

(Image credit: EA)

Horror games don’t have to be all running and hiding; sometimes, you want to stare the otherworldly Lovecraftian horrors square in the jaw, then shoot them with a plasma cutter. If that’s the case, Dead Space is the game you’re looking for. Engineer Isaac Clarke investigates a distress call from the starship Ishimura, only to find that its crew complement has transformed into grotesque, spindly limbed monstrosities. Not only will you get to shoot them, one gangly appendage at a time, but you’ll also unravel a pretty decent sci-fi/horror story while you’re at it. — Marshall Honorof

Silent Hill 2

silent hill 2

(Image credit: Konami)

The original Silent Hill was a decent enough horror game: ancient cult, sinister town, investigative interloper, you know the drill. But the fog that enshrouded the town was partially because the PlayStation just wasn’t powerful enough to handle the full scope of what the developers wanted to convey. Silent Hill 2 on the PS2 was everything the original should have been, and more. James Sunderland receives a message from his wife to meet him in the town of Silent Hill — which is unusual, because his wife has been dead for three years. What happens next is a tale of psychological terror, complete with love, lust, intrigue, betrayal and murder. — Marshall Honorof