The best horror games are a fantastic way to fill your evenings, even if you may have to sleep with the light on afterward.
There are tons of variable types of horror games, such as psychological or survival. You can also pick whether you want to brave the terrifying antics alone or with a team. But be warned, bigger groups aren't necessarily better, as sometimes it will be your friends who chew you up and spit you out.
This year has already had some excellent additions to the horror list, with Resident Evil 4 remake and Amnesia: The Bunker releasing, just to name a few. We have also been treated recently to the game of the year contender, Alan Wake 2, but this game is more than just a survival horror game. However, it's not over yet; with only a few more months of 2023 left, we're still getting some great horror content, with trailers like the Silent Hill 2 remake appearing sparingly.
Read on for all the best horror games that are available to play right now. But be warned, these aren't for the faint of heart.
Best horror games
Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
Alan Wake 2
Alan Wake 2 is without a doubt one of the best modern survival horror games available. It's brilliant mesh of psychological horror and thrilling action fights mean that you're constantly on tender hooks.
Available on: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S
If you're a fan of horror, then Alan Wake 2 is a must-buy. There are some outstanding options for the genre, but none of them manage to pull off every aspect of horror as well as this survival horror game.
There are beautiful graphics and imagery as the title expertly combines the two worlds of the protagonists, Alan Wake and Saga Anderson, as well as reality and video games in expertly shot cutscenes. There's also an intriguing narrative that lends itself to engaging in-game detective work and fights, while music fans will be happy to know that the soundtrack in this horror game has had some serious effort put into it thanks to a great Scandinavian rock band.
The beginning few hours may be too terrifying even for veteran players. However, like in any good survival game, the more you play, the more confidence you get from recognizing fight patterns and gathering resources that will help you push forward. Keep going, and you will be rewarded tremendously.
The side-scrolling format of Little Nightmares builds tension throughout the game. Not being able to see what lies around every corner while being boxed into a world that is too big for you is a terrifying experience that this title pulls off very well.
Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One, and PS4
In Little Nightmares, you control a young girl called Six, who has to navigate a frightening world far too big for her, populated by a wide array of giant and grotesque creatures.
Six is just a small girl, so you sneak past them instead of fighting these creatures. The tension in this best horror games contender comes from navigating complicated platforming sections while also being pursued by monsters.
Little Nightmares is a deserved entry on our best horror games list because it creates a feeling of helplessness while making it clear that you still have ways to escape. It takes familiar domestic areas that should be comforting and turns them on their head by making them repulsive and unsafe for Six to travel through.
In any other medium, using children this way would be uncomfortable, and a shrunken protagonist would more likely make us think of 90s comedy films than tense horror, so Little Nightmares makes use of it being a game in all the right ways.
The sequel, Little Nightmares 2, also has an all-new protagonist and terrors. However, despite being a great game in its own right, it couldn't replicate the tension of the first title.
The Evil Within 2
The Evil Within 2's gothic and gritty setting combined with its horrifically creative monsters makes sure to captivate audiences every single step of the way.
Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Xbox One, and PS4
The Evil Within series comes from Shinji Mikami, the mind behind Resident Evil – and if that doesn't give you enough reason to pick it up, its nightmarish world likely will.
This third-person survival horror will pull you into a world populated by grotesque and frightening enemies. Mixed with dashes of psychological horror – protagonist Sebastian Castellanos never quite knows what's real and what's a horror cooked up by his own mind.
The Evil Within 2 makes its way onto our best horror games list as it succeeded in modernizing Japanese horror, making it less janky and more approachable. While the first game is good in its own right, the sequel has some unforgettable psychological scare tactics.
Dead By Daylight
This is the perfect horror game to play with friends. The amount of coordination and trust you must have with your fellow survivors makes for some pretty thrilling and funny antics.
Available: PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC (Android and iOS versions are available, but don't come recommended)
Dead By Daylight stands out in this list of best horror games for being a genuinely scary multiplayer title, showing that you don't have to be alone in the dark to be scared.
In Dead By Daylight, a single player takes on the role of a savage serial killer, while four others flee for their lives, desperately trying to fix generators to secure their freedom.
It's a thematic staple for horror, and a thrilling twist on usual PvP combat to boot. With a host of original characters, each with their own abilities and advantages, theremanyts of tactics to develop and deplother kill all the survivors or make your escape.
You can also unlock or download characters from films such as Saw, A Nightmare on Elm Street, or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which showcases the genuine love Dead by Daylight devs have for its cinematic roots.
Not only is Dead By Daylight one of our favorite horror games, but it's also one of the best crossplay games right now.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard is the title that brough this iconic horror series back from the dead, and it did so with a bang. Entering the mysterious house settled in the middle of nowhere the unsettling atmosphere and claustrophobic setting will keep you on edge for every second.
Resident Evil 7 was a breath of fresh air for an increasingly stale series. While it's not the only Resident Evil title on our best horror games list, it brought a much-needed modern understanding of horror movies and games to the series while retaining that distinct Resident Evil feel.
Moving the perspective from third to first person made the fear feel closer and more immediate while leading the way to include a genuinely frightening VR experience in the game.
With a great story and tight gameplay, Resident Evil 7 was the addition to the horror series we all wanted and feared we wouldn't get. The game's success, along with the recent remakes of earlier titles in the series, gained a lot of new fans.
Getting to choose the direction of your own story is incredibly engaging. While this does mean that if someone dies it's entirely on you, there is an option to restart the game and try all over again.
Available on: PS5, PS4
This best horror game entry changed what was possible for the genre of horror. Instead of going the classic survival horror route, Until Dawn pioneered a new interactive horror trope. This provided players with the chance to experience a story like something you'd see in a horror movie and decide the outcomes of all the characters through decision-making and quick time events.
Stuck on a snowy mountain with no way out, you play as a group of friends trying to survive the wintery blizzard and a killer who's on the loose and seemingly hell-bent on killing them all. But that's not your only problem; as you go deeper into the mountain, you close in on a terrifying secret.
There are tons of fascinating twists and turns in this horror mystery. It's the perfect game to play around Halloween, either by yourself or streaming for friends.
At the end of the day horror is meant to scare you sideways, and no other title does this quite like Alien: Isolation. Providing blood-rushing moments one after another you'll definitely have to sit down after playing this title.
Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4 and PC
Of the countless games to use this precious creative license over the years, developer Creative Assembly is the first actually to create a game that lives up to it. The game takes place 15 years following the events of the 1979 Ridley Scott film, putting players into the space boots of Ellen Ripley's daughter, Amanda Ripley.
Taking on a first-person perspective and squaring you off with a single xenomorph hunting you across a vast space station in darkness, Alien: Isolation nails what it felt like watching the film for the first time. The vibe makes it so deserving of the title of one of the best horror games, and Isolation feels as if you're playing through the movie.
Throw in the excruciatingly-clever artificial intelligence afforded to the alien, along with an absolutely gripping virtual reality experiment, and you have the trappings of a modern horror classic.
The Outlast Trials
The Outlast Trials expertly meshes horror and puzzles together so you not only have to fight for your life but arguably do something even more terrifying; use your brain.
Available on: PC
The Outlast Trials balances pure terror and hilarity like no other multiplayer horror game, making it a special entry on our best horror games list. Originally a single-player franchise, this next installment in the series managed to duplicate the atmospheric horror found in the first few games and modernize it in a way that can draw in new audiences.
There's multiple trials to put yourself through, either with friends or on your lonesome, each providing different ways to scare and horrify yourself. If you're looking for good old-fashioned jumpscares and anxious hiding, look no further; the Outlast Trials has it all.
Amnesia: The Bunker
Playing through Amnesia: The Bunker was by no means easy, however, the difficult setting and at time smothering tension made it all the more pleasing to finally escape the nightmare right at the end.
Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, and PC.
Amnesia: The Bunker lives up to the petrifying history that this series has; with its claustrophobic, psychological, and bloody scares, this horror game is not to be taken lightly.
Trapped in a bunker with only one exit available, you must navigate the dwindling light and precarious tunnels to complete the puzzles and secure the dynamite you need to explode your way to freedom. Unfortunately, like the first title Amnesia: The Dark Descent, The Bunker has an unwelcome guest; The Beast.
This creature will haunt you through the dark bunker, waiting for its moment to strike and drag you into the dark hollows below. Can you solve the puzzles while fending off this monster? Probably not without experiencing some heart-stopping scares.
This title is one of the scariest additions to our best horror games list, so play at your own risk.
Visage is a wonderfully disturbing psychological horror game. If you're a fan of uncannily realistic settings and genuinely terrifying experiences then this is something you need to check out.
Visage made its way onto our best horror games list thanks to its eerily creepy psychological horror basis and its uncannily realistic environments. However, it may possible trigger seizures for those with photosensitive epilepsy.
This first-person survival horror game is set inside a huge and terrifying house, here you have to explore endless mazes which fill your head with the memories of all the dead families who used to occupy this place.
If you're in the mood to be truly horrified this Halloween then Visage is the game for you. Just be warned, maybe play it with the lights on.
Best horror games: FAQs
What's the scariest horror game in 2023?
Amnesia: The Bunker easily takes the spot for scariest horror game in 2023. While there have been some admirable entries, nothing comes close to emulating the terrifying atmosphere that this horror game emits.
What's the scariest game on Roblox?
Horror Elevator is one of the scariest games currently on Roblox. Check out our best Roblox games list for more unexpectedly fantastic titles.
How we picked the best horror games
The best horror games is not an easy list to collate; with the sheer number of new titles released, it can sometimes seem impossible to get through them all. Thankfully the TechRadar Gaming team has a core appreciation and somewhat twisted love for horror games.
I make it my mission to play every horror game I can, having reviewed The Outlast Trials, Amnesia: The Bunker, and Layers of Fear remake in the last few months. I started playing horror games at a very early age as a test of coverage, and at this point, I'm in too deep to turn back.
What horror games I'm playing right now
Recently, I decided that a mindlessly terrifying co-op horror game is exactly what my tired brain needs. After some digging, I decided to give Inside the Backrooms another go.
This multiplayer survival horror game is hilariously terrifying. Transported into the infamous backrooms, you're plagued with strange visions and spine-chilling noises at every turn. Despite hiding in a locker for 30 minutes and bursting my friend's eardrum after I screamed too loud, it was genuinely good fun, even if it's not technically or narratively as impressive as the entries on our best horror games list.
If you want the thrill of the chase with no imminent threat of danger then check out our best survival games and best superhero games. While you can rest assured there won't be many heart-stopping scares we can't promise your blood pressure won't get raised a little.