The golden era of horror games began at the turn of the 90s and 2000s. While outstanding horror games continued to be created after that time, it was in the first decade of the new millennium that many unforgettable titles emerged, giving the genre an entirely new face.

Growing demands from players led to the creation of a new, seventh-generation console, led by the Xbox 360 released in 2005.

This console enjoyed recognition in the gaming world for many years, offering modern features and excellent graphics and capabilities for its time. It was also on this platform that the unforgettable and scariest horror games were released, which players still enjoy to this day.

Horror games offer players unforgettable experiences, combining elements from adventure games, puzzle games, action games, and RPGs. However, what sets them apart are the real emotions that accompany horror games.

Real fear, tension, time pressure… So, what are the best horror games from that period that are worth playing even today? Let’s take a look at our ranking!

Dead Space 1&2

Release date:2008-10-20
Genre:Adventure
Developer:EA Redwood Shores

Both parts of the series are played from a third-person perspective, combining action and survival horror in a science fiction setting.

The Dead Space series focuses on the adventures of engineer Isaac Clarke, who in the first part of the game responds to an S.O.S. signal and explores a mining vessel. He quickly discovers that the crew and employees have been massacred, and the bodies of some of them have been taken over by space parasites – Necromorphs. His task is to unravel the mystery and escape from the ship. In the second part, Clarke goes to a mining metropolis that seems to hide a similar secret.

These games are characterized by outstanding graphics for their time, a great story, and a truly masterfully created atmosphere of horror. Both parts were inspired by sci-fi film hits such as Alien and Event Horizon – if you’re going to learn, learn from the best!

Key features
  • Great graphics
  • Story full of horror and surprises
  • Challenging battles with enemies
  • Excellent atmosphere of dark sci-fi

Resident Evil 5

Release date:2009-09-15
Genre:Adventure
Developer:CAPCOM

Initially released only on X360, PS3, and PC, another installment in the iconic Resident Evil series, but this time with much more dynamic gameplay

In the game, you play as Chris Redfield, known from RE1 – a member of an organization fighting bioterrorism. Our protagonist is sent to Africa to investigate the source of the mysterious “T” virus. There, he meets Sheva Alomar, a member of the same organization, who serves as his guide and assistant. Things take a disastrous turn, and our heroes are thrust into a whirlwind of terrifying events.

Sheva accompanies our protagonist throughout the game, which allows for two-player gameplay. The characters can assist each other, exchange equipment, and share tasks.

Key features
  • Another installment of the iconic RE series
  • Dynamic gameplay
  • Two playable characters, enabling two-player gameplay
  • Tense atmosphere and mechanics typical for the series

Alan Wake

Release date:2012-02-16
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Remedy Entertainment

For the first two years after its release, Alan Wake was an exclusive horror game for Xbox 360.

In this title, you play as the eponymous character, Alan, an outstanding author of horror novels who has been suffering from writer’s block for some time. One day, his wife takes him on a holiday to the picturesque Bright Falls to help him relax and regain his creative spark. Shortly after their arrival, the charming town turns into a nightmarish place straight out of his books.

This is a wonderfully written title that has received a sequel and a remaster for the new generation of consoles. The creepy locations, the absence of combat skills for the main character, and his incredible ability to shape the game world have made players around the world fall in love with this game.

Key features
  • One of the most recognizable games on Xbox 360
  • An excellent story inspired by the works of Stephen King
  • A dark and suspenseful atmosphere
  • One of the coolest protagonists

Silent Hill: Downpour

Release date:2012-03-13
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Vatra Games

The eighth installment in the legendary series of games published by Konami, which has become the definition of survival horror.

In this title, you play as Murphy Pendleton, a prisoner who manages to escape from a police convoy due to an accident. The first place on his escape route is the infamous town of Silent Hill. When he thinks he has escaped justice, other nightmares catch up with him.

This game continues perfectly what the Silent Team started 13 years earlier. The atmosphere is thick with horror, and the excellent graphics for its time, guarantee unforgettable experiences during gameplay!

Key features
  • The eighth part of the legendary Silent Hill series
  • A heavy, horror-filled atmosphere reminiscent of the series’ roots
  • Many logic puzzles
  • The protagonist can fight enemies using whatever he can find

Condemned: Criminal Origins

Release date:2006-04-11
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Monolith Productions

This is another game on our list that was an exclusive horror game for Xbox 360, which was only released on PC a year after its initial launch. It is a blend of adventure and survival horror in a psychological thriller atmosphere.

In the game, you assume the role of Ethan Thomas, an FBI agent whose task is to track down criminals. To solve the mysteries of the most terrifying crimes and catch the most dangerous serial killers, he has to venture into truly creepy and frightening, forgotten places filled with the most dangerous monsters – people.

The game features well-executed motion capture and attractive graphics for its time. It is also full of various puzzles!

Key features
  • An interesting exclusive for X360 that was never released on PS
  • A dense atmosphere straight out of crime thrillers
  • Detective motifs
  • A game intended for adults only

Resident Evil HD Remaster

Release date:2015-01-19
Genre:Adventure
Developer:CAPCOM

A remake of the iconic Resident Evil that defined the survival horror genre.

The game’s plot is a faithful reflection of what the 1996 game presented to us. A mysterious virus has taken over Racoon City, so the special tasks unit S.T.A.R.S. is sent to the scene. What they see surpasses their expectations. In the game, you play as one of the soldiers, either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine.

The game has been renewed and refreshed to meet more modern standards. Sound and graphics have been improved, including the appearance of locations and character models. The game offers the option to play in the old 4:3 aspect ratio and move with tank controls or use modern settings.

Key features
  • A refreshed version of the iconic 1996 Resident Evil
  • A renewed title that defined the survival horror genre
  • Two playable characters (and two story versions)
  • The ability to customize control and display settings to your preferences (retro or modern)

Alien: Isolation

Release date:2014-10-06
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:The Creative Assembly

Another game on our list, based on the fantastic picture – Alien (1979). However, this time it’s not just loosely inspired by the film; it’s a full-fledged continuation of the story, set 15 years after the events of the first movie.

In the game, you play as Amanda Ripley, the daughter of the film’s Ellen Ripley, who embarks on the wreck of the Nostromo spaceship to find the black box and determine what really happened to the ship’s crew and her mother.

Although there were already several Alien games before this title, they were mostly action-oriented. This game is a return to the roots of survival horror, with a tense atmosphere.

Key features
  • Another game in the Alien universe, a continuation of the story from the first film.
  • A dense and terrifying atmosphere of claustrophobic space horror
  • An almost invincible enemy
  • Faithfully reproduced atmosphere of the 1979 film Alien

F.E.A.R

Release date:2005-10-17
Genre:Horror
Developer:Monolith Productions

F.E.A.R. is an excellent combination of action, first-person shooter, and survival horror, which gave rise to the three main parts of the series. The game was initially released on PC and came to X360 a year later.

In this title, you play as a soldier with psionic abilities from the First Encounter Assault Recon unit. You and your team set out on a mission to reclaim the headquarters of Armacham Technology Corporation, which produces clones for the US military. However, the building has been taken over by Paxton Fettel, who controls the clones. Soon, it becomes clear that a mysterious and dark little girl is the true mastermind of the plan.

The game’s enemies are powered by AI, which makes their actions unpredictable and adds excitement to the game. This title also features very realistic physics. All of this is accompanied by a horror atmosphere guaranteed by supernatural events.

Key features
  • A great combination of first-person shooter, action, and survival horror
  • Unpredictable enemies controlled by AI
  • A wide range of weapons
  • The protagonist has psionic abilities, including time manipulation

The Evil Within

Release date:2014-10-13
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Tango Gameworks

The Evil Within is a game created by Shinji Mikami, who has had a hand in a good deal of important survival horror productions, starting with the genre-defining Resident Evil.

In the game, you play as Sebastian Castellanos, a detective who, along with his partners, goes to a gloomy psychiatric hospital in a small town to solve the mystery of local murders. What they find at the scene gives them the shivers, but the real nightmare is just beginning. Sebastian will teeter on the edge between reality and terrifying hallucinations, slowly uncovering the truth.

The game offers a great, dark, and terrifying atmosphere, with a story that unfolds piece by piece. This title is highly rated and considered one of the scariest horror games.

Key features
  • A game by the creator of the iconic Resident Evil
  • A linear story that reveals a complex plot
  • Exceptionally built tension
  • Terrifying enemies and locations

Silent Hill HD Collection

Release date:2012-03-20
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Hijinx Studios

This game is a package of two Silent Hill games – the second and third – in updated versions with slightly improved graphics and mechanics for the seventh-generation consoles.

In the first of the two titles available in the package – Silent Hill 2 – you play as James Sunderland, who sets out to Silent Hill after receiving a letter from his wife sent from that place. It wouldn’t be so strange if it weren’t for the fact that his wife has been dead for three years. SH2 is one of the most appreciated parts of the series, offering not only survival horror but also a story about love and self-discovery, full of bitterness, drama, and psychological elements.

Silent Hill 3, on the other hand, continues the storylines from the first game from 1999. In this title, you play as Heather Mason, the reincarnation of Harry’s daughter, Cheryl, and Alessa Gillespie. Over the years, Heather has been hidden by her father and is finally found by a cult that kills Harry. Heather sets out on a journey of revenge and self-discovery.

Key features
  • Refreshed versions of two iconic Silent Hill games
  • One of the games is a remarkable, dramatic love story full of psychological puzzles
  • The other game is a sequel to the legendary SH1
  • A dark atmosphere, well-designed locations, and horror-filled stories

Conclusion

As you can see, Xbox 360 can boast quite a large library of excellent and scary survival horror games that many players are happy to return to.