What do we exactly like about horrors? After all, these are just scary stories full of terrible monsters, illusions, and paranormal incidents. No rational mind can be scared of such a thing. Right? And yet, we are excited to buy Halloween decorations and costumes, run horror movie marathons, and spend long hours in front of immersive video games of this particular genre.
True to form, the horror games come in as many shapes and forms as the movies and novels, catering to many different tastes. After all, some people like jump scares, others prefer a psychological or survival gameplay, but they all have one thing in common. They want to get scared in the comfort of a favourite chair.
Or a favorite couch, as it might happen, because we’re here to talk about horror games you can enjoy on your trusty Xbox machine, while you’re wrapped in comfy blankets, with only the console controller sticking out into the darkness of the room.
Without prolonging the tension, let’s take a look at 15 Creepiest Horror Games on Xbox
|The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope (EU)||2020-10-29||Interactive drama||Supermassive Games||25%||Read more|
|The Dark Pictures Anthology - Man of Medan (US)||2019-08-30||Interactive drama||Supermassive Games||Read more|
|The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes||2021-10-22||Interactive drama||Supermassive Games||17%||Read more|
|Dead Space||2008-10-20||Adventure||EA Redwood Shores||15%||Read more|
|Dead by Daylight (US)||2016-06-14||Adventure||Behaviour Digital Inc.||72%||Read more|
|Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice||2017-08-08||Adventure||Ninja Theory||57%||Read more|
|Resident Evil 8 Village||2021-05-07||Survival horror||Capcom||50%||Read more|
|Outlast 2 (US)||2017-04-25||Adventure||Red Barrels||Read more|
|Resident Evil 7 Biohazard||2017-01-23||Horror||CAPCOM CO., LTD.||77%||Read more|
|The Medium (US)||2021-01-28||Survival horror||Bloober Team||28%||Read more|
|Darkwood (US)||2017-07-17||Adventure||Acid Wizard Studio||42%||Read more|
|Outlast (US)||2013-09-04||Adventure||Red Barrels||64%||Read more|
|Alien Isolation Collection (US)||2014-10-06||Horror||Creative Assembly||76%||Read more|
|The Evil Within 2 (US)||2017-10-13||Adventure||Tango Gameworks||86%||Read more|
|Alan Wake Remastered (EU)||2021-10-05||Survival horror||Remedy Entertainment||26%||Read more|
|Prey 2017 (EU)||2017-05-04||Adventure||Arkane Studios||45%||Read more|
Dark Pictures Anthology
Supermassive Games studio decided to follow up on the formula of the well-received Until Dawn with a horror series of cinematic experiences. They publish them as the Dark Pictures Anthology, up to three installments now. Man of Medan is about investigating a ghost ship, Little Hope is a horror story confined to a small village, and House of Ashes features vampires and an Akkadian temple.
They all share a few things in common. There’s usually a large cast of characters receiving plot spotlight, and the games tend to have many choices and QTEs defining the endings and even who lives or dies. They also have a neat co-operative multiplayer option which gives each player control over one character, and the controller changes hands as the story dictates.
A Plague Tale: Innocence
A Plague Tale: Innocence takes a trip back in time to France in 1348, time that’s also known as the Hundred Years’ War. The plot follows two sibling, young Hugo and his older sister Amicia, as they try to avoid English troops and find a doctor who might be able to cure the boy’s mysterious ailment. If the English weren’t enough, there’s also a plague of extremely malicious, ravenous rats.
Most of the game is a stealth-oriented action-adventure, but there’s an undeniable supernatural element in the story, and its importance grows steadily and uncomfortably, like a surging tide of rats. A Plague Tale Innocence looks great, the gameplay is tense and engaging, and story and environment make a for a fantastic, dark, and stressful atmosphere. Not bad for a game about two children.
|Developer:||EA Redwood Shores|
It’s never a bad time to hold up a plasma cutter against warping flesh of animated corpses reconfigured into grotesque shapes. If your favourite brand of horror lies somewhere between Carpenter’s The Thing and Scott’s Alien, then Viscreal Games’ (now EA Redwood Shores) Dead Space should make you very happy and very scared at the same time.
As Isaac Clarke, an engineer coming to mining ship Ishimura for repairs and personal closure, you’ll face what’s possibly the most disgusting and disturbing alien creatures in gaming. As you explore and survive, you’ll uncover a lot of unsettling lore about the Necromorphs’ origins, and jury rig engineering gear to help you fight them off… and solve some environmental puzzles.
Dead by Daylight
|Developer:||Behaviour Digital Inc.|
There aren’t many multiplayer horror games, and Dead by Daylight is easily the most popular of them, having outlived the competition and overshadowed even titles with pre-existing audience, like Evil Dead: The Game. It’s easy to see why: DbD has a large roster of killers and survivors, and the objectives are simply to internalize and challenging to accomplish. There’s even lore!
A match of Dead by Daylight pits four survivors (each with unique perks and abilities) against a supernaturally powerful killer. While the survivors need to activate generators to open the gate to the escape route, the killer must catch victims and sacrifice them to a dark entity creating the entire nightmare scenario. A simple, and very effective premise which keeps the community thriving.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice might not literally be a horror game, but if we measure the genre by its ability to make you unsettled, then it fits the list anyway. The story follows a young Pict warrior named Senua, who embarks on a perilous mission to the underworld to save someone dear to her. She also suffers from psychosis, manifesting as voices whispering advice and lies to her.
Hellblade has a dark, oppressive atmosphere, and if you play it with headphones on, you’ll get the full audio experience. Hearing the voices the way Senua does not only immerses you in the experience, making you question your own sense and the reality of what you’re seeing. All while fighting deadly enemies and travelling through hostile lands.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
|Developer:||CAPCOM CO., LTD.|
A survival horror-action game and the seventh core installment of the famous series by Capcom. This time, the fierce struggle of large corporations with military units gives way to the story of a simple man struggling with the difficulties that each day brings. Meet Ethan, who travels to the South of the United States following a message seemingly sent by his missing wife.
The title deviates from the proven standards known from the previous parts. Resident Evil 7 focuses primarily on stealth and observing the action from the first-person perspective, instead of traditional fixed or TPP camera. The new immersion works exceptionally well with RE7’s fantastic graphics. You can be sure that it will be a game full of fright, tension, and brutal battles.
A survival horror game in which the player takes on the role of a woman who, while conducting an investigation, uses her extraordinary paranormal skills to solve a mystery. The Medium, made by Bloober Team, is a game heavily inspired by the Silent Hill franchise, not just by the theme of investigating traumas, but also thanks to the composer behind the soundtrack, Akira Yamaoka.
The Medium’s main distinguishing feature is its unique presentation. The protagonist, Marianne can see the spiritual realm, so usually you see both realities side by side, exploring both at the same time. This allows you to overcome certain obstacles, but also exposes you to dangers dwelling beyond the physical realm. However, it’s not the demons of the place you should fear the most.
|Developer:||Acid Wizard Studio|
Rare is a horror game in which the action is observed from a bird’s eye view, which makes this one extra-interesting. Darkwood is a dark and claustrophobic survival horror by the Polish Acid Wizard Studio in which the players learn the rules by themselves. You find yourself in a monster-infested open world, and you have little but wits and what you scavenge to help you endure.
The game features a day/night cycle and uses it very effectively. During the day, you explore the map to get the resources for survival. At night, however, comes the time to defend. Despite the game’s bird’s eye perspective, your field of view is very limited, and you only have a relatively narrow cone of vision and an excellent sound design to guide and warn you of nearby threats.
Imagine, if you will, a derelict ship you wake up on. It’s in awful state, and as you start getting your bearings, you are killed by an unseen monster. Time circles back, you’re back on the ship, but now you’re pretty sure everything is in different place, and the monster sounds different. This is Monstrum, a half-roguelike horror with procedurally generated levels and three monsters.
Your goal in the game? Find a way to escape. Your options are a helicopter, a submersible, and a life raft, but getting access to either of them takes work, and you might die in the meantime. Every “run” is different, and a combination of procedural maps and an unpredictable rotation of three monsters keeps the game fresh and exciting every time.
In Outlast you take on the role of a journalist who, following a message from a whistleblower, travels to a run-down psychiatric hospital which apparently was conducting awful experiments. You will quickly notice, the situation is worse than you ever expected, with completely unhinged former patients hunting any interlopers, and some ominous, invisible presence stalking the halls.
You have no means of defending yourself, and must rely on your energy-draining camera’s night vision to alert to you dangers in the dark. Outlast’s first-person perspective gives you front seat to all the horrific things happening in the game, which means both tense stealth and gruesome body horror. It’s definitely one of the best games in the genre.
Alien: Isolation Collection
Who would’ve guessed that people who are best known for their Total War strategy series would also make one of the best horror games out there? And yet, Alien: Isolation is not only a fantastic tribute to the legendary SF horror movies, but also an excellent game in its own right. And it even expands the canon of the series a bit!
The plot follows Amanda Ripley, Ellen’s daughter, who is trying to find out what happened to her mother (at the time drifting somewhere in stasis). Unfortunately, the space station she arrives on has its own problems. Alien: Isolation does a great job recreating the nerve-wracking moments of hiding from a prowling Xenomorph, and captures the look and tone of the movies exceptionally well.
The Evil Within 2
The second installment of a great action horror game by the creator of Resident Evil – Shinji Mikami. Overwhelmed by his experiences from the first game, the death of his daughter, and his wife leaving him, Detective Sebastian Castellanos has been drowning his sorrows in the bottle. As it turns out, not everything is as it may seem and Sebastian needs to get his act together again.
Unfortunately for him, it means going back into the STEM, a machine which creates mindscapes based on the psyche of the host. This time it creates a twisted image of a lovely American town named Union. Of course, things go very badly, and Sebastian has to not only find his family, but also survive, through stealth and gun, against terrifying monsters and, even worse, human foes.
Alan Wake is a third-person psychological action horror inspired by the works of Stephen King. The eponymous character is a mystery writer who suffers from a creative block. To gather new energy for work, his wife, Alice, and himself go on vacation to the charming town of Bright Falls. However, after they get to a cozy cottage Alice disappears, and things start getting weird.
Alan Wake puts a strong emphasis on light as a key gameplay element. Spots of light protect you from the dark creatures conjured by some malevolent force, and a flashlight weakens them to your weapons, letting you fight back. The story is very engaging, and goes into meta-narratives, so if you like horror stories about horror stories, it should be right up your alley.
You wake up in 2032 and find yourself aboard a space station. As you soon discover, mysterious shapeshifting aliens have taken over the entire place. While things may seem hopeless at first, you’ll soon find out that survival may be possible…but not exactly easy. You have to scavenge resources, avoid or defeat aliens and automated defenses, and try to work with other survivors.
Prey isn’t as intense a horror as some other games on the list, but it nevertheless creates an oppressive atmosphere which will keep your nerves tight. Gameplay-wise, Prey is an Arkane Studios game through and through, an immersive sim inspired by classics like System Shock and Arkane’s own Arx Fatalis. Explore the Talos station, bypass obstacles, define your fate.
Kraków, Poland, year 2084, the country is recovering from a lethal nanoplague, a war, and a corporate takeover. You step into the shoes of Daniel Lazarski, a detective able to hack into the brains of other people to conduct investigations more efficiently. At the beginning of the game he get’s a call from his estranged son, tipping him off to a murder case.
Observer taps into the horror potential of the cyberpunk genre, and Bloober Team handled the premise really well, factoring brainhacking, transhumanism, and more into the plot. It’s more of a psychological horror than survival or gore horror, and the atmosphere builds steadily up to the dramatic finale. If you’d love to play a horror unlike most of the genre, this is the game for you.
This ends our list of some of the scariest games on Xbox which might make you much more alert to every weird noise in your home and turns a passing through a dark corridor into a confidence-eroding experience. This of course doesn’t cover all Xbox-friendly horror games, but it should give you a good entry into the topic.