Horror games can be a little bit intimidating to get into if you don’t get a smooth intro. Which is why we’ve prepared a short list of games which might help.

The first three are titles recommended to people who are relatively new to both video games and the genre, presenting accessible gameplay and mild horror elements.

The last three are oriented more towards people who are already quite practiced at gaming and would love to try out a new kind of experience.

GameReleaseGenreDeveloper
Resident Evil 4 Remake Deluxe Edition 2023-03-24 Action Capcom
Choo Choo Charles 2022-12-09 Survival-horror Two Star Games
Carrion 2020-07-23 Horror Phobia Game Studio
Bioshock The Collection 2016-09-15 Adventure Irrational Games
Resident Evil 8 Village 2021-05-07 Horror Capcom Development Division 1
Limbo 2011-08-02 Adventure Playdead
Amnesia The Dark Descent 2010-09-08 Adventure Frictional Games
Corpse Party 2016-04-25 Adventure Team GrisGris
Layers Of Fear 2023-06-15 Adventure Bloober Team
Observer System Redux 2020 Adventure Bloober Team
Dead Space Remake 2023-01-27 Horror-shooter Motive Studios
Soma 2015-09-21 Adventure Frictional Games
Alan Wake 2012-02-16 Adventure Remedy Entertainment
Prey 2017 2017-05-04 Adventure Arkane Studios
Darkwood 2017-07-17 Adventure Acid Wizard Studio

The Quarry

Release date:2022-06-10
Genre:Interactive Story
Developer:Supermassive Games

The Quarry is a great point of contact for people who aren’t super into gaming or horror. Like other horrors from Supermassive Games, The Quarry is for the most part an interactive movie with many decision points which steer the story towards one of its many endings.

Some choices require decent reflexes, but The Quarry is very replayable, especially if you want to get the best ending. There are several focus characters and the game shifts between their perspectives every now and then, letting everybody’s choices shape the ending.

Key features
  • The most cinematic horror game out there: almost literally an interactive movie
  • If you like the form, check Supermassive Games’ other titles, like the Dark Pictures Anthology

Inside

Release date:2016-07-07
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Playdead

Inside looks like a platforming game, and to an extent it is one, but despite the presentation, it is also a horror game. As a young child you have to navigate a hostile world rife with mutants, mind-controlled people, and weird experiments.

It’s a great point of entry into horror, gaming, and horror gaming thanks to its relatively slow pace and focus on solving environmental challenges. It’s also really stressful, and really dark in tone and look, with a lot of mood-setting nightmares in both the foreground and the background.

Key features
  • Relies on an oppressive atmosphere and dangerous puzzles rather than whip-fast reflexes
  • There are two endings, none of them good

Oxenfree

Release date:2016-01-14
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Night School Studio

Staying in the high-atmosphere, low-pressure environment, let’s talk about Oxenfree. It’s a graphic adventure about a group of teens who decided to have a party on an island that used to be a military base and is rumored to have something supernatural going on.

The story involves mysterious disappearances, time being weird, possessions, and a solid cast of characters, not all of them likeable. The game is mostly based on talking to other characters and interacting with the world, with many possible endings based on your choices and discoveries.

Key features
  • Dynamic conversations: you can choose when, or if, to answer in a walk-and-talk system
  • A cool horror plot of the “scary campfire story” variety

Resident Evil 4 Remake

Release date:2023-03-24
Genre:Action-horror
Developer:Capcom

The original Resident Evil 4 was a much more action-oriented game than its predecessors, bringing a highly entertaining B-movie style to the series. The Remake improved the flow of action alongside expanding the story and translating the game into the mighty RE Engine.

RE4 Remake is a great entry into horror gaming for everyone who’s familiar with action games and wants to explore new horizons. It’s not the scariest game, but the eerie atmosphere is mixed with gruesome mutations and over-the-top bosses for a cool blend of fun and fright.

Key features
  • The horror-action balance is skewed towards action, but there’s plenty of creepiness around
  • An excellent remake of a 2005 hit entry from a famous survival horror series

Alan Wake

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

Given the 2023 sequel, it’s a perfect time to hop into Alan Wake. It’s much less action-oriented than RE4, going for a moody, subdued atmosphere without going fully into the horror genre. There’s still some combat, but it isn’t as essential as the plot.

It’s a story of Alan Wake, in more ways than one. He is a mystery writer, whose writing retreat in a town of Bright Falls is interrupted when an ominous dark presence lingering in the nearby lake turns his stories into reality. Give it a shot, if you prefer supernatural horror over gore and monsters.

Key features
  • If you enjoy the story, it continues on Control and Alan Wake 2
  • Supernatural horror spiced with some action

Amnesia: the Dark Descent

Release date:2010-09-08
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Frictional Games

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a full-on horror game, and one of the titles which have defined the last decade of the genre. It’s a Gothic horror story putting you, amnesiac and confused, in a haunted castle with an ominous mystery to solve before the oppressive darkness erodes your sanity.

Amnesia is mostly based on exploration and stealth, as your avatar does not have any way to fight back against monsters in the dark. It’s a great way to get used to the feeling of helplessness and to soaking in the atmosphere and direct and environmental storytelling of the genre.

Key features
  • Immersive, first-person Gothic horror experience
  • You can only run and hide, the forces you’re faced with don’t care about weapons

Hopefully, this list gave you some idea how to hop into horror gaming and you’re ready to be scared.