What makes a great horror game? Is it the asymmetrical nature of gameplay or a linear storyline with adequate jump scares? The answer to this takes the form of many experiences to be had across multiple sub-genres.
From first-person survival horrors to online player-versus-player experiences, we have compiled some of the best horror games on PC right now.
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard (2017)
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard brings core Resident Evil back from the roots, with a fresh take on the franchise. It delves far into the survival horror genre’s history. Compared to this, Resident Evil 5 and 6 had a much stronger sense of action than some of the earlier games, which were primarily focused on the survival horror elements.
However, the thrill of feeling powerless in the face of monstrosity was brought back in Biohazard. The game looks and feels best on modern systems, with twisted moments that also have an accent of beauty because of the meticulously designed game world.
Outlast is one of those games with superb mechanics that work into its horrifying gameplay. While some could argue that the second game has a lot more horrifying aspects to it, it’s the first one that sets the original vibe. Outlast makes it clear with its environment, setting, and story that this game exists with the sole purpose of scaring players to death.
The many horrors you encounter in this game have bizarre mutations, thanks to being subjected to experiments in the asylum, which sets the backdrop of the game. The night vision and camera movement alone make Outlast stand out as one of the most terrifying gaming experiences you can have.
Phasmophobia is a terrifying ghost hunting simulator and one of the best horror games on PC. It dives deep into the field of paranormal investigation by incorporating clever gameplay mechanics. You are tasked with visiting haunted areas and identifying the kind of ghost that has been lurking around. As you progress, you will earn more money and have access to better ghost-hunting equipment.
It’s a ghost-hunting mystery that horror aficionados will adore since it has a variety of ghost variants and unsettling environments. The fact that you play this game with fellow ghost-hunters makes it even more fun.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010)
Amnesia games revolve around a spooky idea – there’s monstrosity straying around, but you might not be ready to face it. Amnesia: The Dark Descent strongly builds on this concept.
The quantity of accessible participation in the game’s world may be limited, but features a lot of jump scares, huge labyrinth sections and a sanity mechanic that keeps evolving. You need to make sense of this world without completely losing yourself in it, and that’s a narrative Amnesia games unfold around.
Alien Isolation (2014)
Alien Isolation works well as a horror experience because of many aspects, Xenomorphs being a key highlight. The game makes sure that every time you are hiding, sneaking or running away from impending doom, it’s an experience that will be etched into your memory.
The animations and mechanics ensure that you never feel like you’ve seen something before. This keeps the gameplay from getting monotonous.
Layers of Fear (2016)
Layers of Fear is a game about insanity and art in equal measure. That vitality of this is reflected in the game’s design. There will be many instances where detailed environments may speak deeper, deadly tales of delusion. The goal here is to provide you with an experience that is incredibly gripping.
As you progress, you will learn more about a family of artists. Clever storytelling with haunting melodies and hidden tales makes Layers of Fear one of the best horror games on PC.
Dark Deception (2018)
Dark Deception feels like a balanced mix of Pac-Man and Five Nights at Freddy’s. The game is divided into five distinct chapters that may be seen as separate games but make up for a single experience. Every chapter requires you to sprint through maze-like passageways of a building.
Each segment gets progressively thrilling and heart-pounding, as you dodge and outrun anything from murderous monkeys to demonic kids while racing against the clock.
Left 4 Dead 2 (2009)
To many fans of the genre, the Left 4 Dead series has been the best blend of FPS shooting mechanics and jump scares. You, along with fellow survivors, journey through realistic environments fighting hordes of zombies and freakishly mutated ‘bosses’ that grow challenging as you progress.
The community, with their spark of creativity, had added a lot more maps (and other tweaks) to keep the game alive and running through the years. The fun gameplay of L4D2 makes it one of the best horror games on Steam that you can pick up and play for hundreds of hours.
Dead by Daylight (2016)
Dead by Daylight is a unique multiplayer experience about a group of survivors escaping a murderous psychopath. One player takes on the role of the vicious ‘Killer’ while the other four ‘Survivors’ need to complete tasks and outrun (or even outsmart) the Killer.
The intricate level design ensures that Survivors have a fair opportunity to hide, sneak and make use of environmental objects to fight for their lives. However, if you choose to play as the Killer, you are equipped with special abilities that aid you in hunting, catching and sacrificing your victims. Add to that the constant updates that keep the game from getting stale, and you have one of the best horror games on PC.
Hunt: Showdown (2018)
Hunt: Showdown is a high-stakes tactical PvPvE first-person survival shooter. You essentially hunt for bounties in the infected Bayou, where the game’s masterfully crafted sound design is your saving grace.
Follow in on trails and sneak up to other players. That’s not the only danger though. On your way, you will be slaying nightmarish creatures and fighting against supernatural powers of this eerie world. As you progress, you upgrade your equipment and rank. It’s closest thing you’ll get that comes close to Escape from Tarkov regarding their extraction shooter elements.