The best survival horror games you can play right now


There’s nothing quite like a good ol’ horror game to get the blood pumping. While the majority of games out there pivot around the idea of empowering the player with a growing assortment of weapons and abilities with which to overcome enemies and obstacles, a good horror game is all about tipping the scales of any scenario to put you at a disadvantage against the many terrors that go bump in the night.

A great horror game does all that and more, crafting an experience that plunges deep into the player’s psyche, probing at themes and concepts that drive at the heart of our most primordial collective fears. With that in mind, we’ve pulled together a list of some of our favorite survival horror games that’ve made our blood run cold and kept us on our toes.

Honorable mentions go to such venerable classics as Silent Hill 2 and 3, which, while crucial to the artistic and commercial history of the genre, remain frustratingly inaccessible on modern hardware.

Alan Wake 2

Image: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing

Where to play: PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox Series X

Alan Wake 2 hit like a bolt of lightning when it came out last year. The sequel to Remedy Entertainment’s 2010 action-adventure game about a beleaguered writer haunted by his own horror story brought to life took the fundamentals of the original and turned them on their head. Introducing a new protagonist in the form of FBI agent Saga Anderson, Alan Wake 2 offers a bifurcated story that follows the parallel journeys of Saga’s investigation into the mysteries of Bright Falls and Alan’s desperate attempt to escape the Dark Place.

The result is a survival horror masterpiece that keeps players on their toes, all the while pushing the boundaries of the medium itself. There’s literally 13 years’ worth of innovative and iconic surprises bursting at the seams between Alan Wake 2’s dual storylines, culminating in a final act that puts a bow on the entire experience while leaving the door open to a universe of yet more horrifying and exhilarating possibilities. It’s not just hype; Alan Wake 2 really is that good, and you owe it to yourself to experience it firsthand if you somehow haven’t already. —Toussaint Egan

Alien: Isolation

Close-up shot of a skeletal space creature baring its teeth in Alien: Isolation.

Image: Creative Assembly/Feral Interactive

Where to play: Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One

The Alien franchise has had a lot of ups and downs (to put it lightly), but underneath the machinations of androids or fights with the Predator, it’s a haunted house story set in space, where the monster is an unknowable, constantly evolving alien. It doesn’t understand classic human weapons; it only knows how to attack, grow, and reproduce. That simplicity is what makes the original Alien so impactful, and developer Creative Assembly ingrained this philosophy in Alien: Isolation, which continues to terrify players nearly a decade later.

Isolation stars Amanda Ripley (Ellen Ripley’s daughter) as she tries to evade a xenomorph and other enemies on a space station. She has to complete objectives to progress, and while she gets access to various weapons, none of it matters with limited ammo. The player is challenged to evade enemies as much as possible with the help of a motion tracker that can track the alien’s movements, often in the ceiling ducts. However, as in many stealth games, using your tools might alert enemies to your presence. The motion tracker is an ingenious addition that ups the tension of trying to crouch your way through a space station. Once it starts beeping, you know you’re going headfirst into a one-hit kill. It’s the first time the Xenomorph has felt truly dangerous in a long time, and it’s not even in a mainstream film release! Future Alien entries, take note. —Carli Velocci

Amnesia: The Bunker

The protagonist aims down the sights of his pistol in a corridor in Amnesia: The Bunker

Image: Frictional Games

Where to play: PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

The Amnesia series is the survival horror franchise that put Frictional Games on the map, an intense, supernaturally fraught experience wherein a disempowered protagonist is forced to evade an onslaught of horrific creatures and fighting back is simply not an option.

The fourth and latest installment in the series, Amnesia: The Bunker, inverts that entire dynamic, transforming what would otherwise be a linear story-driven horror experience into a semi-open-world immersive sim where players are trapped in a WWI bunker with a mysterious creature waiting for the opportunity to strike. You have a gun, but even that won’t save you; you’ll have to rely on your wits and bravery to devise a means of escaping the bunker before the beast inevitably closes the gap between you and them.

Amnesia: The Bunker is a tremendous reinvention of the series’ core principles, offering a level of unpredictability and replayability that only increases the horror. It’s easily one of Frictional Games’ most terrifying creations to date and a must-play experience. —TE

Dead Space (2023)

Isaac Clarke staring up at the silhouette of a derelict space hull in a screenshot from the 2023 remake of Dead Space

Image: Motive Studio/Electronic Arts

Where to play: PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox Series X

Blending the terrors of Resident Evil-style survival horror with the cinematic scares of sci-fi horror films Alien, Event Horizon, and Sunshine, the new version of Dead Space is a near-perfect remake of the game it’s based on. As Isaac Clarke, an everyman who uses modified engineering tools as weapons, players scour the planet-harvesting vessel known as the USG Ishimura for answers to a gruesome disaster. The ship’s crew has been transformed into horrors known as Necromorphs, twisted reconstructions of the human form that can only be killed by creative dismemberment.

Dead Space’s strategic dismemberment may seem like a gimmick at first blush, but developer Motive — working off Visceral Games’ original Dead Space — gives players reason to experiment. And to have fun with the severing of Necromorphs’ limbs. Each weapon has its strengths and weaknesses, and players can upgrade those killing tools over time, unlocking new strategies.

Few games deliver well-deserved jump scares like Dead Space, in no small part thanks to the game’s incredibly strong sound and lighting design. And compared to the Resident Evil games that inspired Electronic Arts’ sci-fi horror series, it’s got a pretty good cosmic/body horror story to go along with it. —Michael McWhertor


An ominous figure standing at the end of a tunnel, viewed from the point of view of a handheld camera with night vision.

Image: Red Barrels

Where to play: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox One

Few other horror games are as genuinely unnerving as Outlast. The 2013 debut from Canadian developer Red Barrels puts players in the role of an investigative journalist who is tipped off about a remote psychiatric hospital in Colorado performing illegal experiments on its patients. It’s only upon arriving, however, that the player realizes how in over their head they truly are.

Armed with nothing save a handheld video camera, players must navigate the corridors and secret passages of this dilapidated hospital in order to escape and expose the truth of what’s going on. Easier said than done, especially considering that the facility has been ransacked by a group of homicidal patients intent on killing anything — and anyone — unfortunate enough to cross their path. To survive, you’ll have to sneak past them undetected, all the while scavenging for batteries to keep your sole means of navigating the dark. It’s absolutely nerve-wracking in practice, as each move you make puts you more at risk of being found and mauled by your would-be pursuers. —TE

Resident Evil 2 (2019)

The Tyrant monster pulls apart a metal fence separating him from Claire Redfield and Sherry Birkin in a screenshot from the Resident Evil 2 remake.

Image: Capcom

Where to play: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

The original Resident Evil 2 is a sacred entry in the survival horror genre. It pushed the Resident Evil brand forward with a light sprinkling of action and a more compelling interweaving narrative compared to the original game, giving horror fans new puzzles and new characters to fall in love with. Capcom’s 2019 remake treats that highly respected sequel with the utmost care, gorgeously re-rendering a zombie-infested Raccoon City and rethinking the original’s gameplay mechanics.

As rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy and capable heroine Claire Redfield, players contend with a growing and evolving zombie horde, uncovering the mystery of how the Umbrella Corporation spread its monster-making virus. The new Resident Evil 2 is gorgeous (and gory), thanks to its permanent nighttime setting and terrifying bestiary of the mutated undead. Resident Evil 2 is highly replayable, full of unlockable weapons and cosmetic items that will push players to complete the game over and over, faster and faster each time.

The stars are the game’s terrors, a mix of slowly shambling former police officers and gruesome new strains of bloody beasts with giant eyeballs to shoot. Of course, all this horror is tempered with a dose of humor; Capcom has retained just enough of Resident Evil 2’s campiness, making it just as fun to watch as to play. —MM


A threatening creature with a glowing, bulbous head standing at the far end of an underwater hallway.

Image: Frictional Games

Where to play: PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox One

Soma’s setting is one of the bleakest in video games. After a comet strikes Earth, the PATHOS-II underwater research facility becomes the last stronghold of human life. While there is hope — in the form of a virtual world that can house digitized uploads of human consciousness — it doesn’t feel like it. As you play, it truly feels like you’re at the end of civilization. Being deep in the ocean, surrounded by darkness and pressure, doesn’t help lighten the mood either.

The developers at Frictional Games, which made a name for themselves with the incredible Penumbra series and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, are atmosphere-setting masters, so the fact that Soma is filled with excellent horror vibes isn’t surprising. However, Frictional went all-in on just pure dread. You’ll mostly be tasked with exploring the deep seafloor and completing objectives, but you’ll also encounter horrific androids that twist the human form in deeply upsetting ways. There aren’t any ways to fight back, so you’ll have to hide and wait for them to lose interest, although a few years after release, Frictional added a Safe Mode that allows you to enjoy the story without worrying about stealth. It might reduce the “survival horror” aspects a bit, but that just means more people can go deep into the story, which is one of the most thought-provoking we’ve ever played. What does it mean to be human? What is consciousness in the face of technological advancement? How long until you aren’t you anymore, and will that matter? —CV


A third-person overhead shot of an anime character aiming a laser-sighted pistol at two zombie-like androids holding cleavers in a dark medical office.

Image: rose-engine/Humble Games, PLAYISM

Where to play: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox One

Signalis begins with confusion and ambiguity and never lets up. You play as Elster, a “Replika” who’s searching for her missing “Gestalt” Ariane after their ship crashes on a desolate planet. You will learn a lot of these kinds of terms as you discover the history of the authoritarian civilization Elster comes from, the plague that seems to be turning other Replikas into violent monsters, and the fate that will greet her at the end of the game.

Minus the extensive world-building, it’s a classic survival horror setup. Your protagonist has no memories of her past beyond her drive to find Ariane, and must wander through abandoned locales uncovering mysteries and using anything she finds to survive. Signalis is clearly inspired by other staples of the genre — especially Silent Hill 2, down to the save point audio cue — and goes all-in on scarcity in materials, weaponry, and ammo. A lot of the game will be cleaning out your very limited inventory, but that, combined with the top-down POV and pixelated art style, makes this a faithful retro experience.

However, while there are dark hallways, inhuman enemies, inventory management, and surreal, cosmic evils lurking underneath the planet that make this a terrifying experience, Signalis is, at its core, a bittersweet love story about people torn apart by forces beyond their control. Ultimately, it shows that regardless of the systems we’re assimilated into, we can still use everything in our power to head toward love, and that’s beautiful. —CV

The Evil Within 2

This screenshot from The Evil Within 2 shows protagonist Sebastian Castellanos facing off against a mutated human. The creature is lunging at Sebastian, covered in blood and with strange worm-like creatures coming out of its head and a single glowing red

Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks

Where to play: PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox One

People were waiting with bated breath when famed Resident Evil director Shinji Mikami founded Tango Gameworks in 2010, just to see what he could do out on his own. The studio’s first game, The Evil Within, was spooky, but it featured some outdated tropes about mental illness. It was also just generally in dire need of an editor. It’s a game that wants you to explore, but besides the chance to find weapons and ammo, it makes it too difficult with messy combat and controller issues.

The Evil Within 2 feels like what the first game should’ve been: pared down but with plenty to do in a semi-open world you actually want to explore, but might be too scared to. Its setting, a simulation of small-town Americana created by a secret organization, means that anything can happen, which creates some real tension on your journey. You never know if you’ll find some much-needed health items or a horrifying Japanese-inspired yokai that’ll kill you with one hit. The story is simple — you play Sebastian Castellanos, a sendup to detective noir, who has to find his daughter inside the simulation — which leaves plenty of room for scares and gameplay. It’s just fun in a way many survival horror games forget about, not only leaning into familiar mechanics for fans but also using all its best ideas from the previous outing. Best of all, you don’t need to play the first game to enjoy this one. —CV


Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Gamers Greade is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.