Have you ever wondered why you're drawn to horror games, no matter how uncomfortable, frightening, and disturbing they are? It's because they let you dive into a thrilling experience to test and overcome your fears from the safety of your home. They also let you feel emotions you don't usually feel in your daily life, making the whole experience fun and exciting.
But besides creepy enemies and hair-raising sound effects, horror games come with challenges that will push you to think under pressure. So, whether you're into survival, action-adventure, or heart-racing jump scares, we've got you covered! In this article, we will share a buying guide and a list of the 10 best PC horror games that will hunt you even in your dreams.
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Products or services listed have been independently ranked by the mybest Editorial Team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide as of 01-16-2023.
Since horror games bring scares in different ways, choosing what horror game to purchase and play on your PC can be a difficult task to do. So to help you pick easily, we've rounded up the points that might help you as you search for the best one online.
Generally, horror games bring spine-tingling experience but with different subgenres to induce fear in different ways. To immerse yourself in a horror game with a specific theme that piques your interest, here are some of the subgenres of horror games that you can explore.
Survival is one of the most popular subgenres of horror games. It's challenging yet addicting and exciting as it pushes players to rely on their survival instincts and wits to win. In survival games, characters are vulnerable in a strange place where monsters, zombies, mutants, or ghosts lurk around.
To build shelter and craft weapons, you need to explore the environment and look for tools and resources. Some survival games come with health systems, so you have to find food, clean water, and medical supplies to keep your character alive and well. Aside from these challenges, you might also fight other players or mother nature itself.
Action-adventure horror games let you explore spooky places and defeat terrifying enemies along the way. Most of them are story-based, so they come with dialogues and cutscenes. The primary goal of this kind of game is to follow the rules and solve tricky puzzles by investigating, decoding messages, and finding items that could help you escape or unlock new areas.
Some games don't have instructions on solving problems other than the clues you need to find, while others give hints when the player fails. Usually, completing the objectives doesn't have a time limit but what makes the game exciting is that you have to do these tasks while being hunted by the enemies.
Not everyone enjoys being startled and shocked by jump scares, but if you want to test your guts with an adrenaline-pumping experience, then jump-scare horror games are your cup of tea. They usually come with a series of tasks that you need to complete, or else you'll end up being surprised by a jump scare cutscene.
As you play, loud noises, frightening sounds, and sudden movements might try to catch you off guard. One wrong move and the enemy might appear out of nowhere, so you have to observe the enemy's movement and understand the game mechanics well. Most jump scares pop up when you're not expecting anything to happen.
Most PC horror games can be played on both single-player and co-op modes, while some games are designed for only one player. With a single-player mode, you get to chill and explore at your own pace. Most of these games are story-based and available in offline mode, so you can immerse yourself in the game's world without an internet connection.
On the other hand, the co-op mode is a great way to connect and interact with your friends. It allows the players to team up and get scared together via the internet or local co-op connection. However, since there are additional players, the difficultly level will increase. Plus, more tasks are added to make the game more intense and exciting.
Researching a game before purchasing it is a great way to know if it's worth buying. To make this task easier for you, below are some things you need to look into when searching for a horror game.
If you're planning to play the game with other people, you have to make sure that the game is appropriate for the people who will play it with you. Some horror games rely on jump scares, but others might contain blood, extreme violence, and even mature content that are not for children and the faint-hearted.
Also, pay attention to its warnings to know if it contains elements such as flashing lights and geometric patterns that could trigger health issues. You can check these details on Google or its download site/ But if you want to know more, you can read reviews and feedbacks from other people online.
Watching short gameplays on the internet can help you decide whether to buy the game or not. They let you see the game's playstyle, mechanics, graphics, and sound effects without spoiling the fun. But if you want to keep the thrill of the game, you can watch game trailers and look for in-game screenshots as they only provide a sneak peek of what's inside.
Graphically demanding horror games require mid-range or high-end PC specs. These include a powerful processor, a good graphics card, high capacity RAM, and internal storage. Fortunately, there are also low-spec PC games that you can run on an entry-level PC and even on a non-gaming PC.
So before downloading, check the game's system requirements to see if it's compatible with your system. If your PC doesn't meet the game's minimum requirements, you won't be able to play the game smoothly. If it runs with lags and frame drops, try to lower its graphic settings or upgrade your PC's specs for an enjoyable gaming experience.
You don't necessarily have to purchase a new game to play on your PC. There are a lot of free-to-play games available online where you don't need to spend money and still get the best gaming experience. But note that free games usually come with in-game purchases such as skins, upgrades, and in-game resources.
If you really want to play paid games, but you're on a budget, you can wait for video game sales or discounts on platforms like Steam Games, Epic Games, and other legal download sites. You can also wait until paid games become free for a limited time so that you can keep the game forever without buying them.
Click to purchase
Discover the Terrible Secrets of a Dangerous Asylum
Frictional Games, The Chinese Room
Stay Sane and Escape the Darkness
Hunt Ghosts in Spooky Buildings With Paranormal Equipment
CAPCOM Co., Ltd.
Resident Evil Village
Fight Off Mutated Monsters in a Gothic Village
Escape the Ayuwoki
Escape From a Haunted Mansion As Quiet as Possible
Endnight Games Ltd
Find Ways to Survive a Forest Filled With Cannibals
Confront Your Childhood Fears Through a Grim Adventure
Blue Isle Studios
Slender: The Arrival
Wander Around Abandoned Places Where a Boogeyman Lurks
Five Nights at Freddy's 4
Ward Off Creepy Animatronics and Stay Alive Until Morning
Left 4 Dead 2
Kill Hordes of Zombies in a Classic Shooter Horror Game
If you're looking for a fast-paced survival horror game that will make you throw your headphones off and jump out of your seat, then Outlast is the one you're searching for. The horrors take place inside an asylum where a private corporation conducts inhumane experiments. As a curious journalist, you enter the massive building to investigate.
Along the way, you'll stumble across rotting corpses, deranged patients, and insane doctors. Some of them are harmless, but you never know whether they're capable of killing you or not. Since you have no weapons, you'll have to sneak past your enemies in the dark or run and hide from them while you try to gather clues and do tasks.
Unlike most story-based horror games, this one doesn't have cutscenes as its story is told through the character's discoveries. It will keep you engaged with its intriguing plot, and you might even finish the whole game in one sitting without realizing it.
Amnesia: Re-collection is a bundle of terror that's surely worth buying. It includes all Amnesia games: The Dark Descent, Rebirth, and A Machine for Pigs. Each game doesn't rely on jump scares or gore as they lean toward psychological horror. They'll play with your fears by delivering an unsettling experience with their disturbing storyline and dark atmosphere.
There's no way to fight off enemies, so you'll have to run away and hide. But what makes it unique from other horror games is that it has a sanity system, where you can monitor your character's emotional state. Getting scared causes emotional damage, and losing sanity can make your character collapse.
Although it's a series, each game brings great scares in very distinct ways. Also, their stories will keep you hooked even though their gameplay takes time to finish. So whether you're an avid horror game player or you just want to immerse yourself in a chilling experience, don't miss the Amnesia series!
Phasmophobia is a ghost hunting game with both single-player and co-op modes. The objectives in this game are simple. Using various equipment, you have to explore and find ghosts in creepy places such as schools, street houses, and asylum. But note that you can only carry up to three items, and you won't be able to move fast once you reach the inventory limit.
The ghosts will scare you out and try to delay your tasks, but they can also kill you once they catch you. What makes it more terrifying are the whispers, moving objects, footsteps, and flickering lights that will make your hair stand. So if you want a horror game with intense moments and a few jumpscares, then Phasmophobia is a great choice.
Resident Evil Village is a first-person horror game with an action-packed adventure. It is a sequel to Resident 7: Biohazard, but you can still enjoy it even though you haven't played any Resident Evil games. It offers a quick recap of the previous events so that you can catch up with the story.
In this game, you play as Ethan Winters, who's living a peaceful life with his family after the horrifying events in the past. However, tragedy befalls them once again when his wife gets killed, and he finds himself in a strange village. He realizes that his daughter is missing, so he starts exploring the village where mutated monsters lurk.
To protect yourself, you must fight off the enemies using a gun with limited ammo. You also need to face and defeat powerful bosses to survive. Most players love how it has the perfect balance of adventure, action, and horror. But its detailed and realistic graphics make it stand out from other horror games.
Escape the Ayuwoki is a jump-scare horror game inspired by the famous meme and creepypasta story titled "The Ayuwoki." In this game, you are kidnapped and locked up in a mansion. The only way out is through the main door, but you need to search for its key in every room.
Some puzzles and tasks will also get in your way, and you have to do them as quietly as possible to sneak from Ayuwoki, a scary animatronic character modeled after the late Michael Jackson. Failure to do so can lead to a jump-scare attack, but you can run and hide right away once you hear his iconic "hee-hee" vocal riff.
The game comes with four modes: easy, normal, hard, and nightmare. Plus, it has special game modes, which you can only access when you survive the nightmare mode. Overall, the whole game is fun, exciting, and it will definitely give you creeps and an adrenaline rush.
If you love playing first-person survival horror simulators, you'll surely enjoy The Forest, especially when you play it with your friends! In this game, you have a choice whether to survive as long as you can or seek out its ending since it follows a compelling story. The game starts with your character waking up from a plane crash.
As you find yourself deep in the woods, you realize that your son is missing and you need to find him. Along the way, you'll stumble across cannibal mutants watching your every move. Sometimes, they'll simply stare at you in silence, but don't let your guard down, as they can attack anytime.
You can fight them off using craftable weapons, and you need to manage inventory, gather resources, and build hideouts to survive each day. Players say that its game mechanics are more complex compared to other survival horror games. Fortunately, you can play with up to eight players on a server to make everything easier.
Little Nightmares is a platform horror game that's full of your childhood nightmares and fears. Your grim adventure begins with Six, a little girl trapped in a vessel inhabited by gluttonous and monstrous beings looking for their next meal. To escape the dangerous place, your main objective is to solve puzzles and go from room to room without being caught.
Since you're armed only with a lighter, all you can do is to run away and hope that the enemy won't catch you. Most puzzles are easy to get through as you just have to push or drag objects and pull levers. But some might frustrate you once you pass by a clue without realizing it, so you have to be aware of the environment all the time.
You have to figure out the in-game controls on your own, but the game will give you a few hints if you fail a lot of times. Also, using a gamepad for this game is recommended for the best experience as most players say that using a keyboard can lead your character to clumsy deaths because it's hard to control.
If you're on the hunt for more horror games that don't rely on blood and other gory elements, Slender: The Arrival is another good option! The game takes place in different abandoned locations where you need to find the 8 lost pages without encountering Slender Man, or you'll end up being chased by him.
What makes this game intense and scary is that Slender Man shows up out of nowhere to mess with your tasks, and his behavior changes between levels. Since there's no way to fight him, you have to run away before he gets too close. So if you want to get creeped out even after playing, this game does it well!
If you want to experience heart-pounding gameplay with lots of jumpscares, Five Nights at Freddy's 4 will be your best bet. Other FNAF games will also give you chills, but this one will surely build up your anxiety as you play with its audio-based mechanics.
To survive until the morning, you have to keep the scary animatronics away from your room by checking the doors, closet, and bed. You'll hear audio cues as they approach, but you can utilize your flashlight to ward them off. However, the game gets more difficult as the night progresses.
Different types of enemies will try to get to you, and you'll feel distressed as the final hours slowly tick by. If you fail to survive, they'll kill you with a jumpscare, and you have to start the night all over again. Its gameplay will surely keep you at the edge of your seat, so pluck up your courage as it's not for the faint-hearted.
Left 4 Dead 2 remains one of the best first-person survival horror games up to this day. Aside from the classic characters, zombie types, and weapons, enjoy this classic game once more and experience its massive updates. Players can now enjoy a new set of characters, more downloadable campaigns, brand-new animations, and UI improvements.
Still, its gameplay is as easy as the previous version, so you won't have a hard time playing it even if you're a beginner. You have to kill hordes of zombies to go to safe houses, but what makes it more exciting is that you might encounter new and stronger enemies that you've never fought before.
For some people, video games have become their great escape from reality and quarantine woes. If you want to try playing some, or you're looking for more video games to play on your PC, VR headset, or mobile device, you can check our other articles below for more guides and recommendations.
When choosing which horror games to play on your PC, narrow down your choices by picking a subgenre that piques your interest. Consider games that feature both single-player and co-op modes to get the best of both worlds, and always do a little research before purchasing. Lastly, take advantage of free-to-play games or wait for sales, discount offers, and giveaways from game developers during promotions.
Author: Erika Nollora Ceguerra
Editor: Ayeza Mangulabnan
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