Horror games as a genre aren’t for everyone, but there are plenty well worth trying no matter how much of a scaredy-cat you may be. There are many games in the genre, and almost all of them have amazing stories and fascinating worlds to explore. Choosing any one game over another is incredibly difficult, but we have given it our best shot. Here are some of the best horror games available on Steam. For some games on this list, the entire series could have been added, but we chose to stick with the most popular title.
This is the best game for any fans of the Alien or Alien vs. Predator movie franchise. The game tells a unique story set in the sci-fi world created by Ridley Scott. Alien Isolation is an atmospheric and psychological horror FPS that requires a lot of stealth and improvisation to survive. You play Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley, as she travels to Sevastopol Station to discover what happened to her mother on the USCSS Nostromo. Not long after she arrives on the station, a Xenomorph gets loose and begins wreaking havoc. Ripley needs to use stealth to escape the ruthless Xenomorph, haywire robots, and panicked crew members.
Dead by Daylight
If you enjoy games like Murder Mystery, you will certainly enjoy Dead by Daylight. This is a multiplayer game where one player takes on the role of a serial killer to hunt down the others. The survivors need to complete a series of tasks to escape, all while avoiding being captured by the killer. As the killer, the game world provides plenty of opportunities to scare other players. As a survivor, you will spend every round on edge, wondering if the killer is right around the corner.
Doki Doki Literature Club
At first glance, Doki Doki Literature Club looks like yet another dating sim and visual novel. While it is a visual novel, it is not what you would expect from the genre. You play a male high school student that joins the all-female literature club. You will interact with other club members, participate in club activities, and even write some poetry. As you continue playing, you will be forced to explore themes of depression, suicide, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. This is not a game for children or people that are easily triggered or disturbed.
Dead Space 2
Dead Space 2 is a survival horror third-person shooter that takes place three years after the end of the previous game. Players take on the role of the former engineer Isaac Clarke as he navigates the Sprawl space station in the midst of a Necromorph infestation. Players will need to make use of unique weapons, telekinesis, and zero-g combat to survive and get the answers Isaac is searching for. While Dead Space 3 received a lukewarm reception, every game in this series is worth checking out for its unique gameplay mechanics and enthralling story.
Dying Light is an open-world FPS survival horror game similar to the Dead Island series. The game shares some concepts with movies like I Am Legend. The world has been plagued by an unknown pandemic that turns the population into zombies. During the day, it is (relatively) safe to explore the city of Harran and gather resources needed to survive. At night the infected hordes increase in size and become more aggressive. Nightfall becomes even more dangerous as player-controlled monsters called Night Hunters begin to spawn. As the main character, you will need to decide whether to complete your assigned mission or help the remaining survivors of the city.
The First Encounter Assault Recon or F.E.A.R. series is a survival horror FPS that first came onto the market in 2005. You play a member of a special task force sent to stop a strange paramilitary group that has been kidnapping people. As the leader of the group, you will need to get to investigate a little girl named Alma and a series of paranormal activities. This series draws inspiration from movies like The Ring to create a thrilling and terrifying experience.
Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2 gained popularity as a multiplayer survival horror game. You and up to three friends play as survivors in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. There are five campaigns for you and your team to fight through to escape the infected. Something that made this game so unique when it first came out was its dynamically changing difficulty. The game gets easier or more difficult based on your progress. This game leaves a lasting impression on almost everyone that plays it. There are plenty of enemies that will haunt you and your team long after you escape.
Metro 2033 Redux
This is a remake of the original cult classic Metro 2033 released in 2010. The Metro video game franchise is based on a series of novels by Dmitry Glukhovsky. You play as Artyom, a survivor of a devastating apocalyptic event, living with other survivors in the old metro stations beneath Moscow. This game is a survival horror FPS that will keep you on edge throughout the entire story. Artyom must struggle to survive against an onslaught of mutant horrors lurking in the metro tunnels. Players will need to fight or use stealth to protect Artyom’s home from mutants and enemy soldiers.
Resident Evil 2
The entire Resident Evil series has a massive fan base and for a good reason. But Resident Evil 2 stands out among them all as one of the defining games of the horror genre. It is a dark atmospheric survival horror game designed to challenge players of every skill level. Resident Evil 2 features an immersive story that sticks with you long after you have finished the game. Players explore Raccoon City as RPD officer Leon Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield. You will need to fight, explore, and solve puzzles to survive as a pandemic turns the local population into zombies. If you missed the original release in 1998, a remake was published in 2019 that is available on steam.
SOMA is a sci-fi psychological horror game developed by Frictional Games, the same studio that developed Amnesia and Penumbra. The game is set in an isolated and claustrophobic, underwater facility that has seen better days. Players will need to search through the facility while dodging monsters and malfunctioning robots. You will need to track down the last remaining survivors, all while unraveling a story that will make you question your own identity. This is not a game you should play before bed.