Best Psychological Horror Games

Horror games are all over the place, and we've been playing them almost since the dawn of gaming. But I'm willing to bet that I'm not alone when I say that the best horror game experience isn't a survival horror that's reliant on jumpscares. Instead the best horror game experience is one that takes you out of the game you're playing, and challenges your psyche with disturbing images and situations. And out of all the psychological horror games, these are the best ones.

The Top Ten

1 Doki Doki Literature Club! Doki Doki Literature Club!

Do not be fooled by the seemingly innocent slice-of-life plot and design that this game uses, this game is trying to trick you, because this can either get extremely disturbing, or extremely depressing. And it's also difficult for me to talk about without spoiling the entire game. All I can say is that as a visual novel, this game is incredibly well-written, and it's free! So, just go ahead, play it. If you think you can handle it, anyway. - nerffan8000

Given the title of this list, it's unlikely anyone reading will go into this game completely blind. Regardless, even if you expect Doki Doki Literature Club to go dark, the twists are still so unexpected and absolutely leave you needing a moment to process what exactly is going on. Easily one of the best games I've played.

Don't judge a book by it's cover

It gave me nightmares,

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2 Silent Hill 2

Silent Hill 2 is one of the easiest games to see coming with a best horror games list, but that's because it deserves it. The raw horror is there with the monsters and the imagery is perfectly handled, but what sets it apart is the story and the attention to detail. When a game has 100 different footsteps sounds to keep the main player alone and unable to find something to get used to, that's when you know that a horror game isn't screwing around. And the story is one that needs to be experienced, and unlike other horror games, there is no true canon ending. It's all up to the choices you've made. - nerffan8000

The Silent Hill games are probably the best horror games out there. How in the world is it losing to a slideshow?

3 Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

Not every game published by Nintendo needs to be innocent. Eternal Darkness shares similarities with the Silent Hill games, and also is inspired by works from HP Lovecraft. But what sets this game apart from others is how it uses sanity as a game mechanic. What happens during these moments is meant to trick the player, and can actually make someone think they're going insane. That's about as good as psychological horror gets. - nerffan8000

4 Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly

Fatal Frame is one of the most well-known psychological horror games, but I think the second game was the highest point of the franchise. While ghosts don't scare me all that much in most media, Fatal Frame is the exception! These ghosts get disturbing, especially with the backstories beyond some of them and even dealing with them (the best way to deal with ghosts is using the camera right before they attack you). This is one of those games where I don't want to spoil anything, but when idling can cause a gamer to get freaked out, that's when you know a game is sticking to horror as its full-time job. - nerffan8000

5 Yume Nikki Yume Nikki

One kind of psychological horror that stands out to me is the surreal kind, a hallucinatory nightmare that can't be explained. Put that into the style of Earthbound and that's what you get with Yume Nikki, an exploration game with full days of content to find. While this game isn't for everybody, especially if you don't go in blind, there's always the lingering truth of how open-ended the game is. Unlike other psychological horror games, the story is absurdly difficult to piece together, but there are hints toward it. I don't want to go into too much detail but, it's messed up beyond reason. - nerffan8000

6 Cry of Fear

What was originally just a Half-Life mod, Cry of Fear has really evolved. Not only do you no longer need Half-Life to play it, but the story is one that I can't give any justice to. And from what I hear this is a game that a happy ending needs to be earned, because this game is a mixture of horror and sadness, like many psychological horror thrives with. And it also gets points for making a FPS a psychological horror, a genre that I don't think gets enough of them. - nerffan8000

7 Manhunt 2

One of the most controversial games ever to be released, but that doesn't automatically make it bad. While this game does have survival horror elements, it blends it with psychological horror very well. With fluid controls, gameplay, and well-handled stealth this game does appeal to the normal gamer. But this is not for the faint of heart, with violence and an insane story that won't be forgotten by those who play it. Rockstar, you've done it again. - nerffan8000

8 Alice: Madness Returns
9 I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

When a story is all about an omnipotent god that's been torturing 5 humans for 109 years, each day getting more gruesome than the last, it's kind of difficult not to be horrified! While I haven't finished this game yet, it's proving to be unlike any other game out there. Let me put it this way, there are some games that just require you to get through a few extra hoops to get a good ending. Here, a good ending might as well be a myth. I don't know how tough it is to get the good ending because I haven't looked anything up, but I'm sure I won't be getting it. And considering the plot, not getting a good ending means... well, you can guess the rest. - nerffan8000

10 Clock Tower Clock Tower

Point and click is a genre that's used quite a lot with horror, and Clock Tower might have been one of the reasons why. It might not have aged the greatest, but Clock Tower is still an experience worth your time. The atmosphere and story are very well crafted, and the scissorman is still an unforgettable antagonist. as his affect is felt both in the story and the gameplay. Even if you don't find someone wielding giant scissors scary, you will panic once you need to deal with him, using anything to fend him off. It's a shame no one talks about this game very often anymore. - nerffan8000

The Contenders

11 The White Chamber

Were you expecting a normal science fiction story? Well, yeah you came to the wrong place. As a point-and-click horror game, the atmosphere works wonders here, as the game gradually builds up the truth of the space station the main character's stuck in, and that's as far as I want to go without spoiling everything. But nonetheless, the game's artstyle is fantastic, and it's also free for good measure. - nerffan8000

12 Outlast

One of the best horror games of all time

13 Little Nightmares
14 Amnesia: The Dark Descent
15 Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

Honestly this is the game that provides the most psychological torment over all of these. - nerffan8000

Considering to book 2 hour therapy session before playing this game...

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List Stats

15 listings
1 year, 33 days old

Top Remixes

1. Silent Hill 2
2. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
3. Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly
1. Alice: Madness Returns
2. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
3. Manhunt 2


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