Best Psychological Horror Gamesnerffan8000 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
This should be number 1 not a Visual Novel
The Silent Hill games are probably the best horror games out there. How in the world is it losing to a slideshow?
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
Just finished the game, I can't get the twist out of my head it's not as it seems don't let cute girls fool you
I love this game! Through I doesn’t really find it scary.
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.5 Comments
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
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
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
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
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
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
One of the best horror games of all time
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
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
Considering to book 2 hour therapy session before playing this game...
Honestly this is the game that provides the most psychological torment over all of these. - nerffan8000
Sure, this game may not seem horrifying on the surface, but just look a little closer. You are completely isolated in a laboratory with no actual humans observing you, as the computer that guides you suggests. This computer starts out seeming like just a computer until later on, when it is implied that it does, in fact, have a conscience. There are also the rusted-over rooms, bloody walls, the insane Ratman, and this is just the first act. There’s then the second act, where it is revealed that everybody but you and this Ratman died because of a neurotoxin this AI released. She taunts you and eventually threatens to kill you. When you finally meet her, you are greeted with this large, wormlike abomination that moves like it is in pain. Then there is also the music, which isn't outright horrifying, but very uncanny. Not to mention that halfway through the first act and so forth, if you pay attention, you can hear screams in the background. It would be impossible for me to give why I ...more
Though not amazing as a horror game, the story works wonders and is much scarier than any actual horror in the game. But seriously, it is incredibly philosophical for a game.
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List StatsCreated 12 Nov 2017
Updated 29 May 2019
2 years, 3 days old
2. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
3. Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly
2. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
3. Manhunt 2