Horror games can be gauged differently depending on the person playing the game. Some of the games are terrifyingly unplayable to some, while others might find them satisfactory at best in terms of horror.
However, in this guide, we have listed the 16 best horror games on Steam, where everyone can find a game they can enjoy. Some of the titles are light, while some are terrifyingly scary that they should only be played by those who are used to watching or playing anything horror.
The games listed have no specific order, and the titles will have a variety of subgenres that revolve around the elements you commonly see in horror games.
From Phasmophobia to survival-crafting horrors like Don’t Starve, you will definitely find a game you will enjoy.
Resident Evil Series
|Genre:||Survival Horror, Action|
|Developers:||CAPCOM Co., Ltd.|
|Release Date:||May 7, 2021|
|Average Playtime:||Most RE games last from 8 to 12 hours, some are much longer|
Resident Evil is a survival horror game that revolves around the story of the Umbrella Corporation, a pharmaceutical company. They developed the T-Virus, which can turn humans into zombies and other mutations.
There are over ten games in the Resident Evil franchise that are available on Steam, including remakes.
The first to the sixth franchises feature a third-person shooter experience, while the latter franchises use a first-person shooter experience, allowing players to be fully immersed in the gameplay.
The majority of the Resident Evil games are set in Racoon City, which is a fictional city set in America where laboratories of Umbrella Corporation are scattered throughout the city.
You will play as members of S.T.A.R.S., which is a special operation force in the Racoon City Police Department.
Aside from defeating mutants and zombies, you must uncover the secrets within Umbrella Corporation. Playing the game franchises will help you piece together the story of how everything is interconnected.
|Genre:||Psychological Horror, First-Person, Co-op|
|Release Date:||September 18, 2020|
|Average Playtime:||18 hours|
What could be scarier than being ghost hunters? In Phasmophobia, you and your friends go from one haunted location to another and identify the type of ghost that is disturbing the site.
Upon entering each site, you will immediately feel a chill going up your spine from the eerie silence that meets you.
Phasmophobia has an in-game voice chat that allows you to communicate with your friends. However, this can only be done in close proximity.
If you are inside the van, looking at the cameras for ghost orbs, and your friends are inside the site, you will not be able to hear them. This is the same for ghosts. They can only hear you when they are near you.
When lights start to flicker, that’s the sign that you should hide. You will hear the loud swing of the front door and find yourself unable to escape.
Hiding in safe rooms with the door closed and your flashlight off can save you from dying. But don’t forget, ghosts can open doors if they want to or even phase through walls.
|Genre:||Survival Horror, First-Person|
|Developers:||Straight Back Games|
|Release Date:||January 28, 2021|
|Average Playtime:||3 hours|
Devour is a co-op horror game that can be played with up to four players. You play as cult members working together to stop your leader, who is possessed by the demon Azazel.
In order to do that, you must make ten goat sacrifices by burning them on the altar. Sounds easy, right? But you have to remember that while doing this, you will be chased by your possessed leader, who is extremely violent.
Once caught, your body will be dragged to a random location within the map. Your fellow cult members have a chance to save you; however, if everyone is caught, then the game ends. The game also ends once you have successfully completed the sacrifice.
Devour makes sure that players have a different experience each time. The location of the items changes at random with every game, and this adds to the thrill of it.
|Genre:||Interactive Drama, Horror, Adventure|
|Release Date:||June 10, 2022|
|Multiplayer:||Shared/Split Screen Co-op|
|Average Playtime:||9 hours|
The Quarry is a choose-your-story horror game where you play as the counselors of Hacket’s Quarry Summer Camp. As the story transpires, you will have a chance to take control of each one of them.
Uncover the secrets of Hacket’s Quarry and the Hacket family as the game progresses. Aside from the dialogue choices, you’ll have to make split-second life and death decisions, which are very crucial factors that make up the game.
The game features 22 tarot cards that can be found by thoroughly exploring each and every nook. After every chapter, you get a one-on-one session with Eliza, a fortune teller.
Eliza will explain the meaning of the cards found during that particular chapter, and you get to choose one card to look into further. You will be provided with a short vision that can aid your decision-making in the succeeding chapters.
The Quarry can have multiple endings, depending on your strategies and decision-making. Survive the night and live to tell the story of the Hacket’s Quarry Summer Camp.
Dead by Daylight
|Genre:||Survival Horror, Asymmetrical Multiplayer|
|Developers:||Behaviour Interactive Inc.|
|Release Date:||June 14, 2016|
|Multiplayer:||Online Asymmetrical PvP|
|Average Playtime:||221 hours|
Dead by Daylight is a multiplayer horror game that can be played by up to five people. There will be four survivors and one killer.
As a survivor, your goal is to fix five generators to power up the exit gate and eventually escape the trial grounds. As a killer, your goal is to prevent survivors from escaping and sacrificing their lives to The Entity.
It’s basically a game of hiding and seeking between the killer and survivors. The killer can kick generators to slow down the repairing progress and hook survivors.
One hit from the killer will injure the survivor, showing a trail of blood which will make it easier for the killer to follow.
The survivor will also constantly scream in pain while injured. Two hits from the killer will down the survivor and allow the killer to hook him/her. Survivors can heal and rescue each other, but of course, this must be done discreetly so as not to attract the attention of the killer.
Dead by Daylight has a lot of collaborations with horror games as well. These can be purchased as DLCs which is a delight for horror fanatics. Imagine being Laurie Strode with Michael Myers chasing you. It will definitely make you feel as if you’re living inside a horror movie.
|Genre:||Survival Horror, Psychological Horror, Fist-Person|
|Release Date:||September 8, 2010|
|Average Playtime:||8 hours|
Amnesia is a first-person exploration-based horror game. The dark atmosphere of the game, combined with the inability to fight back, makes it scary. You will have to solve a series of puzzles while running away from monsters that will suddenly show up when you least expect them to.
There are games that are part of the Amnesia collection where sanity plays a big part. If you stay in the dark for too long, you will lose sanity, causing you to have hallucinations that can slow you down or divert your attention away from the main objective.
Using a light source, on the other hand, will attract monsters, making it very challenging to juggle both light and dark. This aspect is not present in all Amnesia games, though, but you can experience this when playing Rebirth and The Dark Descent.
The storytelling is the best part. Get drawn to the bits and pieces of the game’s story while you live in this frightening world.
Don’t Starve Together
|Genre:||Adventure, Simulation, Survival|
|Release Date:||April 21, 2016|
|Multiplayer:||Online PvP, Lan PvP, Online Co-op, Lan Co-op|
|Average Playtime:||35 hours|
Don’t Starve Together is a 2D horror/survival game you can either play alone or with your friends. Before you create a new world, you must first choose between the 14 characters.
Each character has a unique perk but also an equivalent weakness. Fighting monsters, gathering resources, building a sturdy base, and exploring the depths of the world are faster with more players. The only downside to more players is the scarcity of food.
Surviving can be very challenging, especially for first-timers. You’ll find yourself dying from absurd causes which will turn you into a useless ghost.
Just merely being in the dark for too long will kill you. You will have a chance to respawn by looking for a Touch Stone. Haunting the Touch Stone will immediately respawn you, but this can only be done once.
Don’t Starve Together gives out a strong Tim Burton vibe with how the characters are animated, which is a pleasant aspect for fans alike.
|Genre:||Puzzle Platformer, Adventure, Horror|
|Release Date:||April 27, 2017|
|Average Playtime:||5 hours|
Little Nightmares is an adventure horror game that will have your heart beating very fast. You play as Six, a child wearing a yellow raincoat.
Six is inside The Maw, a vessel that is filled with hungry guests trying to devour every child they find. In order to get out, you will first have to solve a series of puzzles.
Not only that, but you will also be chased by characters such as The Janitor, The Twin Chefs, and The Lady.
You meet Nomes during your journey, who are friendly creatures with cone-like heads. The adorable thing about them is that you can chase them or lure them into a certain spot to give them a hug. There are a total of 13 Nomes all throughout the game.
Little Nightmares takes you back to your childhood nightmares as you buckle up for a whimsical adventure.
|Genre:||Casual, Horror, Action|
|Release Date:||February 22, 2019|
|Multiplayer:||Online PvP, Online Co-op, Cross-Platform Multiplayer|
|Average Playtime:||2 hours|
You are a worker of Paranormal Activity Helpers Incorporated or PAH, Inc., and you are tasked to check out a house with an evil entity. Pacify is a co-op horror game that can be played with up to 4 players.
Once you enter the haunted house, you will find yourself in the company of a little girl, Emilia, who seems harmless. But you will soon discover that she can switch between good and evil. When evil, she chases everyone around the house without holding back.
You will need to look for matches, wood sticks, marked dolls, and pieces of paper that contain details about how to pacify Emilia. The main objective is to burn all ten marked dolls in the boiler located in the basement, and you will succeed.
A unique aspect of Pacify is its PvP mode, where you and your friends compete for a permanent job in the company. You are allowed to play dirty by pushing one another if it helps you secure that job. There can only be one winner in this game mode which is a delight for competitive players.
Layers of Fear
|Developers:||Bloober Team SA|
|Release Date:||February 16, 2016|
|Average Playtime:||3 hours|
Layers of Fear tells the story of a psychologically-disturbed artist who is trying to complete his greatest masterpiece.
You play as The Painter in this psychedelic horror game. Throughout the game, you slowly unravel your forgotten memories by exploring the mansion. You will need to look for six materials that will help you complete your painting.
The Painter has schizophrenia. Therefore, you will notice the sudden changes to the layout of the mansion. Doors will start appearing and disappearing then you start losing a grasp of what’s real and what isn’t.
As you roam around the mansion, you will find drawings, family mementos, and whispered spoken words that contribute to the ending of the game. There can be a total of 3 endings, depending on how you decide to play the game.
|Release Date:||October 30, 2020|
|Average Playtime:||7 hours|
Visage is a first-person psychological horror game. You play as Dwayne Anderson, who is trying to look for his way out after killing his wife and two children inside his own household.
While trying to find your way out, you get to find out more about the previous tenants of the house and the events that lead to their tragic deaths.
Sanity levels are very important in this game. When your sanity levels are low, you will experience paranormal events while being chased by demons.
The sound effects of the game contribute greatly to how scary Visage is. Every movement can be heard clearly, giving players a scare.
Even though they only share similar elements to their stories, horror movie fans will be reminded of Amityville Horror when playing Visage.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
|Developers:||KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.|
|Release Date:||October 27, 2021|
|Average Playtime:||14 hours|
Many came to Mt. Hikami but never left. Fatal Frame revolves around the secrets of Mt. Hikami and the mysterious phenomena around it. In the game, you get to control three characters who will roam around the area surrounding the mountain.
While exploring, ghosts will try to touch you, and you only have one weapon: a Camera Obscura. Taking photos of ghosts will deal damage to them. The damage they take will depend on how you angle your camera to shoot.
The best shot is the fatal frame which is a critical hit toward the ghost. In order to do this, you will have to wait until the ghost is about to attack before taking a photo. The Camera Obscura can also be used to get clues from items found around you.
Residents around Mt. Hikami used to worship water as a deity. It is due to this reason that Fatal Frame revolves heavily around water.
Each character you play will have a wetness gauge. Having the wetness gauge on high will mean having more spirit power, attracting more enemy spirits.
The only upside to this is that your attacks with the Camera Obscura are stronger as your spirit power increases.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is a survival horror game that can have two endings: the good and the bad. Make sure to trigger the good ending because it has a post-credits scene.
|Genre:||Survival Horror, First-Person|
|Release Date:||January 26, 2015|
|Multiplayer:||Online PvP, Online Co-op|
|Average Playtime:||17 hours|
Dying Light is a first-person open-world horror game that can be played either alone or with up to 4 friends. You are in the city of Harran, and you find yourself in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. There is no choice but to run and look for a way out of it.
Dying Light is known for its gameplay, where players can use parkour to climb houses and jump from one roof to another, but the real fun is when you zipline in this open world.
There is a concept of day and night in the game. You will notice that zombies are slower and easier to outrun during the daytime.
When the lights go out, that’s when the scary part begins. The infected are stronger, faster, and more dangerous than ever. Make sure not to trip because they will chase you until they catch you.
Dying Light is one of Steam’s top zombie games, and it also has a sequel that is just as good.
|Genre:||Survival Horror, First-Person|
|Release Date:||September 4, 2013|
|Average Playtime:||5 hours|
Outlast is one of the scariest games you can play. You are Miles Apshur, an investigative journalist hired to uncover the illegal operations happening at Mount Massive Asylum.
What are you going to do, though, if you get stuck inside without a way out? Not only that, but the supposedly abandoned asylum has sick patients who still roam around the place.
This game will have you pausing just to catch a breath from its horrifying occurrences. With only your camcorder and its night vision feature, you will have to look for a way out.
Running out of batteries will mean only seeing pitch black. You will get chased a lot. The only way to survive is to outsmart your opponents by finding the perfect hiding places.
We only have one piece of advice for you: Run!
|Genre:||First-Person Shooter, Action, Survival Horror|
|Release Date:||December 9, 2021|
|Average Playtime:||16 hours|
GTFO is a first-person horror shooting game that can be played by up to 4 people. You play as a group of prisoners sent to complete Rundowns by an entity called The Warden.
The Rundowns are a series of missions for completion, and there are some Rundowns that are not possible to start without completing the preceding levels.
The good part about GTFO is that the Rundowns change constantly. You won’t have enough time to really master the maps, which adds to the thrill.
The scariest part about this game is the Sleepers, mutants with disfigured bodies that occupy the complex. They are usually in groups and are dormant at first.
Be careful not to make too much noise because when one awakes, the others follow. Their loud screams will attract other Sleepers, and in a snap of a finger, you will find yourself surrounded by a hoard of them.
GTFO is a very difficult game, and failing will have you starting the whole Rundown all over again. However, if you manage to find a checkpoint, this will allow you to restart from that certain point instead. Make sure that you do, though, because you might die before you even get to one.
Doki Doki Literature Club
|Genre:||Psychological Horror, Casual, Visual Novel|
|Release Date:||June 30, 2021|
|Average Playtime:||4 hours|
At first glance, Doki Doki Literature Club looks like your typical first-person dating sim; however, there is more to this game than meets the eye.
Doki Doki is the sound your heart makes when it beats hard for a person you like. During stage one of the game, you will get to know everyone more by reading text bubbles of conversations between you and the girls.
The real horror starts in stage 2, where you will suddenly notice a lot of unusual things happening. From here on, you will start to really analyze each conversation and look for the things that are unusual.
You’ll eventually realize that Doki Doki can also mean another thing: the sound your heart makes when you’re afraid.
Doki Doki Literature Club is a psychological horror game that aims to disturb anyone that plays it, and it is also included in my list of my favorite PC anime games.
Be careful of what you say because you might regret it.