If there is one thing you can be certain of, that is that there are going to be enough horror games regardless of the console that you are playing on. On top of that, many of them will also be of great quality, as horror games often have some of the highest development budgets.
With the large number of horror games that are currently available on the Xbox Series X and S, it can be difficult to distill them to a list on which only the best of the bunch make it. Ranking horror games is quite difficult, as many of them tend to take a different approach. Some opt for jump scares and all-out horror, while others play with the psychological aspects of the genre.
Having gone through the majority of the horror games currently available on the Microsoft Store, we have ranked them according to how good we think they are. We have prioritized the ‘scary’ aspect of the game, and this list is written for the horror aficionado that wants to be scared out of their wits.
Here is our list of the 16 best scary horror games for Xbox Series X / S.
The first game on our list is one of the most mentioned games on our lists for Xbox. Despite the game’s age, it still is worth a play to this very day. It is also astounding just how many genres the developers have managed to pack into the game. This is why it was also on our list of the best stealth games for Xbox.
At its core, Alien: Isolation is a survival-horror game that has you surviving against an alien on a spaceship. The problem is that the alien is on the spaceship specifically for you, and you do not know why.
As such, your job is not only to avoid the alien and survive but to also discover why the alien has come for you. Once you couple that with a panic-stricken population that is on the edge and unsure of what to do, you have a truly terrorizing game on your hands.
While the game has not been optimized for the Series X and S, both of the consoles do play the game at a higher framerate than the previous generation. As long as your TV or monitor has a high refresh rate, get ready to be amazed by one of the smoothest experiences on Xbox.
It is a shame that not many people know about SIMULACRA because it truly is an amazing example of how to create a great game without many resources.
A woman is missing, and you are in possession of her phone. The phone is full of messages, apps, and a video she made documenting what happened to her before she went missing.
While the videos and the strange way in which her phone acts are horrifying enough, what’s even more horrifying is the thought that you are the only one who can find her. Will you be able to do it, or will the entity that took her also take you in the process?
Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes
There are a lot of games in the Dark Pictures Anthology, but the House of Ashes is by far our favorite. The entire series does a great job of always having that ‘creepy’ element that keeps you on edge.
All of the games in the DPA series are standalone, meaning that you do not need to play any of the previous games in the series to understand what goes on in the House of Ashes.
House of Ashes has you surviving a Sumerian temple that is haunted by monsters. Although your character is a member of the Special Forces, this is a threat that even you are not equipped to deal with.
The game can also be played in a two-player co-op mode. On top of that, there is a highly engaging five-player co-op mode that has you pass the game controller around depending on the situation.
Resident Evil Village
Resident Evil Village is another game that is often mentioned on our lists. In fact, it is one of the few games in recent memory that was really hyped and actually managed to deliver. This is why it was also on our list of the best zombie games for Xbox.
The game does a good job of utilizing the tried-and-tested Resident Evil formula but also adding a few new features. However, the two standout features of the game are the visuals and the story.
There are a few returning characters such as Chris Redfield. However, many of the characters are now shrouded in mystery, and deciphering what is actually going on is going to require you to suffer through a lot of scary gameplay (and we mean suffer in a good way).
Sagebrush is a horror game that has been inspired by real-life cults and their activities. You play the role of a person who is investigating a cult and their mass suicide.
The Perfect Heaven Cult, as it was known, used to occupy a ranch that is now deserted. It is up to you to sift through the estate and uncover what the reason behind the mass suicide was.
To be honest, the lo-fi graphics are not really something to marvel at. More than anything, they point to the lack of resources and effort placed into them. However, the gameplay and the storyline are simply some of the best we have seen in a horror game. The fact that they are based on real-world stories is just absolutely terrifying.
It is quite sad just how many horror games there are that the general public does not know about. While The Medium is a game that has enjoyed moderate success, it was still nowhere near what the game deserves. This is why it made our list of the most underrated Xbox games.
The Medium is a game that is set in two realities. As someone who can traverse through both, it is up to you to find out what happened at a communist resort and why countless spirits are haunting the place.
The Medium truly has one of the most interesting and hard-to-decipher stories that we have seen. Almost nothing is comprehendible at the beginning of the game. However, you slowly work your way through the game and piece together parts that form a whole in the end.
Dead by Daylight
Dead by Daylight has one of the most unique concepts when it comes to horror games. The major difference between this game and most others is that the person terrifying you is not controlled by AI, but by another player.
There are four players trying to escape a death trap and one person trying to kill them. There are certain objectives that the survivors need to complete before they can escape. The killer, of course, has to stop them and kill them before they can complete any of the aforementioned objectives.
There are various progression systems and character types that can allow you to modify your playstyle. Despite the apparently simple nature of the game, there is a lot of depth here and a lot of ways through which players can innovate. And it is definitely worth pointing out that the game is scary as hell if you are a survivor.
There is a reason the Metro series enjoys almost a cult following. This is because the games somehow always manage to strike the perfect balance between action gameplay and terrifying interludes.
Metro Exodus is considered by most to be the best game in the series, and we definitely agree with that statement. The game continues the story set in post-apocalyptic Russia and enhances the gameplay in almost every way over its predecessors.
Exodus is an open-world experience that allows you to explore as much as you want and progress through the game at your own pace.
The world looks stunning due to the game being optimized for the Series X and S. While we do not usually make such recommendations, we would definitely recommend that you try and play this game on the Series X due to the higher visual fidelity.
SOMA was initially released on the PC in 2015 but was ported over to the Xbox a couple of years later. The one problem that hardcore fans of the horror genre seem to have is that psychological horror games are often not scary enough.
Well, all they need to do is to give SOMA a try. Despite there not being a lot of jump scares or other elements that may frighten you, all the horrifying moments in the game are so unpredictable that you do not have any choice but to teeter on the edge of your seat for all of the game.
SOMA puts you in an underwater facility where all the machines have become self-aware. With almost nothing for you to survive on and no way of contacting the outside world, you need to traverse the facility and call for help. This means that you need to survive and avoid the machines at all costs.
The only problem we have with SOMA is that there isn’t a lot of gameplay. The campaign can be played through in around ten hours, and there is no additional content or multiplayer once you are finished.
Resident Evil 2
It should be obvious why there are multiple games from the Resident Evil series on our list of the best scary horror games for Xbox. The franchise is practically responsible for the genre itself. With there being virtually no other franchise with a similar impact, it stands to reason that one of the best games in the series makes it in.
The game originally came out in 1998. However, it was remastered and certain parts of the game were changed before it was re-released in 2019. Those who have already played the 1998 version will enjoy playing the story with better visuals and crisper controls.
Those who have not played the original version will have a blast playing through the story in its infancy and discovering more about some of the recurring characters in the series. The main reason we included Resident Evil 2 and not another version is due to this game being scarier than any other in the series (in our opinion).
Outbreak: The New Nightmare
Outbreak is a series that does not get enough love. It is understandable since the games do lack a certain polish and are quite barebones. However, they still do a fantastic job of perfectly combining the survival and horror genres.
In The New Nightmare, you play the role of a normal civilian whose city has had an outbreak of the undead. With the police being long gone, it is up to you to make sure that you can survive and make it out alive.
The New Nightmare does a great job of combining downright terrifying moments with proper survival gameplay that is similar to RUST and DayZ rather than other horror games. As such, this is a fairly unique experience that is worth playing through despite the outdated visuals.
On top of that, The New Nightmare is a great game for a two-player co-op. The only slight against the game in this regard is that the co-op must be local as there is no option for online play.
For those who like both horror and puzzle games, Scorn is the ideal game on our list. The game was designed with the idea to create environments that are horrifying on their own, requiring no input from AI-controlled characters.
The developers do a perfect job of it, and then also add AI-controller characters that enhance the horror aspect. At the start of the game, you will be thrown into a world and will have to find your own way with no guidelines. Each area is different from the last and will present its own challenges.
The best part of the game is the graphics. It was essential to have the best visuals possible for a game that relies so heavily on its environment, and Scorn has some of the best visuals of all the horror games currently available.
Visage is a bit different from the other games on our list of the best scary horror games for Xbox. It is a psychological horror game, but it starts off really slow.
This means that those who are into the whole ‘make me as scared as you possibly can’ thing may find the game too boring to continue at the beginning. Believe us when we say that it is surely worth the wait.
By the middle of the game, chances are that you will be scared out of your wits. Visage is set in a world that is so surreal, weird, and horrifying that it is impossible to make it through the game without taking a pause.
A Plague Tale: Innocence
A Plague Tale: Innocence is a mainstay on our lists, and that is because it truly does a great job of blending numerous genres and creating a masterpiece of a game. This is why it was on our list of the best medieval games for Xbox.
The only reason we don’t have the game higher on this list is that it is not that scary when compared to others on the list. The story follows two siblings trying to survive the inquisition. While the soldiers are scary, what is scarier are the rats that inhabit the world.
With both characters virtually helpless, you need to do everything in your power to avoid everyone and slowly make your way to the end of the game. The heartbreaking story is also one of the best we have ever seen on the Xbox, making the game worth a play for that reason alone.
The Evil Within 2
The Evil Within 2 is a classic survival horror game. While it does not try to introduce many new concepts to the genre, it does a great job of providing solid gameplay and being quite scary at the same time.
You play the role of Sebastian Castellanos, a detective who has the chance to save his daughter by visiting the world of STEM. There are monsters and god knows what behind every corner, leading you to be on guard throughout the story.
The reason we love The Evil Within 2 is that it is one of the few horror games that allow you to fight back. Most horror games leave you helpless and have you avoiding the enemies for the most part, but you actually have a fighting chance here.
The last game on our list of the best scary horror games for Xbox Series X / S is Outlast. Anyone who has even a remote interest in the genre knows about the Outlast series, making the game a must-play for any horror fan.
Both of the games in the Outlast series are great, but we would recommend that you begin with the first one to be acquainted with the story. While the narrative is a bit difficult to grasp, it is quite intriguing.
The story begins with you investigating a haunted house as an independent journalist. What you end up finding will change your life, and maybe shorten it drastically.