9 Tense Games Like Dead Space
Dead Space is a series that has a huge following and it’s easy to see why. It’s a unique horror franchise that’s had a massive influence on the world of horror games, inspiring lots of subsequent games to change their approach to horror and stealth.
If you’ve played Dead Space and you’re on the hunt for something similar, you’re in luck. The influential nature of this series means that you can find Dead Space DNA in plenty of different games. Some games have similar gameplay mechanics and blends of horror and stealth, and others share theming and story elements.
To help you find a great game (or two) like Dead Space, we’ve handpicked the best 9 tense games like Dead Space in this article. Read on to find out more about the best spooky, stealthy, and sci-fi titles you should be adding to your library.
The BioShock series offers interesting stories, unique settings, and tense gameplay. The games are mainly known for their stories and beautiful worlds, but they offer some fantastic stealth and horror moments as well.
Exploring BioShock’s world can be a tense experience. The various enemies in the game can be a real challenge. You’ll need to pay close attention to your surroundings to get through the game.
While BioShock has great horror elements, there’s a lot more to the series. The first takes place in an abandoned underwater city, built to be a Randian utopia. Exploring the city lets you learn more about the game’s ideas and the city’s past.
BioShock arguably offers some of the most impressive worlds depicted in gaming. Outside of that though, the core gameplay is pretty compelling. Even if you’ve never played a BioShock game before, you’ll almost certainly recognise some of the characters. They’re iconic.
There are currently several BioShock games, available on a handful of different platforms. Games like BioShock are great picks for fans of games with a Dead Space vibe, because they’re immersive, dark, and incredibly creative, too.
8. The Evil Within 2
The Evil Within 2 is a sequel that improves upon the original in a lot of ways. This is one of the main games in this list that nails the elements that made Dead Space appealing.
The game follows Sebastian Castellanos. He has to journey into the Union in an attempt to save his daughter. The journey has a lot of surprises, with the world being filled with horrors along the way.
Core gameplay here relies on some tight shooting mechanics. This game might have better gunplay than Dead Space in some places. This makes the Evil Within 2 a lot more enjoyable, and closer to the style of gameplay in the original Dead Space. The smooth shooting mechanics let you get through the story with a lot less frustration.
The story in The Evil Within is probably the main attraction though. This is a game that has a lot of emphasis on the fear factor. You need to use stealth as you’re exploring. With shooting mechanics too, it’s a well-fleshed-out experience in gameplay.
The early parts of this title have some open-world aspects to them. This is a pretty creative change compared to most horror games reminiscent of Dead Space. In fact, this is one of the best horror games on Steam for fans of the Dead Space series.
7. The Last of Us
The Last of Us is a zombie game that is driven by its story. You play as Joel, a survivor of a zombie apocalypse. You’re tasked with transporting Ellie, a young girl who might hold the key to a cure.
The gameplay in the Last of Us is fun and frantic in places. Taking down zombies, monsters, and other survivors is a polished experience.
Different segments are exploration-focused, but the game is driven by its narrative. The gameplay is fun, but most play the Last of Us for its story. It’s a character-driven game that wants you to get to know its characters and care for them.
The Last of Us and its sequel, The Last of Us 2, are frequently named as the best single player games on PS5. This is a great pick for players hunting down games like Dead Space with a strong story.
6. Lost Planet 3
Lost Planet 3 is one of the Dead Space alternatives highlighted here which is closest in gameplay! This is another space horror game. It combines creepy atmospheric environments with science fiction concepts. The whole series is worth a mention here.
In this game, players will need to fight off swarms of killer insect-like monsters. This all takes place on an ice world, and it’s a very immersive experience.
The game focuses more on action than horror. While the insects are unnerving, you’re mainly taking them down rather than avoiding them. Alongside the insects, there are colonists that you need to deal with too. The icy planet still gives you a lot of opportunities to explore though.
Lost Planet is a third-person shooter, making it quite different from other games like Dead Space. This game takes an action-oriented point of view.
There are multiple Lost Planet games out there. Lost Planet 3, for example, has a combination of varied environments alongside the franchise’s trademark icy world. This adds some much-needed variety.
Prey is one of the games like Dead Space that comes very close to feeling like another entry in the Dead Space series. It’s a horror-based space game, with a few twists.
Players find themselves on a space base, in orbit around a moon. Initially they’re there to do scientific research, but that’s out the window once an alien force seizes control.
These aliens have a few unique abilities which make them particularly fearsome foes. They are inklike black monsters that can take any shape, morphing into various inanimate objects. This makes survival on the space station tricky. You can’t trust your surroundings when nothing is what it seems.
The game uses a fairly open-world setting. The station is free for you to explore, giving a real sense of scale and scope to the adventure.
Gameplay focuses mainly on stealth. This is a first-person shooter where you have to try and take out the invaders. However, exploration is just as big a part of this game. The game’s world is impressive and immersive.
Players can take advantage of RPG elements to build on the experience even more. You can choose various weapons and resources to work on and open up your abilities to attack the aliens. Eventually, you can even get your own versions of the alien’s powers.
Prey is one of the most interesting games similar to Dead Space. It has a familiar set-up, with stealth in an alien-infested space environment, but also has plenty of other elements that combine to make it feel unique.
4. Metro Exodus
The Metro games are first-person shooters that have a lot in common with Dead Space. There are three games in the series, starting with Metro 2033.
The games follow a story starting in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. Alongside the horrors of just surviving in this world, the area is now inhabited by mutants born of the radiation.
Some people manage to remain alive living in the Moscow metro, which is an underground space that has managed to stay relatively safe. The player has to try to survive in the world above this metro and protect those who live below.
By Metro Exodus, the story has progressed quite a bit. The player has begun the titular ‘exodus’ or journey away from the metro. The landscape outside of the city has immense dangers that the player will have to overcome.
Gameplay involves a good amount of strategy. You’ll need to outplay both the mutants and hostile enemies. Like Dead Space, gameplay involves a mix of gunplay and stealth. If you enjoy the environmental storytelling and immersive story of Dead Space, there’s a lot to get from Metro.
There are three games in the Metro series, with Metro Exodus being the most recent. If you get a taste for this one of the games similar to Dead Space, it is worth checking out the earlier titles too! Games like Metro Exodus are a lot of fun.
3. Doom 2016
Doom is one of the most iconic series in gaming. The 2016 reboot brought new life to the franchise, delivering one of its best entries ever. This is one of the most well-known games like Dead Space. While it’s pretty different in terms of theming, there are some key similarities that make it a good pick.
Both Doom and Dead Space have you fighting your way through foreign alien atmospheres. Each is a rough hostile world that will take some work to get through. Although, there’s a pretty key difference.
In Dead Space, you’re trying to survive monsters that view you as prey. In Doom, you’re the one preying on the monsters. Or demons, to be more specific.
Doom excels in making the player feel powerful, which is almost an inverse of what you get in Dead Space. If you’re looking to take out some frustration then Doom 2016 is a great pick.
This is a visually impressive game, with unique and well-designed alien locations. There’s even some decent lore hiding away in what’s primarily an action game.
2. Alien: Isolation
Alien: Isolation might seem like a standard tie-in game, but it’s much more than that. The title is one of the best sci-fi games on PS5 and other platforms, too. This game is arguably one of the best things to come out of the Alien franchise.
This game really makes you feel the fear of being hunted by an alien. Avoiding it and trying to survive is genuinely frightening. This game does a great job of really making the alien feel like a threat. It’s hard to take down, and it’ll require a lot of stealth and strategy to get around.
One of Alien: Isolation’s best features is the AI behind the alien itself. If anything, it might be a bit too strong in places! It provides a serious challenge, and is perfect for fans of games like Dead Space who want something difficult to tackle.
Alien: Isolation is one of the best Dead Space alternatives to check out if you’re looking for real terror and a cold, unforgiving sci-fi environment.
If you want more games like this, make sure to have a look at our list of the best games like Alien: Isolation, too.
1. Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2 is a great game for fans of Dead Space. It’s one of the defining games of the horror genre, and the remake improves upon that. The new version of Resident Evil 2 is a modern and stylish take on a classic.
The remake of the game switches to an over-the-shoulder perspective. Its gameplay feels closer to what’s become standard in modern Resident Evil titles, too. It all helps to build an atmosphere and a sense of tension in Racoon City.
The game mainly takes place in a zombie-infested police station. It’s a game that delivers on a horror setup, executing a zombie survival plotline expertly.
The remake of Resident Evil 2 has changed a few elements of the original game, but it’s still got a focus on horror and survival. This is one of the best games like Dead Space that focuses on scaring the player! There are plenty of jump scares and a creepy atmosphere all around.
This title is so popular with Dead Space fans that there are mods for the game that substitute in Dead Space’s characters! For a first playthrough, though, you’ll probably want to stick with the intended characters.
Resident Evil 2 isn’t just a good pick for Dead Space fans, it’s a must-play for any survival, horror, or action fans. It’s one of the most acclaimed horror games of all time.