10 Best Tense Games Like Dead Space

Games Like Dead Space
Image credit: EA

Dead Space is a series that has a huge following, but it’s been a long time since the last title was released. However, there are games like Dead Space that can fill the gap! There are titles that come close to giving that same experience.

Dead Space is a unique horror game, one that was pretty influential. The series inspired a lot of games to change the way they do horror and stealth. This does mean it’s easier to find Dead Space alternatives than it was a while ago. The DNA of the series is now firmly in the horror genre.

Some of the games like Dead Space range are titles that play very similarly, with themes and gameplay that are very close. Others have bigger differences, they’re horror games with some Dead Space-like elements that do unique things with the genre. The top games have enough variety to cover any player’s interests.

These are the best games like Dead Space that you can find at the moment. Each of them offers something different, but they’ll make a great fit as an alternative for Dead Space:

10. BioShock

BioShock – games like Dead Space
2K Games

The BioShock series is known for interesting stories, unique settings, and tense gameplay. The games are mainly known for their story and worlds, but its exploration of the horror like-areas makes them stand out too.

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 game. The first takes place in an abandoned underwater city, build to be a Randian utopia. Exploring the city lets you learn more about the game’s ideas and the city’s past.

The title has a world that encourages exploration, it might be one of the most impressive worlds depicted in gaming. Outside of that though, the core gameplay is pretty compelling. The enemies you’ll face have become iconic in the various BioShock games.

There are currently quite a few BioShock games. You can easily grab The Collection on modern platforms though, making them easily accessible games like Dead Space.

9. The Evil Within 2

The Evil Within 2 – games like Dead Space
Bethesda

The Evil Within 2 is a sequel that improves upon the original in a lot of ways. This is one of the games here that nails a lot of the key parts of Dead Space’s appeal.

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 better shooting lets 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 like Dead Space.

8. The Last of Us

The Last of Us – games like Dead Space
Naughty Dog

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 in places. Taking down zombies, monsters, and other survivors is a polished experience. There’s a lot of the stealth and tension that make horror games enjoyable.

Different segments are exploration-focused, but the game is pretty 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. It’s a game on the PS4 that has one of the best stories.

The Last of Us and its sequel, The Last of Us 2, are frequently named as the best campaign games on PS5. This is a great pick for games like Dead Space if you’re looking for a strong story.

7. Lost Planet 3

Lost Planet 3 – games like Dead Space
Capcom

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.

Players are fighting off swarms of killer insect-like monsters. This all takes place on an ice world. Even in terms of visuals, it’s a good set-up that lets gameplay get incredibly creative.

The game focuses more on action than horror. While the insects are unnerving in places, you’re mainly taking them down rather than avoiding them. The icy planet still gives you a lot of space for exploration though.

Alongside the insects themselves, there are colonists that you need to deal with too. You have to survive both the others on the planet with you and the threatening species.

Lost Planet is a third-person shooter. This is quite a bit different from most of the games like Dead Space here. Rather than getting a point of view in first-person, the emphasis is on action here.

There are multiple Lost Planet games out there. The latest, Lost Planet 3, has a combination of varied environments alongside the franchise’s trademark icy world. This adds some much-needed variety.

6. Prey

Prey – games like Dead Space
Bethesda

Prey is one of the games like Dead Space that comes very close to feeling like another installment in the 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 there to do scientific research, 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 a 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 is based 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 gameplay 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 like Dead Space. It’s a similar set-up, with stealth in an alien-infested space environment, but plenty to make it unique.

5. Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus – games like Dead Space
Deep Silver

The Metro series of 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. 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 dangers even worse than what you’ve faced before.

Gameplay involves a good amount of strategy. You’ll need to outplay both the mutants and hostile enemies. Like Dead Space, gameplay involves gunplay, stealth, and avoiding the creatures lurking around.

If you enjoy the environmental storytelling and immersive story of Dead Space, there’s a lot to get from Metro. However, the gunplay and stealth are both top tier here.

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 like Dead Space, it is worth checking out the earlier titles too!

4. Limbo

Limbo – games like Dead Space
Microsoft Game Studios

Limbo is one of the Dead Space alternatives that strays quite a bit from that game’s format. It is a truly special experience though. This is one of the most influential indie games in recent years, alongside similar game Inside from developers Playdead.

Limbo is a side-scrolling puzzle platformer. The art style and atmosphere here help to create a tense experience. It might not be the kind of sci-fi horror that other games like Dead Space are on the surface, but it’s an experience that few would fault.

Each of the puzzles and barriers to progression in the game are designed to be figured out through multiple play-throughs. You’re supposed to die a lot, over and over. That’s until you find the right solution.

The complication here is that each death comes with a particularly gory cutscene. This happens a lot and you’re treated to the protagonist dying in some unique ways. Even outside of the gore, this is one of the best puzzle games on Steam for its core gameplay.

The aesthetics of Limbo alone have been enough to encourage players to jump into this game. The visuals and the music come together to give some simple gameplay much more appeal.

Limbo is one of the most influential games like Dead space and it’s easy to see why. It pushes how much a game’s style can be the main feature. It isn’t the most impressive title but in sheer artistry it’s impressive.

3. Doom 2016

Doom 2016 – games like Dead Space
Bethesda

Doom is one of the most iconic series in gaming. The 2016 reboot brought new life to the franchise, delivering one of its best installments. This is one of the most well-known games like Dead Space. While it’s pretty different, 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 is one of the Dead Space alternatives that is both the same and the opposite in some ways.

Doom excels in making the player feel powerful, 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.

Doom 2016 is not one of the games like Dead Space that’s in the exact same genre, but a lot is going in its favor.

2.  Alien Isolation

Alien Isolation – games like Dead Space
Sega

Alien Isolation might seem like a standard tie-in game, but it’s much more than that. The title is known as one of the best sci-fi games on PS5 and on Xbox. That’s for good reason too. It is easily one of the best things to come out of the entire Alien Franchise

This game really makes you feel the fear of being hunted by an alien. Avoiding it and trying to come out alive has never felt so real. 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, this might be a bit too strong in places! It is going to be a serious challenge.

Alien Isolation is one of the best games like Dead Space if you’re looking for real terror with the sci-fi setting that makes dead space so effective. Knowledge of the Alien franchise isn’t even needed to try it out.

1. Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2 – games like Dead Space
Capcom

Resident Evil 2 is a great game for fans of Dead Space. It’s one of the defining games of the horror genre. The recent remake even 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 is 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 police station, overran by zombies following the events of Resident Evil 1. It’s a game that delivers on a horror setup, executing a zombie survival plotline expertly.

Resident Evil 2 has a few changes over the original, but it’s still got a focus on horror and survival. This is one of the games like Dead Space with a big focus on scaring the player! There are plenty of jump scares and a creepy atmosphere around.

This title is so popular with Dead Space fans that there are even popular 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 one of the games like Dead Space, it’s one of the most acclaimed horror games of all time. If you’re looking for a new horror or survival game to play, then this is a great pick for most players.

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