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The Most Terrifying (And Thrilling) Horror Video Games

Spooky season may be nearing its end, but the horror hauntings can carry on! I love to wind down at the end of a long day by playing video games—it’s a relaxing way to let my brain decompress after class while also maintaining some activity. However, while I find Sims and Stardew Valley wholesome and fun, sometimes I want to participate in the horror movie fright. Horror games are a fantastic activity to do when spending time with friends (I can’t stand to play alone) and are a good replacement for a movie when everyone is feeling a wee bit lazy but still wants to be active. Read on for my favorite horror video games! 


Outlast was a favorite among me and my friends in high school; we would all gather together, turn out the lights, and close the curtains before playing for hours on a Friday night (I know, we were super cool). All jokes aside, this game is an extremely fun way to spend a weekend! The player is investigative journalist Miles Upshur, who uncovers the terror of murderous patients in an abandoned psychiatric hospital. What’s the kicker? The only way you can see what’s coming at you in the dark is if you look through your camcorder equipped with night vision. Be prepared for a lot of jump scares and a few mysteries!

This game is available to play on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. 

Layers of Fear

If you love real-life haunted houses, you’ll love Layers of Fear. Played from the first-person perspective of a… “passionate” artist in the 1920s, the game requires the player to roam around his home uncovering puzzles. Psychologically-driven and full of jump scares, this game is more about being scared than reaching a goal. 

This game is available to play on Windows, OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. 

Resident Evil 2 Remake

While some would hesitate to call this game a “horror game,” Resident Evil 2 is full of mystery and grotesque sights. A remake of the 1998 game, players can choose to play as either police officer Leon S. Kennedy or college student Claire Redfield. Players must explore the Racoon police department, which is overrun by zombies and other monsters. If you want a game that requires more actual playing, this one is the one for you!

This game is available to play on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

For both a psychological and petrifying thrill, the old-world haunts of Amnesia: The Dark Descent are a frightening fantasy. The game begins with the player waking up in in the spooky halls of the Prussian Brennenburg Castle, his brain holding no knowledge of his past other than his name, his London neighborhood, and that a mysterious entity is haunting him. Full of mystery, this game requires puzzle solving and an ability to quickly hide or flee from the “gatherers.” 

This game is available to play on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. 

Until Dawn

Until Dawn is easily my favorite game on this list, solely because the plot feels like something out of a bad but good 2000s movie (it eerily resembles some of the action in Cabin in the Woods.) A group of college friends visit preppy boy Josh’s ski lodge on a reclusive mountain to commemorate the disappearance of his sisters on the trip a year before—quickly, things begin to go horribly wrong. My favorite thing about this game is that it monitors your progress by logging all of the in-game clues and plot points that the player has discovered. I also love that it requires players to choose between actions throughout the whole story—each action has a “Butterfly Effect,” and one wrong choice can mean the difference between death and survival. 

This game is available to play on PlayStation 4. 


When I asked a couple of my video-game loving friends about their favorite horror game of the past few years, they unanimously agreed on Visage. This game relies so heavily on suspense, tension, and the manifestations of horrors in the dark that I can’t even watch gameplay videos without screaming. It begins with the player killing his (implied) family, before he must explore his house to uncover numerous dark deeds of the past. The best part about this game is that the player’s sanity decreases when he remains in the dark for prolonged periods of time and when he sees any crazy stuff going down—it’s almost like your mental stability in real life is decreasing as you play...

This game is available to play on Windows and is coming soon to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 


Okay, this game is really more of an honorable mention—it’s how I first got into horror games. My friends and I would play it during our off-periods in high school, just for fun. The development and graphics are awful, but it’s so bad that it’s scary. I highly recommend you download it for a laugh (and maybe a scare in the process.)

And that’s it, folks! I know that video games aren’t for everyone, and the amount of people that want to play a game to be scared is far fewer. However, I figure horror video games are a safer spooky season option than an ouija board! Happy haunting! 


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Amille is a senior at Boston University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English. Her passions include travel, cooking, and creative writing; when she isn't testing new recipes and working on her first novel, she's spending time with pets and making memories with family.
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