The best horror games on PC 2024

Turn off all the lights and ready yourself for the best horror games on PC, from jumpy thrillers starring serial killers to slow-burn stomach churns.

Best horror games on PC: Ghostface from Scream and Deadby Daylight

What are the best horror games on PC? Scary games tend to turn traditional action concepts on their heads, forcing you to run and hide from your enemies. They leave you feeling vulnerable rather than empowered, and more than most, they are the gaming experiences that haunt you long after you play.

Of course, there is much more to the best horror games than jump scares and gore. So while we have included a few obvious picks like some of the best PC games, Outlast and Amnesia, you can also expect to find games that use different tactics to raise your heartbeat and get your palms sweating, whether that’s a dread-inducing atmosphere and careful pacing, or unpredictable multiplayer antics like you’ll find in Phasmophobia.

The best horror games are:

First person view of someone holding a toy robot and approaching a lighthouse in Lethal Company, one of the best horror games.

Lethal Company

Lethal Company is a horror game best experienced with a close group of friends, and while it’s still in early access, it’s already captivated many of us here at PCGamesN. You and your team of brave explorers must gather scrap to sell to the Company, and you’ll only do that by hopping between abandoned moons. However, just because the bases are long since and devoid of human activity doesn’t mean you’re truly alone.

You’ll need to work together to gather enough junk before the monsters get your team to meet your quota and keep your lives. Even in the relative safety of your spaceship, though, don’t get too complacent. While you are navigating your teammates through abandoned bases, it only takes a moment of carelessness to get jumped on by a monster masquerading as a friendly. With constant updates adding new threats, maps, and more, our only suggestion is to keep talking and grip that shovel tight. They’re your only reliable ways to defend yourself.

horror games Soma

SOMA

This sci-fi horror from the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent takes the creepiest elements from the hit horror and creates a whole new dark adventure deep beneath the ocean. Stranded after an experiment goes wrong in an underwater facility, you must solve puzzles, pore over documents, and unlock hidden passages to uncover the horrifying secrets onboard PATHOS-II.

Of course, like any horror from Frictional Games, you can expect plenty of scares, lurking monsters, and the constant fear that something follows.

horror games signalis

SIGNALIS

A tense and thrilling survival horror about a humanoid robot trying to find her friend on an isolated and abandoned moon base. Add in a mysterious virus and some mutated and bloodthirsty murderers, and SIGNALIS makes for a terrifying and lonely experience. The pressure slowly mounts, and as you’re frantically searching files and solving puzzles, there’s an inescapable realization that the end goal won’t be good.

Horror games - The Outlast Trials

The Outlast Trials

This prequel to the Outlast series casts back to the events preceding the classic horror games, as hopeful candidates who tick all or one of the boxes (lost, lonely, poor, confused) are taken to a secret facility to be unknowingly experimented on in mind control and brainwashing.

To escape the facility, you must complete the trials, a set of story-driven therapy sessions and challenges created to test your stealth capabilities and teamwork. The Outlast Trials is a co-op game with up to four players, but you can play solo if you wish.

The best horror games - Scorn

Scorn

Scorn’s grim aesthetic of mutilated body parts and fleshy, dingy corridors make this one of the best horror games we’ve played this year. Though it lacks in jumpscares, it more than makes up for in gory goodness, and it’s easy to see the inspiration of H.R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński work in Scorn’s skeletal structures, blood-veined flooring, and mechanisms made of appendages.

Scorn uses gore to create moments of unease instead of shock as you move through a non-linear path solving puzzles in almost near silence (other than the odd squelch). There are plenty of abominations to fight (or hide from) along the way, but like a quiet scream, Scorn becomes increasingly more unhinged as you start unearth its isolated world’s secrets.

Best horror games: investigating a ghost house in Phasmophobia

Phasmophobia

Phasmophobia has climbed rapidly in popularity since its Early Access release, growing beyond a cult following and showing no signs of slowing down, so what makes it so good?

Although Phasmophobia is primarily a horror game, you could look at it as a co-op detective game as you and up to three other investigators explore a haunted location to deduce what type of ghost is spooking out the premises before reporting back. It requires teamwork, your best detective hat, and steady nerves to navigate the dark, tight corridors and eerily quiet rooms.

Using equipment, such as ouija boards, a spirit box, a crucifix, and smudge sticks – you and your team need to investigate the haunting and complete tasks such as taking a picture of dirty water, or asking the ghost questions. Be careful, though, all your prying will likely upset the ghost, and you don’t want to be around when it starts hunting.

Best horror games: Running away from the killer in Dead by Daylight

Dead by Daylight

Asymmetric multiplayer horror games don’t come better than Dead by Daylight. You play as either a lone killer or one of four human survivors desperate to escape the map. The survivors can’t do much to fight back, but working as a team can misdirect, bait, and frustrate the killer while preparing for their escape. It’s a delightfully simple format that plays host to some of the best scares in gaming, and because it’s all player-driven, you can never really predict what’s around the corner.

But Dead by Daylight’s real strength is in its constantly expanding lineup of playable killers. Developer Behaviour Interactive has added almost every horror icon you can think of to its roster, from classic slashers like Ghostface and The Shape to gaming’s most feared, including Resident Evil’s Nemesis and Silent Hill’s Pyramid Head. Each of them boasts a unique set of abilities that reflects their style of murder and malice, and it’s up to survivors to adapt to whichever killer they’re being stalked by. Make sure you grab the latest working DBD codes. You can check out or Dead by Daylight killers tier list for pointers on who to pick.

Best horror games: trudging through a frozen, drak tunnel in Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus is a number of games packed into one inviting post-apocalyptic slice of Russia: it’s a story-focused family drama as much as it is a Wolfenstein-esque, heavy metal-scored FPS. However, there are plenty of spine-tingling horror game sequences creeping en route to the climactic Metro Exodus ending.

4A Games’ irradiated outing allows you to choose whether you want Artyom’s adventure to be a guns-blazing assault or a stealthy affair shrouded in darkness, thanks to the game’s day/night mechanic. But, if you sleep through the daylight hours to creep up on your opponents in pitch darkness, expect a much scarier experience. Human enemies might be on the back foot, but the chill of a howling Watchmen or the charge of a Humanimal is excruciatingly unsettling.

Yet, as we pointed out in our Metro Exodus PC review, this is a game that is at its most terrifying when it changes the rules. The game’s early stages teach you to extinguish the light and master the shadows. Then, in the spider-infested bunkers beneath the Caspian Sea, it becomes your weapon. Your arachnid foes are fatally vulnerable to light, so they skulk about in any dimly lit crevice they can find. As their disgusting, hairy legs scrabble madly against the walls, it becomes apparent that, in Metro Exodus, you can never let your guard down.

Best horror games: Leon is about to shoot two infected monks in a church.

Resident Evil 4 Remake

Ever since Resident Evil 2 got its stellar remake several years ago, it was almost inevitable that Resident Evil 4 would get a similar treatment. However, few of us were prepared for just how much better it could be than the original. In his Resident Evil 4 Remake review, Ed says that it “improves the moment-to-moment experience of one of the best games ever made”.

From updated boss fights, the removal of QTEs, and even some alterations to the story, Resident Evil 4 Remake is its own beast. The Separate Ways DLC also makes itself more than just a retread of Leon’s journey with another character. If you get it and want to challenge yourself, here are all the Resident Evil 4 S-Rank requirements, as well as a list of the most important Resident Evil 4 unlockables you can find.

A demon squatting on a wardrobe in The Mortuary Assistant, one of the best horror games.

The Mortuary Assistant

Working on cadavers is far from the usual premise for a video game, but The Mortuary Assistant adds a supernatural twist to the procedure. During a late-night embalming session, it soon becomes apparent that these bodies aren’t normal, and soon, a call with the local mortician confirms it: rumors of demonic possession are true, and you now can’t leave.

To purge these heretical spirits, you must practice occult rituals to identify the demons, banish them by gathering clues, and somehow perform your regular duties of embalming the corpses. This first-person horror game will take multiple playthroughs for you to see everything, but if you want a taste of the terrors within, you can download the demo from the Steam page and see why this is an underrated horror gem.

Best horror games: a close-up of the xenomorph's head from Alien Isolation

Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation is a horror game about being stuck on a space station with a (spoiler) big scary alien, which, thanks to some devious AI and level design, is more terrifying than it ever has any right to be. As we discovered while writing our Alien: Isolation review, this horror game is effectively a first-person hiding simulator – your monstrous stalker can’t be beaten, shot, or bashed into submission.

The best horror games make you feel utterly powerless, and in Alien: Isolation, it is your wits, your knack for crawling under desks and into lockers, and a variety of distractions that will save you from the hulking, Gigerian horror. A deadly creature who can appear at any moment, unscripted and without warning: what more could you ask for from a horror game antagonist?

Best horror games: Alan Wake is standing in a room with a poem written on the wall next to him. He is staring at a couple of deceased police officers with deer heads attached to them.

Alan Wake 2

Atmosphere is a huge deal for horror games, and while many play with your perception, Alan Wake 2 tap-dances on top of those expectations, particularly during those sequences where you guide Alan deeper into The Dark Place. Our Alan Wake 2 review highlights that while it’s been 13 years since the original, Remedy hasn’t missed a step in creating a disturbing horror game well worth the wait.

Should you decide to delve deeper, there are a few things you should be aware of, such as the best Alan Wake 2 Words of Power to get early on, the locations of all Alan Wake 2 weapons, and just how you can get the Alan Wake 2 lighthouse key, given that it’s not near there at all.

A ship sailing between islands in Dredge, one of the best horror games.

Dredge

Sometimes, the greatest horrors lurk in the briny depths. Dredge has you explore an archipelago filled to the brim with aquatic creatures and keep your tiny fishing trawler safe as you gather your catch and complete requests from the residents of each island. However, dangers is lurking in the fog, and nighttime brings out the big beasts, nibbling at your ship’s hull to get at your tasty fish.

Fans of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos will see many parallels between the deep sea monsters swatting your ship with their overwhelmingly sized tails. It turns midnight expeditions out to see into a desperate struggle for survival. It was one of the best indie games of 2023 and is an intense adventure from the get-go.

Best horror games: using the Black Ops Psionic Amplifier to take down undead in System Shock 2

System Shock 2

System Shock 2 kicked a particular flavor of first-person survival horror games into gear. It boasts an open-ended structure with an endless maze of decks and quarters that promote exploration and discovery. It is a lot like being stuck in a haunted John Lewis, except with psychic death monkeys.

The faster-than-light Von Braun is a persistent world that appears to exist and unfold even while your back is turned – building a heightened sense of place aboard the scarcely populated starship.

But it is corrupted artificial intelligence SHODAN who makes System Shock 2 one of the greatest horror games to have ever graced our fair platform. Right up there with HAL 9000 in the soothingly voiced yet subtly evil computer stakes, she torments and tricks you endlessly, transforming an already terrifying survival RPG into an isolationist horror classic. Few space games match System Shock 2’s sense of isolation.

A man off-screen holding a pistol in front of him as he walks down a cluttered bunker corridor in one of the best horror games, Amnesia: The Bunker.

Amnesia: The Bunker

Not since the first Amnesia game have we seen any of the follow-ups be as exciting to play. While we didn’t review it upon release, Nat summarized what makes it such a special and terrifying experience, calling it WW1 poetry in motion.

As for the game itself, it’s six hours of relentless survival horror set during the First World War. It also recently got additional content via the Halloween update if you’ve already completed the main game. Of course, if you want to delve into the horror for yourself, we have details on the Amnesia The Bunker map and the steps for how to save the Amnesia The Bunker prisoner.

Best horror games: a surgeon standing over the player holding a bonesaw

Outlast

Employing the ‘found footage’ style of contemporary horror cinema, Outlast is a first-person exploration game set inside an abandoned psychiatric hospital. Like all abandoned psychiatric hospitals in horror games, this one is populated by a cast of deranged patients and cruel staff, whom you must avoid to survive with all of your guts still inside your body. These tropes might be well and truly covered in cinema, but horror games can make the most out of these clichés, and Outlast is the proof.

In order to find your way around Outlast’s dark corridors, you must cautiously peer through your camcorder’s green-tinged infrared mode. This gives Outlast a distinctly eerie visual identity while leaving you feeling vulnerable to baddies creeping up behind you. Your camera’s batteries only last a few minutes, so it is a small mercy that the hospital you are exploring is full of batteries that fit the exact make and model of your camera. Phew.

Best horror games: Isaac Clarke

Dead Space Remake

It’s long been on this list, but the recent Dead Space Remake did such a good job with a fan-favorite sci-fi horror game. But while the Dead Space Remake review highlights the more modern tweaks that make it special in its own right, much of the praise should go to the original. Like the horror game adaptation of Event Horizon that never was, Dead Space is the story of a fun cabal of ne’er-do-well cultists who bring a deep space mining ship to its flickering, malfunctioning knees.

You are a mechanic armed with a laser cutter capable of strategically dismembering the legions of already malformed alien creatures who now infest the ship, but despite your powerful weaponry, you are never close to being at ease. Like all the best horror games, Dead Space’s brand of horror is disturbing and often lashes out at your psyche, subtly mixing violence and paranoia to create an atmospheric and unrelentingly bleak miasma of despair. If you find yourself lost in the Remake, then our Dead Space weapons and Dead Space suit upgrades can offer some protection from the terrors hiding in the vents.

A princess is chained up and talking to the player in Slay the Princess, one of the best horror games.

Slay the Princess

Slay The Princess gives you one simple task: kill the girl at the bottom of the basement of a log cabin in the woods. Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? However, who do you trust? The Princess, who’s chained up and helpless, or the game’s narrator egging you on. So much is unknown, but in this visual novel, your choices matter greatly, and with multiple endings, there are so many ways for things to end badly.

With minimalist pencil art and wonderfully creepy performances from its lead actors, Slay the Princess is as well-written as it is deeply unsettling. It might be tempting to see more of it before playing, but we highly recommend that you don’t really look at anything beyond the Steam page. This is because you run the risk of spoiling this game’s twisted narrative and the many decisions you must make along the way.

A scene in one of the best horror games - Little Nightmares 2 - has two small people inside a bathroom. A person behind the curtain in the bath is watching TV.

Little Nightmares 2

Fending off the residents in the original Little Nightmares was tough enough, but Little Nightmares 2 has Six, who is now wearing a paper bag, rescue a new companion Mono. With his help, she hopes to make sense of the Signal Tower that corrupts the land. In addition to the platforming and instant-death traps, there are new assailants to escape from, including the Teacher and the Hunter, and they’re just as terrifying as the assailants from the first game.

With more environmental puzzles that require cooperation between the two children, this is a worthy sequel to one of the most intense horror games of recent years. We recommend playing the first part before the second as it’s a direct continuation of the story, but if you fancy seeing what the series is all about, Little Nightmares 2 comes with its own demo on the Steam page if you wish to try it beforehand.

Best horror games: exploring an abstract world where bodies are floating through space in Inside

Inside

Similar to Little Nightmares, our protagonist must escape a dark world, where he is hunted and alone, moving through deadly obstacles and avoiding detection. Using a mind control helmet, he can control the hapless, unwitting crowds of people found huddled throughout to help him move objects and solve puzzles. You’ll also probably die a lot, and like its predecessor Limbo, all the ways you can die are graphic and merciless before the screen fades to black.

Inside’s art style uses monochromatic backdrops and sporadic flashes of color to create a truly unsettling experience, along with the sparing use of sound and ambient lighting – this sinister, narrative-driven platform game is a horrifyingly haunting ride.

Best horror games - two people shooting a laser into the night sky.

Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals

How do you follow up Oxenfree? That is the big question for many going into the indie classic, but as our Oxenfree 2 review points out, it does so by casting “off adolescence in a bid to explore the trials and tribulations of adulthood, featuring authentic dialogue that packs an emotional punch”.

Continuing five years from where the original left us off, Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals improves much of the previous games’ shortcomings, such as the lack of skipping important dialogue. It also boasts a far bigger island and a deeper mystery to solve that will take all your cunning. If you were a fan of the first story, the second part won’t disappoint. We just so happen to have the Oxenfree 2 letter locations if you get stuck.

That’s all from us, the very best horror games available on PC. If you’re in need of a little R&R, why not check out the best card games or building games on PC? It’s okay; you can come out from behind whatever piece of furniture you’ve been cowering behind; that really is everything – we’re not going to throw a cheap jump scare into the credits or anything like that.