Horror games have had a long and tumultuous history — from the old days of first pixelated horror games to today’s AAA blockbusters, we’ve seen it all. However, one thing has never changed — they are built (successfully, if we might add) to scare the pants off us!
It feels as if horror games have been part of the gaming landscape for decades. Today, the genre is as popular as ever, and more and more brilliant titles are coming out daily. In that honor, we decided to take a look at some of the best gems the horror game industry has to offer.
We prepared a list of eight horror video game franchises every fan of the genre should follow. From survival horror to FPS shooters, we’ve got something for everyone! But there’s one thing all of these franchises have in common — they’ve become an inseparable part of horror gaming history.
So if you haven’t played some of these franchises, you’d better get to it. You can thank us later!
8 Best Horror Video Game Franchises to Revisit in 2021
Here are our picks for eight horror video game franchises that are sure to give you nightmares:
Outlast is one of the most realistic and brutal survival horror game franchises of the last decade. The franchise currently consists of two released titles, both situated in a different nightmarish setting. The games simulate a found-footage horror movie as their characters wander the nightmarish environments they find themselves in. Both titles feature elements of the supernatural, are incredibly visceral, and they make it clear that the odds of survival are stacked against the player.
If you want to experience the Outlast franchise to the fullest, you must play through both games to get the bigger pictures. The titles have seemingly unconnected storylines, but there are small, obscure ties between them. A third installment titled Outlast Trials will be released sometime in 2021, hopefully connecting the previous two games into one overarching story arch.
We wholeheartedly recommend you play through this horror franchise, as it offers one of the most nail-biting experiences to date!
2. The Evil Within
If you’re a fan of more action-oriented horror games but enjoy mind-blowing storylines full of twists and turns, the Evil Within franchise is for you! There are currently two games in this horror franchise, both following the same protagonist, Detective Sebastian Castellanos, in an otherworldly horror journey filled with horrific monsters and unique challenges.
The two games’ storylines build upon each other, so you’ll have to play both if you want the complete experience. Luckily, that is unlikely to prove challenging, as both titles are excellent at hooking the players in. Both games play from the third-person perspective and include various gameplay features like stealth sequences, ammo scarcity, customizable weapons, and much more.
We can safely say that you won’t regret giving this horror franchise a try!
The next franchise on our list is a horror FPS set in the post-apocalyptic ruins of Moscow. This horror classic has three entries in the franchise to date and was inspired by the book series of the same name by Dmitry Glukhovski.
Metro’s dark, mutant-ridden world will make players experience a mix of melancholy and dread as they wander around the ruins of Moscow, scavenging for supplies. This game has much more to it than shooting mutants in a never-ending battle for survival. The franchise tells a much darker story and explores the depths of the human psyche through the protagonist’s attempts to find a reason to push on in this dead, post-apocalyptic world.
If there was ever a horror shooter worth your time, it’s the Metro franchise. Don’t trust us? Just ask Glukhovski’s fans!
Amnesia is the franchise that started the online horror craze, and that makes it well worth a spot on our list! This atmospheric, story-driven survival horror franchise is one of the creepiest ones out there. No other horror franchise manages to strikes the perfect balance between pacing, atmospheric terror, and deadly, grotesque monsters like Amnesia.
The franchise currently has three games under its belt, the most recent entry being relatively recent. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of survival horror games, the titles in the Amnesia franchise are a must-play for any horror connoisseur. Even the oldest entry, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, still lives up to expectations today, despite its outdated graphics.
If you haven’t yet delved into the dark, twisted world of Amnesia, add it to your bucket list!
5. Dead Space
Whether you enjoy a quality FPS horror adventure on your own or with a friend, the Dead Space franchise will meet your needs. This franchise has a long-standing name in the industry for fans of Sci-Fi shooters. The Dead Space series follows the story of Isaac Clarke in his fight against the universe-wide Necromorph threat.
The Dead Space franchise offers non-stop action, plenty of horrific creatures and jumpscares, and a captivating story that will keep you glued to the screen! All three entries in the franchise feature similar game mechanics despite being published years apart, so they’re particularly suitable for bingeing! There is no better way to experience this franchise than by doing a Dead Space marathon the next time you get some time off from work!
We might even revisit it ourselves soon; it’s just that good!
6. Silent Hill
There isn’t a single OG horror game fan that hasn’t heard of (and played) the Silent Hill franchise! This horror game series is likely one of the oldest and most popular ones to date! So if you’re feeling nostalgic or are a fan of old classics, the Silent Hill franchise is perfect for you.
Even though the last entry in this series was made in 2012, the Silent Hill franchise has eight different titles in its main game series. That’s right — this franchise has dozens if not hundreds of hours of gameplay to offer! If you don’t mind the outdated graphics and game mechanics, it’s always worth going back to gaming’s horror roots.
Despite its age, the Silent Hill franchise still has plenty of scares to offer. That is why we wholeheartedly recommend you at least give it a chance!
Alien is likely one of the most widely recognized Sci-Fi horror franchises, and it is as popular in the gaming world as it is on the silver screen! Although the franchise had its ups and downs over the years (we’re looking at you, Aliens: Colonial Marines), it has undoubtedly left its mark in horror gaming history. Whether you wish to go on a rampage as the Predator, the Xenomorph, or a Space Marine in the Alien vs. Predator classic or prefer a spine-chilling survival horror experience that Alien: Isolation brings to the table, you will find something to suit your taste!
Overall, if you’re a Sci-Fi horror fan, the Alien franchise has many hidden gems you’re going to love!
8. Resident Evil
Last but not least on our list is the Resident Evil franchise! One cannot call themselves a horror game fan without having played this iconic series! This franchise gave gamers the first taste of a zombie-like horror game, and it didn’t take long for the world to get hooked. It also gave us one of the first biological weapons in gaming — the T-virus and the G-virus — which quickly gained cult status in the gaming world.
The Resident Evil franchise has had a long history, and it is still making it! The series consists of dozens of titles, several of which even got remakes recently. But the real kicker here is that the Resident Evil games are still going strong. In fact, the latest entry in the franchise, Resident Evil: Village, will release in just a few months. So now is the perfect time to revisit the older games in the franchise before the newest release hits the shelves!
What are you waiting for? Get some time off work, and plan your Resident Evil marathon! You won’t regret it!