Best Horror Games 2020

Most video games present a power fantasy where the player is in total control at all times. However, the best horror games flip this formula on its head by dropping players into terrifying scenarios with little or no means of defense.

Elements like atmosphere, story, and the occasional jumpscare are typically used to convey a specific message in horror games—something isn’t right, and you should probably start running. 

Here, we’ll be highlighting the most haunting horror games available in 2020 for PC and current-gen consoles. These games are sure to scratch that spooky itch and make your skin crawl.

If you would like to receive more gaming recommendations, consider reading through our other curated lists:

Related:Best Upcoming Games 2020 (And Beyond)Best Upcoming Zombie Games 2020 (And Beyond)Best Survival Games 2020 – The Ultimate Game ListBest Games Like Resident Evil

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Moons of Madness is a first-person horror adventure game set in a Lovecraftian-inspired universe. You control Shane Newehart, an astronaut engineer tasked with monitoring a research outpost located on Mars.

Soon after, you begin to notice strange occurrences such as critical systems malfunctioning, weird mist floating in the outpost, and your crew disappearing. 

Isolated and increasingly paranoid, Shane begins to hear and see things he can’t explain, blurring the line between reality and imagination. His journey will see players exploring the outpost with help from computers, rovers, solar panels, and other forms of technology.

If you enjoy the works of H.P. Lovecraft and prefer more story-driven games, Moons of Madness might be perfect for you. 

The Corpse Party games are known for blending elements of visual novels and role-playing games to immerse players in their creepy universe. Each entry typically sees a cast of anime high-schoolers getting stranded at various locations crawling with supernatural monsters. 

Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient is the latest installment to date and marks the beginning of a new storyline for the series. In it, you control high-school junior Ayame Itou, who wakes up from a coma only to find herself trapped inside a mysterious abandoned hospital. Players will have to search for clues and other students while avoiding enemy detection. 

Apsulov: End of Gods is a Viking-themed horror game that blends Nordic mythology with futuristic technology. The result is an epic, sci-fi first-person adventure in which players are tasked with uncovering the secrets of Yggdrasil, a mythical land comprised of nine different realms.

Throughout the game, players acquire augmentations for their character called artifacts, which can prove useful during terrifying encounters with a wide array of powerful, mythical beasts. However, the main appeal of Apsulov stems from its highly-detailed environments and unique visual style.

A Plague Tale: Innocence is an action-adventure horror game set France, 1348, and sees a pair of siblings on the run from the English army after their countryside estate is raided.

The game’s historical setting coincides with the existence of the Black Plague, and therefore, features both human enemies and hordes of diseased rats that players will have to sneak past. 

Controlling both Amicia and her younger brother Hugo, players are tasked with navigating dark sewers, decaying city streets, and dense forests in hopes of making it out alive.

While both siblings are pretty much defenseless for a majority of the game, basic tools like Amicia’s torch and Hugo’s slingshot prove useful for solving puzzles and distracting enemies. 

Lakeview Valley is a murder RPG with multiple endings and branching storylines. You play as a homeowner who’s recently moved to the Valley, and early on, you begin to notice how secretive your new neighbors are. However, you’re just as guilty, hiding your evil desire to kill.

Whether your thirst for blood remains unsatisfied is entirely up to you, with the game supporting both violent and pacifist playstyles. Lakeview Valley is best described as Animal Crossing meets American Psycho and includes 20+ unique NPCs to woo or slaughter along with character customization and upgrades.

Following the success of the first Resident Evil remake, Capcom’s updated version of Resident Evil 2 is nothing short of a survival horror game masterpiece. It features completely redone assets as well as some QoL improvements that make the 20-year-old title feel like a current-gen release.

Players control rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield as they attempt to escape Raccoon City amid a zombie apocalypse.

While the core experience of RE2 has remained pretty much the same and sees players scavenging for ammo and healing items, the story has been reworked in some areas, giving characters like Ada Wong a much more distinguished role. 

Sea Salt is a reverse horror action-strategy game in which you take on the role of an ancient deity looking to punish humankind for their offenses. With help from a sinister squad of otherworldly creatures, cultists, and deep-sea horrors, the old god begins wreaking havoc on the city and its inhabitants.

Players can control a swarm of supernatural minions, both attacking as withdrawing as hunters and more powerful bosses try to send them back to the underworld. 

As the game progresses, more units are unlocked, and new strengths/weaknesses are introduced to keep the gameplay feeling fresh. If you enjoy horror movies where the monster wins, Sea Salt just might be the perfect choice for you.  

The Light Keeps Us Safe is a procedurally-generated stealth horror game with survival and Metroidvania elements. Equipped with only a flashlight, players are tasked with leaving the safety of their bunker and exploring an apocalyptic-world overrun by bloodthirsty robots in search of supplies. 

Salvageable items range from food and medkits to bottles that can be thrown to distract enemies and components for upgrading your flashlight, allowing you to explore previously inaccessible areas.

When encountering enemies, the player has no real means of defense and can only momentarily stun robots using their flashlight’s beam,  giving them just enough time to hide. 

Little Nightmares is a horror puzzle platformer with an emphasis on stealth. Players control a small girl named Six, who’s been trapped in the depths of a strange vessel. As they make their way upwards, navigating through the ship’s multiple levels, they’ll have to sneak past disfigured humans whose size dwarfs that of the player.

Throughout the game, Six experiences intense moments of primal-like hunger, becoming more frequent as the game progresses, and Six gets closer to escaping. Clocking in around 3-4 hours, Little Nightmares is a brief yet terrifying experience with a high degree of atmospheric horror that sticks in the back of your mind. 

Eldervale looks like it could very well be a horror game from the early 2000s due to a distinct 3D visual style and classic third-person action-based gameplay. In it, you play as Ophelia Delaney, a young woman tormented by images from her childhood, many of which she can’t fully recall.

Her search for a psychological cure leads her back to Alder Stow, the town where she was born and the home of a large estate where Ophelia spent her days as a child. Throughout the game’s brief 3-4 hour story, players will learn more about the Delaney family’s mysterious past as they solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and maintain a steady supply of resources. 

The Blackout Club is a first-person cooperative horror game that proves confronting the unknown is a lot better with friends. In it, up to four players can team up as they control a group of friends who stumble upon a dark force plaguing their small town, led by a sinister figure known only as “The Shape.”

While there are weapons in the game, the player’s primary tool for survival is a trusty smartphone, which can illuminate dark corners and document everything that’s happening.

Additionally, the game offers procedurally-generated missions that vary based on player level and progress, increasing its replayability.

Surprisingly realistic environments and characters can go a long way towards immersing you in a game’s world and story. Such is the case with The Beast Inside, a first-person horror game that uses a combination of photogrammetry, 3D-scanning, and motion capture technology to take players on an atmospheric horror adventure centered on two connecting characters: Adam and Nicolas. 

Adam is a CIA cryptanalyst who happens to find the journal of a man from the 19th century named Nicolas Hyde. Once opened, the journal is rumored to cause demons from the past to be brought to the present, thus connecting both their worlds. Controlling both characters, players will collect clues and unravel mysteries while making decisions that affect both Adam and Nicolas.   

Daymare: 1998 is essentially an indie love letter to the Resident Evil franchise, featuring many RE staples such as survival mechanics, challenging enemies, and ammo scarcity. You closely follow the lives of three characters–an elite soldier, a helicopter pilot, and a forest ranger as they encounter challenges during a zombie outbreak. 

Although there are a few areas which draw attention to the game’s smaller budget, such as a couple of characters having generic designs and a few stiff animations, exploring the claustrophobic alleyways, dark hallways, and destroyed streets of Keen Sight, Idaho is a terrifying ordeal that will see you constantly looking over your shoulder and wishing you had a bigger flashlight. 

Prey is an open-world, first-person horror shooter with stealth, survival, and RPG elements. Players take on the role of Morgan Yu, a human aboard the Talos 1 space station, which has become overrun by a species of violent aliens known as the Typhon.

The goal of the game is to gather enough resources and weapons to be able to stand a chance against the Typhon. Along the way, players will unravel secrets about Talos 1’s mysterious history and be able to make decisions that directly affect the storyline.

Among Prey’s best features are the Typhon alien species, which encompasses various sub-species such as the shape-shifting Mimics. These spider-like aliens can take on the appearance of common items in the open-world, attacking when you least expect it.

Inside is a 2.5D horror puzzle platformer from developer PlayDead, the studio behind Limbo. In it, players seize control of an unnamed boy and explore a strange and silent world while being pursued by zombie-like humans and rabid dogs.

During the game, players are forced to solve a variety of puzzles set in increasingly tense environments. While its runtime is brief, clocking in around 3-4 hours, Inside offers a brisk stroll through a dark world who’s otherworldly manifestations go far beyond the surface. 

Stories Untold is a horror puzzle adventure game that’s broken up into four episodes, with each chapter telling a different part of the story. The game has a 1980s retro aesthetic, incorporating technology as well as sci-fi tropes from the period to create a deeper sense of immersion. 

Players may recognize elements from traditional adventure games, with each chapter focusing on a different style of gameplay (text-based, first-person exploration, puzzle-solving). The game offers a refreshing take on the horror genre and does a great job of paying homage to classic adventure titles that came before.

The Forest is an open-world, survival horror game that sees players take on the role of Eric Leblanc after crashlanding on a remote island along with his son. Soon after waking up, Eric realizes that his son’s been captured and that the island is inhabited by cannibalistic mutants.

The game is centered around crafting a base, tools, and weapons to defend yourself from the local natives while searching for your son. What makes The Forest stand out is its enemy AI, which reacts differently to the player based on the time of day.

Visage is an Early Access Steam title that sees players exploring a family home which has seen a myriad of grisly events take place. While traversing through the house’s different rooms, players will also have to prevent themselves from going insane by avoiding the dark and keeping themselves medicated. 

The game draws heavily from notable horror titles such as the P.T. demo and Amnesia, offering an engaging experience that’s thoroughly unsettling. Since entering Early Access, the developers have provided consistent updates, recently adding a new chapter to the game’s story. 

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.