In our past two articles, we talked about the best horror games of the 1990s and 2000s. This time, we’ll take a look at the most recent decade and see which horror games of the 2010s take the cake as the decade’s scariest and most thrilling.
When it comes to gaming, 2010s was where gaming hardware felt like at the peak of its powers, creating immersive single player experience, along with providing some of the best multiplayer gameplay around.
Horror games have also benefited from improved hardware, creating haunting and disturbing set-pieces. However, the rise of indie games also proved that going for a simple or minimalist approach also works very well. With that set, let’s take a look at the best horror games of the 2010s.
Honorable Mention: Prey
Bioshock is one of my favorite horror games of the 2000s, and since then, I’ve been looking for games that can provide a similar experience. This is where 2017’s Prey comes in, a horror immersive sim set in a space station where an experiment has gone awry.
Playing as Morgan Yu, Prey creates a haunting and at times claustrophobic setting, keeping you on your toes as enemies can be around any corner in any shape or form. The game also shines at providing you with a multitude of ways to get through each section (The GLOO Cannon is a gaming treasure). Overall, Prey is an underrated space horror that you can choose to play any way you want.
5. Until Dawn
While the game feels more like an interactive horror movie (which features actors like Rami Malek and Hayden Panetierre), Until Dawn does it right by keeping the immersion gripping and thrilling each step of the way.
Set in a haunted winter resort, Until Dawn has you play through the stories of different friends, picking decisions that will decide their fate as the story progresses. Like every classic horror movie, you get classic slasher moments and a nice amount of scares that will make you want to play it again a few more times.
4. Alien: Isolation
In space, no one can hear you scream. Alien: Isolation creates this atmosphere by turning one of the scariest movie monsters into one of the most intelligent enemies in horror games. The Xenomorph is a relentless hunter that will track your moves and react to even the slightest sounds, keeping you scared all throughout and worrying about every dark room or corner of the space station.
The Alien franchise has had an up and down run when it comes to games, but Alien: Isolation is one of the high points.
3. Five Nights At Freddy’s
Who knew that a game about haunted fast food joint mascots would become one of the most popular and scariest horror games of the decade? Five Nights at Freddy’s has not only become a popular series of games, but it has also spawned supporting media that includes books (all of which are canon).
The objective of the game is to keep watch (as a security guard on night shift) of the fast food joint using security cameras. Your goal is to survive five nights, which gets increasingly difficult as you uncover the story behind the mascots.
While the game is simple by design, FNAF shows that you can create a tense experience without needing cutting edge hardware.
Found footage horror has become a movie genre that has produced a number of successful horror films, like the Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield. Outlast creates the same thrilling atmosphere inside an asylum. The game provides you with a ton of jump scares, and enough dark rooms where having a light source is both a blessing and a curse.
The found footage style gives the game some charm, making you feel the fear first-hand, and want to avoid enemies even more and just get away. Overall, few horror games in the decade have become as iconic as Outlast, and it shows that you do not need high-end hardware to create a scary game.
1. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Arguably one of the most influential horror games of 2010s, Amnesia: The Dark Descent not only helped push indie developers to create their own horror games, but also helped spur the growth of Let’s Play videos and streaming with its massive popularity.
A horror game set inside a castle, you must navigate a series of puzzles and run away from monsters to keep your sanity meter in check. The game’s tension is consistently high, ensuring that you will always be worried about what’s inside the next room or across the halls of the castle. The story has some branching paths that you can take, and leads to three different endings, which makes it a replayable experience.
The game’s popularity turned it into one of the most successful indie games of the decade, and was a game that helped contribute to the rise of content creators on platforms like YouTube. While Amnesia: The Dark Descent may show its age now, it is still a horror experience that can still offer a great chilling time.
The most recent decade has proved that horror games are here to stay, and there are still many ways to give gamers a good scare by sticking to both old and new formulas. This wraps up our best horror games for the past 3 games, and we now wish you an awesome Halloween playing these games!
About the Author
A former teacher and guitarist, Jude (Twitter, Instagram) is currently a writer that covers video games and is one of the co-hosts of The Geeky Juans. Apart from hosting the podcast, you can also catch him streaming at Dude It’s Jude on Facebook.