After covering the best free horror games, the best VR horror games, and the best horror games of 2018, it is now time to look at the greatest PC horror titles of all time. So, let’s get straight to it. Here is a list of the best horror games for the PC.
Silent Hill 2
About: Silent Hill 2 is a pioneering horror game developed by Konami and released in 2001. It is often considered one of the greatest games ever made and the benchmark of the survival horror genre.
The game follows James Sunderland as he travels to the fictional American town of Silent Hill after receiving a letter from his deceased wife, Mary. Played from a third-person perspective, the story revolves around his journey to find out the truth about the death of his wife through finding clues and solving puzzles. There is a heavy psychological aspect to the game and the dark and moody atmosphere adds to an overall chilling atmosphere.
The Good: For true fans of survival horror, this game offers everything you can wish for. You play on your lonesome and must trust your fight or flight instincts. The story line is truly compelling and, providing you pay attention to the detail, you can become completely immersed and lost in a maze of uncertainty. The graphics are solid, considering the era, and the cutscenes are especially noteworthy for their impressiveness. The audio is chilling and sets the mood for a dimly lit surrounding, all adding up to create a thoroughly tense atmosphere.
The Bad: This game is not one that should be played by people love an active combat system and prefer to do their talking with bullets, Silent Hill 2 favors problem solving and analytical thinking to combat. Some criticism has also been aimed at the sub-par controls for the PC, but this can be solved if you have a relevant controller to plug in.
Similar games to Silent Hill 2: The Evil Within, The Last of Us.
Conclusion: Overall, Silent Hill 2 has all the necessary ingredients to bring a sense of crippling fear to even the boldest of people. If you are a horror aficionado and you haven’t yet played this game, put it off no longer, this is definitely one of the best horror games for the PC available right now. You can learn more by watching the video below.
About: F.E.A.R. is a first-person shooter horror game developed by Monolith Productions. It was initially released for the PC in 2005. The acronym stands for First Encounter Assault Recon.
Whilst I don’t want to divulge too much of the plot for fear of spoiling it, the story follows a member of the top-secret military unit, F.E.A.R, who are assigned to investigate paranormal happenings. The unit’s mission for this game revolves around Paxton Fettel, a military commander who has become insane and telepathically takes control of an army of cloned supersoldiers before capturing the Armacham Technology Corporation (ATC). The story then follows the player to the abandoned structure after clues reveal that Fettel is being controlled by Alma, a supernatural entity within the facility.
The Good: The game’s playable character, Point Man, possesses superhuman reflexes which makes for a very enjoyable first-person shooter experience. A main feature is the reflex time, in which time is slowed down so you can eliminate the enemies in a rather satisfying fashion. The AI is impressive in this game and foes engage you assertively and tactically to keep you on your toes.
Another winning feature is the atmosphere in the game. Unnerving visuals give rise to a tense setting, which is enhanced by a chorus of discomforting sounds throughout the game.
The Bad: Some gamers have suggested that the enemies and settings used in the game are recycled and become repetitive after a while. Others have quipped that the graphics are the scariest thing about this game, but I think that’s a little unfair and when taken in the context of its era, it is actually quite visually stunning.
Similar games to F.E.A.R.: DOOM, Dead Space 2
Conclusion: F.E.A.R. is a suspenseful and, at times, truly frightening game that has found a good mix of horror and action gameplay elements. At certain points in the game, there is no doubt that you will become immobilized with dread, and this is testament to the fantastic job the developers did in producing one of the creepiest horror titles to ever grace PC gaming.
Soma [official Soma site]
About: Soma is a sci-fi survival horror game developed by Frictional Games and released in 2015. It received critical acclaim and is deemed a worthy successor to the developer’s previous Amnesia series.
The game takes place in an underwater research facility called PATHOS-II. The protagonist, Simon Jarrett, wakes up in the facility in 2104 after agreeing to an experimental brain scan and discovers that it is the last surviving settlement of humanity, due to the devastation of the Earth’s surface following a collision with a huge comet. Simon then becomes embroiled in a mission to find a discovered contact named Catherine Chun and, along the way, encounters hostile artificial intelligence and mutated humanoids.
The Good: Soma has one of the best horror game plots I have ever seen, and it can leave one pondering over some deep psychological and philosophical questions. For those who prefer to be enveloped in a rich story and have fewer combat scenarios, this game is for you. You will encounter foes throughout the game, but they are few and far between, with the game putting more focus into solving puzzles and avoiding trouble. The story is enhanced by some exceptional voice acting and brilliant audio and visuals.
The Bad: This is not a game jam-packed full of combative action, and those looking for a combat-based horror game won’t find it here. Some critics have questioned the pacing of the game, saying that it is too slow moving. Others argue that the game is too easy and does simply not do enough to challenge players.
Similar games to Soma: Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Bioshock
Conclusion: This game is a must play for any survival horror fans. It has one of the best plots of all available horror games and asks profound questions of its players. Without a doubt, this is one of the best horror games for the PC, and you can see how good it is by watching the video below.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard [official resident evil 7 site]
About: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a survival horror game that was released in 2017 by game developer Capcom. The game purposefully diverged from the more action-based previous 2 installments in the series to revolve more around exploration.
RE7 is the first in the franchise to play from a first-person perspective. The game follows the story of Ethan Winters, who is searching for his wife in a large house owned by the Baker family, a cannibalistic family whose residence is infested with a humanoid fungus known as the Molded. Although the focus of the game is horror and exploration, the player can wield different weapons and must defeat certain enemies to progress throughout the game. Ethan encounters various characters throughout the game and must solve different puzzles in order to advance the story and unravel the truth behind his wife, Mia.
The Good: This is horror in its truest form. Resident Evil 7 is one of the most terrifying video game experiences you can have. It will scare you senseless, most certainly, and will leave questioning why you love the genre so much, like all good horror titles do. From the chilling atmosphere, the realistic graphics, and the rather disturbing characters, this game has all the correct ingredients to leave you paralyzed through terror, and is consolidated by an appropriately tense soundtrack with some spooky audio.
The Bad: Admittedly, the game’s story isn’t the most compelling you’ll ever play. It lacks depth and relies on shock factor through gore and troubling red-neck plot lines. A lot of critics have also pointed to the game’s lack of connection to other games in the Resident Evil series, arguing that the gameplay and story bear absolutely no resemblance to other RE titles.
Similar games to Resident Evil 7: Biohazard: Dead Space 2, The Evil Within, Silent Hill
Conclusion: Of all the games on the list, this is the one that probably scared me the most, both in terms of jump-scares and body-arresting fear. If you are looking for something of this ilk, you can do no better than this one. To see just how scary this game is, watch the video below.
Alien: Isolation [official Alien site]
About: Alien: Isolation is a survival horror game released in 2014 and developed by Creative Assembly. The game is set 15 years after the original Alien film by Ridley Scott.
In this game, players take on the role Amanda, who is the daughter of Sigourney Weaver’s Oscar-nominated protagonist, Ellen Ripley. The game is played from a first-person perspective and revolves around the exploration of a space station. Players are required to use stealth to avoid and defeat enemies in order to complete mission objectives. The main antagonist of the game is, of course, an alien creature that seeks out the controlled player throughout the game. Various items and materials can be used throughout the game to make it harder for the alien to detect you.
The Good: As far as video game movie adaptations go, this is among the best. It really feels like it belongs in the Alien franchise and the set for the game fits well with that of the movies. The graphics are smooth, crisp, and provide a level of realism that really aids the game’s level of immersion. Another great feature of this game is the amount of content – there is a lot of gameplay to be had with this title. Yet, with the set, the music, and the sounds, the time can really fly by as you are left cautiously making your way through the space station with a mind full of trepidations.
The Bad: This survival horror title seems to fit in the ‘love-it-or-hate-it’ category and has received as many negative critics as it has positive ones. Most of the criticism was aimed at its slow pace and lack of action in combat. Others have criticized the tediousness of the story, believing it could and should have ended at several points before the actual conclusion of the game.
Similar games to Alien: Isolation: Outlast, Soma.
Conclusion: In summary, Alien: Isolation is a worthy addition to the franchise. It is a solid survival horror game that creates a great level of immersion through its realistic visuals and aptly suspenseful audio. Despite the mixed reaction, this is definitely one of the best horror games for the PC available to play right now.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent [official Amnesia site]
About: Amnesia: The Dark Descent is the second Frictional Games title in this list, after Soma. It is a survival horror game and is widely regarded as one of the best horror games of all time, consistently ranking high within ‘best of’ lists in the genre.
The game is played from a first-person perspective and follows Daniel, an archaeologist from London, who awakes in the deserted galleries of Brennenburg Castle. The only memories that Daniel has retained are his name, his place of residence, and the fact that he is being hunted. The game’s journey revolves around Daniel’s mission to find the Inner Sanctum of the castle and defeat its Prussian baron, Alexander. Along the way, Daniel must solve puzzles and find notes and clues that lead to information about both the castle and his history.
The Good: Amnesia is a prime of example of how a horror game should be made. It creates tension masterfully through its use of lighting, exploration, and chilling audio. There are no weapons available in this game, and to escape the game’s enemies you must either run or hide. The fact that there is no way to defeat foes adds to the suspense of the game immeasurably. One thing the game does very well is create a sense of urgency – darkness plays a big role in the game and players must carry around a lantern with finite resources (oil) to keep it lit. Without light, sanity will decrease, and it’s better left unsaid what can happen if you let this value deteriorate too much.
The Bad: The game is not without its negative critics. Most of the criticisms I have read, however, seem to be borne out of the hype it has created for itself. In other words, it is a victim of its own success, and the anticipation of being scared may override the in-game fear itself. Another criticism of the game is its choice to have no combat option whatsoever, those who like to be able fend off enemies in a more forceful manner won’t much appreciate this title.
Similar games to Amnesia: The Dark Descent: Soma, Penumbra.
Conclusion: Amnesia is simply a must play for horror aficionados and does a superb job of scaring the senses out of players. It is no coincidence that in-game sanity levels seem to directly correlate with real-life sanity levels and no list of the best horror games for the PC would be complete without this being present. To find out more about the game, watch the video below.
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Richard, Blog of Games