Gamers who enjoy horror games are always on the lookout for the next big jump scare. It’s like watching a horror movie. Despite its scare factor, a horror movie shouldn’t be relied on as its selling point if it’s not very scary. The games market, however, is filled with some truly terrifyingly realistic titles.
In scary games, you’re forced to run and hide from your enemies, contrary to traditional action concepts. It is these gaming experiences that leave you feeling vulnerable rather than empowered; they are those that haunt you long after you finish playing.
Jump scares and gore is only part of what makes the best horror games. Here are the most realistic and terrifying horror games of 2022 without further ado.
In a clear homage to the work of H.R. Giger, a terrifyingly beautiful world of fleshy mechanical monstrosities awaits you in Scorn. You are expected to navigate a strange and grotesque landscape in the game without much help.
We found Scorn to be one of the best horror games we’ve played this year due to its grim aesthetic of mutilated body parts and fluids and dingy corridors. There aren’t that many jump scares, but there are plenty of gory moments, and it’s easy to see the influence of H.R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński’s work in Scorn.
While moving through a non-linear path, solving problems and puzzles in almost near silence, Scorn uses gore to create moments of fear and unease rather than shock. Along the way, you’ll encounter enough abominations to fight (or hide from), but as you learn more about Scorn’s isolated world, its secrets become increasingly unhinged. Despite its gore and disgusting setting, the game is truly frightening, requiring players to solve problems under pressure.
Dead by Daylight
You’ve probably heard of Dead by Daylight because it’s one of the most popular horror games ever. There is no better multiplayer horror game than Dead by Daylight when it comes to asymmetrical gameplay. Despite its simplicity, it offers some of the best scares in video games, and because it’s all player-driven, you never know what’s going to happen next.
In your choice of scenarios, you will play either a lone killer or a survivor who is in desperate need of escape. While trying to escape, the survivors need to work together to misdirect, bait, and frustrate the killer. The real strength of Dead by Daylight is its constantly expanding roster of playable killers. In its catalog, Behaviour Interactive has included both games’ most feared monsters, such as Nimesis from Resident Evil and Pyramid Head from Silent Hill, to classic slashers like Ghostface. They all possess different abilities that reflect their style of murder and torture, and it’s up to survivors to adapt to whatever killer is stalking them.
Resident Evil Village
Things never get easier for Ethan Winters, the main protagonist in Resident Evil Village. As Ethan searches for his long-lost wife, he encounters the Baker family and a creepy bayou cabin, which leads to a horrific encounter with the unsavory residents. After Chris Redfield intervenes, Ethan’s life regains some normality, albeit for only a short while. Once again, Resident Evil 8 turns Ethan’s world upside down. Suddenly, he finds himself trapped in an isolated village populated with monsters and feral villagers. The tall lady may be the alluring antagonist in Resident Evil Village, but the game quickly turns terrifying.
The Resident Evil series has had both good and not-so-great games, with Resident Evil 6 being one of the low points. Resident Evil Village stands out as a game in the higher echelons. In this tense adventure, there are hordes of werewolves, undead thralls, and other horrifying monsters to fight off. The tall lady even has sharp, long claws capable of cutting off limbs with the precision with which she uses them. The game may not be suitable for you if you aren’t used to body horror, dismemberment, and a lot of violence.
With some devious AI and level design, Alien: Isolation is more terrifying than it ever should have been – the game takes you to a space station where you’re trapped with a (spoiler) big, scary alien. With this horror game, you are, in fact, hiding from your monstrous stalker, who cannot be hurt or killed.
Often, the most terrifying games make you feel powerless, and in Alien: Isolation, that is your wits, your ability to squeeze under desks and into lockers, and all the distractions you can find that will save you from the hulking, Gigerian horror. Besides a deadly creature that appears without warning at any time and whenever you want, what more could you want in a horror game antagonist?
In addition to Until Dawn, Supermassive Games produces the Dark Pictures Anthology series. The Quarry, the latest blockbuster from the studio, follows a group of rowdy teen camp counselors who are hoping to make memories at the end of summer, resulting in potentially disastrous outcomes. Taking seemingly small decisions for your characters builds tension, and you may find yourself with many dead bodies when you reach the game’s climax.
Games like The Quarry often live or die by their performances; thankfully, it delivers. In addition to Brenda Song, Justice Smith, and horror king David Arquette, everyone on the cast brings their A-game. This gaming horror game is ideal for slasher movie marathons and group gaming sessions.
The Complex: Found Footage
Taking inspiration from the trend of ‘liminal’ horror and the internet urban legend, The Backrooms, The Complex: Found Footage offers unending levels inspired by empty hotel rooms, mall back lots, and vacant public pools to create a sense of uneasiness.
While The Complex: Found Footage can only be explored by walking around and crouching, the exploration is nonetheless riveting. This game will give you a frightful scare as the world changes, whether it’s a dining room in a pool area or a shadow moving away in the distance. You can explore many things in this game, and it’s one of the scariest of the year.
Those who love Bloodborne’s atmospheric Victorian setting will find Gloomwood a welcome return to those dreary city streets. In this game, players have to sneak through hostile environments, engaging in combat only when necessary since their character is extremely fearful, and their enemies aren’t interested in making things easy for them.
Source: PC Gamer
The game’s environments are filled with enemies lurking in the most unlikely places, forcing players to take advantage of their surroundings by moving obstacles and finding shortcuts.
As-is, Gloomwood feels like a polished product, even though it is technically still in early access. No matter how much else is added to its continued development, we’ll be cowering in the darkness from playing Gloomwood.
The Closing Shift
There is nothing more terrifying than this game when it comes to horror. There is no doubt that The Closing Shift is the most terrifying game on this list. During your closing shift (hence the title), you start your shift as a young woman making coffee for your customers at a Japanese metropolitan coffee shop.
If a customer shows an unhealthy interest in you, the coffee shop simulator becomes a much more realistic and dangerous experience.
Depending on how you resolve its conflict, there are multiple endings to the Closing Shift, and every moment has a sense of dread that builds to an explosive finish. Despite being a difficult film to watch, Chilla’s Art’s The Closing Shift displays real-world terror in an engaging way.
The Death | Thần Trùng
This psychological horror game called The Death | Thần Trùng takes place in Hanoi and features a first-person perspective. When strange things suddenly occur on the city streets, you control an ordinary man walking around on the streets. As he struggles to distinguish reality from delusion, he sees visions of the past.
It is an impressive debut from a Vietnamese indie studio with a clear commitment to the culture. The game is heavily influenced by Vietnamese folklore and traditions surrounding death. Additionally, the game is rendered in a photorealistic style reminiscent of modern Hanoi, giving the experience a sense of authenticity.
Fears to Fathom: Norwood Hitchhike
In the second terrifying installment of the Fears to Fathom series is Norwood Hitchhike. In this game, the player is Holly Gardner, a 19-year-old college student driving home after attending a gaming convention. As she travels, her car breaks down, and she must stay in a rather shady motel.
Fears to Fathom is based on real stories from social media that portray human beings in realistically horrific situations. It could be true that ghosts don’t exist, but staying in a shady motel with creepy guys leering at you is not something anyone wants to experience. Its VHS aesthetic perfectly captures those feelings in Norwood Hitchhike.
The Outlast Trials
As one of the most highly anticipated horror games for 2022, Outlast Trials is high on the list. Currently, this game has not been released, but a release before Christmas is planned. The Outlast Trials won’t let you relax, there’s always a jump scare on the horizon, and the story is quite intriguing.
The Outlast Trials is an exciting co-op survival horror game, so you can play it solo or with friends. This game will be a spin-off of the Outlast franchise and a prequel to its predecessors. As for the plot, The Outlast Trials revolves around a group of people who were unwillingly recruited to participate in a mysterious experiment during the Cold War. The pre-continuation of the established narrative should appeal to fans of older games.