Are you looking for a scary experience? Then you’re in the right and dark place. We’re showcasing the best horror games for PS4/PS5.
Unlike other genres, narrative, rather than gameplay, is the keystone of horror games. Moreover, they have a visual and sound presentation to build up the feeling they want to convey.
You can often describe the result with different words. Some of these would be creepy, terrifying, spooky, unsettling, and frightening.
Selecting Horror Games for PS4/PS5
Video game genres often ignore the narrative and rely on the gameplay instead. So, for example, you can have an FPS or an action RPG within fiction, a high-fantasy, or a modern setting.
Horror games get the name because of their narrative, but they can have any kind of gameplay or design. Yet, horror is more than using mythos horrors like the Castlevania series or Dark Souls games.
Horror is about deliberately trying to scare you via enemies, scarcity, darkness, helpless protagonists, and similar. That makes our selection broad, as we’re only answering three questions. Is the game good? Is the game scary? And, is the game offline?
We believe online games can’t be as scary as focused as single-player experiences, where you are alone.
Breaking Down the Horror Game Genre
There’re various sub-genres within the horror umbrella. Let’s revise them for a better understanding, as the “horror” category itself is very broad:
- Jump Scare Horror: It is perhaps the most common kind, as the game revolves around shocking and surprising players. Perhaps jump scares are not very effective, but they rely on making players feel the dread for the next unexpected scene.
- Psychological Horror: These rely on mental, emotional, and psychological threats rather than real monsters. The fear comes from the unknown, the lost memories, the emotional damage, or the unreliable perceptions of reality. These games don’t depend on the action much; they rely on exploration, immersive elements, and environmental storytelling. The Silent Hill series is an example of the sub-category.
- Survival Horror: These titles focus on player survival within a horror setting. There’re limited resources, vicious and unknown enemies, and labyrinthic maps. The Resident Evil series coined the term.
- Action-Horror: These focus more on the action and less on survival. As a result, they work as FPS or third-person shooter games. The Last Of Us is a great example of the branch.
- Stealth Horror Games: This is a blend between survival and psychology. You play in dreadful settings with limited tools to fight or survive. Stealth is your primary mechanic for getting around, which means there’re limited gameplay mechanics. However, there may be puzzles, collectibles, and rich environmental storytelling.
- Atmospheric Horror: These are like stealth horror games, as they have just a few mechanics. However, they rely on unique visuals, tones, enemies, and musical cues to convey anxiety and dread.
- Reverse Horror: It’s about playing as the antagonist to scare others. The setting is common in asymmetric multiplayer games like Dead by Daylight. By asymmetric, it means it’s a team-based co-op horror game, but the two teams feature a different number of players.
We’re picking games from these categories and letting you know where the titles belong. Lastly, the list order refers to how scary I think these games are. As you’ll see, the more action the games have, the less scary they become.
Horror Games for PS4/PS5
Little Nightmares 2
- Developer: Tarsier Studios
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
- Release Date: February 2021
- Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch, Stadia
Little Nightmares 2, a prequel to the original game, is a stealth horror game. It’s also a 2D side-scroller with in-depth visual design, haunting music, and sound effects.
You play as Mono, a young boy traveling alongside Six in a distorted world. Mono and Six are little kids. They are helpless, scared, and in an overwhelming setting. Lore-wise, evil is spreading through TV screens worldwide, and normal places have become sinister.
Their goal is to discover The Signal Tower to escape the broken realm. Towering monsters will hunt you at every corner, though. A mix of stealth, puzzle-solving, and clever use of items you find will help you survive.
The adventure will remain dark and suspenseful from beginning to end. That said, the adventure goes through 5 levels, and you’d have to bypass “Resident” creatures on each part.
- Developer: Red Candle Games
- Publisher: Red Candle Games
- Release Date: January 2017
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Android
Detention is a 2D atmospheric horror title by a Taiwanese game developer. Its Asian nature makes it unique compared to the rest of the game, as it features a local setting.
The side scroller happens in the 1960s when Taiwan was under martial law. There’re religious, cultural, and mythological elements in the story. Also, there’s a 2019 live-action movie by Warner Taiwan and a 207 novel based on the game by Ling Jing.
You play as two high school students, exploring a High School in the backdrop of a political revolution. The story burns slowly as it increases its supernatural elements and atmospheric horror. Also, as you interact with the school, its dark and cursed past will rise to the surface.
The students are trapped and vulnerable. Everything they knew is changing into an unsettling, evil form. To escape, you must complete ominous puzzles, sneak, and outthink the threats around you.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: House Of Ashes
- Developer: Supermassive Games
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
- Release Date: October 2021
- Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows
The Dark Pictures Anthology is a series of cinematic and interactive horror experiences. There’re three standalone games, and the developer is planning for nine. House of Ashes is the latest part.
Moreover, as part of this section, we recommend the previous games in the anthology series. You can try Little Hope (2020) or Man of Medan (2019), both available for the PS4 or the PS5 via retro-compatibility.
The three games are similar. You see the “horror” movie play out on the screen, but you make choices at key moments that alter the story. You also perform life-or-death quick-time events, which may be the most frightening parts of the game.
In House of Ashes, you control five Special Forces soldiers during the Iraq War. Each protagonist has their segments, but they share the story. When they were looking for weapons of mass destruction, they got lost in a network of ancient caves and woke up an ancient evil.
- Developer: Frictional Games
- Publisher: Frictional Games
- Release Date: September 2015
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One
SOMA is a sci-fi survival horror game. It relies on atmospheric storytelling, rather than jump scares, to prove itself a horror game. And because it focuses on exploration, the game’s narrative feels deep.
The experience happens in an underwater and remote research facility. Machines inside the lab display human characteristics, like voices, consciousness, and desires. They become your main companions and allies during the immersive adventure.
You are Simon Jarret, and your goal is to discover the story of the lab after mysterious circumstances led you there. The facility, PATHOS-II, is isolated, so you have to micro-manage your resources and make tough decisions to survive.
You play in first-person perspective. You explore the area, interact with items and machines, and solve large puzzles in an immersive environment. Though there’re no weapons and no combat, enemy encounters rely on stealth and witts.
- Developer: Frictional Games
- Publisher: Frictional Games
- Release Date: October 2020
- Platform: PS4, Windows, Linux
Amnesia: Rebirth is a survival horror game and the franchise’s third installment. The last title is Amnesia: The Dark Descent, a 2010 experience we recommend as it’s available for PS4.
Still, the newer title is known as one of the most frightening games of its generation. You play with a first-person perspective on a series of caves and desert tombs across a desert to find your lost companions. As you go along, you’ll discover increasingly horrific and outlandish settings.
You play as Tasi Trianon and wake up in the Algeria desert. You have amnesia, as several days are lost from your memory. Your goal is retracing your journey and putting your past together before the horrors devouring you. Surviving requires managing scarce mental and physical resources.
And as you explore the environments and your pasty, you’ll discover creatures are hunting you. It feeds off your fear and terror and lurks in the dark. To survive, you must manage different light sources (like a fuel lamp) to move, scavenge items to keep the fire lit, and solve puzzles.
- Developer: Red Barrels
- Publisher: Red Barrels
- Release Date: April 2017
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows
Outlast 2 is a first-person psychological and survival horror game. It has action, exploration, stealth, and a greater mystery to discover. The creator is Shinji Mikami, also creator of the Evil Within series.
You play as journalist Blake Langermann, traveling with his wife, Lynn. You’re roaming the Arizona desert to research the murder of Jane Doe, a pregnant woman.
The protagonists get separated during a helicopter crash, and Blake must find his wide into a deranged village. A dangerous sect lives in the area, and they believe the end days are coming. It forces you to descend into their mad world for a daring rescue mission.
The gameplay happens in first-person. You explore a linear story, and you can run and hide from hostile sect members. You can also crouch, jump, walk, vault, slide, climb, interact with various items, and use a camcorder for surveillance and night-vision. Lastly, the action only happens during scripted scenes.
- Developer: Playdead
- Publisher: Playdead
- Release Date: June 2016
- Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Windows, macOS, iOS, Nintendo Switch, iOS
Inside is a 2.5D puzzle-platformer adventure game. It’s not exactly a horror title, but the setting and the plot are so unsettling that they can easily shock your core.
You play as a faceless boy trapped in a dark dystopia. The entire story is silent, as no one talks. Through actions, abstract storytelling, and environmental immersion, you0pll find out an authoritarian power is pursuing you.
The goal is to find a way to escape the regime. You’re unnamed, though, and the world is monochromatic and dark. Moreover, the enemies can be dogs, security machines, bots, environmental hazards, and more.
For gameplay, you gain the ability to control bodies to complete puzzles. Also, you can discover hidden rooms and secret collectibles. Also, there’s a secret revolving around the “glowing orbs.” You can unlock an alternate ending if you deactivate all orbs during the playthrough.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
- Developer: Koei Tecmo
- Publisher: Nintendo, Koei Tecmo
- Release Date: September 2014
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows
Maiden of Black Water is the fifth latest entry in Fatal Frame, a survival horror saga. It’s still similar to the previous entries, focusing on ghostly mysteries, puzzle-solving, and exploration.
You follow three protagonists as you’re researching the mysteries of Mt. Hikami. The story includes an ancient ritual to seal a malevolent force. The evil is corrupting the spirits in the area.
You navigate areas full of ghosts and can defend yourself with a camera. Taking a photograph with the Camera Obscura defeats the ghosts. However, you can’t see them, as they don’t have a physical body. You have to be aware of the sound cues, as well as environmental clues, to discover their position.
For gameplay, you play in a third-person perspective. You’ll be exploring several dark environments, ruins, and forests. Ghosts can damage you through touch, but you can dodge or break free from their grip. Lastly, puzzles require finding and interacting with mystical items and machinery.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach
- Developer: Steel Wool Studios
- Publisher: ScottGames
- Release Date: December 2021
- Platform: PS4, PS5, Windows, Google Stadia
Security Breach is the latest in the long-running “jump scare” first-person interactive horror series. It’s a massively popular saga, and it’s intended for kids. Adults can play it as well, but it won’t be as scary as it is fun.
You play as Gregory, a young boy surviving overnight in Freddy Fazbear’s Mega Pizzaplex. As with other facilities in the series, the area is full of mechanized dolls playing the role of humans. These machines lose control and are ready to murder the hero.
Gregory’s playtime is within a mall, surrounded by dangerous animatronics. You can’t fight back, so you rely on hiding and running. You can also use security cameras and controls to lure away the enemies. As the night goes on, enemies come back stronger, so you’ll need to adapt fast.
Also, different animatronic types are hunting you. They have different skills, like instant assassination or tracking. Some may help you by opening areas, giving you maps, and offering information. Freedy, for example, is no longer an antagonist, as he’s one of your allies this time.
The Evil Within 2
- Developer: Tango Gameworks
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
- Release Date: October 2017
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows
The Evil Within debuted as a spiritual spin-off of the Resident Evil series. The second title follows the survival horror formula alongside its psychological elements.
You play as detective Sevastian Castellanos three years after the events of the first game’s events. The trauma of losing his daughter Lily broke his marriage and his life. However, a mysterious messenger reveals Lily is still alive, and she became the center of a new experiment.
The STEM experiment functions like a gateway to a nightmare world. So, you’re to explore the world in 17 chapters through third-person stealth, shooting, and hiding. You can also scout for resources and use a detective mode to find clues.
The enemies, the environment, and the lore are rather creepy. However, as the game focuses on action and delivers ways to improve your guns and character, you may get used to it mid-way through the experience.
Resident Evil: Village
- Developer: Capcom
- Publisher: Capcom
- Release Date: May 2021
- Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows, macOS, Google Stadia
Resident Evil Village is the latest entry in Capcom’s most successful saga. It’s a sequel to RE7: Biohazard, so the protagonist is Ethan Winters, and you play in first-person. Honestly, Biohazard is scarier than Village, but it’s not as good.
The latest game, though, features a nice mix of action, jump scares, dreadful scripted scenes, unescapable horrors, puzzles, inventory management, scarce resources, and upgradeable stats and weapons.
Moreover, the game has a particular segment where you have no weapons. Survival depends on solving puzzles fast, hiding, and outthinking the enemy. In particular, a giant monster baby pursues you down narrow corridors, a horrifying gaming experience.
Story-wise, you’re trying to rescue your daughter from a cult and a village akin to Resident Evil 4. It takes you through various areas on an interconnected map. You must defeat a boss in each area (like a castle, swamp, or factory) until you reach the final villain.
- Developer: Firesprite Ltd
- Publisher: Firesprite Ltd
- Release Date: July 2018
- Platform: PS4, PSVR, PS5, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series
The Persistence is a first-person survival horror available for PSVR. Its plot follows a mysterious dark matter incident within the Eon Persistent spaceship.
You’re aboard the ship and survive the crash landing on a black hole. The rest of the crew died or mutated into monstrosities. They are now your enemies, and they are thirsty for blood.
At the start of the adventure, you don’t have weapons or skills, so you’ll rely on stealth. As the story continues and you explore, you’ll unlock abilities and weapons to stand a chance against the enemy.
The story includes survival horror elements, but it’s also rogue-like. It means when you die, you’re set back to the beginning as a new incarnation of the protagonist, Zimri Eder. Also, levels are procedurally generated.