Image via Steel Wool Studios

The 5 Scariest Five Nights at Freddy’s Games, Ranked

Which games of the massive series FNAF has become are the scariest?

Five Nights at Freddy’s is known for the helplessness you feel being stuck and unable to run from killer animatronics, keeping you on the edge of your seat. However, not every game has met the same level of scares as others, so here are the scariest FNAF games, ranked.

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The 5 Scariest Five Nights at Freddy’s Games, Ranked

Five Nights at Freddy’s brings most of its horror through jump scares. But the story behind the games is just as unsettling.

5. A Shadow Over Freddy’s

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We’re kicking off the list with a fan game, as they’re technically all canon content, as per Scott Cawthon. A Shadow Over Freddy’s is worth mentioning for the atmosphere and dark, essentially grayscale look you get at the ruined remains of the pizzeria. It’s more of an exploration game than traditional FNAF games. And the story ties your past with the dark history of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. You need to escape, but you keep being drawn back in for a total of five nights.  With the stronger exploration elements, A Shadow Over Freddy’s uses jump scares more sparingly. But that ends up making them more terrifying as well.

If you’re going to play only one fan game or looking for one to convince you to play others, this is a strong choice. From details to setting and the scares, the developer did an amazing job of keeping the authentic feeling of the original games while turning it into a unique experience.

4. Five Nights at Freddy’s Security Breach

Image via Steel Wool Studios

Security Breach takes FNAF into the world of AAA games. Instead of point-and-click or being stuck in one place, this game is free-roam. Plus, it takes place in a location that’s still active rather than the usual abandoned pizzerias. With all the active robots roaming around for security, you have a lot more threats to avoid as Gregory.

This style of gameplay takes away the sense of helplessness that other FNAF games have. As a result, you don’t get scared as easily since you have options to avoid it. However, this means that Security Breach has to use other methods to scare you. Which leads to fewer jump scares that are made more effective by not expecting them. There’s also the added tension of hiding while navigating the massive pizzaplex. Overall, it’s not the scariest in the traditional sense. But it makes the most out of its scares to compensate for that.

3. Five Nights at Freddy’s 4

Image via Scott Cawthon

Another unique style, FNAF 4 puts you in the role of a child. Through the nights, you’re tormented by animatronics that look terrifying with multiple rows of sharp teeth and ruined suits. However, it’s never clear if what you see are nightmares, hallucinations, or actual animatronics in this child’s bedroom. Depending on how much you believe various theories, the big theory for FNAF 4 is that you play as the victim of The Bite as they’re in a coma at the hospital. This leads to a sense of sadness since, even in a state close to death, this child ends up tormented by the creatures that caused this in the first place.

Overall, FNAF 4 is eerie and makes you feel helpless in the face of these nightmarish animatronics. The minigames between each night tell a heartbreaking story of a young boy whose bullies go too far in their attempt to scare him, leading to his presumed death. This game sticks with you after playing it for more than its jump scares.

2. Five Nights at Freddy’s Sister Location

Image via Scott Cawthon

Sister Location takes place through the eyes of Michael Afton, William’s son. He finds out a ton of terrible secrets about his dad after he dies, following instructions to visit a workshop he didn’t know existed before. This game gives more personality to the animatronics you interact with, and they seem to realize that Michael isn’t William, but that he’s related. With Circus Baby, this becomes particularly meaningful because Michael learns that Circus Baby contains the soul of his dead sister: Elizabeth Afton.

While there are classic jump scares, Sister Location gives you the feeling that the animatronics are messing with Michael at times rather than trying to outright scare him. You spend the game believing that you’re helping the animatronics in whatever way you can, but that trust in them leads you to the ending that you might not escape. And honestly, the ending is hard to sit through with the horror of it.

1. Five Nights at Freddy’s

Image via Scott Cawthon

Naturally, the original FNAF takes the top spot. This game did a lot of work with simple mechanics. Check the cameras. Monitor your power. Close the doors. Check the halls with lights. Except it’s not that easy in practice. There’s a lot to keep track of, and the nights become progressively harder with movement and events happening earlier and more frequently. No matter how accustomed you get to the jump scares and how you come to expect them, they still have a way of getting under your skin and making your heart pump faster.

The mix of tension from anticipating the animatronics moving and scaring and the actual jump scares keeps you on edge and full of adrenaline. Considering it led to sequels, books, fan games, and an upcoming movie, the balance of terror with simple mechanics paid off to make the scariest game of the series. And the most influential.

That wraps up the top 5 scariest Five Nights at Freddy’s games, ranked. FNAF has a lot to offer, and the story is full of mysteries that make it fun to look into the details in an attempt to piece together this puzzle. But if you’re looking for more spooky topics, check out the 10 best FNAF fan games or the 5 best FNAF Roblox games.


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Melissa Sarnowski
Melissa Sarnowski has been working as a gaming writer professionally for two years, having been at GameSkinny for over a year now as a horror beat writer. She has an English degree from University of Wisconsin - Madison. While she focuses on all things horror, she also enjoys cozy games, MMOs like FFXIV and WoW, and any and everything in between.