2023 has been stacked with amazing games, and horror players have plenty to enjoy, as well. As a big horror player myself, I was overwhelmed with options this year. So, let’s take a moment to look back at the Top 10 best horror games of 2023.
Best Horror Games of 2023 to Scare You S#!$less
Ok, maybe these won’t scare you that badly (most didn’t for me), but that’s not exactly what makes a horror game worth playing, either. All of these picks have something creepy about, something that can cause the hairs on the back of you neck to stand up. All are well worth playing. Let’s jump into the deep, dark abyss.
Eresys is a game that draws heavy influence from Lovecraftian works, but this one includes co-op elements. You can play it single-player, but given the emphasis on teamwork, you might want to tackle this one with up to three friends.
You play as a group of cultists that have to deal with a void portal, along with all the creatures that come out of it. Here, you’ll find an eerie atmosphere, the horrors of Lovecraftian creatures, and puzzles that you need to solve if you want to survive.
9. Killer Frequency
Killer Frequency is a surprisingly fun concept for a horror game, and it can be rather stressful. You play as a radio DJ in 1987, but your job turns into more than you bargained for. A serial killer begins terrorizing your small town. And you need to save lives by telling callers who are being targeted by the killer how to escape deadly situations. Also, you need to watch your own back.
Then, there’s the matter of trying to figure out who the killer is. And this is all while you perform your job duties as a DJ. No stress, right?
8. Amnesia: The Bunker
Amnesia came out with its fourth game in 2023: Amnesia: The Bunker. Like previous games, this one takes place in a new setting. This time, you play as a French soldier during World War 1. As if being part of a war isn’t bad enough, you’re trapped in an underground bunker. Also, you aren’t alone in that bunker.
Naturally, your goal is to escape, but that’s a bit hard to do when there’s a beast sensitive to light in the bunker with you. I found myself constantly tense in this game, especially considering how you need to manage your resources for dealing with the beast.
7. The Outlast Trials
The Outlast Trials brings the experience of Outlast to a multiplayer setting. You can play with up to three others to complete sets of trials that make up a program. The goal? To turn you into a sleeper agent working for Murkoff (and probably all the other shady corporations that are no doubt collaborating with them).
As you try to complete various, odd tasks, you’ll find yourself terrorized by a variety of enemies. However, having more players to help you might not be the advantage you’d think. But in the end, the set-up leaves a lot of potential for playing since the trials and program change, meaning it feels new with each swap. Also, it’s simply fun to play with friends especially. Even if sometimes you end up needing to sacrifice them for your own survival.
6. Dead Space (Remake)
The overwhelming vastness of space can be scary. Then, being trapped in space is horrifying. Especially when you have to also prevent humans from using tools to turn everybody on Earth into a Necromorph. Dead Space (2023) remakes the first game, but with a bunch of improvements to make your journey more immersive, and therefore, scary as you fight to survive against the Necromorphs.
Changes include giving Isaac a voice, making the ship more open for exploration, more gore, and a better zero gravity system. If you’ve never experienced this classic horror game, then now’s the perfect time to give it a shot with the remake.
In Dredge, you start out as a simple fisherman who’s simply doing their job. However, the creatures that you come across while fishing start to turn increasingly bizarre and horrifying. Dredge pulls a lot of inspiration from Lovecraftian monsters. It utilizes the fear of being on a boat that’s much smaller than the vast waters and the massive creatures. I found its atmosphere rather unsettling in the best way for horror games. And I appreciate that it doesn’t rely on jump scares.
4. Slay the Princess
You’d think that Slay the Princess is straightforward and easy to explain, but the reality is it’s anything but. This game is a mix of genres that you wouldn’t expect blending to create an incredible horror adventure game and visual novel hybrid. It starts simply. The princess will destroy the world if she’s allowed to live. Therefore, you’re tasked with killing her.
You’ll embark on a looping story that makes you start over again and again, but no iteration can be the exact same. Additionally, the Princess changes each time and the Narrator is the definition of unreliable. The voice actors pull a lot of weight, and in combination with the music and the unsettling series of loops, Slay the Princess puts you in a situation where it’s impossible to know who you can trust — or what the right actions are. So, the best thing you can do is keep going through loop after loop and hope you end up with a good ending.
3. Resident Evil 4 (Remake)
Resident Evil 4 had its turn with a remake in 2023, following the recent trend of RE remakes with 1-3. Aside from quality of life improvements, we get to experience a darker version of RE4. The graphics and physics are revamped, and Ashley is much less annoying than in the original game (she’s also more helpful and willing to assist Leon in rescuing her).
Overall, you get the essence of the original game and the unsettling, horror atmosphere of a village where you know that something is wrong, but are unable to identify what the cause is or how everything happened. Nothing can be simple in a Resident Evil game, and this adventure pits you against an array of infected enemies while forcing you to keep Ashley safe at the same time.
2. Lethal Company
It’s hard to not include Lethal Company on “Best of” lists this year with how it’s taken the gaming community by storm. In a post-apocalyptic world, you work for a rather ruthless company. You get sent out to various moons with up to three others to scavenge for scrap that can be sold. However, you don’t know what sort of hazards and creatures you’ll come across on each moon, and some of those creatures are pretty horrifying.
The overall atmosphere is disturbing because there’s a sense that you’re alone, but there’s also the feeling that you’ll run into any number of threats. Also, if you don’t meet your company’s quota, you die from being shot into space. No pressure.
1. Alan Wake 2
Where do I start with Alan Wake 2? This is a narrative masterpiece. The way Remedy blends the game’s world with that of Alan’s, with the Dark presence spilling over into reality, makes for some mind-bending twists and turns. The graphics are amazing, the story is creepy and keeps you guessing, the gameplay is easy enough to jump into, and it’s a game that, if you love horror, you need to experience at least once. There’s a reason that it was in the running for Game of the Year, and that nomination was well-deserved.
But that’s my list of the 10 best horror games of 2023. My personal favorites on this list have been Alan Wake 2 and Slay the Princess, so I recommend checking them out if you have the chance. Otherwise, take a look at more topics like the 10 best board games of 2023 or the worst games of 2023.