It’s horror season, and while there are some fantastic games in the genre coming out, not everyone wants to break the bank. For those looking for a good scare and don’t feel like spending any money, here are our top 10 great and totally free horror games.
10 Terrifying and Totally Free Horror Games
1. Doki Doki Literature Club
It might not seem like it, but Doki Doki Literature Club is one sick puppy of a game. On the surface, it seems like it’s just a dating sim, and it is that. As you meet more of the women of the game, you unravel a dark, disturbing tale that deals with murder and some worse things that I won’t go into here.
The ultimate rug pull moment comes a little ways into the game, and from that moment on, you know you’re not playing an ordinary dating game anymore. It’s niche, but for those who love horror games and don’t mind a different spin on it, Doki Doki Literature Club is as dark as it gets.
2. Dead Frontier 2
Dead Frontier 2 is one creepy experience. It’s an MMO horror survival game, and while the content isn’t exactly varied, this is the game for you if you want to kill some terrifying zombies while scrounging for ammo and supplies.
Dead Frontier 2 has some great graphics, and the rain effects are pretty impressive as well. For a free game, you can’t really go wrong. For fans of games like DayZ, this is a must-play.
3. Dark Deception
Dark Deception is a game that hates you. I’m serious; it’s dedicated to your nightmares, and even though some of the scares are almost silly, there is a very disturbing nature to a lot of the events of the game.
In terms of gameplay, it’s a sick mix of Backrooms games and Five Nights at Freddy’s. With a demonic monkey stalking you and a mysterious woman guiding you along the way, there is plenty of fun to be had with this free horror game.
4. No More Room in Hell
No More Room in Hell came from a mod for Half-Life 2, but now, it’s a free-to-play game. With tons of weapons, multiple maps, and full multiplayer, you will get a ton of fun out of this one.
There are also dynamic maps, which evolve and change each time, so no experience is the same. There is also a unique infection mechanic once you get bitten. Your team has to decide whether to keep you around or take you out for the good of the team. It’s as well-crafted a mod as you can find, and it’s a standalone game as well.
5. The Backrooms Game Free Edition
The Backrooms Game Free Edition is a small experience, but because it is free, it’s well worth it. If you know anything about liminal games, you know that this one preys on your psyche to confuse you and turn you around.
It’s so creepy, and the random events that occur certainly don’t help the matter. Wandering creatures and all matter of disturbing things go down here. While the experience is short, it’s a must-have for bargain bin-searching horror fans.
6. Dinner with an Owl
Dinner with an Owl is a supremely unique experience. It’s a comedy horror with a striking art style that is very different from anything else in the genre in that it resembles a picture book coming to life. The moment-to-moment gameplay has you wondering just what is going on. The game is called Dinner with an Owl, after all, and throughout you’re trying to discover just why you are involved with such a task. It’s weird, creepy, and funny all at the same time and shows how creative this genre can be.
7. The Supper
The Supper is as creepy as it gets, and the only thing to offset the creepiness is the cute, animated graphics. See, the plot is to help Ms. Appleton gather ingredients for a dinner. You might have guessed that this is not a normal dinner, and you’d be right. With an amazing art style, clever puzzles, and an atmosphere that is wholly unique, there is no reason not to try out this little slice of free horror goodness.
8. After Hours
After Hours is a disturbing game in the vein of Outlast. Stuck in a hospital is always a bad way to spend a night, and it’s even worse with a disturbing nurse monster stalking creepily behind you. Use the closets to hide and carefully plan your routes, and you just might make it out alive. The monster in question is simple looking but hits a disturbing note in both its movement and sound that makes exploring in this brief experience extremely offputting. For those who love games like Outlast or Amnesia, this is the perfect fix.
9. Dark Fracture: Prologue
Dark Fracture: Prologue is a brief experience but one of the more polished in terms of psychological horror. There are branching paths here as well as a sanity meter that will determine how much your character can take from this creepy world.
There are procedurally generated events happening all around you in Dark Fracture, so you’ll never know what’s coming around every corner. You’ll need to solve puzzles and navigate your way through a crumbling reality. As far as free-to-play games go, this is definitely one of the best.
10. Ultimate Custom Night
Ultimate Custom Night is Five Nights at Freddy’s for free. In fact, Scott Cawthon is behind this game as well, showing he is happy to spread his unique brand of horror far and wide. The concept of that game and allows you to customize your horror experience to your liking. You can choose from 50 characters, compete in 16 different challenges, and enjoy all the same chaos that Five Nights at Freddy’s has to offer. For fans of the franchise, you can do no wrong here, as it’s the ultimate compilation and a great time for horror fans in general.
That’s it for our picks for the top 10 terrifying and totally free horror games in 2023. For more horror games to check out for free, check out our Itch.io games list.