Spooky season is long gone, but there are so many good horror games to play on PC that you can extend your playtime of this brilliant genre all year round. In this article, we’re going to run through our top five picks for the best horror games to play on PC, from surreal silliness to groundbreaking horror, and everything in between.
Little Nightmares II
Kicking things off with a recent release, Tarsier’s Little Nightmares 2 is one of the best games of the year so far, and a masterclass in pint-sized horror. The game slips you into the teensy shoes of Mono, who (alongside Six, the protagonist of the first game) has to explore The Pale City. This decaying environment is a warped shade of reality full of monstrous, twisted humans that dwarf our protagonists. The inhabitants are also hungry for human flesh so uh, yeah. Start running! The puzzles are brilliant brain teasers and the subtle narrative is fascinating — but mainly, there are few games that capture the frantic feeling of an adrenaline-charged escape like Little Nightmares 2. Give it a spin!
Resident Evil 4
Talk about a stone-cold classic. Resident Evil 4 is one of the most beloved survival horror games of all time, widely regarded as the best game in Capcom’s zombie-slaying series, even some 16 years later. The over-the-shoulder shooting still feels revolutionary, and the environmental variety is something to behold. With a surreal, atmospheric world that flies beyond the lore of the original games, you’re bound to get wrapped up in this sinister, spooky old game. There are too many memorable characters to name — so just watch out for the potato bag-headed chainsaw man, ok?
Another Capcom classic to add to the ‘Best Horror Games’ pile, Dead Rising is a silly but mechanically magnificent jaunt that imagines what would happen if a shopping mall was taken over by hordes of zombies. Perhaps its most addicting innovation is the global timer, forcing the protagonist to rush around the mall saving survivors and taking down psychopaths at all hours of the day. Plucky photojournalist Frank West can never catch a break — only coffee creamer and katanas can keep the undead at bay and get the remaining humans back to the safe room.
A horror game unlike any other, Playdead followed up Limbo with Inside in 2016 and delivered one of the most grimdark and affecting one-shot thrillers in video game history. It’s a 2.5D puzzler like Little Nightmares and LittleBigPlanet, asking players to dissolve environmental blockades, dodge mind-controlled antagonists and swim through garish gauntlets haunted by vicious sirens. It’s one of the greats.
BioShock: The Collection
Rapture and Columbia are environments thick with atmosphere, and while they don’t constantly deal in horror, they make the BioShock games some of the most rich and thrilling experiences available to the modern player. There are plenty of shocks and scares peppered throughout the bold narratives available in this collection, but it’s the ease with which players can immerse themselves in the world of BioShock that creates the most pervasive layer of fear. It’s hard to forget the clanking footsteps of the first Big Daddy you meet, or the gurgling screams of the wall-crawling splicers. Would you kindly give these games a go for me?