There are many ways to classify what makes a horror game great, but I have collated this list solely on how scared it made me feel when I originally played it – how horrific the experience was in fact. Essentially the following horror titles are listed in order from the least amount I crapped myself, to the most. Of course all of these are available on Xbox One, let’s get started.
Resident Evil 7
Here’s a bold claim… I believe that Resident Evil 7 is easily the scariest in the entire Resi series.
Switching to the first person setting greatly increased the tension and sense of place, the Texas Chainsaw inspired hillbilly horror felt more grounded than previous entries, and the Baker family is deeply disturbing. Excellently written and voiced, their constant taunting and stalking of the player is truly terrifying.
Each fight you eventually have with each member is intense and difficult, and the first hour of Resident Evil 7 throws you right into the deep end, immediately setting the tone of the electrifying and intense horror show that you will be put through.
RE7 was a bold departure and a messed up trip. And it was brilliantly scary.
>observer_ is a slow burn that takes its time building a creepy sci-fi atmosphere as you get situated into the setting. There’s a lot of exposition at the beginning so you might wonder when and where the horror comes, but stick with it because it quickly devolves into a messed up journey into technological body horror and psychological mind bending.
It’s a game that leads you through peoples’ minds and forces you to encounter the monsters that lie within them. While lacking in gameplay in the traditional sense, it more than makes up for it with an enthralling tale and disgustingly creative sights that you see along the way.
Much like >observer_, SOMA starts off slow, however it actually stays at creeping pace for most of the runtime.
It was made with the design philosophy of creating an existential fear and dread in the player. Now, there are parts where you hide from monsters – admit it, no horror game would work without that – but these are few and far between. What will really stick with you are the deep conversations the game has about conscience, humanity, and technology. Some of the ideas it presents have stuck with me for weeks after playing.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
I don’t think it’s a controversial statement to say that Amnesia kicked off the resurgence of the horror genre that the industry has experienced in the last couple of years. There was just nothing really like it when it came out, at least in the mainstream.
Frictional Games (who were also behind SOMA) had been making stuff similar for years but this one broke out in a big way. An internet darling, most people have at least heard about this wonderful title.
There’s good reason why it’s so popular too, with engaging stealth puzzler gameplay, amazing writing, and numbingly inventive enemy design. It will drag you in and won’t let you go till you reach the affecting conclusion. The sound design especially will have you crawling in your skin.
Believe the hype, for this is a genuinely horrifying experience.
Outlast and Whistleblower
In my opinion Outlast is one of the best horror games of the last decade, if not the best.
It is deeply disturbing, screech inducingly shocking, and tense like very few are. Red Barrels pushed the envelope, going bold in what it shows but never allowing it to feel juvenile or immature.
Not since the first three Silent Hill experiences has a game pushed the boundaries of taste and redefine what can be shown in terms of graphic content. It all works in it’s favor creating a truly gut wrenching journey that the player embarks. The pace is breakneck the entire time and it’s a really exciting ride; there’s very little time to catch your breath, scaring you, then leaving you alone, then ramping up the scares again at a fast pace.
You will fly through Outlast in an evening and have a great time, and so I would also suggest trying the Whistleblower DLC which takes everything that made the base experience great and turns it up to eleven. And better still, it comes with the most grotesque scene I’ve ever seen in a game. I’ll leave it at that.
So there you go, some of the very best Xbox One horror games available for you to sink your teeth into. Have you checked out these games? Are you still looking for a spooky night of gaming? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.