Be aware that some of the games in this list and my descriptions contain slightly graphic depictions of death and mentions of gore.
Horror games are some of the most interesting games you can play. They can be massive and expansive, or small and self-contained. With an immense amount of great horror games out there, here is a list of some of my personal recommendations for any player to enjoy.
Steam, Playstation, Xbox, switch, mobile
How can I talk about horror games without talking about the series that revived indie horror as a genre? Five Nights at Freddy’s is a massively popular series originally created by one man named Scott Cawthon. The first game was released on Aug. 8, 2014, and the game was picked up almost immediately by some up and coming YouTubers. That immediate attention served to make the game incredibly mainstream in the horror and indie communities. The thing that made Five Nights at Freddy’s so popular was a combination of the simplistic yet terrifying designs of the animatronics, as well as Cawthon’s masterful control of atmospheric tension. The first night of the original game was an unforgettable experience. This game builds paranoia in me like no other game has. Whenever I play, I’m always waiting for one of the animatronics to be outside my door waiting to catch me off-guard.
This section contains depictions of death, gore and psychosis
Fran Bow is one of the most unique horror games I’ve played. It is a point-and-click style game with a lot of puzzle aspects. When it was released on PCon Aug. 27, 2015, it sold 10,000 copies in its first month. The imagery of Fran Bow is very disturbing and creepy, and the game is designed like a cartoon if it was drawn by Tim Burton. The game starts with a 10-year-old girl named Fran Bow finding her parents killed and dismembered in their house. Fran is traumatized from this event, resulting in apparent psychosis and she is transferred to a psych hospital. When she is there, the player obtains pills, which create the main mechanic of the game. When you take the pills, your perception of reality changes to a far more gruesome and grotesque scene. Everyone you saw is now dead, the walls are smeared with blood, and there are shadow monsters everywhere. One of the main things in this game is that you have to force yourself to confront all of the terrifying scenery to complete the puzzles. Ultimately, you have to choose whether you would rather save yourself from the horrific imagery or confront them to move forward.
PC, Playstation, Xbox, Switch
Outlast is one of the most atmospherically terrifying games I have ever played. Released on Sept. 4, 2013, the game received positive reception by fans. You play the role of an investigative journalist who looks into a mental hospital after receiving an anonymous tip from a whistleblower inside the establishment. After arriving, the place has a very eerie air about it, as the place looks abandoned and worn down. You approach the building with nothing but your wits and a camcorder with night vision. You find a way in by climbing some scaffolding to reach a second story window.The place looks destroyed, with overturned furniture everywhere, and bloodstains on the floors and walls. The true terror this game induces comes from the fact you have no protection from the monsters hunting you. All you can hope to do to escape them is run away and find a hiding spot till they leave. This game’s sound design is absolutely bone-chilling, and makes you feel like something will always be around the next corner of this abandoned building. Even with the constant paranoia however, you still never can properly prepare for the jumpscares in this game.
PC, Playstation, Xbox, Switch
Little Nightmares is a platformer horror game that relies on distorted and twisted monsters that hunt you. The game was released on April 28, 2017 to ultimately positive, but mixed, reviews. Most of the complaints were about the game’s clunky controls testing players’ patience. Other than that complaint, most of the reviews praise the game’s interesting take on horror. The game itself isn’t all that scary; the jumpscares are surprising the first time, but quickly become predictable and easy to spot. The place this game absolutely shines in is its imagery and themes. In this game, you play a small child named Six, who is trapped in an underwater vessel called the Maw. The Maw provides an insanely creepy atmosphere, and the denizens of the maw only serve to make it worse. All of them are misshapen and messed up, but they are disturbing in the best way for a horror game. The themes this game presents are equally as horrifying as the monsters you encounter. One of the main themes present is hunger; throughout the game, you experience debilitating bouts of hunger pains and the screen verges on going black. The only way to stop this is from finding food. As the game progresses, you eat more and start getting cravings for more living things. Overall, Little Nightmares is a very unsettling and disturbing game with imagery that will bury itself in your mind.
Hello my name is Ryker Stevenson and this is my second year on 42fifty. I am a senior and currently participate in chess club, speech and co-captain for scholastic bowl. I am happy to be back and to serve the publication again as the Arts and Entertainment Section Editor.