Best & Worst Horror-Inspired Games of All Time

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    Horror has quietly become one of the most pervasive themes in the entertainment industry. Though horror was once highly psychological and tended to involve scary creatures, it has since diversified greatly. There are horror-comedy mashups like Zombieland and The Blackening, horror-romance like Bones and All and even Let the Right One In, and plenty more.

    Unsurprisingly, horror themes have also made an impact on the gaming industry. As early as 1972’s Haunted House, gamers were gravitating toward next-level gaming thrills and jump scares. Today, horror projects can pass a salient entertainment wall. The Last of Us, for example, made waves in the gaming world before expanding its reach globally with a Netflix series.

    But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to successful projects. Let’s dig a bit deeper into the development of gaming and horror, along with the best and worst releases.

    New Developments in Gaming

    Gaming is constantly changing—not just in terms of the hardware that we use, but also in terms of what types of games excite us. Within the realm of casino gaming, for example, innovative new titles are emerging all the time. At the moment, one of the biggest trends is live casino games that offer a new twist on existing hits. Let’s look at Crazy Time, an immersive game that’s live-streamed from a remote studio.

    The game offers a variety of ways to win that are framed around a giant wheel. Though never-before-seen, it’s a seamless extension of the excitement of other games, especially roulette and slots. Casino gaming aside, these same principles apply to how developers craft their latest hits—and some are taking a truly bone-chilling angle.

    Within the context of horror developments, one of the most unique new trends is reverse horror. Reverse horror puts players into the shoes of the monsters that go bump into the night—not the heroes trying to take them down. One of the first major reverse horror games was 2017’s Slayaway Camp. The main character, Skullface, is a killer who must solve puzzles to take down camp counselors.

    Carrion (2020) set new precedents; the main character is a dangerous symbiote that must kill its way out of a research facility. But neither quite stand up to 2023’s In Silence. This new highly innovative game puts one player in the role of a blind and hypersensitive monster; the rest of the players must find a way to survive the killing spree.

    Best Horror Games of All Time

    For now, reverse horror hasn’t quite landed the same critical approval as other horror staples. Here are some of the best titles ever released.

    • Silent Hill 2 (2001) This legacy series in horror is intrinsically frightening—but the second release took things in a more introspective direction. This adds a whole new layer of mystery, intrigue, and fight.
    • Alien: Isolation (2014) From the beloved franchise comes a callback to the original hit: a single Xenomorph that’s hunting you on a spacecraft. There’s a strong emphasis on survival—but there’s also an AI assistant that modernizes the entire experience.
    • SOMA (2017) This sci-fi horror game touches on all the things that make gamers (and anyone) enjoy horror. There are jump scares, terrifying visuals, and a sense of doom that overcomes the audiences as they solve a series of troubling mysteries. Plus, the ending is next-level good.

    Worst Horror Releases

    Not all horror releases give players the heebie-jeebies. These projects failed to hit the mark.

    • Ju-On: The Grudge (2009) Poor graphics and predictable storytelling caused this project to sink quickly—even though its original source material remains beloved by horror communities around the world.
    • Alone In The Dark: Illumination (2015) There’s nothing worse than watching a project built on a great idea fall horribly flat. In this case, the premise involved monsters that are allergic to light—but just about every other element of the game failed to impress, from its graphics to its gameplay.

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