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10 Must Play Horror Video Games by The Horror Hypothesis

10 Must Play Horror Video Games, by The Horror Hypothesis 

When I’m not slouched over my bed reading a book, I am most likely slouched over my bed playing video games.  With the latest console cycle coming to an end and the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X on the horizon, I thought I would put together a list of 10 “Must Play” video games.  Enjoy!

Disclaimer: some of these games are also available on the previous console generation (PS3, Xbox 360)  

10: Dead by Daylight 

Available on PC, PS4, XB1, Switch, iOS and Android

DEAD BY DAYLIGHT is an asymmetrical multiplayer survival horror game that pits one player, the killer, against four players, the survivors.  I am usually not a fan of multiplayer focused games, but Behavior Interactive has done some brilliant work with licensing a variety of major horror franchises.  DEAD BY DAYLIGHT is the only video game that lets you play from the POV of Freddy Kreuger, Michael Myers, and Leatherface and that is a horror nerd’s nightmare come true.  

9: The Evil Within (Series)

Available on PC, PS4, XB1

THE EVIL WITHIN was directed by Shinji Mikami of RESIDENT EVIL fame and while it has not received the critical acclaim or widespread adoration of that franchise, it is an underrated third person survival horror series full of nightmarish imagery.  Sebastian isn’t the most exciting protagonist, but the gameplay is solid.  Both games in this series are worth picking up! 

8: Outlast (Series)

Available on PC, OSX, PS4, XB1, Switch 

The past decade has seen a boom in the number of first person survival horror video games and OUTLAST is certainly the grossest.  It’s rinse and repeat as far as the gameplay goes, (you run a lot, you hide a lot) but if you want to see how much violence you can stomach, there’s plenty of depravity in these games to test your limits.    

7: Alien Isolation      

Available on PC, OSX, PS4, XB1, Switch 

The antithesis of OUTLAST, ALIEN ISOLATION is a first person survival horror game that uses dread and suspense to terrify you instead of brute violence.  You play as Amanda Ripley (the daughter of ALIEN protagonist Ellen Ripley) investigating the disappearance of her mother.  You are slowly stalked by the Xenomorph while dealing with the various obstacles in your journey and it’s ridiculously tense.  It superbly nails the visual aesthetic, score, and suspense of Ridley Scott's classic 1979 film.  

6: Days Gone 

Available on PS4

Sony Bend had been quietly working on DAYS GONE for years before it finally released in the spring of 2019.  Technical issues hurt the game's initial critical reception, but it has since been patched and fixed, so don't be fooled by its metacritic score.  It is a fantastic open world, third person zombie action game.  The setting (Oregon) is gorgeous.  It’s basically Sons of Anarchy set in the post-apocalyptic, zombie infested PNW.  You fight a zombie bear.  If that doesn't sound rad to you, we can’t be friends.  I recommend blasting through the story as quickly as you can, because the best part of this game takes place at the end, when you’re tasked with taking down swarms of “Freakers.”  It’s an amazing experience that few video games can replicate.       


5: Until Dawn

Available on PS4

Tragically underplayed, UNTIL DAWN is one of the best and most unique video games of this console cycle.  It is an interactive drama which lets the player make decisions and press buttons during quick time events to help push the story along.  Think of it like a “Choose your own Adventure” novel.  It is one of the first games I can remember playing that featured recognizable Hollywood actors (Rami Malek) as protagonists and it features this system called “The Butterfly Effect” which causes many different outcomes for each character based on your decisions.  It is amazing to see how these seemingly innocuous decisions play out throughout the game.  This is one of those games that can be played dozens of times and you’ll never have the same experience twice.     

4: Dying Light 

Available on PC, OSX, PS4, XB1  

Techland had released a few mediocre zombie games (the DEAD ISLAND series) before dropping the instant classic DYING LIGHT in 2015.  This first person open world survival horror game is brilliant.  It has a similar parkour mechanic to MIRRORS EDGE and a day/night cycle which forces players to seek shelter when the sun goes down because let me tell you, the things that emerge at night in this game are truly horrifying.  I literally can’t wait for the sequel to this game.     

3: Bloodborne

Available on PS4

I had heard a lot about the From Software developed series, DARK SOULS, before checking out BLOODBORNE when it was released back in 2015.  Specifically, I had heard that they were extremely difficult.  I can confirm that this third person action role playing game is hard.  However, it is a game that rewards player patience and it never seems unfair.  When you die in this game, you know why you died.  You adapt.  You grind.  You git gud.  The art direction is magnificent.  You fight all sorts of eldritch looking horrors and while the story is cryptic and downright weird, it is a marvel.  This is hands down one of the best video games of this console cycle. 

2: Resident Evil 2 (Remake)

Available on PC, PS4, XB1

I will never forget my first play through of RESIDENT EVIL 2 back in 1998.  It truly horrified me.  Next to FINAL FANTASY 7, RE2 was easily my favorite game from that era.  Capcom’s 2019 remake of the iconic third person survival horror game is remarkable.  It streamlines the experience for a modern console.  Its engine is gorgeous.  It literally improves every single aspect of the original game while adding in fresh, new tweaks and additions.  This isn’t a fresh coat of paint, it’s a brand new experience.  RESIDENT EVIL 2 (2019) is the benchmark for the countless “remakes” of this console cycle.      

1: The Last of Us (Series) 

Available on PS4 

Naughty Dog’s THE LAST OF US is a video game that transcends the medium.  Are video games high art? Are video games a waste of time?...these moronic questions can never be asked again after experiencing the journeys of Joel and Ellie.  This third person action horror franchise is a master class on storytelling in video games.  Make no mistake, THE LAST OF US PART 1+2 will one day be preserved in the time capsule of humanity.  I can not recommend them enough.          

The Horror Hypothesis - Night Worms Bio Donnie Hypothesis is an avid reader, writer, and collector of horror fiction.  He runs the Bookstagram page, “The Horror Hypothesis,” which advocates for the Horror literature genre as a whole.  He currently lives in Central Virginia where he spends most of his free time reading, making music, playing video games, and watching movies.  



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1 comment

  • Oooh, I need to add all of these to my gaming queue!

    • Zakk