The best Xbox horror games

Tom West - October 30th 2021

We all need a good scare from time to time, or a reason to shoot at something grotesquely mutilated, living out a fantasy where we're the ultimate survivor during an apocalypse featuring shuffling undead. Although, shuffling has seemed to evolve into Olympic sprinting now, which is quite possibly even more terrifying. Xbox has plenty of games to whet even the most hardcore horror-aficionados appetite, from classics like the Resident Evil series to more recent spine-chilling hits like Alien: Isolation, so we’ve put the best of them into a handy list for you. Read on, if you dare...

Resident Evil 2

This list is being kicked off by the big daddy of horror and one that has taken the crown when it comes to offering players a frightfully good time. Resident Evil 2 originally released in 1998 and then made a full return in 2019 when Capcom completely rebuilt the game using its RE Engine (yes, we know the E stands for engine) so we could experience the terrors of Raccoon City all over again, but this time in 4K. It’s a terrifying journey that sealed the franchise's place in the horror hall of fame and spawned myriad sequels and spin-offs that to this day continue to entertain millions.
RESIDENT EVIL 2

A deadly virus engulfs the residents of Raccoon City in September of 1998, plunging the city into chaos as flesh eating zombies roam the streets for survivors.

An unparalleled adrenaline rush, gripping storyline, and unimaginable horrors await you.

Witness the return of Resident Evil 2.

Dead Space 2

Visceral Games’ sci-fi horror sequel to 2008s Dead Space has you reprise your role as Isaac Clarke, who’s awoken from a coma in the huge space-city called The Sprawl. From there, it’s a battle for survival against some of the ugliest creatures known to man, and one you won’t soon forget. You'll be tearing through beasties using advanced mining tools, sloshing around in gore, left screaming from the jump scares, and questioning every life decision that brought you to the moment you played. Although Dead Space 2 brought more action to the party than its predecessor, it's still worth packing your brown pants for this adventure.
Dead Space™ 2

Engineer Isaac Clarke returns for another blood-curdling adventure in the sequel to the critically acclaimed Dead Space™. After waking from a coma on a massive space city known as “The Sprawl”, the lone survivor of a horrific alien infection finds himself confronting a catastrophic new nightmare. Battling dementia, hunted by the government, and haunted by visions of his dead girlfriend, Isaac will do whatever it takes to save himself and dominate the gruesome onslaught. With an arsenal of tools…

Alien: Isolation

Creative Assembly’s fantastic attempt at bringing the horrifying Aliens universe to our screens as a true horror experience. Alien: Isolation was a hit when it released due to the game’s continuous tension and the feeling of being hunted. You'll be in the not-so enviable shoes of Amanda Ripley as she attempts to outsmart a ruthless Xenomorph while she learns the fate of her mother, Ellen, aboard the Nostromo. Alien: Isolation is mostly played out though stealth, with no real way to protect yourself. It's a clash of willpower, pitting you against a relentless adversary that'll have you feeling helpless at times. Unfortunately, we’re yet to hear about a follow-up — keep your fingers crossed for the future, because when it comes to Aliens in video games, the elevator to hell is always ready.
Alien: Isolation

Discover the true meaning of fear in Alien: Isolation, a survival horror set in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger. Underpowered and underprepared, you must scavenge resources, improvise solutions and use your wits, not just to succeed in your mission, but to simply stay alive.

The Evil Within 2

A follow-up to 2014's The Evil Within, The Evil Within 2 came with some lofty expectations aimed at it, which the game exceeded. You'll reprise your role as detective Sebastian Castellanos who, after the events of the first game and the apparent disappearance of his family, is on a journey back into a failing STEM to save his missing daughter, Lily. The Evil Within 2 is an action-horror game at heart with a large focus on gunplay and stealth mechanics, but features plenty of frightful creatures that'll keep you entertained throughout.
The Evil Within® 2

Detective Sebastian Castellanos has lost everything, including his daughter, Lily. To save her, he must descend into the nightmarish world of STEM. Horrifying threats emerge from every corner, and he must rely on his wits to survive. For his one chance at redemption, the only way out is in.

Amnesia: Collection

The Amnesia: Collection contains both The Dark Descent and A Machine for Pigs, which feature survival horror elements that rely on atmosphere and mood to enhance the player's experience. Both games are worthy of your time and should be experienced by anyone with a fleeting interest in horror titles. The Dark Descent also has a sanity meter that you'll need to keep an eye on as you witness disturbing events or spend too much time in the shadows.
Amnesia: Collection

The collection contains three Amnesia titles: The Dark Descent, A Machine For Pigs, and Justine. Experience the horror that kickstarted the Let's Play revolution; be immersed in three living nightmares that will chill you to the core.

Layers of Fear

Layers of Fear is essentially a walking simulator with a creepy theme and jump scares, but offers interesting puzzles and a fantastic story. We take control of a disturbed painter who's on a mission to complete his magnum opus while exploring a Victorian manor that reveals secrets of his past in some of the freakiest ways possible. It's a great game that can be both relaxing and unnerving at times, offering interesting scenes and memorable encounters.
Layers of Fear

Delve deep into the mind of an insane painter and discover the secret of his madness, as you explore a vast and constantly changing Victorian-era mansion. Uncover the visions, fears and horrors that entwine the painter and finish the masterpiece he has strived so long to create.

Dying Light

What's scarier than a horde of shuffling infected ex-Homo-sapiens coming at you, drooling with blood lust during the day? How about ridiculously fast athletes that have all the endurance of a roided-up baboon, clambering and leaping over everything in an attempt to remove one of your tasty limbs during the night? Yes, we thought so. Techland garnered the attention of the world when it released Dying Light out into the nether, taking us on a terrifying journey to Harran where combat prowess and parkour-style movement come hand-in-hand. Stepping out of the safe zones during the night is a nerve-wracking experience and will have you on edge until the sun comes back up.
Dying Light

Dying Light is a first-person, action survival game set in a vast open world. Roam a city devastated by a mysterious epidemic, scavenging for supplies and crafting weapons to help defeat the hordes of flesh-hungry enemies the plague has created. At night, beware the Infected as they grow in strength and even more lethal nocturnal predators leave their nests to feed on their prey. Live to survive another day. Good Night, Good Luck.

Left 4 Dead

The kingpin of co-op survival games and a masterfully crafted mix of action and horror. Left 4 Dead blew players' minds when it released in 2008 and is still the undefeated champion of the genre. This title has spawned many other games with the same premise since and it's easy to see why. The game's focus is the four-player co-op campaign mode which pits players against the infected in movie-like scenes to reach a designated objective. Teamwork is crucial in Left 4 Dead, especially when sharing supplies and outliving the special infected. We still have nightmares about the Witch and that stupid cry of hers. If all that co-op survival stuff seems too easy for you, then head into the PvP where the special infected are controlled by players. Yes, that'll offer you quite the challenge — there is nothing worse than smart dumb infected.
Left 4 Dead

From Valve® — creators of Counter-Strike®, Half-Life®, Portal™ and Team Fortress® — Left 4 Dead™ is a game that casts up to four "Survivors" in an epic struggle against hordes of swarming zombies and terrifying "Boss Infected" mutants. Are you ready for the Zombie Apocalypse?

Outlast

Outlast made quite the splash when it first released, sending players into an asylum with nothing but a camcorder and a protagonist that breathes way too loud. It's an extremely tense ride from start to finish that ensures you always feel uneasy. Outlast perfectly mastered the intensity of confrontations and the terror of trying to escape the clutches of death by hiding in a locker, then doubling down on the terror by allowing the enemies to locate you at times. Honestly, this is one game you won't soon forget and a perfect example that you don't need complex mechanics to make a decent horror title.
Outlast

Outlast is a true survival horror experience which aims to show that the most terrifying monsters of all come from the human mind.

Visage

Visage is a relatively new entry in the horror scene, only releasing last Halloween. It has, however, gained quite a reputation since joining the Xbox Game Pass library. Visage sees us taking control of Dwayne Anderson as he explores a strange house and learns of its previous inhabitants, which goes about as smoothly as you might expect for a horror game set in a creepy house. It has proven a little divisive, but it’s on Game Pass so no harm in giving it a go, right?

Have you played any of these frightful titles, or are you yet to feel the clammy grip they instigate? Or perhaps you have some other choice spooky recommendations to share? Let us know down below!