Horror games come in many shapes and forms. Some aim to drop you off from your chair, others intend to crawl into the very corner of your mind (silently whispering about what you’ve just experienced). And yet others focus on your anxieties, especially those that your mind produces if put under the ‘right’ conditions, of course.

Today’s all about fear – how fear can serve as a tool meant to produce insurmountable levels of entertainment for us. The technologies that we are equipped with, allows us to embark on quite a few horrible adventures, and while the gaming industry offers plenty, we’d recommend starting with 5. After all, the best single-player horror games aren’t designed to leave your head so easily…

Layers of Fear 2

Developed by: Bloober Team

Published by: Gun Media

Released on: PC, PS4, Xbox One.

Layers of Fear 2 is still probably the newest psychological horror title on the market. However, despite its fresh birth, the sequel has managed to hit the worldwide gaming communities with a masterful combination of hysteria, delusion, and paranoia. The mind-boggling horror produced through a story-driven experience here is simply genius, and as far as our recommendations go, this title should be the undisputed N1 on your best single-player horror games list.

The in-game action is set in an abandoned ocean liner with no crew on sight. Apparently, you are the star of the show, and while you are required to act out through numerous schizophrenia-resembling scenes, your aim is to find out why precisely you were chosen in the first place. Get used to the setting changing right in front of your eyes – what was a passage just a second ago is now a dead end. Is it your mind playing tricks on you? Is it the ship? Captivating puzzles, amazing soundtrack, claustrophobic atmosphere, and astonishing writing are sure to captivate your gaze for days.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

Developed by: Capcom R&D Division 1

Published by: Capcom

Released on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

It was one of the best single-player horror games two decades ago, and it’s easily amongst the best today. If you haven’t had the chance to play through Resident Evil 2 back in the day – you don’t need to, because Resident Evil 2 Remake is better and scarier in every possible way! The game’s a perfect meltdown between the old and new; honouring the past yet advocating some critical parts that needed a complete overhaul.

The new RE2 boasts with exceptional graphics, completely redone assets, and numerous other quality of life improvements. The remake put an exceptional focus on zombies, these are now exceptionally scary and there’s a level of complexity to their behaviour which you should expect from one of the best single-player horror games. You still control the rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy, and college student Claire Redfield. The Racoon City is amid zombie infestation and finding your way out is definitely on your To-Do list.

Little Nightmares

Developed by: Tarsier Studios

Published by: Bandai Namco Entertainment

Released on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Little Nightmares is a captivating horror release that could only be described as something belonging in ‘other best single-player horror games’ category. It’s truly a unique title and it stands in its own horror league with puzzle design and storytelling aspects mixed and matched to aim for the singular perfection. The game’s not about jump scares, or something else happening without you knowing about it – on the contrary. This title is all about tension!

Your controllable protagonist Six is a small, fragile, yellow raincoat wearing figure, and many threats are lurking everywhere she goes. To proceed through one of the best single-player horror games, you’ll have to use various stealth and platform-based elements! Most of the information regarding the threats is laid right in your face. So, you must move through these situations constantly loaded with tension and fear. In other words, Little Nightmares forces you to face your fears head-on, and while it’s undoubtedly intense, it’s also very releasing.

The Sinking City

Developed by: Frogwares

Published by: Bigben Interactive

Released on: PC, PS4, Xbox One.

The Sinking City is a detective horror-fiction title. It borrows on details and elements from the HP Lovecraft created the horror universe. You’ll visit a lonesome Oakmont city, where you’ll be a stranger/foreigner in a town where nobody welcomes new faces. The game excels on portraying the conflict between reality and delusion. It’s one of the best single-player horror games because, from your very first moments in-game, you are left completely on your own. No guidance, no directions, no tips, and no leads.

It’s a single-player experience that capitalizes on confinement, inner psychological drama, and some fine-as-hell puzzle solving action. While the game certainly has quite a few scenes that will surely force you to jump up bursting with cold sweat, the game’s intention is to create the mood of uncertainty and unease. Throughout your journey, you’ll meet numerous NPCs, and discover tons of assignments and quests – whether you want to take them is completely optional, however, only by completing assignments will you get to discover the one truth you’ve been seeking all along.  

Outlast 2

Developed by: Red Barrels

Published by: Red Barrels

Released on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Outlast 2 is without a doubt one of the best single-player horror games there are. While the sequel is not really connected to the original game, it doesn’t even feel much like its predecessor. This time you’ll be controlling an investigative journalist duo, Blake and his wife Lynn. What you’ll find in this iteration? Secluded area somewhere deep within Arizona’s steeps, a creepy fanatics regime that is obsessed with religion, killing babies, and do we even need to continue?

The title has everything that one of the best single-player horror games is expected to have – poorly lit environments, constant tension, great story-placing which discusses such elements as life, death, end of the world and on top of that, there are the survival elements such as fighting for thirst, charging up batteries for your camera’s lens, multi-layered ambient sounds and plenty more. It’s brutal, it’s often right in your face, and it’s a first-person experience that you simply must go through if you consider yourself a horror fan.