[Top 15] Best 2D Horror Games

2D Horror Games
2D horror at its finest.

It’s easy to brush off 2D horror-style video games for being simple, jump-scare-filled experiences, and often for a cheap price tag. Moreover, some players might mistake 2D horror games for being not so terrifying, to begin with. How can you convey horror within a 2D space? Well, today we’ll be going through fifteen 2D horror games that are available right now and are worthy of your time.


15. Carrion - 2020 - (PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch/PC)

Carrion - Full Walkthrough

In Carrion, your objective is rather simple. You are a cosmic horror-looking blob tearing through multiple levels, destroying anything in your way. Carrion was released in 2020 by Phobia Game Studios and published by the always fantastic folks at Devolver Studios. Anyone familiar with Devolver Studios knows that they are infamous for releasing games like Hotline Miami, My Friend Pedro, and my personal favorite, The Messenger.

Why Carrion Is Brilliant

When I first heard about Carrion, I learned about its unique twist on the horror genre by letting players essentially control the antagonist of the game. In this case, it’s a monster that is ripped straight out of the pages of an H.P. Lovecraft book. The gameplay loop is rather simple, playing like a twisted version of a Katamari Damacy game, killing soldiers and becoming an even bigger and more lethal monstrosity by the end of the game. Weirdly enough, for me, Carrion is the type of game I could play for a few hours while listening to some Lo-Fi music in the background. It’s oddly relaxing and a bit insane, I know.

If you’re looking for a game that puts a spin on the horror genre, look no further than Carrion. You are the terrorizer this time around, and you don’t have to feel bad about going on a murder spree. You were imprisoned for a long time, after all.

Fun Factor: 90/100

The crimson monstrosity going on a murderous rampage.


14. Limbo - 2010 (PS3/PS4/PS Vita/Xbox 360/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch/IOS/Android/PC)

LIMBO - Full Game Walkthrough【NO Deaths】

In Limbo, you play as a nameless little boy in search of his sister, after waking up in an unknown forest location amid dangerous environmental hazards and even worse predators. Published by Playdead, this 2010 title was critically acclaimed when it was released, so much so that Limbo has since been ported to nearly every console from the seventh console generation forward.

Why You Should Play Limbo

I must admit, Limbo isn’t frightening. The deaths in this game can be as hilarious as they are shocking, especially during your first playthrough. Instead, the horror of Limbo comes from its atmosphere. Limbo isn’t a colorful title, opting for a black-and-white art style that leaves a lot to the imagination. There’s a minimalistic score backing the game as well, which compliments the simplistic gameplay. All this makes Limbo such an excellent game to pick up and play. The developers managed to create a world that speaks to the player without saying a single word. It’s up to you to decipher the game’s larger meaning, and that’s why Limbo is still a fantastic 2D horror title.

Fun Factor: 85/100

I don’t think he’s gonna make it…


13. Detention - 2017 (PS4/Nintendo Switch/Android/PC)

Detention 返校 [Part 1] - NEW TAIWANESE HORROR GAME

In Detention, you play as high school students Ray and Wei. You find yourself trapped inside your school, which has been transformed into a sinister place, occupied by terrifying spirits who attempt to chase you down. Developed by Red Candle Games, a Taiwanese-based developer, Detention has since been regarded as one of the scariest 2D horror games to have been released in quite some time.

Head to Detention

I remember being anxiously excited about this title after hearing the favorable reception from critics. Having played through the game on the Nintendo Switch, Detention is a horror experience I won’t soon forget. It’s played as a point-and-click game where you interact with objects and collect items to progress through the story, all the while trying to evade monsters that’ll have you panicking throughout each encounter. Its graphics are stunning and have a cleanliness to them that makes you feel uncomfortable as you explore your high school.

This isn’t the first time Red Candle Games has made an excellent horror game, but Detention is my personal favorite, and it’ll leave the same impact on your psyche as the Silent Hill titles have on anyone who’s played them. A round of applause for Detention and Red Candle Games, people! This is a gem worth playing.

Fun Factor: 80/100

Trust me when I tell you, moments like this are anxiety-inducing.


12. Inside - 2016 (PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch/PC)


This list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention Playdead’s second title, Inside. Released in 2016, Inside was critically hailed as one of the best 2.5D video games of all time. It wasn’t shocking either to know it was developed by the same studio behind Limbo. Similar to their last title, Inside sees you playing as another nameless boy who ventures through a dark and oppressive world, with seemingly no intention. Oh boy, this isn’t going to end well.

Come Inside And Play

Inside is a masterclass in environmental storytelling, with not a single word uttered throughout the game. Its monochromatic art style is a Playdead trademark at this point, and regardless of what platform you play it on, you’ll be playing this title with your mouth open, probably without even recognizing it. Though not inherently scary, the bleak atmosphere, brutal deaths, and terrifying twist ending will have you gripped well after the credits roll.

Inside may not have high replayability, but it’s a title that should be played through once. I have traditionally played Inside every Halloween season and still find myself reading up on theories about its ending after I finish playing. It’s a much tighter and better version of Limbo, with its puzzles being a highlight for me. I never once looked up a guide or was frustrated with the game’s design. Inside is a masterpiece, in my opinion.

Fun Factor: 100/100

Inside is still a looker, despite its minimalistic art style.


11. Knock-Knock - 2013 (PS4/PS Vita/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch/Android/IOS/PC)

Knock Knock - Atmospheric Horror Game, Manly Let's Play Pt.1

Knock-Knock is a rather simple 2D horror game. Your main character must survive the night by illuminating his lodge as he traverses with a candle, attempting to outlast the monsters that try to get him. Released in 2013, Knock-Knock has received mixed to positive reviews from critics, and from my experience, I tend to agree. Still, Knock-Knock is worth playing.

Who’s There?

Knock-Knock is a looker if nothing else. Its cartoonish graphics are reminiscent of a picture book, only if the picture book was something like the Babadook. Knock-Knock reminds me a lot of FNAF in that your primary objective is to stay alive until dawn, maintain the light sources around the lodge, and be strategic in how you evade enemies. It can be quite frustrating, as you’ll be doing a lot of trial and error to get a perfect run. I know that can turn some players off, especially when your heart rate is above 100.

Still, Knock-Knock is a project that oozes love and passion from its developers. I was impressed by the game’s graphics and its easy-to-pick-up controls. If you’re looking for a horror title that has an oppressive atmosphere and just a general feeling of uneasiness throughout, you’re going to enjoy Knock-Knock. There isn’t much in the way of player guidance either, so there’s some fun to be had trying to find out how to reach the game’s end objective. Give it a try, even if it’s just once.

Fun Factor: 65/100

I can’t praise the graphics enough. It reminds me of Courage the Cowardly Dog.


10. The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters - 2020 (PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch/PC)

The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters | Full Game | All Notes | No Commentary

Those familiar with the first, The Coma game, will find its sequel just as engaging as its predecessor. Though this is a sequel to the first game, The Coma 2 is rather inviting to new players. You control Mina Park as she attempts to uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of her best friend, Youngho.

What Makes The Coma 2 A Good 2D Horror Game

I’ll preface by saying that The Coma 2 won’t be for everyone. Me putting its sequel on this list and not its predecessor might have some people confused. For me, this was my entry point to the series and my personal favorite of the two. Most of the game’s engagement comes from exploring wildly different locations like a school, hospital, and even a police station. Along with these locations, you’re tasked with finding important items that will help you move along to the next major location. Throughout your exploration, you can find notes that better flesh out the story, evade pursuer-type enemies, and maintain Mina’s health, which, depending on the player, can affect the game’s story.

Now, I did say this game won’t be for everyone, and that mainly comes from the game’s primary gameplay loop, consisting of exploration, puzzle solving, and running away from unkillable enemies. Your enjoyment will stem from whether or not you enjoy horror games like The Coma 2. For me, I enjoyed my time with The Coma 2 and was more drawn to its anime aesthetic than its “action”, if you can call it that. What it lacks in combat and innovation, The Coma 2 makes up for with an excellent four-ish hour story experience that should be played with some nice headphones on.

Fun Factor: 70/100

Mina is defenseless for the majority of the game. Your best option is to run.


9. Oxenfree - 2016 (PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch/Android/IOS/PC)

Oxenfree - Full Playthrough

Oxenfree was Night School Studio’s debut game and has racked up a lot of awards for its excellent story. In Oxenfree, you play as Alex, who, along with her friends, arrives at Edwards Island for a weekend getaway. But when a paranormal entity is unleashed upon them, Alex and her companions go on a darkly humorous adventure to uncover the mystery surrounding the island.

Why Oxenfree Is A Good 2D Horror Adventure

Players familiar with Telltale games like The Walking Dead and Tales From the Borderlands will feel right at home with Oxenfree. The story in Oxenfree is by far the strongest feature of the game. Rather than have a game where the main focus is a mix of action and puzzle solving, Oxenfree opted to create an experience where the player truly feels like their choices are impactful. Case in point Oxenfree offers up multiple endings that all feel unique from one another that encourage players to revisit Edwards Island.

There are no fail states in Oxenfree, either. Most puzzles are solved by interacting with the paranormal entities around the island or tuning your radio to certain frequencies to progress forward. The bulk of your time, though, will be spent exploring the island while talking to the cast of characters and, more often than not, leaning forward in your seat while listening to these characters talk like you're a fly on the wall. It further shows how well Night School Studios managed to create dialog that feels sharp and organic, unlike other story/adventure games similar to it.

I wouldn’t necessarily say Oxenfree is a horror game either, with a lot of its “horror” coming from the curious wonders about the island’s origins. Oxenfree gives me the vibe of sitting around a campfire and listening to fun, scary stories, and I love it.

Fun Factor: 90/100

Oxenfree’s 3D characters interacting with a 2D environment give it a unique art style.


8. 2Dark - 2017 (PS4/Xbox One/PC)

Let's Play 2Dark . A full game playthrough. No commentary.

Too often, indie survival horror games go unnoticed during their release. 2Dark is one such title, which includes the creator of Alone in the Dark. Anyone who is a fan of the horror genre in video games knows how influential Alone in the Dark was, being one of the main inspirations for Shinji Mikami when creating Resident Evil. Naturally, 2Dark was met with some intrigue when it was announced and eventually released in 2017. 2Dark sees you play as a detective who goes on a mission to save missing children in a town filled with crazed criminals.

Why It’s Worth Trying 2Dark

Admittedly, 2Dark doesn’t live up to the hype of being a video game created by one of the pioneers of the horror game genre. So don’t expect an amazing title. But when given a chance, you’ll be treated to a delightful, if stripped-down, survival horror title. Its mechanics are quite simple, too, with most of your time spent evading enemies rather than engaging with them and rescuing children. If you stray too far from the kids you’re tasked with saving, they can end up running off in tears, resulting in a dangerous situation you won’t want to be in. With limited resources, you’ll have to plan your exit swiftly if you wish to make it out alive.

Though the game is short in length (you could beat it in one sitting), its pixelated graphics and top-down perspective are enough to keep things fresh as you explore the various intricate levels in 2Dark. For the price of two bucks on Steam—or free if you’ve got a PS Plus premium membership—2Dark is an excellent 2D horror game to put on your gaming backlog for the Halloween season.

Fun Factor: 65/100

There’s something eerily charming about 2Dark’s graphics.


7. Cult of the Lamb - 2022 (PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X and S/Nintendo Switch/PC)

Cult of the Lamb - Full Game Gameplay [No Commentary]

Here’s the elevator pitch: You are a lamb who is saved by a mysterious deity and is now tasked with creating a cult of other brainwashed animals to appease your one true god. Yeah, imagine if the woodland critters from South Park were given a game. Yet another title published by Devolver Digital, this roguelike-infused horror game is worth the price of admission.

Join The Cult of the Lamb

Immediately, the first thing that’ll stand out to you is the game’s cartoonish art style, with color palettes that will make you look in awe and as brainwashed as the animals you’re tasked with indoctrinating. On top of that, its fun and engaging combat system makes for a recipe of addicting gameplay that is a mainstay in roguelikes like Cult of the Lamb. I was introduced to roguelikes with Hades and have since been seeking games like it, and Cult of the Lamb is just as good, if not better, in my opinion.

Of course, Cult of the Lamb has some pretty insane imagery that gives it a horror vibe without straying too far off course from its darkly humorous plot and setting. It makes me chuckle every time I think about the fact that you play as a lamb cult leader who can send his followers to do his bidding while fighting non-believers and the competition. It’s one of those games you shouldn’t be asking questions about regarding logic and realism. Just be the best cult leader you can be.

Fun Factor: 100/100

Let’s all gather by the campfire and sing songs!


6. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth - 2014 (PS4/PS Vita/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X and S/Nintendo Wii-U & 3DS & Switch/IOS/PC)

STRONGEST RUN OF THE YEAR - The Binding Of Isaac: Repentance Ep. 580

What’s there to say about The Binding of Isaac that hasn’t been praised in multiple videos and essays? Quite possibly the best and most popular title created by indie developer Edward McMillen—who gamers may know as the creator of Super Meat Boy—The Binding of Isaac has since garnered multiple awards and is widely embraced by the gaming community as one of the best roguelikes of all time. For those unfamiliar, The Binding of Isaac is a 2D horror roguelike that sees you play as the titular character, Isaac, who escapes from his basement and attempts to flee from the clutches of her religiously fanatical mother.

What Makes The Binding of Isaac Such A Good Game

I have sunk a lot of hours into this title, as I’m sure plenty of other players have as well. Its excellent game design of fighting through multiple randomly generated dungeons gives you the sense that you aren’t always getting stronger with each fight. Sometimes you’ll fare far worse in one run than you will in another. But that’s the charm of The Binding of Isaac—the obsession you build by retrying over and over until you get that one run that’ll have you clutching your controller to the very end.

Its game time can vary wildly, with different game modes and nearly infinite replayability, and all of it is accompanied by a harrowing art style and something out of an Adult Swim ad that you’ll see in the late hours of the night. It has been released on nearly every platform you can think of, so there’s little excuse not to give this one a shot. It won’t be for everyone there are no checkpoints or quicksaves, so you’ll have to start clean every time you boot up a run, and it is rather difficult as well. Still, The Binding of Isaac is worth every stress-induced second.

Fun Factor: 92/100

Believe it or not, it can get worse.


5. Night in the Woods - 2017 (PS4/Xbox One/IOS/PC)

Night In The Woods - Full Game Walkthrough Gameplay & Ending (No Commentary Playthrough Longplay)

One of my personal favorites on this list, Night in the Woods, isn’t necessarily a horror game, but it is still one I go back to every fall during the Halloween season, and it is primarily because the game’s backdrop is during the autumn season as well. You play as a non-human animal named Mae, who, upon returning to her hometown, realizes it has changed and must uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of her longtime friend.

Night in the Woods Is Awesome, And Here’s Why

Night in the Woods is a great game for those wanting a narrative-focused experience that prioritizes character interactions with NPCs and immersing yourself in the game’s world over traditional gameplay mechanics. Its story deals with mental illness, the feeling of uncertainty in life, and coming of age, all set behind a grounded mystery adventure. There is no puzzle-solving or fighting off monsters. Instead, it's a game that lets players decide for themselves how the game’s ending will turn out by developing relationships with other characters in Possum Springs.

The game is elevated by its beautiful art style, which feels like you’re playing a part in an animated feature, and smooth controls that are easy to pick up. You’ll find more intrigue in the game than scares, but that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes a 2D horror title manifests itself in its themes of growing up, the fear of the unknown, and battling our inner demons.

Fun Factor: 95/100

The character interactions can be heartwarming one second, and funny another.


4. Axiom Verge - 2015 (PS4/PS Vita/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch & Wii-U/PC)

Axiom Verge - Full Playthrough

Axiom Verge is a Metroidvania-style game with an emphasis on combat and exploration similar to early Metroid titles. Created entirely by its sole developer, Thomas Happ, Axiom Verge has players take control of a scientist named Trace, who awakens in an alien world and must traverse it and its dangerous obstacles and enemies.

Why You Should Play Axiom Verge

Axiom Verge has a wonderful setting that makes you feel like you’re exploring the insides of a deadly machine. You’re always on high alert as you move through the world, with enemies that make the gameplay challenging, but much like the Souls games, every boss fight or enemy encounter feels possible to beat, and it is all the more satisfying when you do succeed. It wouldn’t be a Metroidvania game without unique weapons to use. Those familiar with Metroid will find some fan-favorite weapons like heat seekers, twin beams, and even a flamethrower.

Though the game can be beaten in four to six hours, there’s a lot of incentive to revisit the game, like secrets to be found and, of course, upgrades that will make you a powerhouse by the end. Axiom Verge is an old-school game that encourages you to overcome its difficult levels and to seek out valuable items to help you through your run, and it does it effortlessly while staying fresh and engaging in a world that is as perilous as it is haunting to explore.

Fun Factor: 88/100

Yeah, that’s gonna be a nope for me.


3. Don’t Starve - 2013 (PS3/PS4/PS Vita/Xbox One/Nintendo Wii-U & Switch/IOS/Android/PC)

Don't Starve - Gameplay Walkthrough Part 1 - Let's Play! (PC)

Don’t Starve is a dark take on a game like Minecraft, where you are transported into a twisted version of the real world and forced to find tools and resources to survive. You can choose to play as different characters, each with their own unique abilities that make this game a highly replayable 2D horror survival title.

Why Don’t Starve Is Awesome

Don’t Starve can be played by yourself or in co-op with a buddy, and the main goal is to stay alive as long as you can while you fight off various monsters and collect valuable resources to fortify the environment around you. The art style pops out with pencilized graphics that give the game a cute look in direct opposition to its harsh difficulty. The game doesn’t hold your hand either, letting you explore and learn about the various items you can collect and their usefulness.

There is also a day/night cycle that changes things up a bit, like stronger enemies and little light sources to guide your way come nightfall, while you race against the clock during the day to gather as many resources as you can. It can be quite thrilling and a bit terrifying when everything you’ve earned can be gone in seconds if you’re not careful. That’s where multiplayer comes in to ease some of the burdens on you and make the experience all the more fun and exciting. I highly recommend playing this title, unless you’re an anxious wreck like me, who can only muster so much before having a breakdown.

Fun Factor: 80/100

Cue the breakdown.


2. Evil Tonight - 2021 (Nintendo Switch/PC)

Evil Tonight Full Game Walkthrough Gameplay (No Commentary)

I didn’t know this game existed until I saw someone on TikTok talk about it, and the words survival horror were brought up, and I rushed over to the Nintendo eShop and bought it. In Evil Tonight, you play Silvia, a badass exorcist that’s reminiscent of John Constantine, and your job is to fight evil with an array of weapons to boot. Evil dies tonight. No? Okay.

Evil Tonight Is An Underrated Horror Gem

In Evil Tonight, you go through rooms that are infested with monsters that you must strategically fight off while managing ammo and health. The game advertises no handholding and no map, and when I found out firsthand that this game wouldn’t be taking it easy on me, I was all the more excited to play. The game can be completed within one to two hours, so perhaps someone looking for more bang for their buck will hesitate to give this one a shot, but for fans of Resident Evil and particularly its mercenaries mode, you’ll find a lot to enjoy here.

Enemies that test you and force you to think more carefully about your approach, 2D pixelated graphics that enhance the just as great score. It’s an underrated 2D horror game, for sure, and for fans of old-school survival horror games, you won’t want to miss out on it.

Fun Factor: 85/100

What game isn’t made better by blasting a monster away with a shotgun?


1. The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile - 2011 (Xbox 360/PC)

The Dishwasher - Vampire Smile Full Gameplay Walkthrough (No Commentary)

When it comes to 2D horror games, the first game that popped into mind was the 2011 side-scrolling action game, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, and while I could also lump its predecessor on this list as well, the second title in the series is what stays in my memory as one of the best indie games I’ve ever played. In The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, you take control of either the titular character, The Dishwasher, or his equally badass stepsister, Yuki, in two completely different and stellar campaigns, in a quest for answers about their origins.

You Should Play The Dishwasher

If you are a fan of films like Kill Bill and games like Ninja Gaiden, you’re going to love this game. Throughout your experience in The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, you’ll be cutting down foes in a violent fashion before leaving a room painted with blood and guts. Its action is unrelenting, and it is stylish to play through. SKA Studios managed to create an insane world for you to explore, with equally insane weapons to master as well. Both characters play wildly differently from one another as well, giving players a reason to play through the game more than once.

There are side characters to meet, too, that fit well into the universe that SKA Studios presents here. The boss fights are no joke, either, with some of their designs looking hellish. SKA Studios have since dipped their toes into the Souls genre with games like Salt and Sanctuary and its sequel, which are fine in their own right. But The Dishwasher series will always have a special place in my heart personally, as it was one of the first Xbox Live Arcade games I played.

Fun Factor: 97/100

The combat in The Dishwasher can get pretty visceral, really fast.


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Alberto resides in Denver, Colorado and is as passionate about demon slaying and fighting for his life in survival horror games as he is about writing about them.
Gamer Since: 1998
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Resident Evil 4 Remake
Top 3 Favorite Games:DOOM, Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD, Max Payne 3

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