[Top 15] Best AAA Horror Games To Play Today

Best AAA Horror Games
Hide and seek can get pretty intense at times.

Heavy scares from the heaviest hitters

It’s always easy to get caught up in nostalgia. 

To think back to that first PS2 that your parents bought for you and the brilliant horror games that lined the walls of your local undisclosed videogame store, knowing you can only shoplift one.

It feels like gone are the days when big companies produced high-quality horror. When games like Silent Hill, Project Zero, and Eternal Darkness were released to critical acclaim and commercial success.

Today, the indie scene has filled the gaps for true horror; we still get a new, big, horror game, like, once a year. But those are only zombie-themed shoot-em-ups without any real frights to offer, right?


True, regular, huge new horror titles aren’t a thing like they used to be, but the horror genre has always been comfortable with things staying half-alive. 

New and old, the triple-A industry has produced some amazing horror that can still scare you to death. 

Here are the top 15 best AAA horror games to play today. Like, literally right now, or, when you finish reading, you know what I mean...  

15. The Last of Us (PS4 / PS3)

The Last Of Us Story Trailer.

The Last of Us is a story-driven game about the people we’re willing to become to survive. The story centers on Joel and his adopted daughter Ellie, as they journey through a zombie-infested America in the search for hope.  

The game is more of an action drama, but the post-apocalypse and the nightmarish cordyceps can still deliver moments of true tension and horror.

Whatever your opinion on the sequel is (and for the record, I agree with you), this is one of the most important games of the last decade, and when it uses its setting for horror, you can be damn sure that horror is what you’ll get.    

14. Until Dawn (PS4 / Android)

Until Dawn Launch Trailer.

A perfect marriage between the narrative possibilities of a David Cage-y interactive movie and the B-horror from the eighties; Until Dawn is an unforgettable and fun experience that Supermassive Games hasn’t quite been able to replicate since.  

Until Dawn is the Night Trap for the new generation. It’s a love letter to the classic horror tropes of yore and a great game for anyone looking to capture the feeling of living through one of the cheesiest movies in the Friday the Thirteenth franchise.

The game is filled with every staple of the genre: the cavin in the woods, the horny teens, the death traps. All while managing to sneak in a couple of genuinely surprising twists and turns. 

It might be light on gameplay, but it’s still an experience worth having for any horror nerd.      

13. Dead By Daylight (PC / PS4 / PS5 / XBOX One / Nintendo Switch / Android)

Dead By Daylight Launch Trailer.

Dead By Daylight is an asymmetrical multiplayer game (hey, remember when those were a thing?) that puts three players in the role of survivors and a fourth on the role of the bloodthirsty killer chasing after them.

The game is an absolute romp, being cast as a survivor is a thrilling experience without being unwinnable, and the servers are surprisingly alive for a game so concerned with killing its players.

Dead By Daylight has more to offer to horror fans than just scary-themed fun. The game is filled with classic monsters and characters from all the best horror franchises, from Silent Hill to Evil Dead.  

12. Resident Evil Village (PC / PS4 / PS5 / XBOX One / XBOX Series X)

Resident Evil Village - 4th Trailer.

The newest entry in the RE franchise. Village takes last game’s protagonist Ethan Winters through a campy, fright-filled ride that ties it all back together to the lore of Resident Evil.  

The game is a little less scary than the original, but that’s by design. Whereas Biohazard focused more on a claustrophobic and tense experience, Village goes out of its way to make the experience fun and exciting.

That is not to say that the game isn’t scary. The halls of castle Dimitrescu, the hallways of house Beneviento, and the infested streets of the village are all filled with surprises and horrors that will have you dreading whatever comes next.

Innovation in the RE franchise has always been a bit of a hit-or-a-miss, but the new folk horror approach and the marriage between 4 and 7 make for one of the best titles in the series and one that you’d be a fool to miss.  

11. Condemned: Criminal Origins (PC / XBOX 360)

Condemned: Criminal Origins Xbox 360 Trailer.

Fresh from its fifteenth anniversary, Condemned puts you in the role of a detective slowly descending into a world of horror and madness after an investigation gone wrong.

Criminal Origins is arguably the best entry in the Condemned series. The game slowly but surely goes from an average detective story to a world of psychological horror.

This is one of those games that feel dreadful to play, but not in a bad way, somehow. The ambients, the combat, the story. It all works to unnerve and trap you.

Much like the game protagonist, you’ll soon find yourself making your way further into hell, but unable to go anywhere until you see the whole thing through.

Graphics be dammed! 

This game looked impressive in 2006 and it still does in 2021. Every bit of set design works to create a world that feels hostile at every turn. 

10. Control (PC / PS4 / PS5 / XBOX One / XBOX Series X / Nintendo Switch)

Control - Launch Trailer.

Control is a surreal experience that draws heavy inspiration from Twin Peaks and the new weird.

In Control you play as Jessie Faden, the accidental director of the bureau of control, as you are trapped in a building known as the oldest house and tasked with freeing it from an evil entity called “the hiss”.

Control is not a horror game per se, in spite of its Lovecraftian inspirations. Still, it explores weird and intriguing new concepts and fear of the unknown in a way that only the best horror can.

Control is a lot of things. It’s strange, surreal, fun, and petrifying all at once. It might lack dark hallways and a powerless protagonist, but it’s still some of the best of the best when it comes to cosmic forces and existential dread.   

9. Returnal (PS5)

Returnal - Announcement Trailer. 

Returnal is a roguelike truly fit for the next generation. The game is fast and frustrating, bombastic and fun. 

The game puts you in the role of Selene. An astronaut that finds herself on a hostile planet, where every time she dies she goes back to the beginning.

The roguelike setting is a match made in heaven for the Groundhog Day type of story, and it all works together to convey a feeling of deep hopelessness and confusion.  

Cosmic horror is a hard genre to do. How do you convey a force way larger than the scope of your imagination? A power that is neither evil nor good, but a different thing altogether? 

Returnal is a feat in game design and a game that uses every mechanic to enrich the story and the themes.

Also, if you have a PS5, you have to use that thing for something, ya’ know? It can’t be just for playing remasters and raising the room temperature.

8. Alan Wake (PC / XBOX One / XBOX 360)

Alan Wake Launch Trailer.

Alan Wake is not only another game from remedy, it also canonically takes place in the same universe as Control.

In Alan Wake, you play as a writer that suddenly finds himself fighting a powerful force outside of his understanding, while trying to solve the mystery of his wife’s disappearance.   

The game is formated as a television series, with every chapter lasting about an hour, and it flows better if you do play it bit by bit.

Alan Wake is definitively a product of its time. The hackneyed but self-aware plot devises the countless homages to Twin Peaks, the framing narrative. Every part of the game is undeniably 2010’s in some way or another. 

Like hair metal, it only goes out of fashion, but never out of style. High-quality horror and a healthy degree of cheesiness are exactly what makes Alan Wake one of the best horror games maybe ever, and one that you should definitively play if you haven’t already.

If you have… Play it again, what the hell? The game is fantastic.       

7. Dying Light (PC / Mac / PS4 / XBOX One)

Dying Light - Story Trailer.

Dying Light was part of the many, many games that completely reinvent the zombie genre and flip it on its head. What makes it different is that this one is actually fun.

Take the first-person parkour from Mirror’s Edge, add a sprinkle of Evolve’s multiplayer, layer them on top of Dead Island, and Dying light is exactly what you get. 

The game can switch from terrifying scares and combat-avoiding tension to fun power-fantasy zombie-killing and back again in an instant.

Dying Light is a game that has something for everybody, it juggles a lot of things but never bites more than it can chew.

By the way, did I mention that you can dropkick zombies from a skyscraper? Because you can totally dropkick zombies from a skyscraper.   

6. Catherine (PC / PS3 / XBOX 360)

Catherine Announcement Trailer.

I’m well aware that whenever I mention horror videogames everybody’s first thought is “Dating Sim Puzzle Platformer that explores the nature of romantic relationships in a brutal depiction of modern love.” But hear me out before you toss Catherine aside for being unoriginal. 

Catherine is a cult classic, beloved and renowned by gamers from all walks of life.

The story is original, funny, and intriguing. The gameplay is fun and challenging, and the horror and romance work together brilliantly. It all makes for a game unlike any other.

Not only that, but Catherine is surprisingly insightful. Like all the best horror, it turns your head to the weird and frightening aspects of real life and uses its deformed lens to show you the grotesque hiding in plain sight.

Catherine might not be for everyone. But it’s great for gamers that enjoy puzzles, a challenge, a well-written story, memorable characters, horror that haunts you when you close your eyes and/or thinking in general.

5. Dead Space 2 (PC / PS3 / XBOX 360)

Dead Space 2 Launch Trailer.

The original Dead Space showed the possibilities of sci-fi horror in gaming in a way that hadn’t been explored before, and the sequel expanded on everything that made the original great, and we don’t talk about Dead Space 3.

Three years after the events of the original game, Isaac Clarke finds himself trapped in a space station overrun by Necromorphs, corpses brought to life by a mysterious alien infection.

Isaac will have to fight more than just monsters this time, as he faces the horrors that plague his mind and threaten to drive him insane. 

How the whole thing ends is a mystery because WE DON’T TALK ABOUT DEAD SPACE 3.

Dead Space 2 is a little more action-heavy than its predecessor, but it never undercuts the terror created by the story, ambiance, and gameplay.

Whatever kind of horror, you can bet that Dead Space 2 can manage it effectively, be it cosmic horror, body horror, psychological horror, monster h...  

4. Resident Evil 7 (PC / PS4 / XBOX One / Nintendo Switch)

Resident Evil 7 Launch Trailer.

RE 7 was a breath of fresh air for a franchise that was on its last. 

After the disastrous RE 6, Capcom took a moment to re-evaluate what made Resident Evil great in the first place and build from the ground up.

The result was a tense, first-person psychological horror experience that preserves the soul of Resident Evil while telling a completely new story.

The game even received criticism for being, at times, “too scary to play”.

In RE 7, you play as Ethan Winters, as you find yourself trapped in a house with a family of cannibalistic and murderous mutants, as you try to find your wife who supposedly died 3 years ago.

Think Silent Hill combined with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, enhanced by the terrifying visuals offered by the RE engine.   

3. The Evil Within 2 (PC / PS4 / XBOX One)

The Evil Within 2 – E3 Announcement Trailer.

The Evil Within is… not great. The long-awaited return to horror by director Shinji Mikami had some interesting ideas, but it explored them all in a very underwhelming manner. Which explains why so many people slept on the sequel, The Evil Within 2.   

They shouldn’t have.

The Evil Within 2 is fantastic. It’s everything its prequel wishes it was, it’s terrifying, intriguing, emotionally resonant, and delightfully self-indulgent.

The Evil Within 2 follows as Sebastian Castellanos looks for his daughter in the nightmare-infested world of STEM. A virtual world constructed from the psyche of those who enter.

Imagine the Animus but with a lot more chainsaw monsters.

It’s a story you’ve heard a hundred times already, but it all feels new when the execution is this flawless.

The Evil Within 2 does horror open-world like few others, the monster design is original and phenomenal, and it can have you screaming, laughing, and crying at a moment’s notice.

There are no two ways about it: The Evil Within 2 is one of the best horror games of the decade, and arguably one of the best of all time.      

2. Alien: Isolation (PC / Mac / PS4 / PS3 / XBOX One / XBOX 360 / Nintendo Switch)

Alien: Isolation - Alien Trailer.

Alien: Isolation has you playing Ripley’s daughter, investigating the fate of her mother and the crew of the U.S.C.S.S. Nostromo.

The game does a lot of things great, the level design, the graphics, and the sound. Every system, every detail works to create an immersive horror game.

But there’s one thing that sets this game apart and puts it in a league of its own: the Antagonist.

The Alien is not only beautifully designed, but also programed masterfully. Making the most of some of the best enemy AI to date, the Alien can hunt you down, misdirect and trick you in a way that hasn’t been replicated since.

Isolation gives you a formidable foe and it demands that you use your wits and your bravery to rise to the occasion, just like Ripley did in her time.

The game is not for the faint of heart, it doesn’t go easy on you, and you shouldn’t expect to win every time. 

Many games will tell you that the odds are stacked against you. In Alien: Isolation, they truly are.   

1. Resident Evil 4 (PC / PS4 / PS3 / PS2 / XBOX One / XBOX 360 / Nintendo Switch / Nintendo Wii / Gamecube / Android / iOS)

Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD Edition Trailer.

In Resident Evil 4, you return to the boots of Leon Kennedy. This time, the president’s daughter has been kidnaped by a strange cult located in Spain, and it’s up to you to save her.

The GOAT, the OG, the grandaddy. If you’ve played any third-person shooters or survival horror games in the last fifteen years you have felt this game’s influence on the medium.

Resident Evil 4 meant a completely new direction for the franchise. Changing gears from the spooktacular camp of abandoned mansions to a combat-oriented focus.

The subsequent entries in the franchise might have fumbled the ball, but there’s no denying the impact that RE 4 had on the medium.

Not only did it reinvent a formula that was starting to go a little stale, what made four great was its attention to detail and its acute sense of balance.

The game wasn’t just a not-zombie punching extravaganza. It was filled with moments of levity to outweigh the tension. It had calm whenever the action got too crazy. It didn’t take itself too seriously, but it always respected what it was trying to achieve.

I mean, go back and read the list of available platforms! A game doesn’t get re-made a thousand times over unless the public keeps asking for more.  

Horror isn’t a part of the AAA industry the same way it was way back when, and it’s true that we’ve had some spectacular misses in the last few years. But the big-name developers have and still are producing some fantastic pieces of horror gaming that must be played by anyone that considers themselves a horror fan.

So don’t worry, horror hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s still there.

No, I mean right there, like, right behind you. Don’t turn around. 

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The rumor goes that Andrew sprung fully formed from a glitch in the Gamecube version of Enter the Matrix. Which is probably why no one bought that game. He enjoys games, Dnd, and getting gremlins wet.
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Red Dead Redemption 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Dead Space 2

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