[Top 15] Games Best Played with Headphones on

Immersion at its finest

Experiencing games for us players ranges differently from our play styles. Consoles, PC, or handhelds take up the different mediums we can partake in our favorite titles.

How we choose to enjoy these games vary, we can use controllers, motion tracking, VR headsets, or with a remote. 

Sound designs in these games are the top notch things that take up how great a scene can be.

The reveal of an enemy, boss battle music, or the ambient scores in the background are better heard with headphones. These are the top 15 games that are better played with headphones.

15. South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 2017 (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)

Fight off demons, henchmen, and cops (not condoning retaliation against the law) in this exciting turn based RPG

The second installment to the Ubisoft South Park games comes this superhero themed outing with Cartman and the gang (or should I say, Coon and Friends) as they traverse the town of South Park to find Scrambles the cat to get a 100 dollar reward so that they can fund their superhero franchise and defeat another group of superheroes, The Super Friends.

The gameplay is solid as it builds upon from The Stick of Truth’s turn based mechanics and vastly improves upon it with better visuals, cool superhero powers, and funny banter in between the characters.

But what really seals the deal to make you play this with headphones? 2 words, Spontaneous Bootay.

Choose this game if you like:

  • Trademark South Park toilet humor
  • RPG elements built into the character you create with tons of customization options
  • Turn based mechanics where you have to prioritize strategy and planning to beat your enemies

South Park: The Fractured But Whole Trailer - E3 2016

14. The Evil Within 2 - 2017 (PS4, PC, Xbox One)

Eye see you

The follow up to the highly underrated 2014 game The Evil Within. This sequel follows Sebastian Castellanos again as he is retrieved by a shadowy organization that forces him to go inside the STEM system once more to retrieve his daughter, who he once thought was dead.

Played through an over the shoulder perspective, you shoot your way through a semi open world using your pistol, shotgun, and the trademark agony crossbow to battle mutated humans and disgusting bosses to get to your ultimate goal.

The reason why this game is better played with headphones is it gives you an advantage over your enemies where you can hear their wails or footsteps to avoid them in stealth sections and so that you can hear this games beautiful version of Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune 

Choose this game if you like:

  • Horror gameplay with 3rd person shooting mechanics
  • Variable enemy designs and satisfying RPG elements
  • Shinji Mikami directed games (Resident Evil’s original game director all the way to Resident Evil 4)

The Evil Within 2 Trailer (E3 2017)

13. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - 2015 (PS4, PC, Xbox One, Switch, PS5 Xbox Series X/S)

A definite must play. I mean just look at this screenshot. Still looks good 8 years since release

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for 8 years, you already know why this game has been in almost every gaming list imaginable since 2015.

Set in the Continent, which is based on Slavic folklore, you play as Geralt of Rivia. A monster hunter for hire called a Witcher where he sets out to find his adopted daughter, Ciri, all the while cutting down literal armies of monsters

The magnum opus of CD Projekt Red, it has held up its title as being one of the best games ever made due to its expansive map size, compelling stories, satisfying combat with magic elements, and the most colorful characters you can ever encounter in gaming.

Why should you play with headphones? Background score in battles or even just wandering the countryside is one of the most hypnotizing soundtracks you’ll ever hear.

Choose this game if you like

  • A full on 100 hour plus playthrough with an engaging narrative
  • One of the most well crafted RPG UI’s ever in game
  • One of the best soundtracks and background scores to have ever been made.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Killing Monsters Cinematic Trailer

12. Spider-Man: Miles Morales - 2020 (PS4, PS5, PC)

Sometimes, a leap of faith is what you need to move forward

Introduced in the 2018 Spider-Man game made by Insomniac, Miles Morales (also known as the ultimate Spider-Man in the comics) makes his superhero debut in his titularly named solo outing.

We take control of Miles Morales, who has more or less the same powers as Peter Parker’s Spider-Man with additional superpowers such as invisibility and bioelectricity.

He uses these powers to combat a new threat to the city of New York known as The Underground led by the nefarious Tinkerer who he may be more connected to than we realize.

Gameplay is similar to the 2018 game but with added mechanics such as the invisibility and bioelectricity.

Satisfyingly also in this game we can see the differences between Miles and Peter such as during web swinging where Peter is more graceful as he swings while we can see Miles flop around and struggle a bit as he is just getting used to his powers.

The soundtrack to this game is why you should do your playthrough with headphones on. Hip-hop tracks and booming beats makes you feel the exaggerated swagger of a black teen.

Choose this game if you like:

  • A more visually exciting take on the 2018 game with added gameplay mechanics
  • An engaging story that sets up the 2023 Spider-Man sequel that will include Venom
  • Into the Spider-Verse integrated suit. That suit is worth the grind.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Launch Trailer PS5,PS4

11. Batman: Arkham Knight - 2015 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

He is vengeance. He is the night. RIP Kevin Conroy. You made our childhoods awesome

Voiced by the legendary Kevin Conroy in one of his last few video game outings as the Dark Knight. Arkham Knight is the third installment in the Arkham series as we wrap up the trilogy with the titular character who is first introduced in this game.

Batman sets out on a quest to save Gotham as Scarecrow and Arkham Knight team up to finally try and kill the caped crusader.

The game introduces the batmobile as it is fully drivable in the game as it battles hundreds of tanks deployed around the city all the while battling other popular Batman villains such as Professor Pyg, Firefly, Deacon Blackfire, Two-Face, and other famous rogues.

Gameplay is similar to City and Asylum along with its combat system and stealth mechanics coupled with the gadgets Batman uses to take down enemies. 

Main reason why you should play this game with headphones is the ambiance this game brings with a rainy Gotham at night bringing about an atmosphere that keeps you immersed and also the numerous Joker hallucinations in this game that brings a certain level of creep factor as The Joker returns as a constant enemy in the Batman’s mind, and in yours.

Choose this game if you like:

  • Playing as Batman and being a terrifying version of Batman to boot
  • Stealth and combat mechanics that perfectly encapsulates the brutality of the Dark Knight’s skills
  • Controlling the Batmobile which has been demanded for by fans since the release of Arkham Asylum

Official Batman: Arkham Knight Announce Trailer - “Father to Son”

10. Until Dawn - 2015 (PS4)

Before Rami Malek won his 1st Oscar, he was first tied up in a shed to be executed for shits and giggles

The game that revitalized horror at a time when horror games were turning into action shooters.

Until Dawn is a 2015 narrative driven horror game where you have to take control of 6 different individuals and guide them through the night as they try to survive a cabin in the woods style horror predicament against a psycho killer and something else.

With a star studded cast that boasts Peter Stormare (John Wick, Armageddon), Hayden Panettiere (Heroes), and oscar winner Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody).

The game is a well acted love letter to classic horror movie tropes while keeping things new and refreshing with split second decision making and top notch tension building that is mainly helped by its stellar soundtrack and creepy score that is one of the top reasons why you should definitely play this on headphones.

The eerie mountain settings with the wind howling and the snow falling with every rustle and branch break you hear in the distance, it brings a sense of dread that only quality horror movies and games can bring.

Choose this game if you like:

  • A narrative driven game focused on horror and suspense
  • A stellar cast with graphics that still hold up 8 years to the day of its release
  • Multiple endings that turn out depending on the player's choices throughout the playthrough

Until Dawn - Launch Trailer PS4

9. God of War - 2018 (PS4, PC)

Holding up a head to a giant snake with your son next to you. Normal father and son activities

Set 150 years after Kratos tried and failed to un-life himself with the Blade of Olympus, we find ourselves in Midgard where it is the staging ground of Norse mythology and a new set of gods rule such as Thor, Baldur, and Odin.

Kratos in this game has grown older and wiser, a complete 180 degrees to his character in the original Greek trilogy of the God of War games.

Acting as a soft reboot of the franchise, we are also joined by Kratos’ son, Atreus, as he and Kratos go on a deeply personal adventure asKratos teaches his son to survive and not to follow the path he once lived.

Gameplay is engaging and the story is widely considered to be one of the best to be made in game and even earning the 2018 Game of the Year award.

A new weapon is introduced in the game mainly being the leviathan ax which holds in it ice powers and the ability for Kratos to recall it back to his hand as he uses it also for long range combat.

One of the main reasons you should play this using headphones is to hear the absolute power of the World Serpent as he speaks to Kratos numerous times in the playthrough.

Rarely does a game ever encapsulate the sheer enormity of a character just by his voice but God of War does it and then some.

Choose this game if you like:

  • Norse mythology I mean of course who doesn't like Norse Mythology
  • Smooth weapon gameplay and RPG elements that were not available in previous God of War games
  • One of the best stories of parenthood and personal growth to be translated in gaming.

God of War - Story Trailer PS4

8. Red Dead Redemption 2 - 2018 (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia)

A silhouette is all you’ll need to be introduced to, in my opinion, the best game ever made

A tale of loyalty, robberies, crime, family, loss, and redemption. RDR 2 is the sequel and the prequel to Rockstar Games 2010 game, Red Dead Redemption.

5 years since its release, it has held up its status as one of the most detailed games EVER and one of the most visually stunning open worlds in gaming. 

We follow the path of Arthur Morgan, who is the right hand man of Dutch van der Linde (who is introduced in the first game as one of the main villains) and also John Marston when he was part of his outlaw gang as they go from town to town and the numerous robberies and crimes they commit to be able to have enough money to live another life in another country.

There are a multitude of different gameplay elements from hunting, fishing, gambling, heists, bounty hunting, which can all be made into their own separate games.

Gunplay is focused on six shooters and repeaters as the game takes place in the year 1899 where you have to use your quickness to survive in the dying days of the wild west.

Why should you play this game on headphones? Simple. Immersion.

Rarely can I say that every part of a game is flawless but RDR 2 is the exception. Every single movement, sound, gun cock, animal noise, even wind is highly detailed in the sound design and is absolutely crisp when you use headphones in your playthrough.

Choose this game if you like:

  • The most detailed open world ever made. From shrinking horse testicles to NPC’s living their own lives in the game, this game has it all.
  • A lengthy playthrough clocking into 50 hours where each character is fleshed out and every decision you make leads to something bigger.
  • An absolutely beautiful poignant story with one of gaming's best ever characters, Arthur Morgan, as he tries to earn his redemption one good deed at a time.

Red Dead Redemption 2: Official Trailer 3

7. Ghost of Tsushima - 2020 (PS4, PS5)

This photo goes hard. Feel free to screenshot

Set during the first mongol invasion of Japan, we are taken to the island of Tsushima in Japan where we play as Jin Sakai,  an honorable samurai and the nephew of Tsushima’s Jito (ruler), who must forgo his samurai code of honor to save his home, even if it means he has to turn into something he is not.

Released in 2020 and developed by Sucker Punch studios, the story and gameplay in this game are one of the best that Sony has ever published, even earning it the coveted People’s Choice Award in 2020’s Game of the Year Awards.

Playing as Jin, you use a samurai katana to cut down the mongol army along with other weapons such as kunai, smoke bombs, and poison darts, weapons that are considered dishonorable to a samurai.

The sound design for this game is as immersive as it gets with the ambient sounds of nature as you ride your horse through Tsushima’s open fields, steel on steel hitting each other as you fight mongols, and the guiding wind which is this game's waypoint system.

Choose this game if you like:

  • A Kurosawa inspired game that takes inspirations from the iconic directors numerous samurai movies.
  • A game where you can switch up your playstyle from stealth to brute force to long range attacks with a satisfying parry mechanic
  • A riveting and emotional tale that makes us choose between honor or salvation.

Ghost of Tsushima - The Ghost PS4

6. The Last of Us Part II - 2020 (PS4)

Never piss off a woman. Moreover, NEVER piss off a woman who is deadly accurate with a bow and arrow

The winner of 2020’s Game of the Year award and also numerous other awards to its name, The Last of Us Part II brings to us an absolutely beautiful follow up to Naughty Dog’s 2013 masterpiece, The Last of Us.

In this sequel we now take control of Ellie and a new character named Abby as they both embark on their own separate quests through a cordyceps fungus infested United States for revenge and self actualization which blurs the lines on what is right and wrong.

Gameplay is similar to the first game albeit with some deviations such as being able to crawl prone rather than just sneaking, health status effects such as health constantly decreasing due to an arrow shot, and the introduction of animal enemies in the game.

The story has been divisive to the fanbase but an absolute masterclass in the eyes of critics and journalists. 

But for the headphone usage aspect of this game, nothing quite beats the tension of sneaking around and hiding against cordyceps infected humans such as the Clickers and Stalkers as you hide around a corner while listening closely to their footsteps and clicks.

Also The Rat King, you’ll find out what it is once you’ve played this game.

Choose this game if you like:

  • A near perfect sequel to the original The Last of Us
  • One of the most fluid combat mechanics in gaming. No lag or late responses to every button press for attacking and or sneaking
  • A game that will 100 percent make you cry

The Last of Us Part II - Official Story Trailer

5. Resident Evil 2 Remake - 2019 (PS4, PC, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)

The 90’s trend of posing dramatically in the rain carried over into the 2019 remake of this game

Usually remakes are a bad sign that a game studio has lost all creative direction so they go back to what worked for them in the past.

But out of the numerous bad remakes that exist, Resident Evil 2 is the one shining example out of a multitude of bad decisions.

Released in 2019 and published by Capcom, Resident Evil 2 mainly reinvents the original into a modernized version through a 3rd person over the shoulder perspective.

We take control of either Claire Redfield or Leon S. Kennedy as they try to navigate Raccoon City to try and find out the cause of the outbreak and possibly save more cities from befalling the same fate as theirs.

Gameplay is a smooth rendition of the Resident Evil formula with resource management being dictated by how big the inventory space.

Gunplay is similar with previous resident evil games but with this remake being more focused on horror rather than the guns blazing approach of RE 6.  Puzzles in the game are also easy to solve with their solutions being the key to the next part of the story.  

But what really seals the deal for you to play this with headphones on is for you to hear the footfalls of Mr. X.

A mutated and infected human called a tyrant that is tasked by the Umbrella Corporation to hunt down and kill any surviving individuals in the city to leave no witnesses to tell their story to the world.

The absolute tension of playing hide and seek with this hulking monstrosity is unparalleled in terms of the resident evil series.

Choose this game if you like:

  • A refreshing and gorgeous looking take on a beloved classic from the Resident Evil Series
  • Classic 90’s survival horror translated into 2019 graphics
  • Redesigned Resident Evil engine that will dictate the future of the franchise which so far has been pulled off quite well.

Resident Evil 2 - Launch Trailer - PS4

4. GTA V - 2013 (PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S)

Our crime companions for the past 10 years. I mean seriously when will GTA 6 be released.

One of the best selling games of all time racking up 6 billion dollars in revenue since its release, GTA 5 holds its ground as being the stuff of legend in terms of support, content, and replayability ten years since its release.

GTA 5 is a 2013 action-adventure game published by Rockstar Games and acts as the 7th main entry in the GTA franchise. There are 3 playable characters being Franklin, Michael, and Trevor.

We go on their multiple missions and adventures individually or together as they are entangled in a government conspiracy while they simultaneously find ways to find a way out while doing heists for the government or for themselves.

Reasons why you should play this game with headphones on? The radio stations while you drive.

There's nothing quite like committing virtual vehicular manslaughter while Britney Spears playsor you run away from the cops while Mississippi Queen is blasting from the radio.

Every scene becomes atmospheric and special depending on the music that plays in the background while you do every crime imaginable to man.

Choose this game if you like:

  • GTA. I mean it's GTA. What more can you say?
  • 3 playable characters with differing abilities in between them
  • A lengthy playthrough that will take you at least 50 to 60 hours to finish at best



Grand Theft Auto V: Michael. Franklin. Trevor

3. Doom - 2016 (PS4, PC, Xbox One, Switch, Google Stadia)

Normal day in Ohio

Another iteration to a classic game not as a remake, but as a reboot. Doom comes to this list, guns blazing as we take the reins of the Doom Slayer as we trudge through the planet of Mars where a portal to hell is opened and it's up to the Doom Slayer to kill every single demon that resides in hell.

Gameplay is done through a 1st person perspective although it can be played in the classic middle gun placement like the original Doom game.

Story is more fleshed out than any of the previous Doom games which sets up an expansive universe to its story.

Why should you play this game with headphones on? Have you ever played as a badass demon killer while heavy metal music plays in the background? No? Well you’ve come to the right place.

Every single enemy counter that comes up, the awesome electric guitar riffs play and makes every battle adrenaline pumping.

Choose this game if you like:

  • First shooter games that bring tense and fun action sequences paired with awesome background music
  • A continuation, and the salvation, of the Doom franchise which all but seemed dead before this games release
  • Glory kills where you basically back hand demons into oblivion.

Doom - Fight like Hell Cinematic Trailer

2. Guardians of the Galaxy - 2021 (Switch, PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)

You can almost hear the 80’s music playing in this photo

If the MCU version of the Guardians has taught us anything is that space and retro 80’s pop culture mix really well.

Published by Square Enix and developed by Eidos Montreal, Guardians of the Galaxy is a narrative driven action-adventure game set somewhere in the galaxy as we play as Star Lord along with Gamora, Rocket, Groot, and Drax as they set out on a quest to battle the galaxy destroying Universal Church of Truth.

Although we only play as Star Lord, we are also able to control the other Guardians as we use their powers as an assist type of mechanic to help us in battle or solve puzzles.

This game also brings with it the trademark Guardians of the Galaxy style retro aesthetic that made them beloved in the first place.

Why play this game with headphones you may ask? Simple. A buttload of classic 80’s music that Star Lord plays everytime he goes into battle with the Guardians and even better when they all team up and get their stats boosted by the music.

Fighting a giant space dragon while Jitterbug plays? Yes. Yes please sign me up please.

Choose this game if you like:

  • A carefully crafted game that perfectly translates the Guardians of the Galaxy movies into video games with every nuance of the film Guardians being perfectly emulated by the game Guardians.
  • 80’s music. Everyone loves 80’s music
  • A riveting story that can morph between funny to serious to emotional at a drop of a time and do it perfectly.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy - World Premiere Trailer - E3 2021

1. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice - 2017 (PS4, PC, Xbox One, Switch, Xbox Series X/S)

Come at me, creepy skeleton bro

Rarely does a game ever talk about mental health problems and almost never even made into the central focus of a game's plot.

But Ninja Theory did exactly that and have absolutely given it justice with their 2017 game, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

We play as Senua, a Norse woman who travels to Helheim to find her dead lover.

Throughout her quest she is plagued by a curse and voices in her head she calls “furies” while being followed by “The Darkness' ' which is the center of the curse. 

Playing this game is a once in a generation type of experience. There are combat sections with satisfying parry mechanics and multiple puzzles to be solved but what is the core to this game are the voices that Senua hears in her head.

When played through speakers, you can hear these voices but the actual effect it does is better experienced using headphones.

The 3D sound it generates makes you hear these voices in your own head where it questions every action, every puzzle solution, and every direction you go through in the course of the game.

During development of this game, Ninja Theory actually met up with neuroscientists, mental health specialists, and people who are actually diagnosed with psychosis so that they can get an accurate depiction of what the disease will feel like in game.

It is a dark and gritty experience that will make you question literally everything you do.

Choose this game if you like:

  • A respectfully made game in line with actual mental health problems to give the issue a wider audience for it to be understood
  • A combat system with satisfying parry mechanics 
  • A norse mythology centered game unlike anything in the market

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - The Senua Trailer/ PS4

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In the year 1996, where boys of the backstreet reigned, a boy was born in the distant lands of The Philippines. He eventually grew up to be a gaming wiz with an affinity for cowboy hats and chicken
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Red Dead Redemption
Top 3 Favorite Games:Borderlands 2, South Park: The Stick of Truth, The Walking Dead

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