[Top 15] Little Known Horror Games That Are Surprisingly Good

Little Known Horror Games
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Hello, everyone! With the highly anticipated release of Resident Evil 4 Remake upon us, I figured now would be a great time to talk about some of the lesser-known horror games that are beckoning you to play them. There’s something satisfying about playing horror games, whether it’s the adrenaline-fueled chase moments from an unkillable creature or the calm moments in between that can be just as unsettling. Horror games can make you second guess the trick of the mind or, more importantly, grant you the courage to face your demons. Today, we are going through the top 15 little-known horror games that turned out surprisingly good!

So, grab your flashlights! Arm yourself with some two by fours! And here’s a lockpick! Maybe you—the master of unlocking—can make it to the end of the list.

15. Cold Fear - 2005 (PS2/PC/XBOX)

Cold Fear - FULL GAME Walkthrough Gameplay No Commentary

In Cold Fear, you play as Tom Hansen—yes, I know, a pretty basic name—a Coast Guard John Wick tasked with uncovering a mysterious and sinister plot involving the Russian mafia and the CIA, all during a chaotic storm onboard a whaling ship. Oh, and the crew has been turned into mindless, parasitic zombies. Now, on the surface, Cold Fear doesn’t seem all that interesting, having released just a few months after the behemoth, Resident Evil 4, and as a result, the game was unfairly criticized for being too similar to Resi 4’s gameplay and falling short. But there’s a lot that makes Cold Fear worth a try. At least once.

Why You Should Play Cold Fear

For starters, Cold Fear is one of the only real horror games  that was published by Ubisoft, which is pretty crazy to think about in retrospect. Secondly, Cold Fear’s strengths come from its nice balance of being eerie and intense all at once. From the creepy silence that fills the inside of the ship to the explosive gunfights that can take you off guard in a moment’s notice. As you explore the ship, you’ll be met with environmental hazards that you will need to overcome to achieve your objective.

There’s also an emphasis on balancing yourself as you tread across the exterior of the ship, seeing that it sways almost always from left to right, making sure that your resistance bar doesn’t deplete. And if it does, off the ship you go! Also, something that’s unique with Cold Fear is its use of over-the-shoulder gunplay like in RE4, but in moments when you’re scrounging through the whaler ship, you’ll be treated with a fixed camera angle. Sound familiar?

You’ll have plenty of firepower, too, to deal with those pesky Russian mercenaries and zombies. Shotguns, assault rifles, and your trusty handgun. Admittedly, Cold Fear doesn’t excel at everything that it sets out to do, but it is shockingly decent, and despite its short run time, you’d be hard pressed to find a game as unique as Cold Fear, and I’ll stand by that.

Fun Factor: 70/100

Tom Hansen exploring the exterior of the ship.


14. Signalis - 2022 (Xbox One/Series X and S/PS4 and PS5/Nintendo Switch/PC)


Signalis puts you in the shoes of Elster, a humanoid machine called a Replika, in search of someone close to her named Ariane, set in the backdrop of a dystopian future in an unknown solar system, where the fictional nation of Eusan makes use of advanced technology to create androids that do the hard work that'd normally be done by humans. As you attempt to search for Ariane, you’ll have to fight off other Replika units that have malfunctioned and are out to get you.

What Makes Signalis Good

What I personally love about Signalis is the fictional setting that you get to explore. Yes, there are jump scares and some that will take you by surprise, and the gameplay is very reminiscent of old-school survival horror games like Resident Evil, but the world that you’re dropped into is by far the most unique aspect of this game. Unlike our fifteenth spot, Signalis has a rich world that begs to be uncovered. The files here not only add flavor to the game but also give you a different perspective on the enemies you fight—what they were before, what made them go rogue—and it’s not a bad thing too that the game has some pretty haunting music to go along with your experience. Clocking in at about six-ish hours, Signalis definitely deserves your time if you’re a fan of survival horror and the stories it has to offer.

Fun Factor: 90/100

Elster’s got her hands full with some rogue Replika units.


13. Claire: Extended Cut - 2016 (Xbox One/PS4/PS Vita/PC)

Claire Extended Cut - Platinum Walkthrough - Trophy & Achievement Guide - All Collectibles

Okay, Claire: Extended Cut is as underrated as it gets. Taking inspiration from classic horror titles like Silent Hill and the more recent Lone Survivor, Claire: Extended Cut sees you playing as the titular character, Claire. It even has a plot you’d find in a Silent Hill game: waking up in a hospital with no memory as to how you got there. The less said, the better with this one.

Why Claire: E.C. Deserves Your Time

Claire: Extended Cut is a relatively short horror game, and there’s not much in the way of combat, so if you are a fan of games like Silent Hill and Fatal Frame, where gameplay takes a backseat to the story, then this is for you. It’s been a while since I played it myself, but the music reminded me of the score of Team Silent’s masterpieces, especially SH2. There’s a strong emphasis on backtracking and finding items that you’ll need to progress through the game. The monsters here are also terrifying, especially for a 2-D side-scroller.

Fun Factor: 80/100

Claire with her trusty canine companion, Anubis.


12. White Night - 2015 (Xbox One/PS4/Nintendo Switch/PC/IOS and Android)

WHITE NIGHT HQ 1080p/60fps Full HD Walkthrough Longplay No Commentary

In White Night, you crash by Vesper's mansion and have little choice but to find refuge inside, only to find that the night has only just begun and you must survive with nothing but matches to light your way. White Night is a horror puzzle game that sees you escape from the things that lurk in the dark.

Horror Goes Noir

White Night makes great use of the time period it’s set in by making the graphics monochromatic and giving the experience a noir feel. You won’t find that in most triple-A horror games nowadays, and to add to the noir feel, your main character narrates as the game plays as well. White Night won’t have you fighting enemies, as it will have you running away from them, and in most horror games that do this, it normally feels tedious and frustrating. The entire time I played White Night, I didn’t encounter this. The entire three- to four-hour experience had me playing the game in one sitting. The puzzles can be quite the head scratcher though.

Fun Factor: 85/100

White Night’s graphical style oozes throughout the entire experience.


11. Night of the Consumers - 2020 (PC)


The Night of the Consumers is very unsettling, and it really shouldn’t be. The basic premise is this: You’re a lowly retail worker starting your first shift in a supermarket. Simple, right? It is, until you’re met with the horrifying-looking customers, nagging you to help them find a certain product. If you fail within a certain time—mostly within seconds—that’s when the real horror begins. Run from your manager before he catches you.

Why Night of the Consumers Is So Fun

Night of the Consumers captures the stress of working in retail. Sure, you won’t be chased by a psychotic-looking manager in real life, but the fear of always doing your job right can be more horrific than some of the games on this list. Night of the Consumers manages to put this kind of stress front and center, with players scrambling to find the right aisle to escort the many manic customers that are up in their faces. The absurd requests range from getting a new toaster to finding a lady’s infant while you hear the scarring whines of a baby somewhere in the store. This is the kind of game that Adult Swim would love to publish. Still, there is something serene about the quiet moments in between—as little as they are—where you are stocking shelves, accompanied by soothing music, all for it to come crashing down when you hear the frantic footsteps of a customer behind you. The fail-state jump scare will get you ten times out of ten. It’s the stuff of nightmares. That’s why I recommend it!

Fun Factor: 90/100

Just one of the many errands you’ll be running.


10. Lakeview Cabin Collection - 2013 (PC)

Lakeview Cabin Collection Full Speedrun in 39'35''02'''

Sometimes you wanna play a horror game and not be scared. Perhaps you want to play something that gives off spooky vibes, maybe like being a helpless victim inside a slasher film. Lakeview Cabin Collection does just that. Set in a movie theater, you’re given free range to "try out" different movies, all of which see you play as one of many victims of a slasher flick.

Why Lakeview Cabin Collection Is Surprisingly Good

Lakeview Cabin Collection reminds me of flash games you’d find on Newgrounds, and if you’ve been itching to play a game that transports you back to a simpler time, when there wasn’t much to a horror game other than its simple mechanics, Lakeview Cabin Collection fits the bill. Not only will you find a goldmine of horror movie references, but they're oftentimes the main showcase throughout the game. Since you’re playing as the victim in these "films", you’ll have traps at your disposal to help you become the final guy or girl. It's fun pixelated graphics leave the more gory parts to your imagination, and by the end of it, you’ll be wanting to jump back in and try different methods of survival. Either way, this is a great game that should be more popular, and it’s a perfect title to play during Halloween season.

Fun Factor: 70/100

Something’s not right in this scene.


9. I’m on Observation Duty - 2018 (PC)

I'm on observation duty gameplay

If you ever wondered whether surveillance monitoring sounded like a good gig, you should give, I’m on Observation Duty, a try. Maybe it’ll change your mind. In this title, you’re tasked with monitoring various rooms a la FNAF and spotting any anomalies that pop up on the screen. It starts out mundane enough, but soon you’ll be finding some pretty sinister stuff.

Why You Should Play I’m on Observation Duty

I’m on Observation Duty is a relatively easy-to-play title with simple controls, but its real charm comes from taking the terrifying elements of Five Nights at Freddy’s and turning them up to eleven. It’s also short, so you won’t be having to check your heart rate every hour. Unlike the other games on this list, this one can be elevated by having a few of your friends over to play alongside you, easing the tension a little. It’s definitely worth a try, even if it’s just for one play session.

Fun Factor: 65/100

Is that a smudge on the camera?


8. Anatomy - 2016 (PC)

Anatomy (Full Playthrough + No Commentary)

By far the shortest game you could play on this list, clocking in at about thirty to forty minutes, Anatomy sees you exploring a home in almost pitch-black darkness, save for the small red light on a tape recorder that you must listen to while an unknown narrator gives you the anatomy of a home and its correlation to the human body. It’s pretty gnarly stuff. It’s a game that’s relatively cheap, but looks can be deceiving. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this short horror experience is anything but cheap. It’s by far the most unsettling game on this list.

Play Anato(Me)

What makes Anatomy such a terrifying experience isn’t its graphics or gameplay mechanics, there isn’t much in the way of both here. What is here, is a game whose only objective is to get under your skin and stay there for its entire playtime. Adding to this, is the tapes you find and the voice that comes out of the tape recorder that makes you uneasy throughout. You know you don’t want to keep going, but the writing in the game is intriguing enough to make you see it through to the end. For the asking price of $2.99 or more (depending on how much you’re willing to support the indie developer), Anatomy is criminally underrated, and more people should be paying this home a visit.

Fun Factor: 92/100

Go ahead and press play.


7. The Last Stand: Aftermath - 2021 (PS5 and PS4/Xbox Series X and S/PC)

THE LAST STAND: AFTERMATH PS5 4K Gameplay (No Commentary)

Earlier I spoke about Newgrounds, and The Last Stand: Aftermath had its start on the website as one of the more popular games to be released there. It’s nice to see a flash game get turned into a full-fledged video game experience for modern day consoles. For the uninitiated, The Last Stand: Aftermath, is a rogue-lite action horror RPG that sees you play as multiple survivors as you scour the post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies of every variety, attempting to get a good run and scavenge for supplies and powerful weapons. Those who have played games like Hades or Dead Cells, know what kind of game they’re getting into with The Last Stand: Aftermath. A highly addictive and intense gaming experience.

Why The Last Stand: Aftermath is awesome

Though this might be one of the less scary video games on this list, it is still very intense. The feeling of running low on gas and risking sneaking into a zombie-infested gas station is unparalleled. Knowing the survivor you are playing with can die at a moment’s notice with some pretty sweet gear can make you sweat profusely. I love the mechanic of going back into the world with another survivor and attempting to pick up where the last one left off, and I’ve yet to see a game, aside from State of Decay and now The Last Stand: Aftermath, approach a zombie game like this. 

The gameplay loop is addicting and lives up to the title, as you will eventually have to fight off hordes of zombies and make your... last stand. Sorry. For the asking price of $29.99, it’s definitely worth your time. More eyes should be on it!

Fun Factor: 82/100

There are no rules. We’re lost.


6. Neverending Nightmares - 2014 (PS4/PS Vita/Nintendo Switch/PC)

The Whole Nightmare - Neverending Nightmares Full Game Walkthrough

Now we’re getting into the really good stuff. These next few games, I truly believe, should have more people playing them. Neverending Nightmares is the result of one man’s real-life struggles with his mental health and turning them into a video game for all to play. You play as Thomas, a man who has the unfortunate fate of waking up from one nightmare after another. Nightmare-ception, if you will, and they get progressively worse as you play.

What Makes Neverending Nightmares Terrifyingly Good

Neverending Nightmares is visually striking. It uses a penciled art style that gives you the feeling that these nightmarish worlds could exist in one’s mind, like it was drawn by an insomniac attempting to show you the demons that haunt his dreams. Neverending Nightmares has no problem scaring the crap out of you, and it wants to do it in the most viscerally shocking way it can. From sudden death animations you don’t see coming to being chased by a giant baby that belongs in The Hills Have Eyes movie. There’s little in the way of gameplay, so I can’t recommend it for everyone, but it’s a little nugget of a horror game that you have to experience once.

Fun Factor: 75/100

Yeah. Pretty scary stuff, here.


5. Condemned 2: Bloodshot - 2008 (PS3/Xbox 360)

Condemned 2 : Bloodshot | Full Game | Longplay Walkthrough No Commentary

If you bought an Xbox 360 when it originally launched, you might have heard of one of its launch titles, Condemned: Criminal Origins. At the time, it was one of the more graphically stunning horror games to come out. What some people might not know is that there was a sequel that was released a few years later. I happen to be one of the few people who still hold a torch for the Condemned series (fingers crossed it’ll make a comeback), and I especially want to highlight the solid sequel. In Condemned 2, you play as returning protagonist, former F.B.I. agent Ethan Thomas—yeah, I know, another basic name—who gets thrust back into the criminal underworld in search of a serial killer cult leader.

Why Condemned 2 is Worth Your Time

From its opening minutes, you’ll be hooked. Even if you haven’t played the first game (which I highly recommend), Condemned 2 sets up the world and the current predicament that Ethan finds himself in efficiently and in enough time for you to start getting into the meat and potatoes of the game. The best way I can describe Condemned 2’s combat is if you mix in the first-person shooting of RE7 with the melee of something like Mirror’s Edge, just a bit more clunky. You’ll be using mannequin legs, planks, axes, and, of course, firearms to neutralize your targets.

The combat can often be a bit frustrating, like a hit not registering, but nothing that can’t be overlooked, especially considering the game does an excellent job of keeping you on your toes, regardless of whether you’re fighting an enemy or not. There are even some investigation mechanics that feel reminiscent of the Batman Arkham games. Be warned, there are some good jump scares in this one, but they are definitely earned.

Fun Factor: 77/100

Ethan using one of the more powerful but limited weapons in the game.


4. Daymare: 1998 - 2019 (PS4/Xbox One/PC)

Daymare 1998 | 4K/60fps | Longplay Walkthrough Gameplay No Commentary

Daymare: 1998 was Invader Studios attempt at making an old school survival horror game in the same spirit of Resident Evil. Hell, the subtitle 1998 is a direct nod to the series' second game time period. You play as three protagonists, an elite soldier a la Hunk from the RE series, an everyday man with little experience with guns, and a pilot from the same elite unit. You must uncover a conspiracy that has turned a small town into a hellish landscape, with interconnecting storylines and multiple endings. All my Resident Evil fans, where you at?

Daymare of the Dead

Admittedly, I have a love/hate relationship with this game. First, I must praise the game’s effort for capturing the spirit of 90’s survival horror games, and in a lot of ways, it exceeded my expectations. The world building in Daymare is intriguing, and more than anything, I want to learn more about HADES—the special elite squad that is sent to clean up this mess—and the events that led up to the disastrous start of the game. At the time of this writing, Invader Studios is cooking up a prequel that will hopefully satisfy those curiosities

But on the other hand, the developers really took clunky combat to heart. The combat in this game is intentionally wonky to add to the tension of dispatching zombies with limited resources, but it often becomes a chore rather than something fun. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really cool that you have to manually load clips to reload faster, and having precise aiming is a must, but don’t expect smooth controls like the ones found in Resident Evil 2 Remake or Dead Space. But if you give it a chance, you’ll find a lot to like here. Puzzles that will have you looking up a guide to find a solution, and preparing for a boss fight... yeah, this is what survival horror is all about. For better or worse.

Fun Factor: 78/100

One of the HADES operators, dispatching some zombies.


3. The Chant - 2022 (PS5/Xbox Series X and S/PC)

THE CHANT Full Gameplay Walkthrough / No Commentary 【FULL GAME】4K UHD

From first time developers, The Chant is about Jess Briars, a woman with a traumatic past who gets invited to a supposedly peaceful retreat by her friend, but it is anything but. After a ritual goes awry, Jess is faced with cosmic creatures and throughout her Midsommar-like experience, she must also face her own inner demons. There’s so much to say about this game so I’m gonna try to do it justice here on this list, but the fact that this game was made by a first time developer is impressive.

Why You Should Retreat to The Chant

The Chant has some of the most unique combat in any survival horror game I’ve played. For starters, you combat enemies with stuff like sage sticks, essential oils, salts, and fire lashes. The weapons here make sense for the story the game is trying to tell. Jess isn’t a trained army specialist. She’s just a regular human being. In fact, you’ll find that Jess is afraid of the dark, and as the player, you must find ways to calm her down, like using your flashlight, or repel panic attacks by meditating. It’s clever, and once you get the hang of the three meters that make up your overall stats (mind, body, and spirit), you’ll be more than well equipped to take down the monstrosities in the game.

These stats aren’t just there for you to keep an eye on either. Based on certain dialog choices you make throughout the game and what stats you choose to prioritize over others, you’ll receive different endings, giving you an incentive to replay the game. The Chant was quietly released last year, and since then, it has garnered some positive reviews, but I still think it is underrated, and I’m sure it will become a cult classic in the years to come.

Fun Factor: 90/100

Nice Halloween mask, bro.


2. Tormented Souls - 2021 (PS4 and PS5/Xbox Series X and S/Nintendo Switch/PC)

Tormented Souls Full Walkthrough

Much like Daymare: 1998, Tormented Souls looks to capture the spirit of 90’s survival horror games, but unlike Daymare, Tormented Souls also looked to recapture what made Silent Hill and Alone in the Dark such excellent psychological horror games as well. You play as Caroline Walker, who goes on a mission to find the whereabouts of two girls who have gone missing inside of a mansion fused with a hospital.

What’s So Unique About Tormented Souls?

Tormented Souls goes so far as to bring in the fixed camera perspective that was present in many old school survival horror games of yesteryear, a bold move that was met with praise by horror fans like myself. The creature design gives Silent Hill a run for its money, with humanoid-looking monsters fused with hospital equipment like wheelchairs and bottomless creatures attached to IVs. It’s nightmarish, and I love it.

The weapons you use are just as fascinating, like a nail gun, a makeshift shotgun made up of pipes, an electric lance, etc. And they all pack a punch. The puzzles are clever and remind me of those found in Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Normally I’d say bad voice acting detracts from games, but what makes horror games so great is that bad voice acting can be just as big a part as the rest of the game, and Tormented Souls seems to embrace it. If you’re a fan of horror games and Tormented Souls hasn’t turned up on your radar, now’s the time to give this title a shot.

Fun Factor: 87/100

Caroline using a nail gun to dispose of a Silent Hill like monster.


1. The Suffering - 2004 (PS2/Xbox/PC)

The Suffering 4K Walkthrough

So, there might be some people who know this game. Still, when discussions about little-known horror games that are surprisingly good get brought up, The Suffering is almost always strangely omitted from the conversation. This is me giving this game its due because The Suffering, to this day, is one of the best horror games that not a lot of people talk about. You play as Torque, a convict who is sent to death row for the murder of his own family. Yeah, it’s pretty bleak. But when suddenly hordes of demonic-looking creatures take over the prison, Torque must try to escape while being tormented by hellish villains.

Why The Suffering Is So Good

The Suffering came out at a time when it seemed like the bigger, more known survival horror games were going down the drain. This unassuming title from Midway took horror players by surprise when they found out, "Oh, this is really good." The Suffering has a unique setting, taking place in a fictional prison where convicts are let loose to either escape or be just as malevolent as the creatures that inhabit the prison walls. You, as Torque, get to use a wide array of weapons, from revolvers to heavy machine guns with molotovs and grenades to boot.

There’s no shortage to the carnage that you can inflict on these monsters, and it reflects on Torque’s clothes and face as you progress, your clothes stained with blood and dirt. The story is rather bleak and reminiscent of Silent Hill 2, where the prison acts as an arbiter towards Torque, torturing him with his problematic past, and it’s up to you to decide if Torque is redeemed by the end or not. Today, it’s tough to get your hands on a PS2 copy of this game, but it’s well worth the hunt. You’ll find that your time spent tracking this horror game down is rewarded with one of the greatest—but little known—horror games of all time.

Fun Factor: 95/100

You can even play The Suffering in first person mode. What’s not to like?


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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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