Whether you’re into psychological horror and creepy narratives or hideously violent non-stop gore, our pick of the best scary games for the Xbox One console is sure to appease. From sinister adventures to over-the-top survival horror, these titles will have you peeping at the TV through your fingers.
Forget scary movies. When you really want to evacuate your bowels during a fright-filled night of terror, nothing can touch a truly hideous horror game. Luckily for Xbox owners, the Xbox One platform is filled with all manner of ghoulish titles that’ll banish any thoughts of peaceful sleep.
Whether you’re rocking the original Xbox One console or have the newer Xbox One S or even the One X, the following horror games will taint your fragile little mind with bloody imagery and shocking psychological terror. Let’s stick on our wellies and wade on in.
Check out our other best horror games round-ups, including the scariest apps to download for your phone right now.
The Evil Within 2
Resident Evil director Shinji Mikami gave up the reins for this twisted sequel, although returned as producer – and we have to say, the results were strong. Evil Within 2 is one of the scariest games of the year, boasting some truly disgusting creatures and memorable set pieces. Sleep is but a distant memory.
Detective Sebastian Castellanos isn’t having much luck. Not long after his first jaunt to that creepy otherworld, he finds himself reluctantly returning to save his daughter from the terrifying STEM town of Union.
This time the story isn’t quite as melon-twisting, while the horror remains just as grisly. If you mess up, you’ll certainly know about it, as your limbs are scattered far and wide.
Inside/Limbo double pack
Limbo really won us over back in the day with its creepy atmosphere, not to mention that horrifying segment where you’re hounded by a massive spider. You’ll need a bit of smarts to puzzle your way through the sinister levels, not to mention some fast reactions. Of course, even with all the brains and perfect motor skills, chances are the hapless hero will perish in disturbing circumstances, several times.
In this Xbox One double pack you also get Inside, the spiritual sequel to Limbo. Once again you get hauntingly beautiful visuals and engrossing gameplay, well suited to a late night session with the lights out.
It has to be that freaking spider.
Resident Evil 7
The most recent Resident Evil succeeds where the last two games failed (in particular the dire sixth entry in the franchise), reverting back to full-on horror to scare us silly. Many a good trouser was ruined in the Recombu playthrough of RE7 on the Xbox, which has to be one of the most terrifying titles ever conceived.
You play as a pretty average guy called Ethan, who stumbles across a dilapidated and seemingly deserted plantation while searching for his mysteriously missing wife. Unfortunately, you soon discover that the place is home to the seemingly invulnerable Baker family, who decide to make it their mission in life to pop out the poor lad’s eyeballs and use them as marbles.
Survival horror at its grittiest, this is a stunning and shocking combination of psychological scares and good ol’ fashioned gore.
Try the entire fricking game. Seriously, we were emotional wrecks come the end credits.
Previous Alien games such as Alien vs Predator made a decent stab at capturing the dread of those early movies, but Isolation is on a whole other planet. Or in this case, a whole other creepy-as-anything spaceport that’s home to a few desperate humans, some killer cyborgs and one super-angry xenomorph.
Your weapons and ammo are seriously limited, which often means that your only chance of making it to the next checkpoint is crouching behind that desk and trying your best not to shart when the alien saunters on by, inches from your face.
As far as atmospheric horror games go, Alien Isolation is one of the best on the Xbox One right now.
Any time the alien stalks into view. Did you manage to leap behind that desk in time, or are you about to see those killer jaws shooting for your throat?
As beautiful as it is creepy, Narcosis thrusts you into the deep darkness of the ocean and challenges you to stay alive – and sane. This is definitely an atmospheric horror, which has you constantly glancing back over your shoulder to check that nothing sinister is creeping up on you. Claustrophobic gamers should probably think twice however, as that suit really does begin to feel like a coffin in no time at all.
It’s not long before you start to see things, and some of those hallucinations (is that what they are?) will at best startle, and at worst have you shrieking like a mentalist.
This stealthy horror game may look quite cartoony in the screenshots, yet it’s unbelievably tense and occasionally springs some killer jump scares to boot. Gameplay involves creeping through shadowy environments, hiding away from the murderous foes while tracking down a gang of kidnapped children. From the makers of Alone in the Dark, one of the very first survival horror games. So you know you’re in solid hands.
Mr Pig Man is coming after you, and you realise the corridor you’re fleeing down is a dead end. Uh oh.
Resident Evil: Origins Collection
Two fantastically creepy old-school games for the price of one, you say? Sold. And I’ll take that triple pack of clean pants while I’m at it. Chances are I’ll literally blast through the lot in one sitting.
For nostalgic fans of the series, or anyone who was simply too young to be scared witless by those blocky-looking zombies back in the day, the Origins Collection on Xbox One is an essential purchase. You get an HD remastered version of the original Resident Evil, as well as the prequel (Resident Evil 0), giving you countless hours of horrifying gameplay for a decent price.
When you’ve finished putting the hordes of undead in their final resting places, we’d recommend grabbing the remastered Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil Revelations games also. Frankly, as far as horror games go, you can’t go wrong.
The lickers in the original Resi still freak us out. Man, are they quick.
The unholy trinity on Xbox One includes the first two Outlast games, plus the Whistleblower DLC for the first game. We’re willing to bet that most people will tap out before the end of the original, however, as it’s simply terrifying.
In the first title, you play as a spunky freelance journalist who finds himself locked away inside a mental asylum where the inmates are unfortunately wandering free. Weaponless and scared witless, you have no choice but to leg it every time you see the cold, dead eyes of these murderers – and as a large part of the game plays out in the dark, you’ll have to rely on your trusty camera’s night vision mode to actually see your foes approach.
The second title has you travelling to a twisted town deep in the Arizona desert, which is home to a killer cult with aspirations of evisceration. These investigative journos never learn their lesson, do they?
Using your camcorder’s night vision mode to peek around a corner, only to find yourself face-to-face with a drooling psychopath.
Town of Light
This first person horror adventure is more of an experience than a game (known these days as a ‘walking simulator’), yet it’s still suitably creepy as well as heartbreaking at times. You’ll find yourself exploring a crumbling, deserted asylum, piecing together the story of one of the previous patients. Definitely a sobering experience, and one that’ll stick with you for some time.
When you witness some of the ‘treatments’ on offer.
Dead By Daylight
Dead By Daylight pits terrified innocents against a deadly – and unstoppable – killer, with the twist being that you can actually play as that very same killer. Let’s face it, hunting down your ‘prey’ (i.e. best mates Dace and Stu) and impaling them on meat hooks is as good as it gets.
Survivors can’t defeat the bad guy; all they can do is try their best to escape, by repairing a bunch of generators before legging it towards the exit. You’ll need to be super stealthy and have a stomach of concrete to survive of course, especially when the killer slinks into view.
If you want a multiplayer horror title to enjoy with freinds, this is one of the best choices right now on Xbox One.
Hiding in the shadows as the serial killer pauses nearby and glances around…
The Evil Within
The original Evil Within has its fair share of issues, yet there’s enough horrifying moments in there for horror fans to make it worth a quick blast through. Detective Sebastian Castellanos’ first adventure into the deadly otherworld involves evading or puncturing all manner of grisly foes, including a terrifying chainsaw-wielding monster who can take some serious punishment.
The Evil Within really doesn’t mess about. Right at the start of the game, you’re confronted by one of the later boss creatures; a massive butcher with a metal mask, who wields a chainsaw. Your only weapon? A measly little knife. Time to hide.
Dead Rising 4
Just when you think those pesky zombies have been dealt with good and proper, along comes a new strain of the virus. This time the undead hordes are even more powerful, and you’ll need to battle your way through vast hordes in order to prevent a full-on outbreak.
To be honest, Dead Rising 4 is occasionally tense when you find yourself surrounded by an overwhelming gang of zombies. It rarely ever tips into scary however, unless you’re really not used to horror games.