Nobody really knew what to expect when the Nintendo Switch first started hitting the shelves.
I mean, sure, it’s a Nintendo console – so you were probably expecting family titles like Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart. And Nintendo definitely delivered on that front. But the Switch has become much more than that. Where the Wii U failed to garner much third party support, the Switch has absolutely thrived on it. Games like DOOM, Wolfenstein and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim litter the eShop, among plenty more from AAA developers.
And long with these fantastic titles, there’s a growing number of great horror games out on the console. Who’d have thought it – hair-raising terror on a Nintendo console? If you’ve been looking for the best horror games to play on your Nintendo Switch, then keep reading.
Want to support GameSpew? If you decide to try any of the games on this list, please consider buying them through our Amazon links, included below each entry. It won’t cost you anything extra, but we’ll get a small slice of the purchase.
1Outlast 1 and 2
Outlast was one of the first games that totally took me by surprise when it showed up on the Nintendo eShop. Two of the best horror games of recent years, they’re first person and part of your point-of-view is through a camera. In the first game, you play as Miles Upshur who receives an anonymous email that inhumane experiments are being performed on patients at Mount Massive Asylum, a psychiatric facility. What Miles discovers there is much more gruesome than he could have ever expected.
The second Outlast follows investigative journalist Blake Langermann working with his wife, Lynn, chasing a story about a murder of a pregnant woman when they crash land in the Supai region of Arizona.
Both Outlast and Outlast 2 are horrific tales that put you right in the shoes of the protagonists. One of your biggest hopes is that your camera doesn’t run out of batteries. Plus, you have absolutely no weapons – making it one of the scariest games you’ll ever play. If you get spotted, you better hope you can find somewhere to hide…
Lovely but unsettling, Little Nightmares is a great addition to anyone’s library because it’s pretty easy to pick up and learn. If you’re able to get the hang of it, you can complete the game in only three or four hours. You’ll explore the over-sized world as Six, a young girl who is trapped in this horrific world where everyone and everything is out to get her.
Little Nightmares immerses the player in this constantly moving environment, forcing them to act quickly or suffer severe consequences. And all the time Six is growing hungrier and hungrier. It’s perhaps not the scariest horror game on Switch; it’s not filled with terror and jump scares – but its grotesque imagery makes for a creepy adventure you won’t forget any time soon. Transport yourself into your childish nightmares in this fantastic indie platformer.
Observer is a cyberpunk horror game from Bloober Team, the creators of Layers of Fear. You play as Daniel Lazarki, a cybernetically enhanced agent who is able to look into other people’s minds. When you are contacted by your son who is in danger, you begin investigating where you think he may be. You’re able to use your biometric and electromagnetic vision to help you examine corpses.
Observer fills you with a feeling of dread as things sneak in and out of your view while your character is sometimes not even able to tell what is real and what is a figment of his imagination. The game combines investigation with puzzles and horror that’ll really leave you feeling uneasy – in the best way.
4Resident Evil Revelations
Resident Evil: Revelations first released for Nintendo 3DS back in 2012 and has since been released for every console including, most recently, the Nintendo Switch. The game follows Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield as they attempt to stop a bioterrorist group from infecting the Earth’s oceans. Revelations is set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5.
You find yourself aboard a ghost ship where clearly sinister things have been going on. Undoubtedly one of the best horror games on Switch, Resident Evil: Revelations is a perfect mix between survival horror and action-adventure . It’s great to pick up and play with friends to enjoy the spooks together. Or by yourself, if you’re brave enough.
Inside is a puzzle platformer game from Playdead, the developers behind 2010’s Limbo. You play as a little boy in a strange and surreal world. Eventually the boy discovers that he has the ability to control the bodies around him and you’re able to use those bodies to solve puzzles.
Inside’s horror comes from its atmosphere above all. You’ll get the eerie feeling of someone watching you throughout the game. The ways that the boy can die are also a bit gruesome and definitely not for the weak of heart. You can drown, be mauled by dogs, electrocuted and meet all kinds of other grizzle ends. While not a true horror game in the traditional sense, Inside has a brilliantly unsettling atmosphere that will leave you on edge.
Detention from developer Red Candle Games is a frightening 2D side scrolling game set in 1960s Taiwan. You play as students Wei and Ray who suddenly find themselves trapped inside their high school. The school is haunted by horrific creatures, forcing the students to hide and run when they’re able.
This title is sure to have you wiping your sweaty hands on your trousers from start to finish. Detention‘s puzzles are very cleverly designed, and its atmosphere is one of the creepiest I’ve ever experienced. It should also be praised for its soundtrack and sound design. Detention even has multiple endings for those that decide they want to experience the horror multiple times. There are few horror games on Switch as creepy as Detention – if you’re a fan of horror suspense, then this is one for you.
Oxenfree is a title that might take you by surprise when you first play it. You play as Alex who is travelling with her new stepbrother Jonas to an overnight island party with her friends. For the first few minutes of the game, things are quiet and you’ll spend some time talking with Alex’s friends getting a feel for the kinds of people they are. Then, things get a little spooky.
Alex’s friend Ren explains that the island used to be a military base where, if you tune into certain radio frequencies, supernatural events have been known to happen. Alex, Ren and Jonah decide to explore a nearby cave after tuning into some frequencies and they accidentally open a dimensional rift. From there, more than a few strange things begin happening to the teenagers as they try to reunite with each other while avoiding these strange supernatural creatures. Oxenfree might not be the type of horror game that’ll make you jump out of your skin, but with its great, spooky atmosphere, it’s still one of the best on Switch.
8Layers of Fear
Layers of Fear is another title that has you exploring its without any way to protect or defend yourself. You play as an unnamed protagonist, an artist who returns to his empty home one day to begin working on something in his workshop – his “magnum opus.” When he starts working he has hallucinations involving things from his past.
Technically, Layers of Fear could be described as a walking simulator as it gives you little to no direction on where you should go or what your real goal is. You’ll figure out things as you poke about, checking in cupboards and other such things around the house. Having no direction is really the tipping point for what causes you to feel so uncomfortable playing Layers of Fear. You never know what’s lurking around any corner – and trust us, there’s some serious scares along the way. Bloober Team’s Layers of Fear is without a doubt one of the best horror games on Switch.
Available on PC and Mac for years before finally making the leap to console, the Amnesia series has made quite a name for itself by successfully scaring the living daylights out of those brave enough to play.
All three titles in the Amnesia: Collection share the same basic gameplay template; finding yourself in a dark environment in which things don’t seem quite right, you need to explore, solve puzzles and maintain your sanity while evading the occasional grotesque creature. Played from a first-person viewpoint with no means of defending yourself however, they’re horrifically tense experiences that can easily cause you to jump out of your seat. If you don’t own a PC and have never played any of the Amnesia titles before, the Amnesia: Collection on Nintendo Switch is a must-buy.
The Park isn’t a long experience – it’ll take you around two hours to complete – but it’s two hours that will be filled with tension and scares.
It’s hard to know exactly what’s happening in The Park. It puts you in the shoes of a mother, running around a closed amusement park looking for her lost son. It’s not entirely at it seems though; something darker is at work, and as you play, you’ll start piecing the story together. It’s sinister,and it’s got atmosphere in droves; if you’re a fan of the genre, this is a horror game on Nintendo Switch worth picking up.
9Telltale’s The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is a four season long series that follows protagonist Clementine on her journey growing up in the zombie apocalypse. In the first season, you play as Lee who has just been arrested for murdering a man who was sleeping with his wife. When Lee discovers a young girl named Clementine hiding in her tree house, he decides to try and take care of her and travel with her to Savannah, Georgia to find her parents. You play as Clementine herself in seasons two and four, with a break in season three – where you play as a baseball star named Javier fighting for his life with his own family.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead is an episodic adventure spanning several years as you follow its characters making their way through this new horrific world. While the game focuses on building relationships with characters and giving the player dialogue choices, there are many moments of pure terror as you’re forced to fight and escape from the living dead. It’s one of the best story-driven horror games out there, and a must-play for any fan of zombie horror.
Limbo is a black and white puzzle platformer from Playdead. You play as a young boy who, after encountering a young woman who he believes is his sister, becomes determined to reunite with her despite the dangerous world he must traverse to do so.
Limbo’s strongest suit is its creepy atmosphere as well as the complete mystery of what might be ahead of you. There’s no telling who is friend or foe in this world and you’ll definitely be finding that out the hard way as you pay. Its dark and foreboding world makes Limbo a must play for any fan of horror. It’s a creepiness that you’ll not forget any time soon.