Everyone likes good scare, don’t they?
Okay, so some don’t, but those without worrying heart predicaments often find that a good scare gives them a pleasing dose of adrenaline. And after fighting or fleeing for their lives, a dopamine rush also follows if they’re successful. The good news is, if you’re an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, there are plenty of games available on the service to provide such experiences. But which horror games are the best, you might be wondering?
Having played pretty much all of the horror games available on Xbox consoles, hopefully we can help. We’ve assembled a list of the best horror games on Xbox Game Pass, each one of them offering something a little bit different. So, whether you like stealth-based horror, multiplayer horror, or even being the horror yourself, these games have you covered.
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Based on the popular movie franchise, Alien: Isolation stands out from the other games on this list because it’s not filled to the brim with monsters and terror. Rather, there’s just one monster that’s terrorising you: the alien.
Well, okay, there are androids to watch out for as well. But they’re not very scary, just troublesome. Alien: Isolation’s scare factor comes from its tense atmosphere as you carefully peer around corners, wondering where the alien is going to come from next. You never feel safe; you’re always on edge, and that makes for a fantastic horror experience.
Perhaps the best video game ever made that’s based on the Alien franchise, if you have a liking for tense, nail-biting scares, then this is a horrifying Xbox One game that’s definitely worth playing, and it’s available via Xbox Game Pass. It’s just a shame that it’s not enhanced for Xbox One X or Xbox Series X/S.
Based on the seminal horror film franchise, Bloober Team’s Blair Witch might just be one of the scariest games you can play right now.
In Blair Witch you take on the role of Ellis, a former police officer who’s heading to the infamous Black Hills Forest near Burkittsville to search for a missing boy. There’s more than a nod back to the original found-footage film here; the legend surrounding the forest means you’ll be nervous before you even start.
It has atmosphere in droves, keeping you on the edge of your seat. And, unlike other horror games on Xbox, Blair Witch doesn’t rely on an overuse of jump scares to get your adrenaline pumping. That’s not to say there aren’t a few moments to catch you out, though. It takes a while to really get going, but if you’re looking for the best horror games on Xbox Game Pass, Blair Witch is definitely worth a play or two.
How about a horror game where you are the creature to be feared?
Carrion is described as a reverse horror game, in that playing as an amorphous creature of unknown origins, you’re the one doing the stalking and killing. You see, humans captured and imprisoned you, so now you’re going to get revenge.
Making your way through a facility, you’ll need to pick off your targets one-by-one, spreading fear and panic throughout their ranks. As you go, you’ll acquire powerful abilities to make your reign of terror even more horrifying.
Playing Carrion might not be so terrifying for you, but its dark visuals and ghastly premise will still put you on edge, especially when you also add in the fact that your creature isn’t impervious to damage. It’s worth playing just because it’s so unique. If you have an Xbox Game Pass subscription and are after the best horror games to play, be sure to give it a go.
Dead by Daylight
Multiplayer and horror traditionally aren’t genres that go together very well. That was before Dead by Daylight hit the scene, however; since then, there have been many asymmetric horror games that have gone down rather well.
Dead by Daylight is still the king of them all though, and it’s available via Xbox Game Pass. In each match you’ll either be in control of a relentless killer or one of four survivors. Of course, the aim of the survivors is to not get caught. That’s easier said than done, though, when the environment changes every time you play.
While survivors play from a third-person viewpoint, giving them more awareness of their surroundings, the killer plays in first-person, getting them closer to the action. Those that really get into Dead by Daylight and don’t mind spending some money will find that there are a wide range of well-known killers available, too, from franchises such as Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and even Scream. So, if you like horror and multiplayer games, chances are you’ll absolutely love Dead by Daylight.
If you missed it, a next-gen remake of Dead Space was announced recently. If you’re an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber, however, you can play the original Dead Space right now thanks to EA Play.
Putting players in control of a man called Isaac Clarke, Dead Space finds him trapped on a vast spaceship filled with horrific creatures. Even worse, they can’t be killed via conventional means; in order to stop from from relentlessly pursuing Isaac, he has to dismember them, piece-by-piece. Luckily, he’s skilled at improvising weapons.
It may be quite old now, but boot up Dead Space today and you’ll find that it still plays great and looks rather nice. Well, as nice as a grim horror game set on a run-down spaceship can look. We have to wonder if a remake is necessary, really. In any case, if you’re after the best horror games on Xbox Game Pass, this is definitely one of them.
Sequel to one of the most terrifying games ever made, Outlast 2 ups the production values while also transporting players to a creepy new location.
Playing as cameraman Blake Langermann, you’ll find yourself lost in the Arizona desert after the helicopter you’re travelling in is brought down. To make matters worse, you’re also being pursued by the followers of a man called Sullivan Knoth; a religious zealot who has taken an interest in you for some reason.
To further up the horror and mystery, it appears that Blake has some personal demons to deal with as well. Needless to say, by the time the ordeal is over you’ll have been scared out of your wits, especially as there’s no combat in the game; all you can do is run. It might not be quite as good as the original game, but Outlast 2 is still terrifying. Even better, it’s available on Xbox Game Pass.
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
Resident Evil 7 completely reboots the Resident Evil formula by moving the action to first-person and focusing more on horror. It also borrows ideas from many popular horror films and games of the past. There’s a whiff of Evil Dead in there, a taste of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and an air of Condemned. But Resident Evil 7 is a masterpiece in its own right.
Playing as Ethan Winters, a man who finds himself at the home of the Baker family as he searches for his wife who went missing three years ago, all is certainly not as it seems. Within minutes of stepping through the door and being reunited with Mia, he finds himself being attacked by her and her “family”. From then on, Resident Evil 7 is pure nail-biting terror.
Resident Evil 7 is definitely one of the best horror games on the Xbox. In fact, it’s perhaps one of the best horror games of all time. If you have Xbox Game Pass, make sure you play it.
Man of Medan
Although fairly short, Supermassive Games’ Man of Medan packs in a hell of a lot of horror.
The story follows a group of young adults who rent out a boat in order to dive in an underwater wreckage. Things don’t quite go to plan, though, when they’re hijacked by pirates and find themselves boarding an abandoned warship.
You can complete Man of Medan in three hours or so, but in that time you’ll be privy to an excellently haunting tale, some seriously hair-raising scares and more edge-of-your-seat action than you can imagine. The game’s best feature, though, is that your actions influence the outcome of the game. It’s in your hands whether everyone lives or dies. It’s truly one of the best horror games on Xbox, and you can enjoy it alone or with a group. So, give it a download if you have Xbox Game Pass, yeah?
The Evil Within 2
The Evil Within 2, just like its predecessor, is an action-packed example of the survival horror genre that shouldn’t be missed.
Playing as ex-police detective Sebastian Castellanos, you’ll find yourself questioning reality as you move from one harrowing situation to the next, forced to face off against a bevy of grotesque creatures. And while you’re fairly well-armed and quite capable of instantly dispatching some foes if you can creep up on them, The Evil Within 2 can still pile on the scares when it wants to.
The Evil Within 2 is definitely scarier than its predecessor; it manages to unsettle you in more ways and question your sanity even more. Available via Xbox Game Pass thanks to Microsoft acquiring Bethesda, if you’re looking for the best horror games on Xbox you should definitely find time to play it. It’s the perfect blend of horror and action.
Okay, so we weren’t too impressed with The Medium when we reviewed it at launch, but many others loved it. It appears to be a bit of a Marmite game, but the wonder of Xbox Game Pass is that you can download it and give it a go for yourself without spending any more money. Then you can make up your own mind.
Putting players in control of a medium called Marianne, The Medium features a dual world mechanic. That means sometimes you’ll be able to switch between the real world and the spirit world; doing allows you to utilise the unique properties of each to progress. Even more impressive is when both worlds are displayed at the same time, though it does present some gameplay issues.
There’s not really any combat in The Medium, though you will encounter a ghastly creature known as The Maw that will occasionally hunt you down. Generally though, The Medium just tries to creep you out with its moody environments and dark story. As a truly next-gen game, just be aware that it’s only playable on Xbox Series X/S.