The last eight years have been wonderful for fans of the horror genre. Maybe not as memorable as the PS2 era, which saw the end of the “golden age” of the survival horror genre, capped off by now classic games like Silent Hill 2, Fatal Frame 2, Siren and Resident Evil 4, among others — but it’s still been pretty fantastic. Unfortunately for me, this has made my job of finding the best games this genre has gifted us with over the course of this relatively lengthy console cycle incredibly difficult.
I thought finding the greatest horror games of this generation was tough, but narrowing down the myriad indie horror games we’ve seen this gen has proven far more difficult.
Read on to see how I fared in my endeavor to find the ten greatest indie horror games of this generation!
Before we get into this list of games that are already out, here are five of our most anticipated upcoming indie horror games!
You saw this one coming.
Developed by Frictional Games, this masterpiece of survival horror is widely considered to be one of the scariest video games of all time. It’s more than deserved that title. The game’s sanity meter — which drained the longer you remained in darkness or in the presence of one of its unnerving monsters — wasn’t an original feature, but it was used in a clever way that dramatically increased the tension. If you haven’t spent a night (or two) with it yet, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a must-play for any horror fan.
This one was difficult. Mark Hadley’s Slender: The Eight Pages is arguably the most influential horror game of this generation. Then again, its “reimagining”, Slender: The Arrival, is basically a better and prettier version of it. After spending way too much time thinking about which one I should include here, I went ahead and decided to include both. I write the article, I make the rules.
Mark Hadley’s The Eight Pages essentially created a new subgenre in horror — Slender Horror, if you will — in which the player is tasked with collecting items that have been scattered about a forest or some labyrinthine environment while being hunted by a mysterious creature. Most often, that creature is the Slender Man, an Internet born urban legend turned video game antagonist.
Many games have copied this idea and pasted it, sometimes as is, other times with new features like multiplayer or little tweaks to the gameplay. A few have taken this concept and replaced The Eight Pages’ dapper predator with something else, like the Huntsman from the indie horror game Huntsman: The Orphanage.
I’m going to go ahead and say it. Outlast is the scariest game I’ve ever played. Its ending faltered a bit as soon as it tried explaining the goings on in Mount Massive asylum, but the other 95% of the game is terrifying, traumatizing and absolutely unforgettable. If you’re brave enough to play it yourself, I suggest you do that. Otherwise, you can watch me lose my damn mind with it. You really can’t go wrong either way.