[Top 15] Best Indie Horror Games for PC

Best Indie Horror Games
Let's get spooky!

 

Ready to face the fears that lie within your own mind?

Everyone needs a healthy dose of fear now and then. It keeps us...sane. Maybe you enjoy blood and gore. Psychological or survival horror might be more your style. Personally, I enjoy psychological horror that also has that survival element. 

Here I will countdown the top 15 best indie horror games you can play on PC and beyond! Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride. Some of these games take an unexpected turn and will leave you scared senseless!

15. Doki Doki Literature Club (PC)

Doki Doki Literature Club Gameplay

The Literature Club is full of cute girls! Will you write your way into their heart? This game is not for children or those that are easily disturbed. You have been warned.

In Doki Doki, you take the role of a male high school student who joins the school Literature Club. You will interact with four female club members in a classic dating simulator with anime-style characters!

Will you try to win the heart of your sunny childhood friend, Sayori? Or maybe you like the pink-haired, spirited girl, Natsuki. Smart and mysterious Yuri may be more your style. You might fancy Monika, the popular leader of the club! Any of these cuties could be yours as you try to create moving poems and say all the right things to win their affections. 

Why did such a kawaii game make it on my list? Well, you’ll just have to play it and find out..it’s even free in the Steam store, so why not give it a try and see for yourself? 

Natsuki sure knows how to make delicious cupcakes. 

14. Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location (PC/PS4/XBOne/Switch/Mobile)

FNAF: Sister Location Gameplay

Welcome to Circus Baby’s Pizza World, where family fun and interactivity go beyond anything you’ve seen at any other pizza place. Now hiring: Late night technician. Must be fine with cramped spaces and be comfortable around active machinery. The company is not responsible for any bodily injury, death or dismemberment that may occur from the job. Applicants with good insurance plans preferred. 

In Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location, you take on the role of the person who took the job of late night technician. Your job is to check on the animatronics every night to be sure they are in good, working order and provide routine maintenance. This is a point-and-click survival horror game, much like the others in the Five Nights at Freddy’s series.

This game introduces new animatronics, such as the ballerina, Ballora, and the star of the show, Circus Baby. This game also introduced the ability to move between rooms, each with its own objective to fulfill. The animatronics are not too happy about being locked underground, and may uh, "demonstrate" their agitation as you progress! 

This game, like the others in the series, is full of suspense as you carry out your nightly “duties”. There are moments of comedic relief that break up the suspense (Anyone in the mood for exotic butters? Maybe casual bongos?). Jumpscares are common and you must be good at multitasking, as with the former Five Nights at Freddy’s games, you will go between checking your monitor, your surroundings, listening for threats, and doing whatever job is required. 

Dancing Queen: The Player checks on Ballora. 

 

13. LIMBO (PC/XB360/XBOne/PS3/PS4/PSVita/Switch/Mobile)

LIMBO Gameplay

Uncertain of his sister’s fate, a boy enters Limbo. This game appeared on another of my indie games list, and I believe it belongs here, too. Limbo is a puzzle platformer game, with lots of horror elements that make any mistake or misstep deadly as you struggle to overcome the puzzles.This is a 2-D game that is completely in black and white. 

Limbo stars a little boy, waking up in a barren forest. The game gives you no indication of who you are, how you got there, or where you’re going. In this forest, as you advance, you come across puzzles, and if you aren’t careful, you will die (a lot) in horrifying ways. For example, being decapitated by a bear trap! How many games have you played where this happens to a small child? 

A lot of trial and error goes into solving the puzzles, the developers describe it as “trial and death” to figure out each obstacle. If you make a wrong choice or don’t pay attention, you get to watch your player die in shockingly gruesome ways, almost instantly. Thankfully, this is not a roguelike game, and you get to start over before the obstacle that killed you rather than start from the beginning of the game. 

The game advancement is very interesting, in the first half, you encounter bizarre monsters and other children who try to attack you, however, in the second half, there are no other life forms to be seen, and the puzzles get harder to overcome. (It’s lonely in here!) It seems the game strays further and further from reality the more you progress, which is an interesting concept. 

The horror element may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and I will admit I don’t usually like the blood and gore. What drew me to LIMBO is the mystery surrounding the game’s story, and the limit to information given about it. This is a game you should play yourself so you get to experience all the mystery as you unravel the story. 

Just “hanging” out.

 

12. The Coma: Cutting Class (PC/PS4/XBOne/Mobile)

The Coma: Cutting Class Gameplay

You are just an average, every day Korean student. You had just sat down for your final exams, exhausted after an all-night cram session. The result of all your preparation, all those grueling hours spent studying was dozing off in the middle of the first test. 

You awaken to pitch darkness. Nobody bothered to wake you up when class was over. Due to the fact that it’s night time, you decide to head home…

The Coma: Cutting Class is a 2-D side-scrolling survival horror adventure. You try to make your way through the now abandoned high school, riddled with haunting sights and dangerous traps. If that wasn’t enough, your classmates and teachers have warped into frightening ghosts, who will stop at nothing to hunt you down. 

In this surreal situation, your objective is clear: figure out how you got here and get the hell out! Unfortunately, the school’s ghastly inhabitants have other plans for you. 

This game made it on my list for the story, and there’s just something great about Korean horror. This may be one of the lesser-known games, but I believe it’s worth a play for the shocking scenarios that you encounter.

My teacher sure is acting strange...

 

11. Detention (PC/PS4/Switch/Mobile)

Detention Gameplay 

Detention is an amazing atmospheric horror game set in 1960’s Taiwan under martial law. It incorporates religious elements based on Taiwanese/Chinese culture and mythology. This game provided players with unique graphics and an unforgettable gaming experience. 

Greenwood High School, located in a remote mountainous area, two students find themselves trapped and vulnerable. The place that was once so familiar has warped in unsettling ways, haunted by evil creatures. To escape, they must explore the mysterious campus filled with ominous objects and puzzles. How will they survive this threatening environment? Can they return safely in one piece?

The art style in the game is phenomenal. The mix of soft-colors, realistic drawings, and the grainy textures that are common in many horror games give it an uncomfortably authentic feel. There are few games that look like this one, and the art style alone makes this game so iconic. 

This game, like so many on this list, is intriguing because of its story and horror elements. The incorporation of history, and the mixing of Asian religions and cultures like Buddhism, Taoism and mythology, tell an unique and terrifying story. This is a game you won’t soon forget and will leave a lasting impact on your very being. That may be because the events of the 1960s White Terror is a very real point in history. 

Lingering demons and murky hallways.

 

10. BonBon (PC)

BonBon Gameplay

BonBon is a short horror story about your childhood. No, really...in BonBon, you play as a toddler, who experiences events beyond their capacity to understand. This game is all about taking time to experience the objects and events around you. As your parents increasingly demonstrate their absence, your child mind tries to compensate, I would assume, by inventing an imaginary friend. A large, overbearing “friend”…which leads to an overwhelming sense of unease as you carry out your mundane childhood chores.

BonBon is an incredibly short game, and plays more like a short story than a game. You play as a toddler, who goes around collecting and putting away toys because your mommy told you to. What was really creepy is that the child can “talk” to the toys in a really unsettling distorted voice. This game is only number 10 because although interesting and a unique concept, it’s difficult at times to locate objects and can get frustrating as your puny child self often drops toys or falls down. Still, it’s a fast game that tells a deep story and the ending is what you make of it. I think we all can relate to the tragic undertones of a child trying to process trauma and domestic abuse the only way they know how. 

As a victim of childhood trauma, this game resonated with me on a deep level and I had to include it in my list. It’s worth a play and will only take 20-30 minutes to finish, but will leave you unraveling the meaning behind the story for much longer. 

“Hello, Wobbly Dog…”

 

9. INSIDE (PC/XBOne/PS4/Switch)

INSIDE Gameplay

Hunted and alone, a boy finds himself drawn into the center of a dark project. INSIDE is a dark, narrative-driven platformer perfectly combining intense action and challenging puzzles. It’s been critically acclaimed for its dark and moody art style, ambient soundtrack and generally unsettling atmosphere. 

If this game looks familiar, that’s because it is a follow up to another favorite of mine- yes, LIMBO! From the makers of LIMBO comes a new adventure, INSIDE. This game is beautiful, shocking and terrifying, sometimes all three at once. 

INSIDE has numerous rave reviews on Steam, praising how great it is and eluding to the surprise ending. Like LIMBO, this game is best experienced going in blind to fully experience the story. The beautiful artwork and soundtrack will draw you in to this immersive platformer, and you likely will become a fan too after experiencing the masterpiece of INSIDE.

Just smile and wave: You try not to get caught. 

 

8. The Forest (PC/PS4)

The Forest Gameplay

As the lone survivor of a passenger jet crash, you find yourself in a mysterious forest fighting for survival against a society of cannibalistic mutants. You will build shelters, explore, and try to survive in this terrifying first person survival horror simulator. 

What I love about The Forest is the survival mechanic. You actually have to chop down trees to collect lumber to start a camp or make a fire to stay warm. You have to scavenge and hunt for food to prevent yourself from starving. All while fighting for your life against your unusual and hostile neighbors. You also have plenty of choices in how far you are willing to go to survive. Will you just live off the land and scavenge to survive, or resort to going native and cannibalizing the cannibals? That choice is up to you. 

During the day you will be busy collecting resources to build a simple camp up to an impenetrable fortress. You can craft and lay traps and defenses to keep your perimeter safe. At night, you must defend your base. 

In most horror games, the enemies are gruesome monsters that you wouldn’t feel guilty about offing. However, in The Forest, enemies have their own families, beliefs, morals, and appear almost human. You can either fight them off with crude weapons made of sticks and rocks, or try to use stealth to sneak around and evade them to avoid bloodshed. The most intriguing thing about the enemies is this game is their ability to make decisions- their behavior changes depending on several factors. Sometimes they will just follow you at a safe distance and check you out. If they feel like they have you outnumbered, they may charge, then stop short if you don’t back down. It’s unpredictable what they will do, making the game all the more interesting. 

I really enjoyed the “just survive” part of this game. Of course, the encounters with the mutants scared the life out of me, pulling me out of my happy foraging for food and connecting with nature, but building up a giant fortress with traps and a wall to defend my base was a lot of fun. Your friends can even join you to make these tasks easier. Spending the day exploring the forest, hunting, and collecting resources reminded me of the less scary games I love so much, like Harvest Moon. 

Offense is the best defense. 

 

7. Visage (PC/XBOne)

Visage Gameplay

Visage is a first-person psychological horror game. You will explore a mysterious, ever-changing house in a slow-paced, atmospheric world that combines uncannily comforting and horrifying realistic environments, making this game a genuinely terrifying experience. As you explore the house, you will uncover fragments of the house’s history, and learn of the terrible things that have transpired there.

The focus of this game is exploration, that slowly builds tension to create a deeper and more meaningful gameplay experience. The story of the game is revealed through surreal imaging and subtle environment details. The developers admit that this game is difficult in “unconventional” ways.

This game is so high on my list because I feel that the best type of horror is the psychological kind. Especially when it’s realistic, such as in this gem of a game. I can do without copious amounts of blood and gore, they don’t necessarily mean “scary” for me. Games like this that present mind tricks and building suspense with small details are far more frightening to me. 

House of horrors: Now, this old house has “character”!

 

6. Layers of Fear 2 (PC/PS4/XBOne)

Layers of Fear 2 Gameplay

Layers of Fear 2 is a first-person psychological horror game with an emphasis on exploration and story. The player will control a Hollywood actor who heeds the call of an enigmatic director to take on the lead role in a film shot aboard an ocean liner. Beware, for all may not be as it seems. 

When I first heard about this game, I thought the concept of you being an actor and shooting a film on a luxurious ocean liner sounded like a great story. I wasn’t expecting what was about to transpire, however. This game is far more terrifying than I originally expected. 

Layers of Fear 2 follows your character’s slow descent into madness, and as the captain of your own destiny, you must decide what is real. Your director gives you but one command: “Act.” There is no script, no character that you have to become. To any actor, this may sound ideal. However, as the game progresses, the scenes on the ship become increasingly more terrifying. 

As you take on these roles and act out the scenes, you will uncover details about your past and why, exactly, you were cast for this film. What part will you play? 

This game is number 6 because as you see by now, I love the psychological horror and the character slowly descending into madness. To me, this kind of horror is the most realistic, and therefore, the most terrifying. It’s been stated before- the real monsters sometimes come from the human mind. 

The mannequins are set up as if they are acting out a scene...
 

5. Outlast (PC/PS4/XBOne/Switch/Mobile)

Outlast Gameplay

Hell is an experiment you can’t survive in Outlast, a first-person survival horror game developed by some of the biggest indie franchises in history. You play as investigative journalist Miles Upshur, exploring Mount Massive Asylum and trying to survive long enough to uncover it’s terrible secrets. 

Outlast offers an immersive, detailed world for you to explore. Like many horror games, fighting is not an option, you must run, hide, and use your stealth to survive. You also won’t have any way of knowing when or where the asylum inhabitants will catch up to you, adding a whole new layer of heart-gripping suspense as you constantly look over your shoulder. This game is downright terrifying, with all kinds of morbid things going on in the asylum that you get to discover. 

An interesting fact about Outlast, and one reason it’s so high on this list, as the events and settings of the game are inspired by real asylums and cases of criminal insanity. Unlike many horror games where the events of the game couldn’t possibly exist in reality, this game has that possibility, showing us that sometimes, the most terrifying monsters come from the human mind. 

Beware of the asylum inmates...
 

4. Blair Witch (PC/Switch/XBOne/PS4)

Blair Witch Gameplay

Inspired by the cinematic lore of Blair Witch, experience a new story-driven psychological horror game that studies your reaction to fear and stress. Fear and stress do take a toll on you in Blair Witch, sometimes blurring the lines of reality between what is real.

In Blair Witch, you take on the role of Ellis, a police officer with a troubled past. To try to right his wrongs, he sets off to join the search for a missing boy in the Black Hills Forest near Burkittsville, Maryland. The good news is that you aren’t exploring this terrifying forest with a witch in it alone...you get a faithful companion, Bullet the former police dog! You can command Bullet to seek an item or clue, and he can show you where to go. Bullet may be the only thing that helps Ellis cling to the little sanity he will have left as he explores the creepy forest. 

This game is set two years after the film, and incorporates the found-footage subgenre that is also incorporated in the film itself. Using these footage tapes is important to progress the story, as well as making use of Ellis’ cellphone, flashlight, Bullet, and a camera. Even with all the tools at your disposal and your loyal friend, this game is far from easy, especially as Ellis strays farther and farther away from what is real. 

Most important part: You can pet the dog.
 

3. SCP: Containment Breach (PC/PS5/XBX)

SCP: Containment Breach Gameplay

 SCP: Containment Breach is an indie supernatural/survival horror game in the first-person perspective. In the game, you play as a Class-D personnel (a fancy word for a “test subject”) in an underground research and containment facility run by the SCP (Secure, Contain, Protect) Foundation. You will try to escape, amidst a total security breach of the hazardous anomalies that are the SCPs. 

What are the SCPs? They are a hard item to name, but range from dangerous creatures to unusual phenomena. For example, perhaps the most dangerous SCP you will face is “The Sculpture” which is a concrete statue that can only move when not observed by the naked eye. It also has a terrible habit of snapping people’s necks when they aren’t looking. 

As mentioned, your main goal is to use the chaos to escape, however, you have the various SCPs and guards to contend with. How do you escape? You must explore the facility and collect key cards using any means necessary to acquire them. 

SCP: Containment Breach is on my list because it’s scary. Some have said it’s the scariest game they have played. Also, I really admire the creativity of the community that have come up with these SCPs. That’s right, the game is based on the deep fictional web stories of the SCP Foundation website. I could spend hours reading all of the many SCP stories, although not all of them appear in the game. I find the concept of the SCPs fascinating, and getting to see them in action in a terrifying game is just perfect. You’ll get the chance to revisit or experience this game as the release for the PS5 and Xbox X series is to be announced!

Don’t Blink: The Sculpture will get you. 
 

2. SOMA (PC/PS4/XBOne)

SOMA Gameplay

From the makers of Amnesia: The Dark Descent comes a sci-fi horror set below the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. You will struggle to survive in a strange, hostile world that will leave you questioning your very existence! 

The radio is dead, the food is running out, and the machines are starting to think they are people. The underwater facility PATHOS-II has suffered an intolerable isolation and tough decisions have to be made. What can be done? What is left to fight for? What makes sense?

In SOMA, you will face the horrors that lurk beneath the ocean waves. Explore locked terminals and find secret documents to uncover the truth behind the chaos. Seek out the survivors and take part in the events that will eventually shape the fate of the entire station. Be careful, as danger lurks behind every corner: corrupt humans, twisted creatures, insane robots and even an omnipresent A.I. program. There is no fighting back, you either outsmart your enemy or be prepared to run for your life. 

This game is immersive, as you would come to expect from past games like Amnesia. It is thought-provoking, and will have you question what is wrong and what is right. What does it mean to be human? These are the questions you will ponder long after the game is done and the PC is shut off. 

People are the real monsters here.
 

1.Amnesia: The Dark Descent (PC/PS4/XBOne/Switch)

Amnesia: The Dark Descent Gameplay

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is an immersive first person survival horror game about discovery and living through a nightmare. This game is an experience that will chill you to the core. 

Amnesia: The Dark Descent puts you in the shoes of Daniel, as he wakes up in a desolate castle, not remembering anything about his past...as the title may allude to. You will explore the eerie pathways, taking parts of Daniel’s troubled memories along the way. This game is a beloved but disturbing odyssey into the dark corners of the human mind.

Is that dragging feet you hear? Or just your mind playing tricks on you? This game features a sanity meter, representing Daniel’s slow descent into insanity. If your sanity drops from witnessing disturbing events, staying in the darkness for too long, or staring at enemies, you may start to “see” things that aren’t really there. The environment around you becomes more surreal, dangerous, and disturbing the lower your sanity is. Keeping your sanity is even harder when the only thing you can do to protect yourself is hide, run or keep your wits about you as you explore the terrifying, dark castle. 

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is number one because I believe it (and I’m not alone in this opinion due to the overwhelming positive reviews on Steam, Youtube, and elsewhere) to be the best, most immersive survival horror out there. Do you have what it takes to survive? 

Hello darkness, my old friend...
 

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From running a farming empire to managing a city of tiny animals, Alli loves the playful side of gaming. With a story to tell, she can't wait to make people read her (very strong) opinions.
Gamer Since: 1995
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Sims 4, Papers, Please, Gone Home
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