[Top 15] Indie Survival Horror Games

Indie Survival Horror Games
Something Wicked This Way Comes...

It seems like nowadays, triple-A horror games are somewhat hard to come by. With the revival of Silent Hill on the horizon and the return of one of the masters of survival horror, Resident Evil, there’s not much in the way of new horror games from big name studios. But, if you’ve been hanging around the indie scene, you’ll know that there’s a  plethora of survival horror games. Indie horror games have been carrying the torch for new and innovative gaming experiences in the survival horror genre. Today, we’ll take a look at fifteen of some of the best indie survival horror games that you should be playing right now.


15. We Happy Few - 2016 (PS4/Xbox One/PC)

WE HAPPY FEW Gameplay Walkthrough Part 1 Full Game - No Commentary (All Acts 1-3)

In Wellington Wells, you’re either cheery and living in denial or you're one of the three main protagonists of We Happy Few, who have decided to take the red pill and see the world for what it really is. But be careful, rebelling against conformity will cost you. Dearly.

Why We Happy Few Is Good

We Happy Few isn’t outright terrifying. The real terror comes from the unsettling discovery that you have been living in delusion. The people in Wellington Wells aren’t happy as they are drugged in perpetuity. In We Happy Few, you’ll be  crafting various weapons, tools, and supplies to keep you alive while attempting to stealthily escape the town.

The enemies—called wellies—will see to it that you are taken care of. That is of course, if you decide to go sober and not take, Joy, a pill that transforms the world around you into a colorful, dreamy, wonderland. By not taking the pill, you’ll see the town in all its dilapidated glory and be labeled a “downer”. The game is enhanced by also having procedural generated worlds, so that way no one experience is the same.

Since its launch, We Happy Few has included three modes, each one focusing on the three pillars of gameplay. One is centered solely around survival, another made for combat and another for you to freely explore Wellington Wells. If you’re a fan of games like Don’t Starve and combat from The Forest, you’ll be right at home here.

Fun Factor: 70/100

Nothing abnormal here.


14. Call of Cthulhu - 2018 (PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch/PC)

Call of Cthulhu | 4K 60fps | Longplay Walkthrough Gameplay No Commentary

Horror games have always taken inspiration from the master of cosmic horror, H.P. Lovecraft, but for the longest time there hasn’t been a video game adaption of the author’s stories. That is until, Call of Cthulhu was released. Call of Cthulhu is an adaptation of the titular short story, which sees you play as a private investigator who goes to the fictional city of Darkwater, to uncover the mysterious death of the Hawkins family. Upon arriving at Darkwater, you soon realize… not everything is as it seems.

Call of Cthulhu Is Worthy Of Your Time

Developers Cyanide should be applauded for realizing the world that this classic H.P. Lovecraft tale takes place in. If for nothing else, exploring Darkwater and all its lore, is the sole reason for playing Call of Cthulhu. You won’t find compelling gameplay here like you would in other games, but that doesn’t seem to be its intention. Call of Cthulhu has a hauntingly beautiful world for players to retreat into. You’ll find yourself second guessing what you might or might not have heard while exploring. The sections in which you’re armed with nothing but a lantern to light your way, are especially intense. Call of Cthulhu might be the only game of its kind that has attempted to capture the essence of the same short story and for that, it’s worthy of your time.

Fun Factor: 65/100

P.I. Edward Pierce looking out into the endless sea.


13. Scorn - 2022 (Xbox Series X and S/PC)

SCORN Full Gameplay Walkthrough / No Commentary【FULL GAME】4K UHD

Scorn might be the most unique survival horror game on this list. You play as an unnamed protagonist who awakens in a hellish world, with the sole intention of finding a way off the alien planet. Throughout your tortuous journey, you’ll come across disturbing contraptions and otherworldly creatures.

What Makes Scorn Unique

Scorn seems to be the result of a group of highly obsessive fans of H.R. Giger. The game is advertised as a first person horror adventure with light shooting elements. And I mean, light. For the majority of your playtime, you’ll be completing some of the weirdest puzzles in video games. But that’s not why you should play Scorn. 

Scorn’s art style oozes through the Xbox Series X and S, and with their being little to no score, you’re left with a terrifyingly oppressive game that has no problem with crushing you under the weight of its insane, alien world. The sound design is also hair raising and the imagery will reduce you to a child, covering your eyes until the cutscenes are over. The game also features unique weapons that would make Hellraiser blush. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

Fun Factor: 72/100

Yes. That's a gun.


12. MADiSON - 2022 (PS4 and PS5/Xbox One and Series X and S/Nintendo Switch/PC)

Madison 4K Full Game Playthrough

Developed by Bloodious Games, MADiSON is a first person survival horror game with an emphasis on psychological horror. You are Luca, the unfortunate soul forced to carry out a bloody ritual by a demonic force. Throughout the story, Luca will find out he’s just a big part of the ritual. He just doesn’t know it yet.


MADiSON isn’t for the faint of heart. Clearly inspired by games like Amnesia, P.T. and films like Insidious and The Conjuring, what makes MADiSON such a thrilling experience, is Bloodious Games’ understanding of what makes survival horror a popular subgenre to play in. The pacing feels blisteringly fast, though you can take your time if you’d like. You’re not gonna want to, with an unnerving sound design and beautiful graphics that almost resemble real life, you’ll feel inclined to blaze through it… or not play it all.

This won’t be the last game on this list of this caliber of horror, but MADiSON’s unique mechanic of using your flash camera to reveal secrets and solutions to a puzzle–sometimes using it as your only line of defense between you and the various demons that will come after you–is what makes this game stand out.

Fun Factor: 82/100



11. Uncanny Valley - 2015 (PS4/PS Vita/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch/PC)

Uncanny Valley Full Playthrough + No Commentary

Uncanny Valley is about Tom, a night guard with the sole duty to watch over a robotics facility. Of course, things aren’t so simple and neither is being a night guard. I mean just ask Ben Stiller. But unlike Night of the Museum , the only thing you have to worry about are the shadowy figures that come after you during your shift.

Welcome To Uncanny Valley

It’s easy to dismiss Uncanny Valley as another short horror experience with pixelated graphics and a cheap price tag, but for those who are willing to give it a chance will be treated with a good horror story, despite its glaring setbacks. Uncanny Valley begs you to replay it multiple times in order to get a full picture of its story and though the first playthrough may be frustrating, with cuts to pivotal story details, the world that is set up in the first few minutes will still have you intrigued as to what happens next. Uncanny Valley feels like a game that belongs in a flash game website, with its light action and puzzle solving, and sometimes that’s all that you need to have a spooky good time.

Fun Factor: 60/100

I don’t think you’ll have enough ammo to handle these guys.


10. Choo-Choo Charles - 2022 (PC)

Choo Choo Charles Gameplay Full Walkthrough

Choo-Choo Charles shouldn’t exist. But it does, and in it you’ll play in an open world attempting to fight off the titular spider train with a train of your own and a machine gun mounted on the back. It sounds metal now that I describe it, actually. It’s a simple concept made interesting when you throw exploration to find materials to upgrade said train, and characters to interact with to further flesh out the game’s world.

Why Choo Choo Charles Is Actually A Lot Of Fun

Sometimes you want to play a survival horror game with rich mechanics or an engaging story. Then there’s Choo-Choo Charles. Funnily enough, it’s rather simple gameplay loop of scrounging for upgrade materials and fighting off a spawn of satan on spider legs, is pretty fun. As you progress through Choo-Choo Charles upgrading your own busted up train, you can feel that you are creating a moving machine of death, leading up to an inevitable confrontation between you and Charles. Even if there is some jank in it, it’s a game that you should play at least once. Or twice.

Fun Factor: 70/100

Charles with that unkillable rizz.


9. Lone Survivor - 2012 (PS3 and PS4 and PS Vita/Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii-U/PC)

Lone Survivor Walkthrough | Expert Difficulty | White Ending

Lone Survivor carries the torch for Silent Hill, playing as an unnamed protagonist wearing a surgical mask and backpack during what is seemingly a post apocalyptic world, you’re tasked with simply leaving the confines of your apartment to find supplies to last you just that little bit longer.

What Makes Lone Survivor A Good Survival Horror Game

Lone Survivor has what you’d expect out of a traditional survival horror game. Limited resources and ammunition. Terrifying creatures that will kill you quicker than you can take them down, and a mysterious plot for you to uncover and interpret for yourself. The 2-D side scrolling graphics sets it apart from other indie survival horror titles that try to recapture the spirit of 90’s survival horror games, and what’s more impressive is that it was developed by one person. The amount of love and work poured into this project shines from the music, sound design, and the awkward and unsettling dialog between you and various other enigmatic characters. While you wait for the Silent Hill 2 Remake, give this one a shot.

Fun Factor: 88/100

Our unnamed protagonist is about to regret leaving his apartment.


8. Amnesia: The Dark Descent - 2010 (PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch/PC)

Amnesia The Dark Descent Full Playthrough

Arguably one of the most popular indie survival horror games in recent memory, Amnesia: The Dark Descent centers around Daniel, a man with an erased memory, who comes to inside of a castle, with only a note written to himself warning that he is being stalked by a nightmarish creature, with your sole objective being to descend further into the castle and find a way to kill what’s stalking you.

Why Amnesia Is One Of The Best Indie Survival Horror Games

Amnesia took the gaming community by storm when it was originally released back in 2010, if its wide release on nearly every platform is any indication. And there’s a good reason for it. Amnesia: The Dark Descent features puzzles fairly reminiscent of games like Half-Life 2, where its physics based engine is used to great extent to open doors to new areas. On top of this, the player must take care of their sanity meter, adding to the stress-inducing experience. Light sources, such as lanterns and lighting up matches, will reduce your sanity meter and allow you to freely explore–physical dangers aside–and complete your objectives.

What truly makes Amnesia a terrifying game are the iconic chase sequences between Daniel and The Gatherers, where you must run for your life and maybe make sure you have some lavender oil on standby, or some kittens to pet afterwards. After Amnesia’s release, other horror games attempted to replicate its success, to varying degrees. But nothing will come close to this horror masterpiece.

Fun Factor: 95/100

Well, hello there.


7. Little Nightmare Series - 2017/2021 (PS4 and PS5/Xbox One and Series X and S/Nintendo Switch/PC)

Little Nightmares Gameplay Walkthrough

Both Little Nightmare games have been highly regarded by critics and fans alike and though on the surface there isn’t much that would terrify you, trust me when I say that the Little Nightmares series is sure to give you sleepless nights. A puzzle platform horror game, you take control of Six in the first game and Mono in the second, along with the first game’s protagonist. Both children must escape nightmarish settings and equally nightmarish beings.

Little Big Horror Games

If you haven’t seen some of your favorite YouTubers play this game, allow me to clue you in on what makes Little Nightmares a great survival horror game. Though most scenarios see you defenseless and as a result without much in the way of combat, it’s the clever puzzles and its visceral imagery that will surely imprint itself into your memory. The developers managed to balance the horror well in these games, to the point where it can feel unrelenting, but rest assured that when you do get a moment of rest, it feels so satisfying. Its gameplay structure is one that is yet to be done much in other survival horror games, which makes this particular series stand out in its own league.

Fun Factor: 85/100

Cover art for Little Nightmares I & II


6. State of Decay 2 - 2018 (Xbox One and Series X and S/PC)

Juggernaut Edition is here! To Providence Ridge! (SoD2 Juggernaut Edition NIGHTMARE Zone Episode 1!)

I was a huge fan of the first State of Decay game, primarily for its heavy emphasis on survival and collecting supplies and resources to better defend yourself against mobs of the undead. The second entry followed suit by making everything bigger and better. There isn’t much in the way of story here, but we’ll get into what makes this an excellent indie survival horror game.

Why State of Decay Is One Of A Kind

State of Decay 2 pits you against waves of varying infected, inside of a harsh world where one fatal mistake will cost you your entire life and a backpack full of valuable resources. The main attraction with State of Decay 2, is its exploration and infiltrating buildings that house precious materials that you can use to better defend your homebase. With these resource items, you can build things like a sleep quarters for you and your NPC friends. Watchtowers to guard the perimeter of your base, to invaluable facilities like a medical bay. 

But chasingthese resources comes at the cost of putting your life on the line, each time you go out into the world. Oftentimes, you’ll find yourself playing the game in its quieter moments, when you are scavenging abandoned buildings and shops, with the constant dread that you may be attacked by a horde of zombies at a moment’s notice. But that’s the allure with State of Decay 2, and who doesn’t want to live out their Walking Dead fantasy?

Fun Factor: 87/100

Be careful not to lose all that precious loot.


5. Spooky’s Jumpscare Mansion: HD Renovation - 2014 (Nintendo Switch/PC)

Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion: HD Renovation - Full Games Walkthrough

Spooky’s Jumpscare Mansion, as the title suggests, isn’t for people who are prone to jumpscares and being chased by SCP creatures. The story is rather simple. A mansion has sprouted itself on the crest of a hill, overseeing a nameless town. With little to no info about its origins, you play as a history buff intent on exploring the seemingly abandoned mansion, with the hopes of finding out  its mysterious background.

Spooky’s Jumpscare Mansion Is A Spooky Good Time

Don’t let the simplistic controls and its rather innocent looking art style fool you, the deeper you explore this haunted mansion, the more things spiral out of control. Its creatures start out looking rather harmless, before things begin taking a hellish design. Your sole objective is to make it through its one thousand randomly generated rooms, without getting killed. As you progress, you’ll be given a single weapon–an ax–to defend yourself, but other than that you are on your own.

Some might find Spooky’s Jumpscare Mansion too simplistic and as a result, a dull experience, but I’d argue the appeal of this indie survival horror is seeing what lurks behind the next room. There are tidbits of lore here as well that give you a glimpse of the horrors that take place inside the haunted mansion and are eerie, as they are well written. You can tell from the start that this is a game that was developed with a labor of love, and it shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Fun Factor: 75/100

This is only the beginning.


4. Five Nights at Freddy’s - 2014 (PS4 and PS5/Xbox One and Series X and S/Nintendo Switch/VR/PC)

Five Nights at Freddy's Gameplay and Commentary

This list would not be complete if I didn’t bring up this massively popular indie survival horror title. Five Nights at Freddy’s pits you against a legion of deadly animatronics. You, as a lowly night security guard, have no way to defend yourself other than using electronic equipment that controls the doors inside your rather cramped office. Your only task… make it through  five nights inside a pizzeria and its treacherous shifts.

Why FNAF Is A Terrifyingly Good Time

Now I know there are multiple titles in this franchise, but I’m simply going to highlight the first entry, as I feel it is the most terrifying and in my opinion, still the best in the series. When it initially launched, I–and I’m sure many others–couldn’t see the hype around the game, especially when it came to its nearly non-existent gameplay. When you think of survival horror, you think of games like Resident Evil, where you must manage your resources like ammo and health, while backtracking to find key items. FNAF’s only resource here is your battery and how brave you are to not look through the multiple security feeds to make sure the animatronics aren’t creeping closer to your location, in order to conserve energy.

This is what makes FNAF such a brilliant game and whether you like it or not, it managed to spawn multiple sequels and an upcoming film. The charm of this game is seeing how far you can muster the fear of awaiting a nasty jumpscare. If nothing at all, FNAF challenges you to build up the courage to withstand the stress of potentially getting killed by some rather spine chilling looking robots. Scott Cawthon (the game’s creator), understood that less is better with this game and absolutely knocked it out of the park.

Fun Factor:85/100

What is that you say? Oh, I’m sure it’s nothing.


3. Visage - 2018 (PS4 and PS5/Xbox One and Series X and S/PC)

Visage Full Game No Commentary

Visage feels like a what if scenario. What if we did get P.T., otherwise formerly known as Silent Hills? Visage would be that game. Of course we won’t ever know what a Hideo Kojima Silent Hill game would look like, but Visage gives fans a taste of what could have been. You are Dwayne Anderson, the owner of a home with a sinister past. After a graphic and  shocking opening, you must figure out a way out of this demonic home while uncovering its troubled past, and your connection to it.

Why You Should Play Visage

I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t want to play this title. In my opinion, Visage is the scariest video game I have ever played. Through its six to eight hour playtime, there’s no fun to be found here. The game–and in turn, its developers–aren’t interested in giving you a happy ending or beginning for that matter. The game’s only goal is to scare the living crap out of you. And it does it masterfully.

As you explore the home, you won’t find peace. Even in its quieter moments, you will be haunted by random paranormal events such as, lights flickering or going out completely, radios and T.V. 's turning on by themselves, to even more aggressive things like being stalked by one of its frightening spirits.

You have no weapons. You rarely have any light sources and if you do, it barely illuminates your path, and you will always be on the brink of going insane. To counter this, you’ll have to take pills that keep your insanity at bay as well as the demonic ghosts that haunt the hallways and rooms of the home. If MADiSON was an appetizer, Visage would be the main course.

I can’t tell you how many times I jumped in my seat while playing Visage. I got very familiar with it’s pause screen, that’s for sure. But never did I find Visage dull. Frustrating? Sure. There are moments where a ghost will be unrelenting in its chase, to the point where you are unable to progress and are forced to restart, seeing the same death animation over and over. But with that and some minor critiques on the UI and the controls, Visage is well worth every penny. Just be ready to curl up in a ball afterwards.

Fun Factor: 90/100

Just one of many terrifying images from the game.


2. Cry of Fear - 2012 (PC)

Cry of Fear Full HD 4K/60fps Playthrough

Starting out originally as a mod from Half-Life 2, Cry of Fear eventually saw its release as a standalone game and was popularized by famous YouTubers. This survival horror title has you playing as Simon, who after getting struck by a car, wakes up and begins making his way back home, when he is suddenly attacked by monsters. The more the story progresses, the more demented the world around you becomes.

What Makes Cry of Fear A Good Game

Cry of Fear has a great blend of action and horror, with the game forcing you to face off against enemies quicker than you and tougher to take down. With a limited inventory (you can only carry up to six items at a time), it can feel like the developers are intentionally trying their best to kill you at every turn. Hell, the game doesn’t pause for you when opening up the inventory screen. Health items can restore your health bar, with the trade off of blurring your vision overtime when you inject yourself with morphine syringes.

Above all else, Cry of Fear drips with atmosphere, with environments ranging from everyday locations, to a hellish world like that of Silent Hill’s otherworld. Another inspiration taken from Silent Hill, is its enemy design, which ranges from humanoid monsters, to monsters that can only be created in nightmares. Cry of Fear will test your ability to combat its various enemies and if you’re willing to push through to the end, will reward you with one of the best indie survival horror games to date.

Fun Factor: 92/100

It only gets worse from here.


1. Dusk - 2018 (Nintendo Switch/PC)

Dusk: Full Longplay (No Commentary)

What do you get when you combine survival horror elements of many games on this list and Doom? You get Dusk. Dusk opens up much like old school first person shooters of the past, dropping you into its world the moment you boot up the game. Waking up in a secluded home and prying yourself off a meat hook, you arm yourself with a collection of badass weaponry, with one objective. Survive until dawn.

Why Dusk Is A Masterful Indie Survival Horror Title

The moment you start Dusk, you are thrown into the deep end, starting with hooks as your only line of defense and working up to dual shotguns, assault rifles and even a rivet gun by the end. Though it isn’t deathly terrifying, Dusk seeks to capture the spirit of games like Blood and Doom, where it’s you versus some pretty insane looking creatures, set behind a horror movie’s wet dream for atmosphere. From cultish backwoods to sprawling factories, there’s no shortage of awesome level design. Enemies range from hooded cultists, chainsaw wielding maniacs, to Silent Hill looking monsters.

If you’re brave enough and skilled enough to crank the difficulty up a notch, you’ll find the gameplay loop striking a perfect balance between resource management and fast paced action that can only be found in indie video games. If there’s one game you walk away playing after reading this list, let it be Dusk. You won’t regret it.

Fun Factor: 100/100

Kill 'em all.


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Alberto resides in Denver, Colorado and is as passionate about demon slaying and fighting for his life in survival horror games as he is about writing about them.
Gamer Since: 1998
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Resident Evil 4 Remake
Top 3 Favorite Games:DOOM, Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD, Max Payne 3

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