20 Best Upcoming Horror Games to Play

best scary games 2016-17

With Halloween just around the corner, everyone is looking for a good scare, and gamers are no exception.

Horror games have been around for a long time, but over the years have evolved to be considerably more immersive thanks to technological advances such as upgraded graphics and virtual reality. Horror games of old were almost comical, but with the photorealistic graphics possible in today’s games, some of them are downright terrifying. Of course, there are a few, like Dead Rising, that are still intentionally absurd. From creepy, story-driven games that will make your hair stand on end to games that will make you jump out of your seat every time you turn a corner, this list encompasses all the best subgenres that horror has to offer. Since humanity seems to have a universal fascination with being freaked out, here are the 20 best horror games coming in 2016 and beyond.

Have a Happy Halloween, and stay tuned to for all your gaming news.

1. We Happy Few

Developer: Compulsion Games
Publisher: Compulsion Games
Platform: Xbox One, PC, Linux, Mac
Release Date: Available via Early Access

We Happy Few is an indie survival roguelike horror game that was first revealed at PAX East 2015 and is now available via Steam Early Access. The game is set in a dystopian, Nazi-occupied English city in October 1964, in an alternate timeline that deviated during WWII. The citizens of Wellington Wells take a psychedelic drug known as Joy to help them forget some unnamed atrocity they committed and keep them artificially happy. Except you, the protagonist; you play what’s known as a Downer, or someone who has eschewed Joy, and the other denizens aren’t happy about it. Your goal is to sneak around and keep suspicion at a minimum as you attempt to escape, or the citizens and police will become downright hostile towards you. And since it’s a roguelike, if they kill you, you start all over again. The world and its inhabitants are also procedurally generated, which means that no two players’ experiences will be exactly alike.

2. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

Developer: Supermassive Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation VR
Release Date: October 13, 2016

The horror genre, in particular, seems to be perfectly suited to virtual reality. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is an on-rails arcade-style shooter coming exclusively to PlayStation VR that takes players on a haunted rollercoaster ride of terror. The developers want to emphasize that it’s not a sequel to Until Dawn, nor is it DLC; it’s a standalone game set in the same world as Until Dawn, with familiar enemies and locations. Simon Harris, executive producer of Supermassive Games, said in an interview with VG247, “This game charts the descent into madness of one of the characters from the Until Dawn universe.” He also says that players shouldn’t be put off by the fact that the entire game is on-rails, as this allows the developers to control pacing and help prevent players from suffering motion sickness.

3. Through the Woods

Developer: Antagonist
Publisher: 1C Company
Platform: PC
Release Date: October 2016

Through the Woods is a third-person psychological horror game about a mother and her missing son. Set on the Western coast of Norway and steeped in Norse mythology and Norwegian folklore, the game uses reactive narration to take players through the mother’s re-telling of the story about her son’s disappearance. According to the description on the official site, the developer aims to “capture the forest as they saw it as children, with all the frightening and mysterious feelings of roaming the woods alone”.

4. The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series – A New Frontier

Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Release Date: November 2016

The third installment in the episodic adventure The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series was unveiled at this year’s E3. A New Frontier is set about four years after the zombie outbreak at the beginning of the series. It follows a now-teenaged Clementine as well as newcomer Javier, a man fighting to keep his family together in the new world. Executive Producer Kevin Boyle said of the two characters in a blog post, “Years later, meeting her for the first time, Javier will begin to unravel the mystery of who Clementine has become, as her story intersects with his – both of them still driven by the things they value most long after society’s collapse.” Telltale is also releasing a Season Pass Disc for consoles which will include the first episode of the third season, with the others becoming available for download as they are released.

5. Dead Rising 4

Developer: Capcom Vancouver
Publisher: Capcom, Microsoft Studios
Platform: Xbox One, PC
Release Date: December 6, 2016

Once again, players will take on the role of Frank West as he returns to the town of Willamette, Colorado, where it all began, for the Christmas season; 16 years have elapsed since the events of the original Dead Rising, and now the Willamette Memorial Megaplex Mall and surrounding town are at the center of another outbreak. The open world sandbox survival horror game will feature a new type of zombie, the Evo, which is not only smarter and stronger than the average zombie but also exhibits a pack mentality. Capcom is also doing away with the timer system, which has been a highly divisive mechanic in previous games. Dead Rising 4 is a Microsoft timed-exclusive; it will remain a Windows exclusive for the first 90 days before coming to Steam, and Xbox One exclusive for a year before hitting PS4.

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6. Friday the 13th

Developer: Gun Media, IllFonic
Publisher: Gun Media
Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: Spring 2017

Jason Voorhees is back and he’s terrorizing the grounds of Camp Crystal Lake in this crowdfunded Friday the 13th game. It’s a third-person, asymmetrical multiplayer title where one player controls Jason and 7 others play as camp counselors trying to survive the night. The game will feature dynamic trailers at the end of each match (in the style of the 1980s movie trailers) that highlight the best moments, as well as a fear system, a progression system that allows you to unlock new counselors and Jason character models, and the return of Tommy Jarvis. There is no official release date yet, but the game is expected to be out in time for Halloween (unfortunately, there is no actual Friday the 13th this month).

 7. What Remains of Edith Finch

Developer: Giant Sparrow, SIE Santa Monica Studio
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 4
Release Date: TBA 2016

What Remains of Edith Finch is a collection of short stories about a cursed family in Washington, with stories about family members ranging from the early 1900s to present day. Players will follow Edith Finch as she explores her family’s thoroughly creepy history in her efforts to discover why she’s the last living Finch. In the process, you will actually get to experience each person’s story firsthand. Beyond that, not much is known; the developers originally predicted a 2016 launch, but updates recently have been few and far between so that seems unlikely at this point.

8. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: January 24, 2017

In response to fans’ requests, Capcom has sought to amp up the terror level significantly in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. The story takes places following the events of Resident Evil 6, in a dilapidated plantation mansion, which you will explore while attempting to stay alive. In an entry on the PlayStation Blog, Capcom’s Social Media Specialist Tim Turi said: “While Resident Evil 7 draws from the series’ roots of atmospheric survival horror, it also delivers a whole new level of terror…Resident Evil 7 ramps up that tension with an immersive first-person view and a photorealistic graphical style.” That, combined with its VR compatibility, will deliver a level of fear never before seen from Resident Evil. PlayStation owners can get a preview with the “Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour” demo, now available for free to all PS Plus subscribers.

9. P.A.M.E.L.A.

Developer: NVYVE Studios
Publisher: NVYVE Studios
Platform: PC
Release Date: February 2017

P.A.M.E.L.A is a first-person sci-fi open world survival horror game and the first title from indie developer NVYVE Studios. According to Polygon, the game is set on the futuristic, Utopian island of Eden, where people are infected with a disease that causes rapid bone growth, and your goal is to survive as long as possible. You start each game as a randomly-generated character with a bionic arm with randomly-generated attachments that also serves as your connection to Pamela, the AI that will serve as your guide. Your gameplay style will have an effect on Pamela, so you have to consider that, as well as how best to manage the colony’s power. There is also a permadeath option that can be enabled or disabled. The game was originally scheduled for fall of this year, but the developers recently announced in a blog post that they would have to delay until February.

10. Outlast 2

Developer: Red Barrels Studio
Publisher: Red Barrels Studio
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac
Release Date: Q1 2017

The sequel to first-person thriller Outlast follows journalists Blake and Lynn Langermann as they investigate the murder of a pregnant woman known as Jane Doe deep in the Arizona desert. The title, which was originally planned for release in late 2016, has recently been delayed to early 2017; however, there is a free demo available from now until November 1st on Xbox One, PS4, and Steam.

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11. Overkill’s The Walking Dead

Developer: Overkill Software
Publisher: Starbreeze Studios, 505 Games
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: TBA 2017

OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead is a co-op first person shooter based on the wildly popular comic book series from Robert Kirkman (rather than the TV series). Details are scarce at this point; all we know is that is has “elements of action, role-playing, survival horror and stealth”. It also promises to stay true to the original story, which is something no previous adaptation has done. We’ll update with more information as it becomes available, so keep checking back.

12. Visage

Developer: SadSquare Studio
Publisher: SadSquare Studio
Platform: PC
Release Date: March 2017

Like Allison Road (see below), Visage considers itself a spiritual successor to P.T. It takes place in a centuries-old house in a secluded 1980s town; the house has been home to dozens of families, many of which died brutally. It’s a good old-fashioned point-and-click horror game, in which you will explore the house and interact with items in the environment to try to uncover its secrets. You will relive memories from the dead families and witness how they died, and they will follow you around the house and terrorize you as you explore. Additionally, you will have to figure out how to manage your stress level to avoid going insane and dying. For more information, see the Kickstarter page.

13. System Shock

Developer: Nightdive Studios
Publisher: Nightdive Studios
Platform: Xbox One, PC
Release Date: December 2017

System Shock is a ground-up remake of the 1994 classic, in which players are trapped aboard the Citadel Station and must fight for survival against cyborgs and mutated crew members corrupted by an A.I. named SHODAN. Having been captured during a break-in, you wake after six months in a healing coma to find the station in a state of complete chaos, overrun with said cyborgs and mutant beings. The developers are trying to stay as true as possible to the original, while at the same time using modern technology to accomplish things the older game couldn’t. Complete details can be found on the Kickstarter page. There is currently a free pre-alpha demo available for download.

14. Tangiers

Developer: Andalusian
Publisher: Andalusian
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Release Date: TBA

Tangiers is a surreal stealth exploration game inspired by Looking Glass Studio’s Thief series that aims to embody the “darker avant-garde of the 20th century”. It’s been a rough road for the game over the last year; after running a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013, the developers had two consecutive investors lined up for late-stage funding, both of which fell through. That slowed down progress significantly, but as far aw we know, creator Alex Harvey is still plugging away. Players will explore a world that defies the laws of the universe and is constantly reacting to them and rebuilding itself based on their actions. Spoken words materialize physically, and you can collect them and use them for your own ends. Your ultimate goal is to find and dispose of five other individuals for reasons as yet unknown. For updates and more details, check the Kickstarter page.

15. The Hum: Abductions

Developer: Totwise Studios
Publisher: Totwise Studios
Platform: PC, Mac, PS4
Release Date: TBA

First-person, story-driven alien invasion game The Hum: Abductions is being developed in Unreal Engine 4 and will serve as a prequel to The Hum Game and The Alien Invasion Simulator, which are both part of a larger sci-fi universe known as The Hum. You will play as mother and wife Holly Sanders, who is living alone with her son Danny since her husband’s unexplained disappearance months ago. She “will uncover the past and present events of the Sanders family, while facing a terrifying approaching revelation”. The developers promise that this universe will be the subject of many forms of media, including full-length novels and comics.

16. Dead Island 2

Developer: Sumo Digital
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: TBA

The sequel to Dead Island and Escape Dead Island is set in a vastly open-world California following a zombie outbreak. You can choose from a variety of heroes, all of whom are immune to the zombie virus, and play co-op with up to 8 players; additionally, you will be able to craft “thousands of items” and upgrade your vehicles. The game was initially scheduled to release in 2015 but was delayed to “late 2016”, before Deep Silver announced their decision to “part ways” with the original developer and Sumo Digital took over development. Shortly after, the product’s Steam page disappeared entirely, leading many to question whether not it would actually happen. As it hasn’t been officially canceled, we’ll assume it’s still going forward; it may just be that they are starting over or making significant changes and plan on doing some sort of re-reveal. In any case, it’s likely not coming any time this year.

17. Scorn

Developer: Ebb Software
Publisher: Ebb Software
Platform: PC
Release Date: TBA

First-person atmospheric horror adventure Scorn is “set in a nightmarish universe of odd forms and somber tapestry”. It takes place in an open-ended world with different interconnected regions to explore, each set up like a maze and containing its own theme, puzzles, and characters. To make the experience more immersive, the storytelling and prompts all happen in-game, with no cutscenes or HUD, so you really have to pay attention and take cues from your environment to figure out what to do. To add to that heightened awareness, inventory and ammo management are important parts of the game as well; you will need to plan carefully and use different playstyles in order to advance. According to PC GamerScorn will reportedly release in two parts, with the first part due out in early 2017.

18. Allison Road

Developer: Far From Home
Publisher: Far From Home
Platform: PC, Linux, Mac
Release Date: TBA

Photo-realiastic first-person survival horror game Allison Road is another spiritual successor to P.T. that has, appropriately, come back from the dead. It was canceled back in June, but according to IGN developer Christian Kesler revived it under a new label that he co-created with his wife called Far From Home. In Allison Road, you wake up one night in a British suburban home and must investigate what happened to the family living above you. According to Siliconera, the parents murdered their daughter following a fight and you have until 3:15 a.m. to solve the murder or face your own demise.

19. Routine

Developer: Lunar Software
Publisher: Lunar Software
Platform: PC
Release Date: TBA

Routine is a first-person horror exploration game set on an abandoned Moon base. The staff of the Lunar Research Station has disappeared, and it’s up to you to explore its dark and cramped quarters to find out why. The concept itself may not be particularly unique, but the game has features such as permadeath, a non-linear approach, full body awareness, no HUD, and randomized environmental hazards. The small development team consists of four people, so progress has been slow and no information has been forthcoming recently, but we’re still holding out hope that this will happen eventually.

20. Perception

Developer: The Deep End Games
Publisher: The Deep End Games
Platform: PC
Release Date: TBA

Perception is a new narrative horror adventure from the developers of Bioshock and Dead Space that sounds fantastically unique. It tells the story of a blind girl named Cassie, who must use her “extraordinary hearing and razor-sharp wits” to uncover the secrets of a mansion that haunts her dreams, the Estate at Echo Bluff. She finds a Presence there that has tormented generations of inhabitants, and now torments her. Unable to leave, she must use echolocation to navigate the house and solve its mysteries, all the while playing a deadly game of hide-and-seek with The Presence.

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