Horror video games have been around for a long time, but virtual reality has taken horror to a whole new level.
The immersive experience of VR amps up the thrills and chills in a way playing on a regular console just can’t match.
In fact, the popularity of horror games is reflected in the number of searches happening every day.
So, what VR horror games are out there and which are the best VR horror games?
In the list below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the current crop of scariest Virtual Reality games, including what type of horror game it is (1st person shooter, adventure, mystery, etc.), the pros and cons of each, and which games will make you sleep with the lights on for weeks.
Top 15 Horror Virtual Reality Games out there:
Killing Floor: Incursion
Killing Floor: Incursion is a first-person shooter that really puts the guns in the hands of the player. Tripwire has done an excellent job of creating a relatively realistic environment and it genuinely feels like you are using the virtual objects, especially the guns…and there are a lot of them.
In fact, there are a lot of weapons in general. Most objects can be used, including the severed limbs of the bodies you just dismembered. Unfortunately, those bad guys are pretty much the same in every scene with just the number enemies changing of them changes.
However, that’s where the repetition ends. The 4 stages are visually distinct with puzzles, obstacles, and unique boss fights. Killing Floor: Incursion is an excellent first-person horror game that has been well developed for VR and should be on everyone’s list.
The Inpatient is a creepy, mystery adventure game. It’s prequel to Until Dawn which takes place 60 years before the events of Until Dawn. If you enjoyed Until Dawn, then you’ll like how The Inpatient expands the mythology.
The game starts off pretty slow, but picks up and gets much better as you play. The story will probably only take you a few hours to get through. However, it does use the Butterfly Effect system. So, early decisions affect later events which means you can play again and make different choices which will change the game each time.
The Inpatient is a good story with good visuals. The initial story may be relatively short, but because of the Butterfly Effect system, you’ll still get hours and hours of scares.
Resident Evil 7
Resident Evil has been a standard in the horror game genre for over two decades and Resident Evil 7 doesn’t disappoint. With Biohazard, Capcom took a risk and moved to first-person and it paid off, especially in VR.
Resident Evil 7 finds a good mix of stealth and action. You can’t just hide and evade. You have to kill your enemies or they’ll still be there to kill you later. That said, the game feels more like an adventure than a standard first-person shooter.
The story is excellent as you trace the history of the Dulvey family on their plantation to reveal some terrifying events and people. The story moves at a good pace, as well. Objectives are clear which moves the game along well and reduces meaningless roaming time.
Resident Evil 7 is a great addition to the Resident Evil line. It has a welcome return to the feel of the original Resident Evil. This is definitely one to get.
Arizona Sunshine is a first-person shooter which gives plenty of opportunities to kill zombies. While the story and concepts of the game are pretty standard for the zombie genre, the game excels in its visuals and gameplay and has a good variety in the level design.
There are no melee weapons and ammo is sparse. With limited ammo you pick up along the way and plenty of zombie hordes to shoot, you’ll want to conserve ammo and work on your aim. Thankfully, the gunplay is excellent.
One of the other areas Arizona Sunshine excels in is multiplayer. Co-op and multiplayer modes provide a fun way to play with your friends. You’re able to talk with your friends with VoIP and you can interact with them in the game, including sharing ammo…which you will have to do as ammo becomes even scarcer in multiplayer mode.
If you like zombies (or killing them) and you like first-person shooters, you’ll love Arizona Sunshine.
Wilson’s Heart is a scary psychological thriller that will leave you wondering if Wilson has lost his mind and if you’re not far behind. Rather than relying on jump scares (though there are some), Wilson’s Heart creates an atmosphere of fear filled with monsters of all kinds.
Filled with 40’s era monsters and tropes, you might think Wilson’s Heart would come off campy and hokey, but excellent visuals, storytelling, and voice acting keep the game modern and scary.
The only real down-side is the inconsistent interaction with objects and enemies. This can be a bit frustrating at times. In addition, certain actions seem to be allowed or not depending on what the game wants rather than what you do. This means you have to figure out what specific actions need to be done in the room or in a fight. That removes some player creativity, but also increases the problem-solving and anxiety.
Wilson’s Heart will take you on an insane story that will scare you and leave you questioning reality.
Home Sweet Home
This mystery horror game will have you on edge as you try to solve the mystery and avoid the bad guys. Stealth is key, but you still have to defend yourself from time to time.
Where Home Sweet Home excels is in story and sound. The story has plenty of depth to help draw you into the game and keep your interest. Further immersing you in the game is the use of ambient sounds which does a wonderful job of creating anxiety and leaving on edge. Between the story and audio, Home Sweet Home creates a consistent sense of terror instead of just relying on jump scares.
Home Sweet Home’s weakness is in its puzzles and how it leads you through the game. The puzzles tend to be weak and easy to solve and the lack of direction may get you stuck from time to time. Overall, Home Sweet Home gets way more right than wrong and is well worth the money.
Layers of Fear: Solitude
The scariness of Layers of Fear: Solitude come primarily from jump scares. However, it does a decent job creating a scary atmosphere as well. To really help immerse yourself in that atmosphere, be sure to use a good set earphones so you can hear all the ambient sounds.
Being made for Google Daydream View, the graphics are not as good as the original game and some of the interactivity has been removed. In addition, the movement and actions of the game have been reduced and made a bit awkward in the Daydream controller.
Layers of Fear: Solitude provides some decent scares and a story which gets more and more interesting the longer you play. If you have a Google Daydream, it’s a good pick to give yourself a good scare and have several hours of fun.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is a solid, arcade style, rail shooter game. It has plenty of weapons and plenty of things to shoot at as you ride a roller coaster to hell. The controller is intuitive making it easy to get started.
The game makes good use of audio both to create an uneasy atmosphere and alert you to potential targets. Rush of Blood is in the Until Dawn series, though it’s not concerned with adding to the Until Dawn storyline. It is concerned with giving you fun time shooting scary clowns, giant spiders, and evil birds.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is a fun rail shooter game. It won’t blow you away, but it will provide hours of fun entertainment.
Based on the massively popular Alien series, Alien. In this game, you follow the terrifying adventures of Amanda Ripley, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, as she tries to find her mother and faces off against a terrifying alien along the way. If you are a fan of the Alien movies, especially the first movie, you’ll love the tie-ins callbacks in this game.
Alien: Isolation does an excellent job creating a massive 360 degree 3D environment that can only be fully experienced in VR. Through the story, amazing visuals, and gameplay, the game recreates the hair-raising, hide and seek suspense of the original Alien film.
This game gets VR right. It will immerse you the horrifying alien world for the thrill of your life.
Dreadhalls is a solid first-person shooter horror game. While the graphics, at times, leave something to be desired, its shadowy scenes and immersive experience can definitely get your heart rate up.
One of Dreadhalls more interesting features is that every time you play it’s different. The maze of halls and rooms are generated randomly every time you play so you can never learn the map. Not only does this make repeated play more interesting, but it increases the sense of unease as you play.
Dreadhalls also does an excellent job of using sound. If you listen carefully, sound cues will reveal the position of monsters. Also, the game uses sounds and music to enhance the scariness of the gameplay.
Dreadhalls may not be the most amazing horror game you ever play, but it’s definitely worth playing.
You’re stuck at the bottom of the ocean with the rest of humanity having been destroyed trying to find a way to survive. This is the terrifying setting of Soma, a game which has excellent depth of story and deals with some surprisingly deep subjects, such as identity and consciousness. Still, it doesn’t get weighed down by this and provides you with an exciting and tense gaming experience.
As you work your way through the game, stealth and speed are key as you try to avoid creatures and get to your goal. Soma also includes plenty of exploration and puzzles to enhance your experience. This leads to an impressively long gameplay time of around 12 hours.
The graphics and audio are good, but what stands out with Soma is the story and gameplay. They will suck in your for hours and leave you questioning some pretty deep topics after your heart starts beating again.
Dead Secret is a murder mystery that plays like a modern point and click adventure game. You hunt to find clues and work through a variety of puzzles as you try to find out what happened to Harris Bullard. But this isn’t an 80’s mystery, you aren’t alone, and it gets ridiculously scary.
While there are some well-timed jump scares in Dead Secret, its true sense or horror comes from the suspense of scenes, murky figures, and tense atmosphere. This tension continues to build throughout the game as it moves from a murder mystery to a survival suspense thriller.
The visuals for Dead Secret are among the best for Samsung Gear VR and create an excellent world that is believable. The game also has 5 different endings which depend on the choices you make during the game.
All in all, Dead Secret is thoroughly enjoyable and scary and definitely worth playing.
Bring to Light
Bring to Light sets you as the sole survivor of a subway accident. While it starts normal enough, you soon realize that much more is going on and monsters are everywhere. It continues on with you trying to avoid the monsters while solving puzzles, collect story clues, and working through obstacles.
The big innovation with Bring to Light is its dynamic use of biometrics to control the game. If you have a controller with a biometric sensor, it will track your heart rate and adapt the game to keep your heart rate up. Your heart rate goes up when you are scared and the game adapts to keep you scared.
The visuals and gameplay are decent, but it’s the biometric adaptation of the game that makes it stand out from the rest.
Doom 3: BFG Edition with VR Mod
In terms of the story and action, Doom 3: BFG Edition with VR Mod is actually just Doom 3: BFG Edition. However, some ingenious people have put together a mod for it to be adapted to VR and it’s awesome!
After all, it’s Doom…in VR!
The Hum: Abductions
The Hum: Abductions is a story-driven alien abduction game. According to thehumuniverse.com, you will play the wife of a man who disappeared months prior. As the story progresses, you uncover disturbing facts about both your family’s past and present which lead to a terrifying conclusion.
Why is this yet-to-be-released game in this list? While monsters and zombies can be scary while playing a game, few things can keep me up at night like a creepy alien abduction story. When The Hum: Abductions is finally released, it promises to be one scary ride that will make you leave your light on when you go to bed for a month.
Top 3 Free Horror Games for Virtual Reality
With all these horrifying options, which are the best?
Since horror genre has several different types of games (first person shooter, mystery adventure, rail shooter, etc.) different people may prefer different types of horror games.
I’ve tried to take that into consideration.
Below are my picks for the best scary VR games:
What do you need to play scariest VR games?
Gear & Items
Here is some gear to pick up if you want to have that great Virtual Reality horror experience:
Virtual reality games can be a lot of fun, but it’s almost like VR was invented for horror games. You just can’t get as immersed in a horror game on a console as you can with virtual reality and immersion is what makes horror great.
So, if you like horror, pull out your favorite VR gear (or buy some), pick up one of the games above and have a great time scaring the crap out of yourself.