The Best Indie Horror Games

The Best Indie Horror Games

There are plenty of amazing horror games out there, but some of the very best ones that will leave you shaken to your core are indie horror games. If you’re looking to pick up new games for some scares, here are the best indie horror games you can play.

25. Layers of Fear (2023)

Layers of Fear shadow in the window
Image Credit: Bloober Team SA.

Layers of Fear compiles all of the Layers of Fear games into one, with remastered graphics and new content. The first game alone is bone-chilling and will have you covering your eyes with your hands during cutscenes. If you like jump scares in your game, Layers of Fear 2 is the one for you. 

This game will definitely leave a mark, and you won’t forget it for a long while after.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

24. Oxenfree

Oxenfree campfire
Image Credit: Night School Studio.

Oxenfree isn’t the traditional horror game, but there are a couple of jump scares littered throughout. This game comes with a warning, though, as it tackles triggering subjects that may not be for the faint of heart.

This game is thick with atmosphere, has a beautiful art style, and has you completing puzzles after a beach party goes wrong.

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS

23. Darkwood

Darkwood gnarled corpse
Image Credit: Acid Wizard Studio.

Darkwood is one of the most unique survival horrors out there. You can play the game from a top-down perspective, scavenging materials and exploring a vast, changing world each day. By night, you are hiding away in your bunker and hoping you survive the night before you do it all over again.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

22. Detention

Two people walking down a hill in Detention
Image Credit: RedCandleGames, AGM PLAYISM.

Detention is quite a politically charged game, with their other game being promptly removed from Steam. Detention explores the themes of martial law in Taiwan in the 1960s, including glances into Chinese and Taiwanese culture and mythology.

The art style is unique and really makes the game shine. Detention is dripping with atmosphere, and will have you feeling uncomfortable the entire time. If you want to glance into the 1960s in Taiwan, this is the perfect game for it.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Android

21. Poppy Playtime

Horror Gameplay of Poppy Playtime on Steam
Image Credit: Mob Entertainment.

Although it looks like a typical mascot game similar to Five Nights At Freddy’s at a base level, Poppy Playtime is so much more than that. It starts unassuming but slowly gets darker and darker, becoming a psychological horror more than anything. By chapter three, you are seriously creeped out but want to know more of the story that is slowly but surely being uncovered about the toy factory.

If you’re a fan of puzzles in your horror games, Poppy Playtime is the perfect indie horror game to pick up.

Platforms: PC, Android, iOS, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch

20. Ad Infinitum

Ad Infinitum fire in environment
Image Credit: Nacon.

History meets horror in this indie horror game, as it takes place during World War I. This psychological horror is bound to play with your mind as you fight back against horrific monsters while trying to save your sanity. 

The monsters are truly grotesque, so if you aren’t a fan of gore or body horror, Ad Infinitum may not be the game for you. However, it does have a great atmosphere and adds a unique layer of fear to World War I.

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S

19. Visage

Visage bedroom
Image Credit: SadSquare Studios.

If you’ve been longing for a game similar to Silent Hills P.T. that was released on PlayStation 4, this game is it. You follow multiple stories in Visage, each with its own level of terror. The graphics make this game extra scary with its extremely high definition. 

The atmosphere of this game is like no other and will have you looking over your shoulder well after you’re done playing it. Visage incorporates lots of puzzles into the game, giving you a false sense of security while you’re exploring. 

Don’t get too comfortable, though; you never know when the next jump scare is going to happen.

Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

18. Outlast

Photo Credit:
Red Barrels

Outlast is an “oldie but a goldie.” Originally released in 2013, this game still stands today and is a great game to play if you’re looking for an authentic horror experience. Filming a derelict mental institution with a camera, you have to rely on your wits and have enough batteries to see in the dark. 

Without them, you may find yourself encountering the horrors that reside in the shadows. There are scares aplenty, and if you find the base game isn’t enough for you, there’s also a fantastically chilling DLC.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One

17. Little Nightmares 2

Mono dragging a hammer behind him
Image Credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment.

While Little Nightmares is a beautifully crafted game, there is something that is just slightly more haunting and disorienting about Little Nightmares 2. Combining cute characters with a dystopian world and puzzles makes for quite the experience. Some of the enemies in this game are downright terrifying and have left me on edge even after I’ve closed the game.

Little Nightmares 2 is an intense experience you don’t want to miss.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

16. Amnesia: The Bunker

Amnesia The Bunker room
Image Credit: Frictional Games.

There are plenty of great games in the Amnesia franchise, but Amnesia: The Bunker is the latest, and it is an eerie game, to say the least. This is another World War I game set in a bunker, where you must fight for survival while avoiding the monster lurking in the shadows.

Amnesia: The Bunker combines crafting, exploration, and survival elements with jump scares and psychological horror.

Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S

15. Sons of the Forest

Sons of the Forest cave system
Image Credit: Newnight.

Sons of the Forest is the sequel to The Forest and is better than ever. It compiles all of your favorite elements from the Forest and brings them to an even bigger map with more quests, stunning graphics, and even scarier enemies. 

The game receives regular updates, so make sure you’re keeping up to date with the new content or fixes added to the game. If you thought you were brave because you have friends with you, this game will make you second guess all of that.

Platforms: Windows

14. Dredge

Dredge autumnal river
Image Credit: Team17.

Not the most typical indie horror game on this list, but it deserves a mention regardless. If you’re a fan of Lovecraftian and Eldritch Horrors, Dredge is the game for you. The feeling of dread sets in slowly as you have to fish to make ends meet. Completing quests along the way, you uncover more horrors lurking underneath the waters.

If you have thalassophobia, you might want to give this game a miss. Or, play it and reinforce your phobia all over again.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

13. Escape the Backrooms

Office type room in Escape the Backrooms
Image Credit: Fancy Games.

The Backrooms was initially a bit of a meme, but from it has come some fantastic horror content. Set in an eerie liminal space, you have to try and make an escape. However, it’s not just an empty space; you need to hide away from the monsters lurking around the corners.

You can decide to play this game by yourself or with up to three other players. Will you be able to Escape the Backrooms?

Platforms: PC

12. The Outlast Trials

The Outlast Trials doctor
Image Credit: Red Barrels.

The Outlast Trials is the latest game to be created by the indie games company Red Barrels. It combines all of the best parts of the Outlast games to make a terrifying multiplayer experience. While you think you’re safe with your friends, you will get lost and easily separated in the dark.

Make sure you’re stocking up on supplies. You never know when you’ll need them…

Platforms: Windows, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5

11. The Mortuary Assistant

The Mortuary Assistant demon
Image Credit: DreadXP.

If you’ve always wanted to know what happens in a morgue, the Mortuary Assistant is not a game for that. Instead, it will give you a fear like no other of what happens in the morgue and have you wondering whether the dead are demons or not. This game is jumpscare heavy but still offers a greatly terrifying experience with the wide variety of scares available.

Platforms: Windows, Nintendo Switch

10. Madison

A polaroid in hand in MADiSON

MADiSON is a great first-person psychological horror. While photography isn’t scary on a base level, relying on a camera’s flash to reveal clues and horrors waiting in the dark makes the game extra terrifying. There is no scarier feeling than being filled with existential dread, knowing that you will see something on the other side of the camera.

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S

9. Martha Is Dead

Woman in white puppet show in Martha is Dead
Image Credit: Wired Productions.

Martha is Dead is a unique horror game set in World War 2; it covers a lot of triggering topics. For those who may be sensitive to certain subjects, I would recommend doing research before playing this game. If you find you’re up to it, the game comes with a fantastic story and brilliant character design.

If you’ve been searching for a story-based horror game, Martha is Dead blurs the lines between superstition and reality and has some wild plot twists that will leave you questioning everything by the end.

Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

8. Barotrauma

Barotrauma submarine layout
Image Credit: Daedalic Entertainment.

Barotrauma is an interesting indie horror game. It’s a 2D co-op game that takes place in a submarine. This is a great game if you enjoy strategy and survival horror. The graphics can make it a little bit difficult to tell what is going on at times, but it can also be a great experience, albeit stressful. 

This is another game where it can definitely trigger your thalassophobia, especially if you’re scared of what may be lurking in the dark. You just never know when you’ll come into contact with it…

Platforms: PC

7. Simulacra

Missing girl on a phone screen in Simulacra
Image Credit: Neon Doctrine.

Simulacra is a bit of a slow-burn horror game, but the whole Simulacra franchise is fantastically dark and twisty. You have to solve a mystery to find where the owner of the phone has gone, but there is something darker at play. Some of the scares are so subtle that it can take you a while to notice; when it does, it will make you incredibly uncomfortable.

Platforms: Android, iOS, PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

6. Signalis

Elster in Signalis
Image Credit: Humble Games, PLAYISM.

Signalis is the classic survival horror experience. This combines sci-fi with the usual survival horror elements, where you play as a female protagonist. This game contains quite a dark storyline and some gripping combat, so make sure you strap in to follow the story of Elster.

Platforms: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

5. Omori

Omori and his friends
Image Credit: OMOCAT, LLC.

Omori made quite a splash in the gaming community, and it was all everyone talked about for a while. If you’re one of the people who don’t know about Omori, prepare for a dark experience. Although it is vivid and full of color on the outside, the story that lies within is much sadder and darker. It covers many difficult subjects and discusses mental health, making this one of the harder-hitting indie horror games.

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4

4. Slay the Princess

Slay the Princess - chained princess
Image Credit: Black Tabby Games.

Slay the Princess combines visual novel and psychological horror. If you’re a fan of twists, turns, and forks in the story. You never quite know where the story will go, and some very subtle changes happen throughout the story that will have you questioning everything.

If you want a mind-boggling experience, Slay the Princess is that.

Platforms: PC

3. World of Horror

World of Horror gameplay
Image Credit: PLAYISM.

World of Horror combines visual novel elements with a roguelike where you have to make careful decisions to progress through the game. This 1-bit horror game is a love letter to H.P. Lovecraft and Junji Ito. If you’re a fan of either, this game will blow your socks off. 

There are so many different quests to complete while ensuring you survive whatever eldritch horrors come out at you.

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5

2. Unholy

Unholy father's kitchen
Image Credit: HOOK.

It wouldn’t be a horror game list if there wasn’t a horror game based around religion on the list. Unholy involves a cult taking the player’s child, and you have to worm your way back into the cult, solve puzzles, and figure out how to get your child back.

There are some downright terrifying monsters, but the game’s aesthetic is stunning. While it could do with some patches to fix a couple of things, don’t let that deter you from playing this indie horror game.

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S

1. Inscryption

Inscryption card game in progress
Image Credit: Devolver Digital.

Inscryption is one of the coolest but most mind-bending games on this list. It starts as a “normal” deck builder and roguelike. However, the more you succeed, the more horrifying things you uncover. It goes from a deck builder to a puzzler, with escape rooms needing to be solved and much, much more.

Inscryption is such a fantastic game; you really don’t want to miss out on it.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

That concludes our list of the best indie horror games you can play. There’s something for everyone on this list. What’s your favorite indie horror game?

Be sure to stay tuned into our weekly round-up of new indie games

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Written by Amy Eastland

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