For fans of horror games, 2018 may seem like it wasn't a great year. Some of the most anticipated horror games of 2018 were flops, like the critically-lambasted Agony and the disappointing Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game. Indeed, the horror game landscape was fairly bare when it came to quality big budget titles in 2018, but luckily some smaller games stepped up to the plate to deliver the chills and thrills.
For anyone looking for a good scare, here are the best horror games of 2018.
5 Gray Dawn
Rarely do video games tackle religious themes, but when they do, they can be pretty effective. Gray Dawn leverages its Christianity backdrop in a way that makes the game even creepier, and while it may be more reserved than something like Outlast 2, it can still be pretty horrifying. In the game, players take control of Father Abraham on Christmas Eve 1920 as he investigates the strange disappearance of one his altar boys, David. Along the way, players unravel a rather disturbing tale of mystery and child murder, which has been praised for its twists, turns, and use of psychological horror.
Gray Dawn released on June 7, 2018 and is exclusive to PC.
4 Remothered: Tormented Fathers
Originally released in early access in October of last year, Remothered: Tormented Fathers is now available to the masses. Touting itself as a pure, classic survival-horror experience, Remothered ditches the first-person viewpoint that many games in the genre have adopted as of late, instead utilizing a third-person view like Resident Evil or Silent Hill. Critics have compared Remothered to other classic horror games like Clock Tower, and it has also been praised for its realism. In terms of pure scare factor, Remothered may very well be the top of its class for 2018.
Remothered: Tormented Fathers is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with a Nintendo Switch version also in development.
3 The Forest
After surviving a plane crash, the player character in The Forest has to watch helplessly as his son is kidnapped by a cannibalistic mutant. From there, he searches for his son and attempts to survive in the wild, all the while encountering increasingly more disfigured mutants and other creatures. Along with its compelling premise, The Forest nails its survival gameplay mechanics, and is also notable for being one of the most visually impressive horror games that released all year.
The Forest is available for both PC and PlayStation 4.
The horror genre and the increased immersion provided by virtual reality headsets go hand-in-hand, so it's no surprise to see a VR game on this list. Transference is a collaboration between Ubisoft and SpectreVision, a company founded by Hollywood star Elijah Wood, and it sees players explore a creepy apartment building as they attempt to discover the story behind a broken family. Transference cleverly uses its sound design to heighten the tension, and leaves gamers on edge from start to finish.
Transference is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and is compatible with Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive headsets.
1 Welcome to the Game 2
The dangers of the Dark Web have been mined for horror movies in films like Unfriended 2, and while the Dark Web hasn't been explored much in games, one title that handles the subject matter very well is Welcome to the Game 2. In Welcome to the Game 2, players take control of a reporter investigating the disappearance of a woman, and they only have three real-world hours to complete their objective. While they're exploring the Dark Web in search of more information on the missing woman, they can be attacked by a hitman, cultists, and more, which adds a great deal of tension to the proceedings.
Welcome to the Game 2 released April 3, 2018 for PC.
While there were some strong indie and VR horror game offerings in 2018, it's understandable that some fans of the genre may have been let down this year. On the bright side, 2019 looks like it will be an especially strong year for the horror game genre, with the much-anticipated Resident Evil 2 remake kicking things off in January, and the open world zombie game Days Gone set to launch just a few months after.
Beyond those games, there are a number of other big horror games that are also set to launch in 2019, so anyone disappointed with 2018's offerings have plenty to look forward to next year.