The spooky season is fast approaching, and we’re excited. You’ve probably got your own favourite terrifying rituals you like to indulge in; whether that’s creepy cocktails, classic Halloween movies, or a rivetingly revolting book to get stuck into, everyone has a way of celebrating the nights getting longer and the skeletons getting spookier. One of the best ways to celebrate Halloween is to pick up a good horror game, and luckily, there’s no shortage of great PS5 horror games to enjoy. Here are some of our favourites.
Resident Evil Village
After Resident Evil 7: Biohazard revitalised the flagging series, Resident Evil Village kicked it up a notch. It’s the same basic first-person shooter formula espoused by Biohazard, but set in a much larger environment, full of opportunities to explore and optional content (yes, really). Village stumbles in its final hour or two, and it’s only scary for its first half, but there are enough terrors in here to give anyone a few sleepless nights. One caveat, though: not enough Lady Dimitrescu.
To look at it, you might not immediately lump Returnal in with the best PS5 horror games. It’s an action-packed third-person shooter-come-roguelite that resembles Metroid Prime more than Silent Hill. However, if you delve into the narrative of Returnal – and if you take a look at some of the deeply disturbing enemy design – you’ll realise it deserves to take its place among the PS5 horror greats. If nothing else, the feeling of dying after a three-hour run is terrifying enough to put it on this list.
Again, we’re stretching the definition of “horror” a little here, but play through Demon’s Souls’ Latria stage – or, heck, any of its levels – and tell us you’re not unsettled. Demon’s Souls boasts Hidetaka Miyazaki’s trademark horrifying enemy design pushed through a modern HD filter, so everything’s extra-slick and guaranteed to haunt your nightmares. We don’t want to spoil any of the game’s gruesome surprises, but there’s plenty here that will terrify even the most hardened horror veteran.
Okay, okay – we’ll get back to the proper PS5 horror games now, we promise. The Medium began its life as a timed Xbox and PC exclusive, but now Bloober Team’s homage to classic Silent Hill has made its way to the PS5. It never hits the lofty heights of Konami’s venerated franchise, but it’s certainly worth a playthrough, if only to see the clever ways in which Bloober simultaneously renders two worlds side by side. This one has some fun DualSense features, too.
Little Nightmares II
Little Nightmares II takes more of a baroque approach to its storytelling than many other horror games do, but it’s a rewarding approach nonetheless. The actual plot is fragmented and oblique, but it’s the moment-to-moment imagery that really makes Little Nightmares II shine. If you haven’t played the first game, it’s also well worth going back and revisiting it; Little Nightmares is not a long game (and nor is its sequel) but they are intense, nightmarish experiences that simulate bad dreams very well.
Dead By Daylight
Who said multiplayer games couldn’t be scary? Dead By Daylight is an asymmetrical multiplayer game in which one player controls a killer while the other four are survivors who must evade and outsmart their pursuer. The thrills on offer here are more kinetic and charged than subtle and slow-burning; think 80s slasher rather than 2010s psychological horror. Still, there are a range of killers and survivors on offer from plenty of iconic franchises, and no two games ever feel the same.
Subnautica isn’t quite an out-and-out horror game, but it contains some of the most terrifying underwater encounters we’ve ever seen, so we’re including it anyway. At its core, Subnautica is a narrative-based survival experience which sees you sallying forth from the safety of your escape pod in order to carve out a life for yourself on a hostile planet. Unlike many survival games, Subnautica’s world isn’t randomly generated, which makes exploring it and discovering its secrets all the more satisfying.
Another of Miyazaki’s creations makes it onto our list, and trust us when we say that despite being a PS4 game, Bloodborne is one of the most terrifying PS5 horror games you can play. The body horror of Bloodborne’s early monsters is truly sickening(ly brilliant), but it’s where the game goes after that that truly cements its place in the pantheon of horror greats. Again, we don’t want to spoil it, but if you can stomach the high difficulty, you need to experience Bloodborne at least once. Be sure to buy the DLC too!
We’re firmly into the realms of the PS4 horror lineup now – the PS5 is still in its relative infancy, after all, and hasn’t had time to amass the kind of classic collection its predecessor has. Alien: Isolation is the only Alien game to get the formula right: strip things back to one xenomorph and make the central loop all about avoiding it rather than trying to kill hundreds of its kind. It’s a touch baggy and overlong, but Isolation is a must-play if you love horror.
Frictional Games’ flagship franchise may be Amnesia, but for our money, SOMA is the more rewarding experience. It’s the same hide-and-seek horror game you’ve played before, but in a fresh new setting; think Amnesia meets BioShock, but with a dash of movies like Moon or Arrival to spice things up a little intellectually. SOMA’s fresh storytelling, relentless twists and turns, and terrifying monsters make it an essential experience if you love Amnesia and want something a little more philosophical.