Looking for the next horror game to play on Xbox One? No need to look anywhere else. We got you covered with this list. In this article, we’ll list down eight horror games that, in our opinion, are must-plays on Xbox One.
Play these games during night time at your own risk. It would be best to ask someone to sit beside you as you go through these games at night. Alternatively, you can print a picture of a kitten and place it beside you for comfort during intense moments.
8. Dying Light
Developed by Dead Island developers Techland, Dying Light is an action-packed survival horror game seen in a first-person view. Actually, if you played Dead Island, this game will feel very familiar. In Dying Light, you are placed in the shoes of Kyle Crane, an undercover operative tasked with infiltrating a fictional city infested with creatures similar to zombies. The story isn’t really the highlight, so we’ll skip going over it in detail.
The gameplay is where Dying Light truly shines. It features the same melee-focused gameplay seen in Dead Island – but bigger and more refined. There are more than 100 different weapons included, which players can freely combine to produce more powerful weapons. It is easy to get lost in the crafting system, which yields more than 1000 combinations. Melee weapons deteriorate with use, forcing you to constantly repair or craft new equipment.
What sets apart Dying Light from Dead Island is the inclusion of a parkour-based movement system and a day and night cycle. The former makes traveling around the city a lot smoother and more exciting. The latter directly affects the enemies in the game. During the day, enemies move slowly, allowing you to safely set up traps and search for supplies. When darkness descends, enemies turn into vicious and more nimble creatures. Dying Light is a bit light in the horror department. But its gameplay makes up for it, especially when you factor in the multiplayer mode, which features an asymmetrical gameplay.
Dead Rising is a series of survival horror games with a beat ‘em up gameplay. It was created by Keiji Inafune of Mega Man fame. Dead Rising 4 is the most recent installment in the four-game series, developed by Capcom Vancouver and published by Microsoft Studios. In terms of content and scale, Dead Rising 4 is the most over-the-top so far.
Dead Rising 4 sees the return Frank West, who was not featured prominently in Dead Rising 3. It is set primarily in Colorado where Frank is helping investigate another zombie outbreak in order to clear his name, which was tarnished after a botched-up investigation early in the game. The story is surprisingly good, though it gets overshadowed by all the action. If you’re looking for an action-packed horror game on Xbox One, Dead Rising 4 definitely won’t disappoint.
Set in a large open world, Dead Rising 4 places more focus on an action-oriented gameplay instead of exploration and puzzle-solving, a contrast to most of the games in this list. You will be fighting against hordes of zombies in this game. Anything and everything can be used as a weapon. Both Combo Weapons and Combo Vehicles return in Dead Rising 4. The downside is that the timer system seen in previous installments has been removed, lowering both the tension and the overall difficulty. Dead Rising 4 isn’t the scariest game in this list, but it’s certainly the most action-packed.
Layers of Fear is proof that a horror game can be successful by investing in a well-crafted, albeit super-disturbing, story. Developed by Polish developer Bloober Team, Layers of Fear is a psychedelic horror game released last February 2016. Heavy emphasis is placed on exploration and solving puzzles. The experience is really disturbing, so you might want to check out pictures of cute kittens every now and then while playing.
Experienced through a first-person perspective, Layers of Fear revolves around an unnamed painter with drinking issues. He is trying to create his masterpiece. The goal of the game is to help him complete this goal by exploring a creepy Victorian mansion and solving numerous puzzles. Because apparently, being surrounded by horrible stuff is great for artistic inspiration. As you progress through each chapter, you will slowly uncover the disturbing backstory of the painter. We won’t spoil anything here. But let’s just say his painting materials are one-of-a-kind.
The mansion where the painter resides is nightmare-inducing. Explicit and horrifying images litter the mansion, making exploration a truly haunting experience. The dimmed lighting also adds to the creepy atmosphere. Layers of Fear has multiple endings. The outcome depends on your actions throughout the game. Though it isn’t as action-oriented as other titles in this list, Layers of Fear makes up for it by delivering a disturbing and well-developed story. Be prepared for a healthy dose of jump scares while playing. This game isn’t for the faint-hearted. And have we mentioned that it’s really disturbing?
Many often overlook Alien: Isolation when talking about the best horror games on Xbox One. You can’t really blame them, though, considering previous Alien titles focused more on action rather than horror. Developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega, Isolation is set 15 years after the first Alien movie, which was released back in 1979.
The story centers on Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley who was played by Sigourney Weaver, as she looks into the mysterious disappearance of her mother. You control Amanda inside a space station with exploration as the chief objective. The game is seen in a first-person perspective, heightening the suspense and making exploration more immersive. The gameplay focuses heavily on stealth instead of direct enemy encounters. You can still use firearms, though the limited ammunition discourages violence.
A unique feature in Isolation is the inclusion of the infamous alien creature. Good news: only one alien is included. Bad news: you can’t kill it. Stealth is the key to avoid getting shredded by the alien. You can use different items to keep the horrifying creature at bay. For example, you can use a motion tracker to track the alien, a noise maker to distract the alien, and a Molotov cocktail to temporarily scare off the alien. The presence of the alien alone makes Isolation a must-play horror game on Xbox One. We really recommend giving it a shot.
Directed by Resident Evil mastermind Shinji Mikami, The Evil Within is a horror game best played during the day unless you want to be scarred for life. The game is set in a disturbing world full of nightmarish creatures that can make even horror-loving persons cringe. Seriously, you definitely don’t want to be playing this game in the middle of the night, no matter how iron-clad your heart is.
Released back in 2014, The Evil Within was developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks. The story focuses on police detective Sebastian Castellanos, who winds up in a gruesome world while investigating a mass murder case. Upon “arriving” in the mysterious world, Sebastian’s objective quickly shifts from investigation to full-on survival mode. The in-game locations are terrifyingly well-designed, forcing you to always think twice about taking another step.
Like the Resident Evil series, the gameplay of The Evil Within focuses on exploration and survival. Sebastian can use firearms and explosives to protect himself from nightmarish creatures. But due to the limited ammunition, using guns all the time is discouraged. Most of the time, running away is the best option in order to stay alive. Though the story is a bit messy, The Evil Within definitely delivers a truly haunting experience that can give you nightmares. A sequel, The Evil Within 2, is scheduled to arrive later this year.
Like Alien: Isolation, Among the Sleep is often overlooked in favor of more popular games from well-established survival horror series such as Dead Rising and Resident Evil. Developed by Norway-based Krillbite Studio, Among the Sleep was first released in 2014 on PC. The Xbox One port didn’t arrive until June 2016, more than two years after the original launch.
Among the Sleep is unique among most horror games in that it features a toddler as the playable character. Most horror games feature an adult or young adult as the main protagonist. Similar to most games in this list, the game is seen from a first-person view, which helps in making the experience more intimate. The majority of the game is set in the toddler’s house before shifting to a sort of imaginary world that features a gingerbread house.
The gameplay centers on exploration and avoiding two monsters. The toddler can walk, run, and crawl around as well as climb over objects. Due to the small stature of the toddler, reaching certain locations and interacting with specific objects require you to create a makeshift platform in order to gain additional height. The toddler is accompanied by a teddy bear, which serves as a source of temporary light. Despite its linearity, Among the Sleep is one of the most memorable horror games on Xbox One, largely due to the story.
Released last January 2017, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is the newest entry in the long-running survival horror series. Contrary to its numbered title, it is actually the 11th main installment following Resident Evil: Revelations 2. Unlike its direct predecessors, Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6, Biohazard harkens back to the series’ roots, focusing more on exploration and puzzle-solving instead of guns blazing action.
Biohazard follows the story of Ethan Winters who, while searching for his wife Mia, ends up in a mysterious house populated by the Baker family. He eventually gets caught up in a situation that he didn’t sign up for. The atmosphere in Biohazard is absolutely terrifying, with the Baker family constantly in pursuit and the so-called “Molded,” bacteria in humanoid form, haunting Ethan’s every step.
Biohazard is the first main entry to feature a first-person point of view, forcing you to experience all the horror up close. The environments are well-done, with every dark corner seemingly capable of popping a surprise or two to make even horror veterans jump. The puzzles are also well-designed, though some don’t offer much of a challenge. Biohazard is not only one of the best horror games on Xbox One, it is also arguably in the top five best Resident Evil titles of all time.
Developed by Canada-based indie developer Red Barrels, Outlast is without a doubt one of the most horrifying experiences on Xbox One. In our opinion, it is better than its recently released sequel, Outlast 2, with a deeper story and a more disturbing setting. Outlast 2 is also a great horror game on Xbox One, so we recommend checking out that one as well.
Outlast focuses on Miles Upshur, a freelance journalist, who sets out to investigate a psychiatric hospital in Colorado. He is armed with nothing but a camcorder, rendering him incapable of fighting against enemies unlike in most horror games where firearms are featured prominently. To survive, you will need to rely heavily on stealth tactics, which includes hiding behind large objects, slowly sidestepping enemies, and camping under beds. The story can be put together via progression and collection of numerous documents scattered throughout the game.
Compared to Outlast 2, Outlast is set in a confined environment with enemies lurking in every corner. It has LOTS of well-timed jump scares, so expect to be spooked regularly. Further adding to the suspense is the fact that most of the hospital is blanketed in darkness. The only way to see through the darkness is to use the night vision feature on Miles’ camcorder. However, the night vision causes the battery to drain quickly. You will need to be constantly on the lookout for extra batteries.
Outlast is a genuinely horrifying and disturbing horror game on Xbox One. It is full of jump scares and intense enemy chases and has an overall creepy environment. The claustrophobic atmosphere and the excellent music that complements the theme also add to the frightening experience. Outlast is our top choice for the best horror game on Xbox One.
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