The glow of the moon just barely illuminates your room through your curtains. You’re alone in the house with nothing but your personal demons to keep you company. There’s an uncomfortable silence, broken only by the rhythmic hooting of an owl. Sounds like it’s the perfect kind of night to terrify yourself, and we have a list of the best Xbox One horror games to help.
Some may argue that there is nothing scarier than an effective horror game. To test that theory, we’ve compiled this list of the biggest horrors on Xbox One; true shockers that should leave you paranoid of what evils are stalking you in your dark, lonely abode. From fast-paced first-person shooters to methodical indie titles, these Xbox One releases and backward compatible games are not for the faint of heart.
So set the mood, dim the lights, turn up the surround sound, and prepare yourself for an evening of frights with these best Xbox One horror games.
To prevent one or two franchises from taking over the list, we’ll be featuring only one game from each.
The Best Xbox One Horror Games
15. Sylvio (2015)
Developer: Stroboskop Publisher: Stroboskop
Ghosts are handled in all sorts of manners in video games. They can be subtle guides on our long journeys or the very monstrosities that stand in our way. In Sylvio, an indie-developed first-person horror title, they’re a bit of both. How you interact with them, however, is the kicker.
You play as Juliette Walters, an EVP-specialist equipped with a reel recorder. Though nasty spirits impede Juliette’s task, she also uses their vocal remnants to piece together her path. Sylvio isn’t very polished, but what it lacks in visual style it makes up for in atmosphere and gameplay ingenuity. If you don’t mind slow-paced horror and last-gen visuals, it’s one of those games horror fans should play at least once.
14. State of Decay 2 (2018)
Developer: Undead Labs Publisher: Microsoft Studios
The original State of Decay needed a lot of help. It was a fun concept marred by bland environments and a lack of multiplayer. The sequel does a great job of rectifying those issues and more in the zombie-filled country landscape. State of Decay 2 carries over the character swap and base mechanics, but puts a little more work into them so they’re tighter and less frustrating to manage.
The undead are persistent and abundant and there are few moments of peace in the infested world. This helps create an experience fueled by tension and dread as you anticipate the worst every time you step foot in an abandoned house or building. At higher levels, State of Decay 2 turns into the perfect stress reliever as you mow over and cut down hordes of zombies.
Dead by Daylight features a concept that’s become popular in many recent competitive/cooperative multiplayer experiences. One player takes control of a deranged killer or supernatural entity and must hunt down and kill four player-controlled prey. Controlling either can be fun, especially once you learn the nuances of each villain, which include DLC characters like Michael Myers, Leatherface, and a pig-faced killer inspired by Saw.
As humans, players must activate multiple generators while avoiding their super-powered stalker, creating a tense game of cat and mouse that doesn’t let up until you’re dead or free. Dead by Daylight’s gameplay is evenly balanced to give the relatively powerless survivors a chance at escaping each realm.
The result is a solid multiplayer that’s equal parts delightful and terrifying. It’s not easy to turn a multiplayer game into an effective horror title, but Behaviour Interactive found the right formula.
Developer: Techland Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Imagine, if you will, that Dead Island and Mirror’s Edge had a baby. The product would probably look something like Dying Light, an open-world zombie-killing experience with an emphasis on parkour.
One of the best aspects of Dying Light is its fictional setting of the Mediterranean city of Harran, which gives you plenty of accessible surfaces to run, jump, and climb over in a pinch. Rather than pit you one-on-one against hordes of zombies, Dying Light encourages you to run, especially come nightfall when the real monsters stalk the streets. Heavy-hitting melee attacks, sparse firearms, unique abilities, and a crafting and weapon upgrade system round out your means of survival when you must take on the shamblers.
Developer: Remedy Entertainment Publisher: Microsoft Studios
When tortured author Alan Wake brings his wife to a lake house in the small town of Bright Falls, WA, their getaway is interrupted by a living nightmare. Pursued by shadows and haunted by his own psyche, Wake has only one resource in his fight against the damned – light. Equipped with a flashlight, the author battles through twisted versions of Bright Falls’ residents in one of the most haunting games to release for the Xbox 360. Heck, it even tops most that released on the Xbox One.
The taunting that comes from Wake’s shadowy nemeses only amps up the terror, especially when you’re doing all you can to escape them for a small patch of light. Alan Wake’s story can get a little jumbled toward the end, but it’s an all-around scary game that showed off Remedy’s prowess with atmosphere and tone.