Must Play Horror Games from the Mid-2000’s to the Early 2010’s

In our previous article that talked about the best horror games from the 90’s to the 2000’s, we were able to discuss a few that may be great when played during the Halloween season. On this one, we will be discussing more titles, starting with games that were released during the middle of the 2000’s and ending with those that were released in the early 2010’s.

And just like the previous article, we will only be putting one game per franchise to provide room for more games. Feel free to check out the list of horror games below, some of it may already be familiar to you and some of it may be entirely new. Now, go ahead and start scaring the crap out of yourself.

F.E.A.R (2005)

best horror game

If you are looking for a first person shooter that contains elements from both the action and horror genre, then you should give this game a try. First Encounter Assault Recon, simply abbreviated as F.E.A.R. is a game that has been very well received by both critics and gamers, with one review saying that the game is just “as thrilling as Half-Life“. For some, its a brand new experience when you’re too busy shooting down the baddies and you’ll be greeted by a jump scare or a disturbing image.

F.E.A.R., is a first person survival horror video game developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Games and Sierra Entertainment. This game was released worldwide on October 17, 2005 for Microsoft Windows only, though it was then ported to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game has two expansion packs: F.E.A.R. Extraction Point, which was released in 2006, and F.E.A.R. Perseus Origin, which was released in 2007.

The titular character that the player will be controlling is simply named the “Point Man”, who is a member of an organization known as the First Encounter Assault Recon. His team has been tasked to track down a man named Paxton Fettel and eliminate him. Little do they know, that they will have to deal with a far greater threat than what they have expected.

Condemned: Criminal Origins (2005)

best horror game

If you are into games that are played in a first person perspective, then you will surely enjoy this game. Unlike most first person video games, Condemned: Criminal Origins focuses on melee combat and puzzle solving, rather than the usual shoot-em-ups. And another great feature about this game is the horror elements that were incorporated into it, think about up close and personal encounters with your enemies. Indeed, this is a fresh take on the entire survival horror genre.

Condemned: Criminal Origins, also known as Condemned: Psycho Crime in Japan, or just Condemned in both Europe and Australia, is a first person survival horror video game developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Games and Sega. This game was initially released for the Xbox 360 in 2005, and then for Microsoft Windows in April 2006. As mentioned earlier, the game puts emphasis on close combat, puzzle solving, gathering evidence, and even looking for fingerprints. According to its developers, the game is inspired by horror flicks that include The Silence of the Lambs.

The game puts the player in control of an SCU Agent named Ethan Thomas, who has been sent to a murder scene to investigate. He, along with his fellow agents, then find themselves in an abandoned building that is inhabited by criminals and psychopaths. During this investigation, Ethan soon learns that he has been accused of murdering two of his colleagues. He must then look for the person who framed him of this murder, who he suspects is the Serial Killer X.

Resident Evil 4 (2005)

best horror game

Including only one Resident Evil title to this list may result in a debate, considering there were also other games in the franchise that were just as equally good. But since only one game can be included for every game series, we would have to go with Resident Evil 4. The main reason why this game made it into this list is that it was title that changed the entire game – that is, before another shift was taken for the most recent entry, Resident Evil 7. And this shift in game style was pulled off perfectly because it made Resident Evil 4 action-oriented while still retaining its horror elements.

Resident Evil 4, or Biohazard 4 in Japan, is actually the sixth major entry to the Resident Evil series, and also the last one to be directed by Shinji Mikami, who directed the first game and produced the second, third, and the spin-off sequel, Code: Veronica. This game is both developed and published by Capcom, and was originally planned to be released exclusively for the Nintendo Gamecube console. Today, this game has already been ported to all gaming consoles and PC’s, and has also been re-released as a remastered version of the original game.

From the fixed camera angles that were used in the first few Resident Evil entries, this game decided to use a slightly off-center third-person perspective, and popularized the over-the-shoulder aiming which is actually introduced by Ubisoft in the first Splinter Cell game. This game has also shifted from the slow zombie enemies in the previous games to the mind-controlled humans that are capable of wielding weapons and running. Not only that, these enemies also know how to team up and call for reinforcements.

The game takes place in 2004, six years after the Raccoon City incident, with the player taking the role of Leon S. Kennedy, who is one of the playable characters in Resident Evil 2. Leon, now an agent under the government, is sent to a remote village inhabited by Spanish-speaking villagers, and is tasked in rescuing the daughter of the U.S. President. There, horror awaits Leon, along with a few run-ins with people who he thought have been dead already.

Speaking of Resident Evil, two of their more recent entries – Revelations 1 and 2 – are planned to be released on the Nintendo Switch. To see more games from this console, check out our list of the best Nintendo Switch games.

Dead Space (2008)

best horror game

For a game that is basically just Resident Evil in space, Dead Space took a lot of inspiration from the more recent Resident Evil entries and set it in outer space in the very distant future. But that’s not to say that this game is a complete rip-off, it is actually a very good game whether or not you are a fan of the Resident Evil series. This game is able to combine the elements from third-person action shooters and the horror genre, and is made even more horrifying because of the claustrophobic feeling of being stranded in a ship in outer space.

Dead Space is third-person survival horror game developed by EA’s Visceral Games and published by Electronic Arts. It was released in 2008 for the Microsoft Windows, Sony PlayStation 3, and the Xbox 360. This game became very successful both critically and commercially, and was able to spawn two sequels, Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3, which were released in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Aside from the two follow-up titles, three spin-off games were also released under the franchise – the on-rails shooter, Dead Space: Extraction; the puzzle game, Dead Space Ignition; and a mobile spin-off simply known as Dead Space. If you want to check out more games for your mobile devices, you may refer to our list of the best mobile games in 2017.

The game is set in the 26th Century, and follows ship systems engineer Isaac Clarke as he, along with a team of soldiers and technicians, is sent to the USG Ishimura after it sent out a distress signal. There, they discover that the ship has been abandoned and are then attacked by bloodthirsty monsters, resulting in the death of many of their team members. It is now up to Isaac and the remaining survivors to escape the Ishimura, but not without uncovering some secrets that have been kept hidden from them.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010)

best horror game

Amnesia: The Dark Descent, the one game that resulted in so many Let’s Plays on the internet, and one of those games that helped launched many of today’s gaming YouTubers’ careers. It is one of those survival horror games that focused on hiding and evasion rather than actually facing your enemies head on. This game has been met with very positive reviews upon its release, and is considered by one gaming site as the third best horror game of all time, out of twenty games.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is first-person survival horror video game developed and published by Frictional Games. It was released on September 8, 2010 for the Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. On November 22, 2016, the game was again released for the Sony PlayStation 4. The game was followed-up by an indirect sequel, titled Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, which was released in 2013.

The player controls the protagonist named Daniel in a first-person perspective as he tries to bring back memories about himself or his past. He awakens inside a castle with a note that he had written to himself. The note simply notifies Daniel of his previous actions, that erasing his own memory was done intentionally, and that something is hunting him. The note also instructs Daniel to kill the baron of the castle, Alexander, who can be found hiding within the Inner Sanctum of the castle. Throughout the game, the player will encounter many of Daniel’s own diaries, and this will help in him slowly gaining back his memory.

Alan Wake (2010)

best horror game

For a game that somehow has similarities to a thriller television show, Alan Wake is sure to entertain you while keeping your heart pounding fast. This game took over five years to create, and this is an unusually long duration for an industry to develop a single game. But even though it took the developers that long to make this game, it received a lot of positive reviews during its release, it even placed first in Time Magazine’s list of the ten best video games of 2010.

Alan Wake is a psychological action thriller game developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by Microsoft Studios. The game was first released for the Xbox 360 console in May 2010, and then for Microsoft Windows in 2012. According to the developers, the game is described as being in the “mind of a psychological thriller” and the “body of an action game”. They would not even consider the game as being a survival horror, though many gamers would speak otherwise.

The player is placed into the shoes of the titular character, Alan Wake, who is a best-selling thriller novelist, as he journeys through uncovering the mystery behind the disappearance of his wife. During his investigation, Alan starts to experience events that took place in his most recent novel, but the only problem with this is that, he doesn’t remember writing any of it. The player will encounter numerous enemies in the game known as the Taken, which are simply shadows that took the form of humans, and are capable of physically hurting Alan. Because of this, Alan must look for his wife as soon as possible, while keeping himself alive through all this nightmare.

Outlast (2013)

best horror game

Here is another game that leaves the player defenseless against enemies, and the only things that can be done to survive is to hide inside closets or under the bed, or just run away from the enemy. Outlast has similar gameplay mechanics to another highly popular survival horror game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but with an added feature that makes the whole experience even more scarier and stress-inducing. Most of the game takes place in the dark, and your only mode of seeing through the dark is with the use of your camcorder’s night vision capabilities. But it doesn’t stop there, prolonged use of your night vision quickly drains your batteries, and you will need to scavenge for spare batteries so you can continue being able to see in the dark.

Outlast is a survival horror game both developed and published by Red Barrels, and was initially released for Microsoft Windows on September 4, 2013. Versions for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were released in 2014, and versions for Linux and OS X computers were released in 2015. Since its release, the game has sold over four million copies worldwide, and that’s taking into consideration the overall sales across all platforms. That is actually not very surprising, especially from the fact that the game has garnered a lot of positive reviews from critics and gamers alike.

The game puts the player into the shoes of a freelance investigative journalist named Miles Upshur, as he goes to a remote psychiatric hospital to investigate its activities. This action by Miles is the result of an email that he received from an anonymous sender, informing him of the inhumane experiments that have been conducted inside the facility. There, he is greeted by the corpses of the workers and some SWAT officers, one of which, in his final moments, is able to warn Miles that the patients have escaped their rooms and are going on a killing spree. From this moment on, it is now up to you to help Miles survive and escape the facility in one piece.

Play this game using any of these gaming headsets, for sure, you will have a hard time keeping yourself glued to your seat.

Slender: The Arrival (2013)

best horror game

Here is a game that resulted from the success of an indie freeware horror game titled Slender: The Eight Pages, and have been featured in a lot of Let’s Play videos on YouTube. Slender: The Arrival is considered as the sequel to The Eight Pages, though it can also be taken as simply an expanded version of the latter, with an added storyline that somehow tried to explain what had happened prior to the current events. Like the previous game discussed on this list, this game disables the player from any form of defensive capabilities, and only allows the players to run away from their adversaries, whether it is the Slenderman himself, or something else.

Slender: The Arrival is a survival horror video game that is played from a first person perspective. This game was developed by Blue Isle Studios and Parsec Productions (the same company that developed The Eight Pages). Blue Isle Studios is also responsible in publishing the game, but for the console releases, Midnight City took over as the publisher. The game was released in March 2013 for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, in September 2014 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and in 2015 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the Wii U. This game is based on the fictional supernatural being created on the Something Awful website simply known as the Slenderman.

The game follows Lauren, who decides to go to the house of her childhood friend, Kate, after receiving disturbing letters from her. Upon reaching Kate’s house, Lauren finds that the doors have been left open, the furniture and other things disarranged, and that no one is around. This, along with some strange sounds that Lauren keeps hearing from outside, led her to investigate the whereabouts of her friend.

The game is divided into chapters, and at most parts of it, you will be going to abandoned places such as a house, a mine, a camping park, and many more. Most of these chapters will also require you to do specific tasks to enable you to progress through the game. These tasks may involve collecting scraps of paper, closing doors and windows, or activating generators. In relation to this, we also have a separate list of the best Xbox One games that you might want to read.

The Last of Us (2013)

best horror game

Lastly, the game that garnered universal acclaim and numerous Game of the Year awards, The Last of Us quickly became on of the best-selling games on the PlayStation 3 during its release. All these praises were directed at the game’s storyline, pacing, gameplay, sounds, and overall visual design. This game has become one of the most awarded games in video gaming history, and is also considered as one of the best video games of all time.

The Last of Us is an third person action survival horror video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was released for the Sony PlayStation 3 on June 4, 2013, and re-released as a remastered version for the Sony PlayStation 4 in July 2014. Several DLC’s have also been released by the developers, including a spin-off single player campaign that follows the games secondary character, Ellie, and her friend, Riley.

The game is set in 2033 in a post-apocalyptic world that has already been inhabited by humans that were infected by a mutated fungus that has made them hostile and cannibalistic. For the majority of the game, the player will take control of the protagonist, Joel, as he tries to escort a young girl named Ellie, across the country. For the entire duration of the game, the player will experience going through multiple seasons as they try to survive while also looking for a cure to the infection that cost the lives of so many people.

If you think playing these games as it is will make you have a good experience, check out these gaming accessories and consider using any of them to take your experience at an even greater level. And since this article serves as the second one in my three-part list of horror games for the Halloween season, stay tuned for the third part.

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