This year was remarkable for games as a whole, but one category that felt a bit lacking, or perhaps too familiar, is the horror space. The horror offerings of 2023 were mostly conceived by remakes of fan favorite games, fantastic titles, that largely overshadowed an otherwise very exciting genre. So, if that’s the case, here are our picks for the best horror games of 2023.
5. Sons of the Forest
Yes, it is an Early Access game. But since it’s a paid-for product, we count it among the rest. Endnight’s sequel, The Forest Sons of the Forest, seemed to take what made the original game so terrifying and build on it with deeper survival systems, bolder enemies, scary environments, a disturbing story and big promises for the future. Anyone who thrives and enjoys going crazy while hunting for food and preparing basic shelter will be familiar with this game and why it was included in our horror list.
4. Amnesia: the bunker
For a long time, Amnesia was one of the best examples of a horror game. Beloved by fans and influencers alike, the series catapulted to new heights, but as time passed, it began to fade back into reality. Amnesia: The Bunker, while not the latest sensation, proved once again why Amnesia was such a titan in the horror space for so long by delivering an experience that was downright terrifying and packed with all the excitement a player needs to be instantly terrified of the dark. If you’ve been sleeping too much lately, Amnesia: The Bunker will solve that right away.
3. Dead space
Motive has absolutely done wonders with the way they have updated this beloved title. By retaining as much as possible and updating the areas that felt most held back by the end of the 2000s, the developers have reminded us all why we fell in love with Dead Space in the first place. Utilizing advanced visual display techniques and 3D-tracked audio systems, the 2023 remake of Dead Space felt infinitely more terrifying than its original counterpart, while the seamlessness of the USG Ishimura ship meant that the storyline and exploration never felt restrictive. With an excellent sequel to adapt as well, we can’t wait to see how the team continues to live up to the fear.
2. Resident Evil 4
For many, Resident Evil 4 is the best Resident Evil of them all. Whether you agree, or prefer Resident Evil 2, we can all agree that Capcom’s remake of the first stands out as one of the top titles of 2023 all the way. The brilliant storyline was retained, while modern technology and techniques raised the bar in graphical quality and fear factor, making for an experience that is both cinematic, thrilling, and truly faithful. The big question is where Capcom is going with its remakes, but judging by the last few things, we know we can look forward to a striking and brilliantly optimized survival-horror experience.
1. Alan Wake 2
There’s really no doubt which game takes the crown in this list. Remedy knocked it out of the park with this sequel, so much so that for a large portion of gamers, Alan Wake 2 is totally their Game of the Year. It effortlessly stands head and shoulders above most of the horror genre due to the fact that it is an original game and not a pure remake, while the creative and authentic Remedy stylings prove that this is also a game unlike almost anything we’ve ever seen before.
Alan Wake 2 is also genuinely terrifying at times. The way Remedy uses sound and lighting, and other graphical display techniques, as well as pacing and tension, is all masterful and makes for a game that constantly leaves you on the edge of your seat. The original Alan Wake was fantastic, but Alan Wake 2 is remarkable, and perhaps one of the greatest examples of creativity and what a game can be when it seems to deviate from the oft-tried setups we have become so familiar with.