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5 Best Indie Horror Games of All Time

Are you ready to be scared?

Man sitting on sofa with gaming remote in hand with zombie hands reaching towards him in the background.
Credit: leolintang/ Shutterstock

Are you an indie horror game enthusiast seeking spine-chilling experience? Look no further! Below I have listed five of the best indie horror games of all time to give your spine chills.

These games aren’t for the faint of heart, so prepare yourself for intense, thrilling gameplay that ranges from haunted places to terrifying creatures! So get ready to experience the ultimate horror adventure.

1. Amnesia: The Dark Descent

If you’re an indie horror game enthusiast, then you must have heard of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Frictional Games developed this survival horror game and released it back in 2010. 

In the game, the protagonist, Daniel, wakes up in a dark, eerie castle without any memory of who he is or how he got there. Surrounded by dangerous, hideous monsters, he must either hide or flee for survival. The game’s atmosphere is also extremely terrifying, with spooky music and creepy sound effects that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a must-play indie horror game that will leave you petrified.

Screenshot from Amnesia: The Dark Descent of table with candle, gun, and newspaper in low light.
In Amnesia, players must watch the main character’s “sanity meter” as disturbing events, darkness, and enemies drain the character’s sanity, causing the environment to become more surreal and dangerous. Credit: kalhh/ Pixabay

2. Barotrauma 

Barotrauma, released as early access in 2019, is an underwater survival horror game set in a dystopian future where humanity must live in underwater colonies on Jupiter’s moon Europa. Players must work together in order to survive treacherous depths while fighting against terrifying Lovecraftian creatures that loom in the chasms.

This game’s graphics and sound design create an unsettling and oppressive atmosphere, adding significantly to its playability. Furthermore, its strong emphasis on multiplayer makes this an enjoyable game to enjoy with others.

One of the hallmarks of Barotrauma’s appeal lies in the level of control players have over their characters. Players can modify their appearance and skills as desired and even assume different roles, such as captain or engineer on board their submarine. Furthermore, Barotrauma features an intricate crafting system whereby gamers create tools and weapons needed for survival. As a result, Barotrauma provides an excellent gaming option for indie horror lovers looking for a challenge!

Underwater submarine painting with harpoon shooting from submarine.
Barotrauma even includes a traitor mode in multiplayer where one person can try to blow up the submarine or sabotage the mission. Credit: The U.S. National Archives/ Picryl

3. Phasmophobia 

Phasmophobia is a paranormal cooperative horror game that was released in 2020. This game quickly gained a large fan base for its engaging gameplay mechanics and immersive atmosphere, taking players through their roles as paranormal investigators attempting to gather evidence of ghostly activity at various locations around the map. Phasmophobia’s graphics and sound design help create an unnerving and disquieting experience that contributes a lot to the gameplay.

One of the unique aspects of “Phasmophobia” is the use of real-time voice recognition. During the game, players can speak to the ghosts in order to gather evidence, and the spirits can respond to the players in different ways. This creates a truly immersive and unique gaming experience and makes Phasmophobia a game that is extremely fun to play with friends.

Person holding ghost hunting equipment in creepy and grainy photo.
Phasmophobia has been praised for its unique approach to horror, combining elements of ghost hunting and investigative gameplay to create a truly chilling experience. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ LuckyLouie

4. The Forest 

The Forest is a survival horror game that was released as early access in 2014. In it, players control an individual who finds himself trapped on an isolated island after his plane crashes. Upon exploring this island, he discovers it has an unpredictable cannibalistic tribe inhabiting the forest and must use his resources and intelligence in order to survive and remain unscathed by these deadly enemies.

One of the hallmarks of The Forest is its open-world gameplay. Players have total freedom to explore this island at their own pace, collecting resources, building shelters, and crafting weapons and tools that help them survive. There is even an intriguing day/night cycle, where a cannibalistic tribe becomes increasingly hostile each night, which creates urgency and tension within the game and keeps players on their toes!

Screenshot from the Forest video game with sun poking through tall trees.
The Forest also features a multiplayer mode that allows a group of players to explore the island together and survive as a team. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Gronkh

5. Five Nights at Freddy’s 

Five Nights at Freddy’s is a horror game first released in 2014. Set within an imaginary pizza restaurant called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, Five Nights at Freddy’s features animatronic characters who come alive at night to attack the security guard (the player). The game’s graphics are intentionally simple, with a retro look that adds to the creepy atmosphere.

Five Nights at Freddy’s gameplay involves monitoring security cameras and closing doors to keep animatronics out. It requires quick thinking and strategic execution if players hope to stay alive. Furthermore, the game’s jump scares are notorious for their ability to startle players, and the tension created by the game’s eerie atmosphere keeps players on edge throughout.

Five Nights at Freddy’s has quickly become an international cultural phenomenon since it launched and has sparked multiple sequels. This success can be attributed to its unique gameplay mechanics that create tension among players as they encounter fear-inducing foes in each new level of Five Nights at Freddy’s. Furthermore, many fan theories and online communities are devoted solely to exploring its lore, contributing to its immense popularity.

Up close photo of character Bonnie from Five Nights at Freddy's video game.
The movie adaptation of Five Nights at Freddy’s is currently in production, with a scheduled release date of October 2023. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Candy the Cat


For an immersive indie horror gaming experience, look no further than these top 6 indie horror games of all time! They deliver hours of intense playback featuring terrifying and exhilarating experiences galore. 

So, prepare for an intense journey filled with nail-biting horror adventures, and get ready to face some fierce, thrilling gameplay action!

Written By

Hello! I am an English and Entomology student at the University of Florida. I love roller skating, guitar, watercolor, beekeeping, video games, and good vibes!

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