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20 Best PlayStation 5 Survival Horror Games To Scare You Witless

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After a brief dark period during the PlayStation 3 era, the survival horror genre has been making a slow comeback through various avenues. This includes small-scale indies as well as big-budget mainstream productions. We’re also starting to see more low-budget horror games release on consoles, which was an exclusively PC domain for a time. If you’re in the mood to get spooked, here are some of the best PlayStation 5 survival horror games that you can play today.

#20 The Dark Pictures Anthology Series

The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes
  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

The Dark Pictures Anthology series is titled as such because each entry is a self-contained story following a new cast across different genres/modes of horror. There’s recognizable B-movie tropes aplenty, with the online multiplayer experience setting these games apart from everything else on the list. Each entry in this series has an online mode in which two players are often experiencing different scenes simultaneously without the split-screen awareness of games like A Way Out. This unique spin on communal horror makes each game worth at least one visit when paired with the right person. It makes the typically dry and passive narratives much more interesting.

#19 The Medium

  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

The Medium is one of those horror games without combat. This is a shock in itself considering the developers and gaming media played up the Silent Hill comparisons because of Akira Yamaoka’s contribution to the soundtrack. In the end, it’s a slow-paced narrative-driven experience with a dual-reality gimmick. Protagonist Marianne is able to travel between the human realm and the spirit world, sometimes simultaneously. This leads to scripted sequences in which you’re traversing a space or solving a puzzle while viewing two different versions of the same environment. The Medium may not be the most exciting horror game to play, but there is a decent atmosphere and interesting art direction.

#18 Tormented Souls

  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Tormented Souls is a modern survival horror title with clear aspirations of emulating the classics with its fixed camera angles and slightly unreliable lock-on combat. It certainly looks and plays the part, with the sort of expanded puzzle solving and backtracking some people love. With such a strong execution, it’s unfortunate that Tormented Souls is technically all over the place. All last-gen consoles outside of the base Xbox One and Nintendo Switch run at a solid 60 frames per second with decent visuals, albeit at 720p on every platform except the PS4 Pro. Unfortunately, the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles render at the same 1080p resolution as the PS4 Pro with negligible visual settings differences. So much more could have been done on PS5 to enhance the atmosphere with better use of the system’s resources. Imagine pairing this game with higher resolutions and ray traced lighting.

#17 Five Nights At Freddy’s Security Breach

  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Five Nights At Freddy’s Security Breach reinvents the popular animatronic horror series with more hands-on gameplay. Rather than switching between camera feeds ala many Sega CD games, you’re directly controlling a player in first-person while exploring the environment. This makes it more immediately tense than the main Five Nights At Freddy’s games. This transition is so successful that it feels like Five Nights At Freddy’s should have started as a first-person horror game in the first place. The cat and mouse antics between you and the animatronics creates a greater sense of dread than the detached camera feed gameplay from the mainline titles.

#16 Outlast

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Outlast understands that this kind of non-combat horror experience needs some basis in reality. Without it, you create a disconnect between the gameplay and the atmosphere the game is attempting to build. Taking place in a mental asylum, you’ll come across many foes that feel like they could feasibly exist to an extent if malnutrition, abuse, and medical and scientific experiments were taken to an extreme. The handheld camera is another integral element to Outlast‘s success. Rather than using a flashlight, you’ll navigate dark spaces with the camera’s night vision mode. The way in which Outlast simulates a camera’s graininess under poor lighting conditions makes it feel like a truly interactive version of a found footage horror film.

#15 Dying Light 2 Stay Human

  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Dying Light 2 is a traditional sequel in the sense that it doesn’t make any radical changes to the formula. If you loved Dying Light, you’ll probably feel right at home with its sequel. There are only minor changes to existing mechanics, such as leveling stats through performing them ala The Elder Scrolls. With the more expansive scope, Dying Light 2 relies on resource management more than its predecessor. Even as your character becomes more powerful, nighttime excursions remains nervewracking.

#14 Darkwood

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Darkwood is a randomly generated open world survival horror game in the most literal sense. Its structure is reminiscent of modern survival games, with a gameplay loop in which you must gather resources during the day while hunkering down at night time. Its top-down perspective doesn’t take away from its creepy atmosphere and visual design. It’s a much more tense take on the modern survival title, complete with a lack of quest markers. This means you are left to your own devices, seeing how long you can hold out. Upon death, Darkwood drops a random assortment of half your items where you died. If you fail to retrieve the backpack before dying again, all that inventory is gone for good. There’s even an optional Nightmare difficulty setting in which you only have one life.

#13 The Quarry

  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

The Quarry is the first time we’ve seen SuperMassive Games tackle a big-budget production since 2015’s Until Dawn. This expanded scope does lead to a cast filled with notable names and strong performances. It might also be the studio’s most visually stunning title to date, especually on the premium consoles and PC. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite hit the bar set by Until Dawn. While there is more agency than The Dark Pictures Anthology, it still feels much more passive than Until Dawn. This is a bummer for an interactive horror experience, whereby more interactivity would only add to the tension.

#12 The Forest

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC

The Forest mixes crafting/survival gameplay with a splattering of occultism. After crash landing on a seemingly unpopulated island, you’ll slowly find signs of life through your days of gathering resources and building things. The main foes of The Forest are so creepy because they’re largely compromises of emaciated humans. They also don’t always engage the player, sometimes stalking you from the distance just to creep you out. Did we forget to mention that the humans are actually cannibals, adding another grounded layer for the adventure to stand on. You never quite feel safe in The Forest.

#11 Alan Wake Remastered

Alan Wake Remastered
  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Many horror games may have deep symbolism and underlying messaging, but the moment to moment writing and character performances tend to fall flat. Alan Wake, on the other hand, is a truly captivating paranormal tale with optional manuscript pages that offer additional lore. The entire story is framed as a novel whose words are coming to life. This means you’ll find pages that foreshadow or outright spell out future events, whereas other pages fill in blanks the player didn’t personally witness. Alan Wake Remastered isn’t placed any higher solely because it’s more of a straight up action game with horror elements. Resource management is hardly a factor to consider, with each story chapter resetting your inventory.

#10 Observer: System Redux

  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Observer: System Redux is a remastered version of Observer, featuring radically overhauled visuals that stand out on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. As far as Bloober Team’s portfolio is concerned, Observer is the studio’s best project. It finds the right balance between passive exploration and player agency. It also has the most realized locations, which especially stand out on the higher-end machines. It may not necessarily be a horrifying game, but it does have a heavy atmosphere.

#9 Resident Evil Village

  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Resident Evil Village takes the basic formula re-established by Resident Evil 7 with a few changes. Its Eastern European architecture, inventory management, and eccentric merchant act as clear callbacks to Resident Evil 4. This inspiration runs deeper, with a far more action-oriented focus than Resident Evil 7. For those that found Ethan Winters’ introduction a little too grounded, Resident Evil Village brings back more of the over the top situations and characters old-school fans are partial to.

#8 Until Dawn

Until Dawn is SuperMassive Games at its peak. None of the developer’s interactive horror experiences since then have come close to capturing the sense of tension and player agency offered in this 2015 PS4 exclusive. While certain aspects of The Dark Pictures Anthology and The Quarry are interesting, they’re less interactive than the studio’s breakout hit. This is where the spooks and tension run highest. Launching with an uncapped framerate, Until Dawn also benefits from running on a PlayStation 5 through backwards compatibility. Sony’s latest console finally offers a consistent 60 frames per second.

#7 Chernobylite

  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Chernobylite is one of the few games outside of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise to dip its toes into the real-world Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Following a very real nuclear power plant disaster, a designated radius surrounding the power plant was infected with so much radiation that it proved inhabitable. This sets the stage for a depressing survival game in which you’re constantly fighting to keep yourself and your fellow survivors from dying. When not exploring the non-linear world, you’re engaging with extensive base building and crafting systems. Chernobylite is a constant juggling act, with even the act of killing opposing humans impacting the protagonist’s psyche.

#6 The Evil Within Series

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC

The Evil Within isn’t your typical survival horror game with exploration, puzzle solving, and a light layer of combat thrown in. The first entry in the series is an absolutely relentless onslaught, filled with tons of combat, death traps, and unfair bosses. You’ll wind up dying plenty of times to unavoidable one-hit bosses, cleverly obscured traps, and unfair enemy compositions. The extent to which The Evil Within aims to wear down players through constantly direct confrontation is unlike anything in the genre. The Evil Within 2 is a much more forgiving experience, falling more in line with modern mainstream horror games.

#5 Resident Evil HD Remaster

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, PC

Resident Evil HD Remaster is a high definition remaster of the GameCube game, which was itself a remake of the PS1 original. While many have a fondness for the PS1-era Resident Evil games, if we’re ranking them as survival horror games, they’re sorely lacking in the horror department. This remake holds up much better both in terms of playability and its ability to instill fear. Most notably, the Resident Evil Remake introduced the crimson heads. Every slain zombie has the potential to come back as a faster, more powerful entity known as a crimson head. This forces you to be more careful when engaging in combat against even basic enemies.

#4 Visage

  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

A subset of the gaming community loves to dismiss any horror game that doesn’t feature combat, but these experiences can be just as terrifying and exciting as a Silent Hill or Fatal Frame. Visage makes a strong first impression with an intro sequence involving the protagonist killing a child with a revolver — something you rarely see in games. This sets the stage for a dreadful horror game with a unique sanity meter. While its rules are admittedly difficult to comprehend, waning sanity leads to paranormal occurences/hallucinations and eventually even death.

#3 Alien Isolation

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, PC

Omniscient and invulnerable stalker characters aren’t new to the survival horror genre. This trope dates back to the original PlayStation, with the inclusion of Tyrant in Resident Evil 2 and Nemesis in Resident Evil 3. The alien in Alien Isolation sticks out because of its AI pathing and behavior, which fit the game’s larger environments. Taking place exclusively on a gargantuan ship, the potential of running into this invincible creature keeps you on your toes. It’ll even learn based on your behavior. For example, if you tend to bust out the flamethrower to make it retreat, the alien will be less scared of the flames in future encounters.

#2 Resident Evil 2 Remake

  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Resident Evil 2 Remake is generally considered one of the best remakes of all time. Capcom took the PS1 original’s framework, rebuilding it with modern game design sensibilities. The ink ribbon save system is relegated to the hardcore difficulty setting, for example, making it a more sensible investment for the average gamer. The old-school lock-on targeting is also replaced by precise over the shoulder aiming. Even the map sees a reinvention, offering more detailed notations of what you might have missed in each room. As a PlayStation 5 survival horror game, the additional ray traced reflections and global illumination also add quite a bit to the game’s atmosphere at the expense of slightly unstable unperformance.

#1 Resident Evil 7

  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Resident Evil 7 gets our recommendation for successfully revitalizing the series. After the sixth mainline installment, it seemed as though Resident Evil would never return to its survival horror roots. Despite the increasingly action-oriented trend that began with Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 7 offered a more intimate setting with a structure that closely emulated the original titles. The new first-person perspective also fit the game’s found-footage approach to horror, making it a worthy survival horror game. Resident Evil 7‘s atmosphere is also arguably the best in the entire series, with an unmatched sense of dread and startling lack of hokeyness. The PlayStation 5 ray tracing upgrade also adds quite a bit to the already oppressive atmosphere.

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