The best horror games on PS5 and PS4 that you should play in 2023

By Lee Brady,

The best horror games on PS5 and PS4 are sure to expand in 2023, with so many haunting titles on their way to PlayStation consoles. Here are our recommendations for the best PlayStation platformers available now.

The best horror games on PS5 and PS4 in 2023 might just be the list that shifts its entries the most throughout the year because 2023 is set to be an amazing year for horror games. Some of the most exciting upcoming PS5 and PS4 games in 2023 — like Resident Evil 4 Remake, Dead Space, and Sons of the Forest — could all find themselves on this list by year-end.

Best Horror Games PS5The best PS4 and PS5 Horror Games

Until we have a go at the new titles, we've got plenty of excellent horror games to go around. With this list, we've kept the door open for horror game subgenres like action horror and survival horror. To help limit our choices, we tried to exclude games that wear horror more as an influence than a genre — that's why you won't find games like The Last of Us Part 1, BioShock, or Dying Light 2 on this list. Find out which of our picks made the cut in the list below!

The Best Horror Games on PlayStation

Dead Space

Dead Space — PS5

2023's Dead Space remake finally brings loveable anti-space cultist Issac Clarke once more into our sweet graces after nearly ten years of absence. The Dead Space PS5 reviews are near unanimous in their praise of the game's recapturing of the classic dread fans felt the very first time they stepped aboard the USG Ishimura.

With the Dead Space PS5 trophies teasing a little surprise for returning fans, and plenty of horrific necromorph-slicing action for the unaccustomed, the Dead Space remake has become an instant recommendation for horror fans. If you missed your first chance to see the evolution of Resident Evil 4's design — here you are.

Best Horror Games PlayStation

Alien Isolation — PS4

Alien Isolation thoroughly understands the most important ingredient needed to craft an effective survival horror — atmosphere. The space station Sevastopol is a meticulously crafted jack-in-the-box, its horrors lurking under-lid with spring coiled tight, its warning melody an array of clanks and bangs and sparks. Sure, the surprises wear thin by the end, but Isolation as a whole makes for an ideal modern exemplar of its genre.

Resident Evil 7 — PS5, PS4

Another vital ingredient for a good survival horror game is pacing, and Resident Evil 7 is king in this regard. Revitalising the Resident Evil series with a dose of inspiration from Amnesia The Dark Descent, RE7 keeps the puzzles and lore light while keeping the tension high, ensuring players never get a good hard look at this dark ride's seams. Stare too long at the cracks and you might realise RE7's cast of villains are just a bunch of wacky cartoon bad guys; you might even laugh if you weren't getting eaten alive by goop demons.

Outlast — PS4

Outlast makes a terrible, and I mean terrible, first impression. Most horror games have the sense to put you, the player, immediately into a dangerous scenario, thus giving them no second thoughts about backing out. Instead, Outlast places you outside the danger, passes you a hurriedly scrawled note that says "the character you're playing as is an idiot and wants to go into this obviously doomed asylum willingly," and then presumes you'll just get into the roleplaying spirit.

It's a lot of agency to give a player who could just as easily turn the game off for absence of a hook, but should you get into the roleplaying spirit, you really should check Outlast out. The lack of weapons or even a complicated inventory ensures that you're focused on what really matters: running for your life. The story twists delightfully, the characters are eternally memorable, and by the end, I even warmed to the protagonist and his amateurish baby's first Gonzo journalism.

Soma — PS4, PS Plus Extra

Amnesia The Dark Descent gets a lot of love on lists like this one, and rightly so, but if pressed to pick only one Frictional Games effort, then the nod goes to Amnesia's follow-up: Soma. In exchange for some of The Dark Descent's depth, Soma gains superior pacing, keeping the dread high while trimming the awkwardness out of the inventory puzzle management.

Darkwood — PS5. PS4

When stealth and hiding are required in your survival horror game, one shortcut the developer can take to get easy scares is to make the game in 3D. Simply robbing the player of the ability to see everything around them at all times is enough to create paranoiacs of us all. Darkwood's greatest accomplishment is that it captures that very same dread with its use of light and the lack thereof.

In fact, with its semi-open world populated by NPCs, day-night mechanics, and a branching storyline, maybe 3D would have been easier for Darkwood's developers — there are certainly a lot more examples of these effects in a game's world in 3D. Yet there's something about the abstract 2D format that lends the monstrosities in the dark a real sense of terror, ensuring that even when we see them, we never know them.

Best Horror Games PlayStation

Dead by Daylight — PS5, PS4, PS Plus Extra

Sure, by maybe your fifth round of Dead by Daylight, you've probably stopped classifying it as a horror game. The killers eventually lose their fangs when you realise they're just playing a very loud, very dark game of tag with you. Still, this one gets points for legacy — chances are if any classic monster or villain has scared you before, they'll be somewhere on the Dead by Daylight roster somewhere. It's like the Super Smash Bros. of horror characters.

Resident Evil 2 — PS5, PS4

Yes, two Resident Evil games on the same list. With Silent Hill yet to redeem itself on modern PlayStation consoles, and other competitors like Alone in the Dark having burned out years ago, we're tragically down to a single franchise confident enough to churn out consistently good horror games. That and, cards on the table, we needed to carve out a future spot for the Resident Evil 4 remake.

Why qualify it, though? Resident Evil 2 is a fantastic reimagining of the original game — one that manages to elevate the action without dropping all trace of the original's wacky puzzles and resource management. If Resident Evil 7 revived the franchise to its former glory, Resident Evil 2 serves to remind us how the series lodged itself in PlayStation fans' hearts in the first place, and they make for quite the one-two punch.

Best Horror Games PlayStation

Signalis — PS4

Treacle-dense with atmospheric dread, Signalis invites us to recall exactly how PS1 games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil were able to get under our skin. These classics combined abstract visual horror with challenging resource management, claustrophobic environments, and the keen directorial stylings of ardent film nerds. Signalis has all of the above, but also takes us somewhere new with it and tells us a new story — something fans of the genre have been desperately craving.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes — PS5, PS4

While TT Staff Writer Sean certainly enjoyed the later Dark Pictures Anthology entry The Devil in Me, most fans, critics, and Sean would agree that House of Ashes is the superior game. A thrilling story about gnarly beasts and political allegiances set during the 2005 Iraq invasion, House of Ashes offers the best meat-to-bone ratio of all the games released thus far in the popular cinematic horror series.

The Forest — PS4

Once upon a time, there was an acrimonious separation of the classic genre terms 'survival' and 'horror.' As people realised they just liked crafting stuff in open-world games, survival quickly outpaced horror, and what was once DayZ turned quickly to Rust. Luckily, The Forest remembers that both genres are stronger together. Searching and surviving the forest to find your probably dead son while mutant cannibals politely terrorise you serves to bring survival horror back to a very exciting place, and we can't wait to see where the devs go from here with their upcoming Sons of the Forest.

That's our list! Did your favourite PS4 or PS5 horror games fail to make the cut? Let us know in the comments — we'll be updating this regularly, so the more suggestions the merrier.
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee loves to write about classic PS1 games on PS Plus, examining the game design of upcoming PS5 games like Marvel's Spider-Man 2 and Like a Dragon Ishin, and his shameless love of Sonic, Final Fantasy, and Kingdom Hearts games. He's also your resident PlayStation Stars guy.
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