The Top 10 Horror Games Where You Can Fight Back

This little girl is crueler than she looks.
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Eveline just wants to play.

Horror games in this modern age give you the ability to defend yourself, and these are ten of the best where your player character decides they’re going to die fighting, if they have to die at all.

10. Reborn

REBORN - Official Game Trailer

This up and coming horror game gives you the option to kill every enemy you spot. That’s right - all of them. You are the hunter that the monsters fear in Reborn, which centers around a plot driven by the occult. Not a lot is available about this game just yet, but it looks - and seems to play - very smoothly.

Since this game hasn’t even arrived in early access yet, it’s higher up on the list because, well … no one besides game testers have played it! The trailer looks promising however and the overall idea of ‘you can finally kill your enemies’ is one that I’m very excited for. Too many modern horror games rely on overpowered, unkillable enemies.

But this time the power is in the player’s hands, and getting to use it will be rewarding and fun all at the same time.

This macabre skeleghoul is about to get shot right in the face.

This looks like a save point, but I can’t be too sure.

9. Dead Space 2

Dead Space 2 Combat Gameplay

Isaac Clarke returns in this sequel to the original Dead Space, and he brings with him his arsenal of necromorph killing guns and special suits. With puzzles, disgusting corpses that mutate post-mortem, and new and improved graphics, Dead Space 2 is a thriller that will leave your hands sweaty as they grip the controller in fear and excitement both.

Continuing from the original Dead Space, Isaac Clarke awakens in the dark with no memory of his past, and a hell of a lot of reanimated, vicious necromorphs coming after him. In fact, within the first few minutes of the game, your only ally besides communication devices turns into a necromorph before your very eyes, forcing you to kill him. A sinister plot churns beneath the layers of hallucinations and necro-killing, making for a terrifying storyline and grotesque graphics.

The gameplay of Dead Space 2 now relies on you to control your oxygen levels and upgrade your suit, which makes exploring away from the plot line feel rewarding. You feel nearly invincible when you’ve got all the upgrades, and for good reason: It becomes very difficult for your undead parasitic enemies to kill you. You start to wonder who the real enemy is in the middle of the storyline, so if you like horror set in space that evolves stomping limbs off your enemies, this is the game for you.

A necromorph gets too close for comfort.

 Isaac peers at The Sprawl from a broken window as a result of the necromorph outbreak.

8. Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead 2- Tank Rush

Beginning with the grandfather of most modern zombie kill-em-all games, Left 4 Dead 2 is a classic take on the mobs versus the four player characters that still holds its title as being terrifying and fun to play all at once. The multiplayer aspect is always easy to utilize and the enemy pool that our four heroes - Rochelle, Coach, Ellis, and Nick - Fight off in waves of your standard drooling undead versus the special class zombies.

A unique feature of this game is that you don’t have to just play as the survivors of the dark apocalypse. You can also play with extras and choose one of the special zombies such as the Spitter, Smoker, Boomer, or Tank and try to take out your friends. The combat is fun and fluid, the fights are rewarding, and the horror comes when you are stuck on the ground, surrounded by flesh-eating monsters, waiting for a certain, slow and painful death.

I hope you’re not scared of clowns! This funny enemy is common in the fairground map.

Our poor quartet has to fight two of these oversized, muscular, and hard to defeat Tank zombies at once.

7. Resident Evil / Biohazard HD REMASTER

Resident Evil HD Remaster: Lisa Trevor Boss Fight

This remake of the original 1986 version of Resident Evil has all the must-haves of its series: Slow moving and lurching enemies, tense camera angles, and soft and eerie music accompanied by the howling cries of the undead.

If you’ve ever played the original, then you already know that Resident Evil Biohazard HD takes place in a mansion. Evasion over combat is the goal here, but if you’re getting really tired of those shambling zombies, shooting a few of them never hurt anyone except the undead. Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine were sent to the mansion by Racoon City’s Special Tactics and Rescue Service (STARS) in order to answer a distress call about the breakout of the T-Virus, a sickness that turns people into the living dead. While investigating, they find several scientists who’ve turned into the rotting zombies, and their investigation gets even more twisted as you advance through the story.

You can play as Chris or Jill and each has their own unique combos and styles of gameplay. Chris has more health, can hit harder, and can run for longer periods of time and Jill can pick locks, carry more items, and even use a stun gun. Strategy is the key here, since you’ve got limited ammo, limited defense items, and limited time to plan out your evasion. Truly the pinnacle of fight-back horror in its day, Resident Evil Biohazard HD is well worth playing, even now.

Jill Valentine flees a zombie infected by the T-Virus.

Chris Redfield stands among classic, yet horrifying paintings like “Judith Beheading Holofernes” (right) and “When Abraham Murdered Isaac” (left). This is either a puzzle room, or just a painting room for atmosphere.

6. Dying Light

The combat in Dying Light - more realistic than expected!

Another zombie kill-em-all game, the horror in Dying Light comes from the cautious, intelligent undead that will parry and wait for you to swing first. The city of Harran has suffered a viral outbreak, and Kyle Crane, a hired man of the Global Relief Effort has to dive into the rotting population of undead ghasts in order to find a sensitive file stolen by a man suffering from the outbreak.

The first thing to note while playing is the way that the zombies seem to follow your movements and stay back, which makes them more intelligent than their predecessors on this list. In Left 4 Dead 2, the zombies were mindlessly running for human flesh and the same can be said about a lot of the creatures in this list. But these zombies, with their cautious AI and their deliberate attacks will make you really question if you’re doing the right thing here or not.

The graphics are realistic too and although physics are sometimes a hit and miss, the different mele options that you have to murder these undead with is what makes going on a mass killing spree of intelligent, flesh hungry infected so fun. Dying Light is a game not only about zombies, but also about a morally grey outlook on infections, who benefits from them, and why.

Kyle Crane both shoots and defends from the hungry undead in this screenshot.

Incoming! Our protagonist is going to hurtle that grenade at the waves of undead.

5. Alan Wake

Alan Wake Combat Montage

Suffering from a bad case of writer’s block, the protagonist Alan decides to take himself and his wife to a small town called Bright Falls in Washington. Of course, when you say ‘what could possibly go wrong here?’ Alan Wake decides, ‘everything.’ His wife is kidnapped, spooky old women are harassing him, and he can’t remember anything. It really is not a good week for Alan Wake.

Filled with mystery, tense moments, and an unforgettable storyline, Alan Wake is not unlike a tense drama you might see on the television rather than a game. Six episodes keep the mysteries of Bright Falls tightly against the protagonist, and Alan suffers greatly in order to return to his normal life. Fiction and reality blur together in one dark cocktail, and as the story progresses, it just gets darker, and darker.

Whether the events of this horror game are true, or just the slowly maddening mind of a writer who’s lost his passion, his lifeblood, that is up for the player to decide. The game is great at making you feel helpless, especially when it comes to saving Alan’s wife or escaping the clutches of Bright Falls. So what are you waiting for? Step on in to its lovely vacation spots - You’ll have so much fun you won’t ever want to leave.

Alan fires a flare at an enemy.

This is your vacation spot, Alan? Yeah, I’m sure nothing will ever go wrong here.

4. The Forest

The Forest | Combat Guide

After crashing on a strange island in a freak plane accident, Eric Leblanc’s son Timmy is kidnapped from the wreckage by a man wearing red war paint. But the island is full of hungry cannibals, cave monstrosities, and deep, dark secrets beneath the surface. You have to survive and be ready to fight off your attackers in The Forest, since it’s a multiplayer survival game alongside being full of ghoulish mutated people and literal cannibals. Death is not a threat but a promise if you don’t plan to keep an eye on your hunger, fatigue, and hydration levels.

This game’s enemies are particularly scary, and the multiplayer aspect means that you can go through the main storyline alone, or with your friends. In particular the crafting aspect of the game is the most grind-y part of the whole ordeal, but also the best when you have your own, man-made fortress against the numerous enemies. The cave systems too are fun and terrifying to explore, as you face off against mutated humans.

A cannibal has hung a victim upside down and left him to die.

These graphics almost make the whole island trying to kill you seem not so bad.

3. Friday The 13th: The Game

How To Dodge and Weave in Friday the 13th

Jason Voorhees returns in this multiplayer online game where one person is the killer and the rest, his unknowing victims. Jason’s objective is to kill all the children present and the survivors’ objective is to … survive!

Now, to set things straight: Yes, this game is more fun with friends. Alone, you end up feeling like a fish out of water and making allies on the spot is a skill you’ll learn to fine tune. When Jason busts through that door with his machete and signature hockey mask, you’re not entirely helpless, however. The counselors can set bear traps, shoot flares, and even fire a gun at Jason, though it won’t kill him, just make him angry. In order to escape, you can either board a boat and drive away from the scenic Crystal Lake, or call the cops and have them face down the armed killer. Another option is to evade Jason’s traps and put together a car again, if you can outsmart the masked man.

Playing as Jason is fun and exciting as you track down and kill your victims in all sorts of gruesome, gory ways, and playing as the counselor is nerve-wracking because you never know where he will pop up next except for one or two auditory and visual clues. The tension is high in this game, and it carries through just like a campy 80’s scary movie might, complete with the teenagers being teenagers and doing a whole lot of nothing before Jason intrudes. If you’re a fan of the machete-wielding, masked serial killer, you’ll love this game.

Jason blocks the counselor’s path, armed with a pickaxe.

He’s about to get in! I hope this counselor has an escape plan.

2. The Evil Within 2

The Evil Within 2: The Guardian Boss Fight

Three years after the first Evil Within, Sebastian Castellanos has become a miserable man who dropped out of the police force. However, he’s contacted by MOBIUS with information that his daughter Lily is still alive and being used as the core to a STEM system - Which Sebastian reluctantly agrees to help the police force get her out of the pristine town of Union, for the sake of his daughter rather than anyone else’s motives.

The Evil Within 2 is dark, ominous, and full of twists and turns and gore alike that feel like the original yet possesses its own unique story and tense atmosphere. Crafting is now implemented so that you can upgrade your weapons, and you can play on casual, expert, or nightmare if you want to up the challenge. And if you don’t want to fight your enemies, stealth is also an option. There are plenty of ways to play The Evil Within 2, and each one is a unique, harrowing experience.

This horror game has combined survival elements very fluidly and with the dark and surreal atmosphere of the first game, creating an experience that’ll leave you running to hide under your covers, or gritting your teeth and pressing on to find Lily.

A small hoard of undead lurches towards Sebastian inside of this gore-laden church.

Smile for the camera! This boss fight’s not gonna be easy.

1. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Resident Evil 7 Combat

Deep within the thick swamp of Louisiana, Ethan Winters arrives at a seemingly abandoned plantation to investigate why and how he got a video from his wife, who has been missing for three years. What he finds within is much more horrifying than anything he could have ever imagined.

Resident Evil 7 is the number one game because it’s fast paced, the story is incredible, and the spooks and scares still make me jump whenever I either watch gameplay or think about playing it myself. The Baker family is disgusting, the setting is terrifying, and the idea of having to fight off enemies that are basically immortal and just pissing them off each time makes my skin crawl. The twists and turns in the plot go well with the fast paced, thoughtful combat since ammo is hard to come by and melee attacks only go so far. The exploration in this spooky setting is rewarding, the graphics are incredibly realistic, and the different ‘levels’ stay true to a Resident Evil game while giving it a refreshing, horrifying take on the series.

This game is number one because attacking each enemy successfully feels rewarding, adrenalyn-inducing, and gets you ready to do it again and again. Ethan isn’t going down without a fight, no matter how many times Jack Baker says ‘Welcome to the Family, son.’

Family dinners have never looked so grotesque. Ethan is tied to his chair, and is being forced to eat the filthy “meal” on the table.

The interior of the Baker household is just as empty and haunting as the exterior.

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When you cross Hello Kitty and a love for pixel sandbox games with eldritch horror genres, you get me.
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: RPG
Top 3 Favorite Games:Alice: Madness Returns, Dragon Age: Origins, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
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