10 Most Realistic Horror Games to Play in 2024

Hand-picked for you by a lifelong gamer!

Most Realistic Horror Games

If you’re a deranged horror junkie like me, you end up searching for HOURS just to find a good, scary game to play.

Even then, half of them end up being shovelware or just outright ridiculous these days, full of jumpscares or strange, bright characters.

The real scares, though, come from maintaining a sense of realism in the midst of all the horror, putting you right in the middle of all the carnage.

These games take a more realistic approach to the genre outside of the jumpscares and bright cartoon characters of the past decade.

Some may go to space or have a little out there supernatural elements, but the key is that they allow you to react as you actually would in that situation.

Others are realistic because, if I was in that situation, I would absolutely die the first time my character does.

Grab a flashlight; it gets a little dark. These realistic horror games might make you take some extra precautions before going to sleep, too.

What was that noise?

10. The Convenience Store

The Convenience Store

Chilla Arts has been churning out consistently good micro-horror for nearly a decade now. The Convenience Store might be the best way to enter their catalog, putting players in the shoes of an overnight convenience store worker in Japan. If you’re unfamiliar with Japanese horror films/games/tropes, you’re in for a time.

By all appearances, by the first few minutes, the game is a mundane work simulator. You’ll go through the convenience store, stocking shelves, taking out expired inventory, throwing out garbage… but things gradually get strange.

The bright halogen lights start to flicker, almost making it look like the store is a ruined shell, and what’s up with the old lady that keeps coming through?

Hyper-realistic graphics and just a general sense of unease contribute overall to this fantastic little game. By the end, you’ll be asking more questions than you’ll have answers to, but for a one-hour playtime, the escalation of tension and horror is just divinely paced.

Chilla Horror also has dozens of others available on Steam. I personally recommend playing Inunaki Tunnel or TekeTeke as well. 

Play On: PC

9. Fears to Fathom: Home Alone

Fears to Fathom Home Alone

Think of Chilla Horror’s series and transplant it over to the American suburbs. Fears to Fathom is another episodic series, with each entry taking a different approach to horror in the everyday setting.

The best way to get right into half a dozen or so episodes out at this time would still be the first entry, Home Alone.

It’s the high school dream come true – your parents are gone for the week, and you have the house to yourself with no rules. Start things off with the perfect horror setting – a late summer night, home alone in a darkly lit house.

The game does its best to put you into the ordinary swing of things, eating dinner and watching television, and then things go… wrong. First, your friend cancels on coming over, thing you start finding doors open that weren’t before.

The game takes maybe an hour to finish, but it’s a perfect short horror experience for a great price. It keeps a fantastic sense of mystery throughout when it comes to the real cause of the horror, and the hyper-realistic graphics really sell the experience.

There are a couple of jumpy moments, but it’s more in the sense of PT than Five Nights at Freddy’s.

Play On: PC

8. Blair Witch

Blair Witch

Divisive when it was released, just like everything else with the Blair Witch title, this game is actually a fantastic psychological horror. Overall, it takes maybe one night to play if you don’t get lost in some of the more odd areas.

There’s a missing child in the forest of the Blair Witch, and you’re one of the few who are there to help search. You’ve got your trusty dog (who you can give treats to and pet!), a cell phone, and a flashlight. There’s no way to fight back, though, and as it turns out, your character has some secrets that they’ve been hiding.

The graphics of Blair Witch are incredibly impressive, almost recreating the feel of dread the original movie gave all those years ago. 

Blair Witch functions as a fantastic bit of backstory to the original movie too, telling the actual legend of the Blair Witch that was kept so mysterious.

Psychological horror takes over about halfway through, and you’ll have some tense moments of puzzle-solving in places that don’t quite make sense.

Play On: PC, XBOX1/Series, PS4/5

7. Bigfoot


Ever wanted to go Squatch huntin’? Well, now you can because Bigfoot has been terrorizing the forests and mountains of Appalachia and needs a good ass-kicking. 

Not to say you’ll be the one doing the ass-kicking, of course. The game has both a single and multiplayer approach, as you can either load up for the hunt alone or play asymmetrical PvP like Dead by Daylight.

It takes a fun, realistic approach to it, though, requiring actual hunting skills to track the beast with real-life guns and equipment. That said, even the greatest firepower isn’t going to take down the mighty Sasquatch in his natural environment. 

The sound design of Bigfoot is the standout element. You’ll hear every leaf crunch underfoot, with no clue what could be waiting right around the next tree. Make sure you keep on your toes; the forest can be a scary place. 

Play On: PC

6. The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes

The Dark Pictures Anthology House of Ashes

The team behind Until Dawn has been putting out spiritual sequels in the Dark Pictures Anthology for a while now. House of Ashes is definitely the best of them, though, with the best, most tense story since Until Dawn. 

The game opens giving a hint of what’s to come, with an ancient civilization being wiped out instantly by strange forces during an eclipse. From there, you’ll jump to 2003 in Afghanistan, just as the United States is gaining ground.

The best aspect of House of Ashes is that every character is actually a soldier of some kind and keeps a cool, rational head even while the situation goes straight to hell around them. It goes fast, too, with one of the coolest Lovecraftian reveals in a game I’ve ever seen. 

If you enjoy the choose-your-own-adventure games where keeping everyone alive is a priority, look no further. As usual, the graphics are on point with incredible realism, scanning actual actors into the game for their likenesses.

It’s a horror experience with great replay value, too, because you’re going to lose people your first go around. 

Play On: PC, XBOX1/Series, PS4/5

5. Visage


When Konami unceremoniously canceled PT and robbed fans of a fantastic, contained horror experience, Visage’s devs took it personally. Inspired by the claustrophobic storytelling of the Silent Hills demo, they set to work on a haunted house story that would end up as a moving drama.

Dwayne is the overall character here, looking around an upscale but odd house in 1985. As you explore the house, with the strange lights flickering and odd shadows or sounds moving just down the hall, you’ll take the place of three others who lived there before.

The stories are haunting psychological horror, with everything about the scares coming from the house itself. There aren’t traditional enemies, but instead, the darkness will degrade your sanity, making you hear more noises or see different distortions as you go. 

The stark realness of it comes from the open interpretation of whether the house is truly haunted or not. Sure, a lot of strange things happen, but everything can also have logical reasons. Maybe the house is just a magnet for these kinds of things.

Play On: PC, XBOX1/Series, PS4/5

4. Phasmaphobia


This game saw a huge rise in popularity upon its first release, but if anyone hasn’t checked in since then, it’s gotten wildly better. You’ll have more gear to choose from now as you and your friends hunt down whichever spirit is haunting your newest call. 

Phasmaphobia is basically the virtual version of a few buddies getting together for amateur ghost hunting with a professional budget. As you unlock new items, you’ll be able to take on more threats.

Research and contact the spirit in the house to figure out what type of evil it is, and if possible, get it the hell out of there. Just be careful because some of the spirits you’ll find are more malicious than the others around.

Graphics-wise, Phasmaphobia is a little bit of a step down from earlier games. That said, the realism comes from using actual ghost-hunting equipment as well as real-life cleansing rituals depending on the spirit.

It’s also just fun to see your friends get scared out of their minds. 

Play On: PC

3. Until Dawn

Until Dawn

Choose your own adventure style games seemed to be on a decline with Telltale going all out. Then, Until Dawn came roaring in, soaking everyone in blood on the way. A PS4 exclusive with star power from Rami Malek and Hayden Panetierre really sold it acting-wise, too.

Some college friends reunite at the old mountain lodge owned by Josh’s family. The thing is, they’re all a little on edge after a prank years ago left Josh’s twin sisters Hannah and Beth missing, presumed dead.

As the first night goes on events go off the rails, with a masked stalker only being the beginning of the horror. You’ll control the choices made by eight different survivors, and even one dying changes the story dramatically. It’s fantastically complex, and the human relationships in a situation of this kind are realistically on point. 

I can’t stress enough how much I love this game. It’s a yearly replay around Halloween because it just nails the dark, cold horror of winter with a fantastic supernatural twist. Go in as blind as possible for your first run, though, trust me.

Play On: PS4/5

2. Outlast


The boom of first-person survival horror in the early 2010s was something to behold. Outlast, though, is right there at the pinnacle with this list’s top entry. The character designs are a little exaggerated in the art style, but the old gothic insane asylum holding terrifying murderers is a starkly realistic background.

You’ll play a reporter who just got a hot tip about abuses at a mental hospital in the mountains. The place is huge, and to uncover the truth, you’ll sneak in with just your camera, equipped with night vision. The problem is you have limited batteries to keep it running.

This game has some very visceral gore that it’s best to know about beforehand. That said, the mechanics of feeling helpless, caught like a fish thrown in a shark tank, is one of the most tense I’ve ever had. You have no chance to fight and can only run and hide to save your own skin. 

Outlast is the rare game where the DLC is better than the main game too. Whistleblower follows the employee who sent out the tip for the original game and plays as a separate side story. The Groom is one of the most terrifying villains I’ve come up against in a horror game. 

Play On: PC, XBOX1/Series, PS4/5

1. Alien: Isolation

Alien Isolation

The GOAT! Seriously, I can’t gush about this game enough. I’ve always loved Alien, but no game ever really understood the tenseness of the movie until Isolation came along. Bonus points come from it taking an original story about the main character, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda.

Told from a first-person perspective with amazingly realistic graphics, this is quite literally an Alien-simulator. You’ll discover the secrets of Sevastopol Station, all but abandoned with no sign of where anyone went.

Of course, there’s a Xenomorph and the villainous Weyland Yutani Corporation behind it all. You’ll have to utilize your smarts to sneak around the Alien AI, which will intelligently hunt the player using a specialized system.

It’s probably the closest experience you can get to being hunted by a Xenomorph in real life. Use the motion trackers, run, hide, and, on occasion, try to fight back to survive any way you can.

I love this game with every fiber of my being, even though it gives me a heart attack at least once every playthrough. Even for casual horror fans, there’s no prior Alien knowledge needed, but there is a great DLC that goes through the original movie as well.

It’s overall just a perfect and realistic horror experience that still deserves a sequel. 

Play On: PC, XBOX1/Series, PS4/5

About Ross Tyson 23 Articles
Ross is a writer, gamer, parent, and tired adult. They’re from the Southeast US, and have been gaming since their first Sega Genesis as a kid. A parent, they often find themselves playing kids games these days, but makes time for plenty of RPGs, Roguelikes, and anything with the Kingdom Hearts name on it. They’re experts in Final Fantasy lore, and will try any anime game no matter how bad it may be.

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