Horror games have surged in popularity in recent years, with the massive success of titles like Resident Evil and Five Nights At Freddy’s showing how much demand there is. That increase in popularity mixed with improving technology has also led to more ambition in game design; many of the genre’s biggest games require the latest PC hardware and consoles to run. However, there are also lots of excellent horror titles available to play within the very browser you are viewing right now –– which is good to know when you’re looking for something simpler or more casual!
A compelling horror experience isn’t all about advanced visuals and the like. If you can create and build tension while sparking gamers’ imagination, you can create some incredibly scary (or at least playfully creepy) games. The following are just six of many examples spread out across the web.
1. Microsoft Game Pass
Okay, so we’re cheating with this one. However, there’s a great selection of horror games you can play right now in your browser through Microsoft Game Pass. If you pay for the ultimate tier, you can even play a number of Xbox games online. Titles like Alien: Isolation (which IGN called an “eternal terror”) and Dead Space are easily accessible, thanks to Microsoft’s impressive streaming technology. This means you can get console-quality horror experiences –– without needing to have the console.
2. Five Nights At Freddy’s
Praised for its expansive lore, and simple but unsettling atmosphere, the Five Nights At Freddy’s games are a great start for anyone looking for browser-based games. The main series has always had a home on consoles and PC, and has been lauded for quality pretty consistently. In 2015, Gameskinny even asked if one installment in the franchise might be the best horror game ever made! Beyond the core franchise though, there is also a great selection of fan-made browser games online at sites like NewGrounds. Some will undoubtedly be better than others, but there’s certainly enough there to give you a playful scare and bit of entertainment right in your web browser.
3. Nightmare On Elm Street
Taking some obvious cues from the movie of the same name, Nightmare On Elm Street is a spooky casino slot game that channels the creepy aesthetic of the franchise. Often the cause of childhood nightmares, Freddy Krueger is surely a sight to be reckoned with as you spin the slots and try to earn yourself a good bonus. Just try not to get too creeped out when he pops up suddenly while the reels slow down.
4. 9 Masks Of Fire
Sometimes horror isn’t all about big jump scares or recognizable spooky characters; sometimes it really is just atmosphere, and something you can’t quite pinpoint giving you that prickling sensation. 9 Masks Of Fire is a slot arcade hosted on Gala Spins that revolves around a theme of ancient, omnipotent masks. It doesn’t embrace classic horror aesthetics, but there’s always something creepy about a disembodied (and eyeless) mask peering back at you amidst the flames. Throw in some vaguely scary sound effects and you do get the sensation that you’ve landed on the bad side of some kind of ancient ritual.
5. A Slide In The Woods
Sometimes, the best horror games are those with simple premises. A Slide In The Wood, which is available on Itch.Io, takes players into a spooky forest with one feature: a slide. With each subsequent journey down the slide, something changes. The atmosphere gets progressively darker, and the player starts to see creepier occurrences. We won’t spoil it, but this is one you definitely need to try in your browser. Turn the lights off for added effect.
6. How To Make A Cup Of Tea
Easily the most surreal game on this list, How To Make A Cup Of Tea turns the mundane act of making a warm drink into an unsettling exercise in repetition. With each successfully made cup of tea, things end up getting progressively weirder. It might not have the outright scares of other games on this list, but How To Make A Cup Of Tea subtly builds tension in the best kind of way.
Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy some of these games! Please visit us again in the future for more coverage of all things spooky and unselling!