The 10 Scariest PlayStation 4 Games, Ranked

The PlayStation 4 was yet another massive paradigm shift forward in terms of video game graphics technology. The result was more realistic games, and more immersive experiences, particularly within the horror genre. These new games were more terrifying than anything that had come before, but that wasn’t their only standout feature.

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The PS4 was a host to many horror games with amazing stories, and deep, engaging gameplay experiences. It wasn’t just straight up blood, gore, and shock value, but something more. Video games as a whole were elevated by developers who showed how to handle storytelling through gameplay, which was a big plus for the entire industry.

10 Sighting (2019)

An AI watches an astronaut through a camera in Observation

Horror and tension meets puzzle-solving play mechanics in Observation, a brilliant sci-fi video game where realism is the main driving factor. In this game, players take on the role of an AI onboard a space station orbiting Saturn, and they must figure out what has happened to the missing crewmembers.

Using the AI, players can control cameras, hatches, and safety systems to aid the human players in the game, taking the concept of the homicidal HAL 9000 from the endlessly enduring 2001: A Space Odyssey, and flipping it on a dime. The game was heavily praised for its storytelling and tension, which motivates players to see what happens next.

9 Layers Of Fear (2016)

A macabre painting in the middle of an ominous room in Layers of Fear

This game puts players in control of a mysterious painter with a backstory that is slowly revealed throughout the course of the game. The objective is to help the painter complete his latest work while uncovering its meaning through analysis of his psyche.

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The game is extremely atmospheric, with dimmed lighting and creepy music acting as a backdrop for exploration. As the game progresses, the player comes across a series of terrifying visuals that ratchet up the tension to unbearable levels. Immersion and atmosphere are the two key ingredients of the game, and they work to great effect.


8 Days Gone (2019)

A player resting after a battle in Days Gone

2019’s Days Gone is a zombie horror game set in a post-apocalyptic digital world that manages to do something new and inventive with the genre. Players need to survive by staying one step ahead of hordes of ravenous zombies while dealing with antagonistic humans out for their blood.

Combat is a big mechanic in Days Gone, and players need to think quickly on their feet in order to survive and defeat their enemies. Stealth is also a major gameplay mechanic that can allow players to gain a tactical advantage. When all that fails, the terror can build to wild levels, acting on the player’s fight or flight instincts.

7 SOMA (2015)

A mysterious monster in a transport tunnel in SOMA

SOMA switches up the traditional horror game environments of titles like resident Evil for an underwater setting that takes place in a research facility. Stealth mechanics are necessary for survival as players lurk about, trying to piece together a mystery while engaging in various puzzle challenges to progress the story.

Psychological horror is the main feature of SOMA, as opposed to jump scares and outright terror. Tension builds as the story is revealed piece by piece, which is one of the reasons why the game scored so high with critics and gamers alike. To date, it’s one of the most underrated, yet successful horror games ever made.

6 Little Nightmares (2017)

Six running away from a terrifying monster in Little Nightmares

2017’s Little Nightmares takes heavy inspiration from classic side-scrolling games like Limbo in order to weave a dark and foreboding narrative. The creep factor is cranked up to 11, with terrifying visuals and ominous creatures haunting every corner, forcing the player to rely on stealth and silence in order to keep going.

Players control Six, a little girl dressed in a raincoat who must stay alive by solving puzzles and avoiding the horrors lurking about. It’s one of the most nail-biting horror games on the PS4, with a level of dread unmatched by most games in the genre.

5 The Last Of Us: Part II (2020)

Ellie shoots at a homicidal human in The Last Of Us II

The original Last Of Us was a bona fide PlayStation hit, and one of the best reasons to buy a PlayStation console at the time. It was so good that an HD remaster soon followed for the PS4, while the team was busy working on a sequel. Part II picks up where the original’s shocking cliffhanger left off, with varied results.

This sequel built upon the foundation of the original in a big way, while shifting the scope of the story. However, Naughty Dog made a major mistake when it offed killed one of the most beloved characters in the most controversial manner possible, which led to massive blowback. Flawed as it is, this sequel still merits a playthrough.

4 Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (2017)

Senua looking up at the camera on her knees in Hellblade

Though not a horror game by definition, Hellblade is one of the darkest and most disturbing games to come out in the modern age. It’s a trip into the broken psyche of Senua, a Celtic warrior on a quest to battle the Norse Gods for the return of her beloved. She’ll have to overcome ordeal after ordeal as she descends deeper into her own personal hell.

Hellblade was co-created with the support of actual mental health experts. Players will be forced to contend with a barrage of voices in their head, not to mention illusions that distort what’s real, and what is a figment of Senua’s fragile mind. It’s as equally horrific as it is uniquely beautiful; a game that tells an incredible love story full of deep emotion, with actor performances that deserve an Oscar.

3 Resident Evil 2 (2019)

A zombie tries to kill Leon in Resident Evil 2

The original Resident Evil 2 was a major step up from the survival horror on the PlayStation, but it has lost much of its menace over the decades. Capcom decided to remake the iconic classic in an entirely new engine, with new voice actors, dialogue, and scenes to round out the package.

Fans of the original adored the new take and Resident Evil 2 quickly became one of the best and scariest horror remakes, ever. What’s old feels new again, and the brilliant cinematic delivery adds more tension and fear to a story that still has a lot of merit.

2 Outlast (2014)

A mental patient pursuing the player in Outlast

Outlast is one of the scariest games ever to have been created, and it’s no less frightening now than it was at the time of release. The story focuses on a journalist diving into the bowels of a psychiatric hospital in the distant mountains, which is the perfect setting for a nightmare scenario.

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Stealth plays a big role in Outlast, which is vital for the player’s survival. There is no combat system to speak of, but rather, a game foundation built on avoiding confrontation. To that end, players have to hide from threats, while risking exposure when using a camcorder with a night vision lens in pitch-black areas. It’s one of the most nail-biting survival horror games in the genre, bar none.

1 Face (2020)

A terrifying monster with long claws in Face

Largely inspired by the now-legendary PT Demothis horror game was crowdfunded on Kickstarter, and later released in October of 2020, to glowing reviews. Face draws every single one of its foundational elements from PT, utilizing a first-person perspective to tell a dark horror story dripping with nerve-wracking horror.

The game is broken up into four chapters which can be played in non-linear fashion, each from the point of view of a different person. All the characters are tied to the history of a foreboding house and weaves the supernatural into the storyline. It’s a fright-fest that few gamers can make it through without leaping off the sofa.

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