Horror games are some of the most fun you can have on a console. Who doesn’t like turning the lights down and trying not to scream when a zombie appears out of nowhere? While the horror genre isn’t as prolific as in years past, Xbox One still has an excellent catalog of horror games ready to scare you into turning the light back on. With amazing graphics, excellent mechanics, and a story that draws you in Resident Evil 7: Biohazrdis the absolute best horror game on the console today.
Best Overall: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
When a cryptic phone call from Ethan Winters’ missing wife leads him to the decrepit Dulvey plantation in the Lousiana Bayou, he hopes it will lead him back to her. Instead, something far more dastardly waits for him. Resident Evil 7 returns to the creeping horror that characterized the early games in the franchise while also welcoming new players to the terror of this world. That’s because, for the first time in several games, you don’t need any prior knowledge of Resident Evil to jump in and get spooked.
For the first time in a Resident Evil game, you’re playing in a first-person POV. This means you can’t see the room around you unless you look, allowing enemies to sneak up on you, or hide in your blind spots. The narrow hallways of the Baker house add to this with blind corners and secret passageways that you’ll need to navigate all while hoping nobody is creeping along behind you. It makes gameplay far more atmospheric than recent entries in the franchise and turns gameplay into a desperate affair as you try to somehow survive.
You will find weapons and ammo as you explore the Baker house. But in true horror game fashion, there is never enough to take out every enemy you come across. Instead, you’ll have to figure out where the best places to hide or escape are, taking advantage of secret passages and spots where enemies won’t think to look for you. Unlike previous protagonists, Ethan isn’t trained to kill. He just wants to find his wife, and not get killed in the process. This point is hammered home every time you have to flee from a baddie or hide in a passageway to keep from being mutilated.
Overall, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is everything excellent about the horror genre on consoles. It delivers captivating visuals, a dread-inducing story, and gameplay that has you on the edge of your seat. It shows that Capcom knows what they are doing and continues twenty years of excellent horror games.
- Creepy graphics
- Excellent gameplay mechanics
- Awesome story
- Super simple puzzles
- Overuse of some horror tropes lessens impact
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Try to survive
Find the truth behind your wife’s disappearance if you can survive what waits inside the Dulvey plantation, and the Baker house.
Best Value: Evil Within 2
Three years ago, Detective Sebastian Castellanos encountered a terrifying encounter in STEM that nearly killed him. The matrix-like simulation run by a corporation -and warped by a madman- tried to kill him and almost succeeded. So when members of that same corporation reach out for help, he isn’t thrilled to be their guy. Everything changes when they inform him that the daughter he thought died in a house fire is very much alive, and inside the simulation. To save her, he needs to return to the nightmare and rescue her.
Evil Within 2 takes place inside of STEM in a place called Anytown USA, built to look like a small town in America. The simulation has once again been warped, and it is filled to the brim with a variety of different enemies who are all more than willing to murder you. Repeatedly. As you explore this world, you’ll need to take advantage of stealth and ambush strategies to survive. You’ll also find parts to upgrade weapons, green gel which lets you upgrade your stats, and ammo which you’ll need if it comes down to shooting enemies to kill them. The story itself works off of two arcs, starting with hunting down a psychopath before segueing into the more personal search for Sebastian’s daughter.
- Compelling story
- Updated stealth options
- Great gameplay mechanics
- Difficulty ramps up very quickly
- Writing can be a bit cliche
Evil Within 2
Even you can be redeemed
Return to the simulation and save your daughter, or die trying.
Best Xbox One Exclusive: State of Decay 2
The zombie apocalypse has arrived in the form of a Blood Plague. The entire world is infected. You play as a randomly generated survivor attempting to scavenge for supplies, find friends, complete quests, and build up your shelter to survive this chaotic new world. You’ll play as several characters, or team up with friends to play in this sandbox world in 4-player co-op mode.
Unlike some newer zombie games, while there are plenty of undead wandering around, you’re never genuinely overwhelmed by the number of them. Even a horde is limited to 6-8 zombies. For the most part melee combat is the way to go, although you will find a variety of weapons and limited ammo available out in the world. As you play, you’ll upgrade the skills of your survivors, and unlock new missions which let you access the story of State of Decay, even if it is relatively generic. As you scavenge supplies, you’ll also build up your shelter to help your survivors thrive in this terrible new world.
- 4-player co-op has been added
- Three open-world maps to explore and survive
- Awesome gameplay mechanics
- Unable to change the look or names of survivors
- Generic story
Best Xbox One Exclusive
State of Decay 2
Build up your shelter
Scavenge for supplies, complete missions, and build up your base to survive in this open-world zombie RPG.
Best Survival: Alien: Isolation
Fifteen years after the events of Alien, Amanda Ripley enters the space station Sevastopol looking for clues behind her mother’s disappearance. You’ll have to search through the space station, hack workstations, hide from the Xenomorph that lurks in the darkness and deal with foes like androids when you encroach on their territory.
In the beginning, you have a simple goal: find out what happened to your mother. The answers seem to be hiding in an abandoned, isolated space station. But once you arrive, you’ll be stalked by the Xenomorph as it scurries through air ducts and attacks when you least expect it. Alien: Isolation is a survival horror game in the purest sense. It means you’ll spend plenty of time hiding in cabinets, air ducts, and even under desks to keep from being murdered by a vicious alien. Even worse, none of the weapons that you pick up are capable of dispatching the beast, only irritating it into leaving you alone for a few more moments.
- Claustrophobic gameplay mechanics
- Dark and creepy art style
- Game takes a little while to get going
- Difficulty quickly ramps up
- Third act is messy and underwhelming
Play hide and seek with a Xenomorph
Try to find answers and escape Sevastapool before the Alien finds you and makes you its next victim.
Best Remaster: Resident Evil 2
A month ago Umbrella’s T-Virus was released on the unsuspecting residents of Raccoon City. In the days since the city has fallen to chaos as ordinary people are turned into flesh-devouring zombies. Amid this terror, the two protagonists of Resident Evil 2, Leon and Claire attempt to survive a city gone mad. A full remaster of the second game in the Resident Evil franchise there are updates graphics, mechanics and controls to sink your teeth into.
Capcom went all in to remake Resident Evil 2 into a game that fits with the current generation of games and rebuilt the game from the ground up. The graphics are crystal clear, making zombies more terrifying than ever before. They also adjusted where save spots are to ensure you’re never panicking because you haven’t saved in an hour. Another major update is the change to maps, which now automatically update when you have fully cleared a room of all items and puzzles.
- Game has been completely rebuilt
- Frequent save points have been added
- Terrifying graphics
- Gameplay is unchanged between characters
- Movement speed feels particularly slow
Resident Evil 2
Raccoon City is dead
Comb through the ruins of Raccoon City and survive the horror of the T-Virus as you do.
Best Space: Dead Space
Isaac Clarke is a Systems Engineer in the 26th century sent out to the USG Ishimura with a rescue team to get the mining station back up and online. Except that from the moment you step foot on this station, it’s evident that something has gone terribly wrong. There are no living people, monsters with too many limbs are running amok, and in mere moments your entire team, with the exception of Isaac has been murdered. To survive you’ll need to escape the ship, but that’s far easier said than done.
To get off of this infested ship you’re going to need to travel all over, repairing sections and killing monsters as you do. While you do find schematics for a single rifle, you’re better served by using the reworked engineering equipment that Isaac has access to kill the necromorphs infesting the Ishimura. As you progress, you’ll be able to upgrade them, along with your base stats to make Isaac more likely to survive.
- Terrifying story
- Fun gameplay mechanics
- Solid 12 hour campaign
- Graphics are dated
- Game becomes quite difficult in the second half
Survive if you can
Something has gone very, very wrong on the USG Ishimura. Make the repairs necessary to survive and escape the mining vessel or die trying.
Each game that made our list brings a different aspect of horror to your Xbox One, from zombies and space monsters to horrific secrets locked in old houses. This means that Xbox One makes an effort to bring a variety of horror games to the table and lets you find the experience to be genuinely blood-chilling. Of course, the best game available is definitely Resident Evil 7: Biohazrd.
The Resident Evil franchise has been terrifying gamers for 20 years now, and the newest addition proves that Capcom still knows exactly what they are doing. A new story, updates to gameplay mechanics, and graphics that are more terrifying than ever all come together to deliver a AAA horror experience.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Jen Karner has been a gamer for more than twenty years and has spent countless hours scaring the crap out of herself with horror games. From Resident Evil to Dead Space, she’s died more times than she can count but keeps coming back for more. You can follow her on Twitter
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