The 16 Best VR Horror Games
There's no place scarier than under a VR headset. Here are the best horror games for Playstation VR (2), Meta Quest (2, Pro), Pico 4 and SteamVR.
Note: The following list is sorted alphabetically.
After the Fall
Platforms: Playstation VR (2), Meta Quest, Pico 4, SteamVR
VR co-op shooter After the Fall brings the frenetic gameplay of Left 4 Dead to VR. Much like Valve's classic, you'll feel like you've been transported to an old, blood-soaked Peter Jackson splatter movie as you shoot and slaughter your way through undead hordes online.
Since its release in April 2022, Vertigo Games has added several new game modes and maps.
In the best video game adaptation of the Alien franchise to date, you take on the role of Lieutenant Ripley's daughter, Amanda. She travels to the Sevastopol space station to retrieve the flight recorder from Nostromo, her mother's destroyed spaceship.
When the young woman arrives at Sevastopol, she finds the station in a catastrophic state: an alien is wreaking havoc and killing its inhabitants. As the plot unfolds, you'll have to find ways to outwit the intelligent alien. Because you can't kill it.
Alien: Isolation was released on 2D platforms in 2014. Thanks to a mod, you can play it completely in virtual reality. The installation is simple: you just have to drag and drop a file into the installation folder.
With the VR mod, Alien: Isolation becomes one of the most atmospheric, long and beautiful VR games that will make you shiver under your VR headset. The VR port is great, even if it doesn't offer full support for VR controllers and hand interactions.
Platforms: Meta Quest, SteamVR
Cosmodread was developed by VR veteran Sergio Hidalgo, who created one of the first VR horror games back in 2013 with Dreadhalls. In Cosmodread, you are stranded on an abandoned spaceship whose crew has vanished without a trace. Event Horizon and Dead Space send their greetings.
Your mission is to explore the steel colossus and find a way back to Earth. Through the messages left behind by the crew, you will piece together what happened to them.
That something sinister is afoot becomes clear within the first few minutes: Some rooms are infested with a strange, alien tissue that seems to be spreading throughout the ship. And that's just the beginning.
Cosmodread is a roguelite: After each death, the inventory, the layout of the rooms, and the distribution of items and enemies are rolled anew. Each new run therefore generates a new, unpredictable storyline. This in turn motivates many hours beyond the first successful escape.
Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted
Platforms: Meta Quest, SteamVR, Playstation VR
If you're even casually interested in horror games, you're probably familiar with Five Nights at Freddy's. The first installment in the series was released for PC in 2014, and quickly gained cult status on YouTube thanks to its nasty jump scares. Several sequels and spin-offs followed over the coming years.
Help Wanted is the first in the series to be built from the ground up for virtual reality. It follows the PC originals closely, transferring the game mechanics to the VR headset with great success: Thanks to optical immersion and hand interaction, Help Wanted is the best and scariest Five Nights at Freddy's yet.
You take on the role of a night watchman who has to keep an eye on a pizza restaurant's main attraction: larger-than-life plush animatronics. The problem is that the robots take on a life of their own during the night, wandering around the restaurant and attacking people.
You sit in a control room and follow the animatronics' movements with security cameras. The goal is to make it through the night unscathed. Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted focuses entirely on jump scares and may not be suitable for everyone.
Into the Radius
Platforms: Meta Quest, Pico 4, SteamVR
Over 90 percent positive reviews on Steam and almost full five stars in the Quest Store speak for themselves: Into the Radius is an excellent virtual reality survival game. The surreal excursions on silent soles through a restricted zone full of space-time anomalies, pitch-black fringe monsters and floating buildings have some atmospheric features.
Survivalists will even have to oil their gun parts regularly and clean the barrel with a brush and paper towel. This ensures that the guns work reliably in the zone.
This attention to detail makes the persistent world feel very alive. Players get the feeling that they are in a fight for survival, for which they must prepare meticulously.
Platforms: Meta Quest, Rift Platform
College student Mae returns to her snowy hometown of Slumber, Alaska, to visit her father. A car accident occurs on the way. Mae survives, but her father has vanished without a trace.
It soon becomes apparent that there is something very wrong with the sleepy nest on the edge of civilization, and that monsters are on the loose. As Mae, you must shoot, fight and puzzle your way through this sinister menace.
What sets Lies Beneath apart from the competition is its cool comic book aesthetic. Between major sections, you flip through a comic book illustrating the story, narrative elements float around the environment as text boxes, and the world and enemies themselves look highly stylized. This gives you the feeling of being part of a retro horror comic.
If you don't have the courage to face the supernatural on your own, Phasmophobia lets you get scared with your friends. We're not sure if that's the best way to get over your fear, though. After all, Phasmophobia is one of the scariest experiences virtual reality has to offer.
A team of up to four players take on the role of ghost hunters on a PC or in virtual reality. Once in a haunted house, they have to record paranormal phenomena using special equipment such as EMF meters and night vision cameras. Different locations and tasks, as well as different types of ghosts, make each playthrough unique.
A cool detail: Thanks to voice recognition, you can summon the ghosts to you by saying their names.
Originally developed for 2D platforms, Phasmophobia was later given a VR mode. If that's too much for you, you can switch back to 2D mode. For maximum immersion and fear, however, you need the VR headset: The game is "insanely atmospheric", especially in virtual reality. You can also play the game solo, so you no longer have to rely on other players.
Propagation: Paradise Hotel
Platforms: Meta Quest 2 & Pro, SteamVR, Playstation VR 2 (in development)
Review: Propagation: Paradise Hotel
Propagation: Paradise Hotel is an immersive and atmospheric VR horror game in which you find yourself trapped in a nightmarish hotel inhabited by terrifying creatures. To make matters worse, you're separated from your sister Ashley.
This is one of the scariest games we have ever played! Moreover, it doesn't use any cheap tricks. You feel like you're in a classic horror film. To survive and save your sister, you will have to use your wits and solve tricky puzzles as you battle the zombies.
The game is based on the popular and free PC VR demo Propagation. The combat mechanics and heavy, oppressive atmosphere are similar, but Propagation: Paradise Hotel has a story and goes much further than the original. This makes it an interesting addition to any VR horror library.
Resident Evil 4
Platforms: Meta Quest 2
The fourth installment in the horror series is considered one of the best and has appeared on just about every gaming platform. The VR port for Meta Quest 2 followed in October 2021, and it's quite a ride.
For the first time, Leon S. Kennedy's horror journey is experienced from a first-person perspective, rather than from behind the shoulder. This makes the action much more immediate and immersive.
For those who don't know the plot, Resident Evil 4 sees players travelling to a remote Spanish village to rescue the daughter of the US President. She has been kidnapped by a cult that wants to control humanity thanks to a mysterious parasite.
The VR port is excellent: You can now use your hands with pistols, guns and knives, and the menus and inventory have also been carefully adapted for VR.
The only downside is that the cutscenes are played in 2D, which detracts from the experience and the immersion. Nevertheless, Resident Evil 4 VR is the best version of the classic horror game yet. This may be surpassed by the free VR mode for the PS5 remake of Resident Evil 4, which is currently in the works.
Resident Evil 7
Platforms: Playstation VR
Six years after its release, Resident Evil 7 is still the best VR horror game around.
Capcom's masterpiece isn't just the scariest horror experience virtual reality has to offer. It's also one of the longest, best and most mature VR games of all time.
With its seventh installment, the series moves away from the action-packed nature of previous titles and returns to the virtues that made the brand great: The plot focuses on a single location that once again expertly teaches the player to be afraid. The fact that, for the first time, you see Resident Evil through the eyes of its protagonist makes the experience even more intense.
In the game, you play as Ethan Winters, who is desperately searching for his missing wife on a dilapidated farm in the southern state of Louisiana. The farm and surrounding plantation belong to the Baker family, who disappeared years ago under unexplained circumstances.
Resident Evil Village
Platforms: Playstation VR 2
Review: Resident Evil Village
The eighth installment in Capcom's legendary horror series has already received free DLC for the launch of Sony's new VR headset, making the entire story mode playable in VR.
Unfortunately, you can't use your previous PS5 save game, and the Mercenaries arcade mode isn't supported either. However, the campaign is more immersive than ever in virtual reality.
Resident Evil Village surpasses almost every other VR adventure in terms of scope, depth of gameplay and richness of detail. The search for a missing daughter takes you into a crazy Romanian nightmare world in a motivating mix of action, puzzles, hiding, and exploration.
The immersion is great, thanks to the stunning scenery. And the game is remarkably well adapted to the PSVR 2's capabilities. In particular, the headset's vibration makes gunfights and fierce boss battles even more intense.
The Exorcist: Legion VR
Platforms: Meta Quest, SteamVR, Playstation VR
The Exorcist: Legion VR is based on the world-famous novel by William Peter Blatty, who also wrote the screenplay for the classic movie.
You take on the role of a Boston police officer who gets to the bottom of a series of supernatural cases, confronts ancient demons, and, against his will, follows in the footsteps of an exorcist.
The game consists of five very different episodes that stand on their own, but tell an overarching story. They take the player to a bloody church, a mental hospital, a creepy attic, a contaminated quarantine area and an excavation site. There, you must use typical exorcist tools such as crucifixes and holy water to ward off demons and hallucinations.
Each episode is only half an hour long, but the atmosphere is extremely creepy. The Exorcist VR is a "borderline experience" that shows just how powerful virtual reality can be.
If you can get through it without having a heart attack, and you're still not satisfied, you should take a closer look at A Chair in a Room: Greenwater. The style and fear factor are no coincidence: Both VR games were created by Ryan Bousfield.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
Platforms: Meta Quest, Pico 4, SteamVR, Playstation VR (2)
Saints & Sinners takes place in the remains of New Orleans, three years after the zombie outbreak. The content is based on comic books, TV series and Telltale's video game adaptations.
On a gameplay level, it combines survival combat and crafting with a good story and difficult decisions that affect the plot.
Saints & Sinners is considered one of the best and most complete VR games out there, and it continues to be maintained and expanded: With "Meatgrinder" and "Aftershocks" it received two free content updates, which should keep players interested even longer.
Saints & Sinners is not a zombie game, it's a game about people in a zombie apocalypse. The atmospheric world tells exciting stories, the crafting system is motivating, and the environment and characters feel alive.
Note: Do not confuse Saints & Sinners with the rather bad VR game The Walking Dead: Onslaught.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners - Chapter 2: Retribution
Platforms: Playstation VR (2), Meta Quest, Pico 4, SteamVR
Review: The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners 2
In The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, players were transported as tourists to a walker-infested New Orleans. Weapons, supplies, factions of warring survivors and a legendary treasure awaited them.
The story of The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners 2 is a seamless continuation of the previous events. You'll meet familiar factions and characters and learn how the city has changed since the events of the first game. Thanks to the transferable save game, you can access collected weapons and crafting recipes from the beginning if you wish.
If you liked The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, there is no way to avoid the second part of the series. Retribution is more of an extension of its predecessor than an entirely new game, but with new weapons, two new zones, and an exciting continuation of the established story, it brings a lot of fresh air to the zombie apocalypse in the streets of New Orleans.
Few titles have such a pleasingly massive combat feel, with weapons like the new chainsaw carrying a noticeable weight. There are plenty of thrilling moments when you have to reload your empty shotgun with trembling hands at the last second.
Platforms: SteamVR, Playstation VR
Neuroscientist Raymond Hayes has come up with a brilliant invention: He has succeeded in storing human consciousness in a computer simulation. He hopes this will lead to eternal life for himself, his wife Katherine and his son Ben.
In Ubisofts Transference, you enter the family's fragmented consciousness, seeing the world through their eyes and reconstructing their dark history piece by piece. It's a hellish journey that works well in virtual reality.
In the simulation of consciousness, analogue and digital reality merge: the sensory perceptions stored in the brain have not been perfectly digitized, making the simulated reality unstable in many places, frayed into pixels or with gaping holes that need to be filled to move on.
Transference is not a traditional VR game. It's a narrative experiment that emphasizes the experience and almost entirely eschews typical game mechanics.
Platforms: Rift (S)
Wilson's Heart is an unusual mix of VR game and black-and-white horror film from the 1940s.
Playing as the title character, players wake up in chains in an old, seemingly abandoned hospital. Freed from the shackles and electrodes, they begin to explore the old, eerie walls.
You soon make an unpleasant discovery: your heart has been removed during an operation and replaced by a strange device that appears to be responsible for the eerie goings-on in the hospital.
VR gamers who want a lot of freedom of movement will be frustrated by the teleportation mechanic, which forces you to jump between pre-defined points. However, the limited locomotion has its advantages: Like a good film, the experience is stripped down to the essentials; every single shot is about the core of the matter.
More VR horror games
Already played everything? Then try out the following titles:
- Arizona Sunshine: "Entertaining zombie shooter with a co-op mode".
- Doom 3: VR Edition: "Good VR port of the horror shooter"
- Dreadhalls: "VR horror classic from 2013"
- Drop Dead: The Cabin: "Uncomplicated co-op fun"
- Face Your Fears / Face Your Fears 2: "Jumpscare cabinet"
- Jurassic World Aftermath: "Solid VR stealth adventure"
- Paranormal Activity: Lost Souls: "Explore an atmospheric haunted house"
- Red Matter 2: "Atmospheric sci-fi horror with gorgeous VR graphics"
- The Persistence: "Survival horror meets Rogue-Lite meets Event Horizon"
- The Room VR: A Dark Matter: "Escape room game with mystery and horror"
- The Twilight Zone VR: "Short, surreal stealth horror"
- Until Dawn: Rush of Blood: "Horror rollercoaster ride with a shooter focus"
- Wraith: The Oblivion - Afterlife: "Ghost hide-and-seek game with story".