The best new horror games of 2023

A year of newfound fears.

Like the nefarious killer in a slasher flick, 2023’s horror releases have, for the most part, quietly lurked in the background. After a bloody opening hook courtesy of the Dead Space and Resident Evil 4 remakes, the year’s best new horror games have been content to stalk the sidelines. Luring in fans here and there throughout the year, they’ve steadily grown in power. 

With Halloween now imminent, these fresh terrors have burst from the shadows, ready for their deadly denouement. All they need is a victim, and you’re their Final Girl. Ready to sate all tastes of spooks and scares, here are the best new horror games of 2023.

Resident Evil 4

Best new horror games 2023 resident evil 4 - Leon and Ashley look upwards at an unseen figure
 
© Capcom

Available on: PC, PlayStation, Xbox

Capcom’s remake of a seminal action-horror classic was everything fans hoped for and more, delivering the perfect mix of nostalgia and fresh ideas. Scares have been amped up in a few areas thanks to slick new visuals, but horror still takes a back seat to dramatic gunplay and combat. That said, the pressure of being hounded by a chainsaw-wielding Dr. Salvador is just as stressful as it first was more than 15 years ago. And with the Separate Ways DLC now available, there’s even more monstrous life in this reborn masterpiece.

Slay the Princess

Available on: PC

In the basement of a cabin in the middle of the woods lies a Princess chained to the wall. But you’re not here to rescue her; you’re supposed to kill her. This fully narrated, choice-driven tale requests that you end a seemingly helpless princess to stop her from destroying the world. Is she truly dangerous, and will you actually kill her? A wealth of permeations await as you weigh the decision, awakening different parts of your psyche and that of the princess herself. You might kill her, free her, worship her, or perhaps even die by her hand. Choose wisely, if you can.

World of Horror

Best new horror games 2023 world of horror - a black and white image of a creepy man's face with a horrified mask of it is on the bulk of the screen. He asks the player if they want red paper or blue paper. The player's stats and image are shown in the rest of the image.
 
© panstasz

Available on: PC

Fans of Junji Ito will instantly recognize the adoration this indie RPG has for the iconic Japanese master of psychological and body horror. Realized in black-and-white, MS Paint-style art, World of Horror offers a uniquely unsettling atmosphere. The plot sees monstrous creatures and ethereal terrors infesting a 1980s seaside town in Japan. As one of many unfortunate souls caught in the mix, you attempt to investigate supernatural occurrences and prevent the rise of Old Gods. Should you succumb to the randomized events involving twisted creatures or mind-tearing concepts, you’ll need to start again as another victim trapped in the seriously distressed town.

Dredge

Available on: PC, Switch, PlayStation, Xbox

Taking us from the seaside to the sea itself, Dredge could well have been a relaxing fishing game. That’s if it wasn’t for the unfathomable horrors haunting its waters. Head out on the waves in search of hauls you can sell to afford upgrades for your humble vessel. As you explore the mysterious collection of islands, you'll get to speak with their troubled inhabitants. Pull more than just fish from the waters and you’ll have the chance to piece together the past. But whatever you do, don’t stay out long after the sun goes down.

Sons of the Forest

Sons of the forest best new horror games 2023 - the player looks at an old helicopter covered with foliage in a dense forest. They hold a stick with a skull on top of it
 
© Endnight Games

Available on: PC

Sons of the Forest delivers open-world survival with distinctly horror-heavy leanings. After a helicopter crash, your task is to stay alive on a mysterious island where cannibals are but the least of your worries. Currently in early access, this sequel to the immensely popular The Forest is already well worth jumping into. Play it solo for an enhanced horror experience, or jump in with up to seven friends to uncover the island’s secrets together.

Killer Frequency

Available on: PC, Switch, PlayStation, Xbox

Killer Frequency barely delivers any scares at all, but the horror genre is definitely woven into its soul. Taking inspiration from classic ‘80s cinematic scares, the game positions you as a late-night radio talk host on the graveyard shift. You unexpectedly end up as the only voice of guidance for local townsfolk when a mysterious killer begins to run amok. You’ll need to solve puzzles to guide each caller to safety, using branching dialogue and the equipment around your station to help them escape in time. Killer Frequency leans heavily into the campy, comedic elements of the genre, but it’s a fantastic time for fans of classic horror flicks. Check out our list of mildly scary games for more horror-lite releases if you're not in the mood for jump scares.

Teleforum

best new horror games 2023 teleforum - video footage of a woman facing a wall ominously. Her face is not visible
 
© Monumental Collab

Available on: PC

If you’re after a short dose of frights this Halloween, Teleforum is a free found-footage horror game you can squeal your way through in a single sitting. You’re visiting the house of a widow to interview her about the death of her husband, but her abode may not be quite as welcoming as you’d hoped. Styled like a VHS recording, Teleforum uses extremely oppressive sound design to amp up the fear factor. It’s a brief experience, but there are multiple paths and endings to discover based on the choices you make. As a content warning: the game contains references to suicide.

Dead Space

Available on: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S

Ending just as it began, our list of the best new horror games of 2023 concludes with the another remake of a creep-filled classic. Dead Space's Ishimura spaceship is one of the horror genre’s most memorably unpleasant environments. The clangs and scrapes of necromorphs crawling through metallic corridors and ducts remain utterly harrowing in the remake. Paired with improvements to lighting effects and gorey details, it’s the perfect chance to relive a horror ge, from the past or discover for the first time what made it so damned scary.

The year isn’t yet over, so if any more excellent horror games arrive in 2023, we’ll do our best to add them to this list. If you want to add some horror trappings to your own space, check out HyperX's new Spooky keycaps for your mechanical keyboard.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video games stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at henry@moonrock.biz, or catch him on Twitter.

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