Developers have different approaches to the horror genre, though many games fall into similar categories. You have your jump scare games, multiplayer horror fests, atmospheric titles, and games with a stronger narrative basis. It’s the latter we want to focus on as we feel games with cheap scares have become more commonplace than ones with a fully fleshed out story.
Sure, they’ll have some story elements mixed in, but the main focus is on the scare itself. If you’re looking for a scary story told in the dark, something that will make you think while also chilling you straight to the bone, we have a few suggestions for you. From classics like Resident Evil down to indie gems like Kholat, here are our picks for favorite horror games with creepy stories.
Horror games with the creepiest stories
Not only is Kholat one of the rare examples of a game that’s based on a true story, it’s also narrated by the prolific Sean Bean. The gameplay is pretty straightforward where you’re able to explore through various areas and search for clues, all while trying not to die at the hands of mysterious forces. However, the story behind the game is what really sets it apart.
In 1959, nine college students disappeared while hiking through the mountains of Kholat Syakhl. Referred to as the Dyatlov Pass Incident, their bodies were found months later, their bodies painting a baffling (and terrifying) picture. What appears to have happened is that in the middle of the night, something startled the hikers, causing them to cut open their tent from the inside and run through sub-zero temperatures.
While it was evident exposure killed six of the nine hikers, the other three that were found had suffered injuries from an “unknown compelling force” according to the official report. One of the three had a fractured skull, while the other two suffered major chest fractures, while the most unfortunate of the trio was found to be missing her eyes and tongue as well.
In Kholat the game, you’re given this backstory before being thrust into the action yourself, tasked with retracing the steps the nine hikers took before meeting their fate. Even after you close out of the game, the concept of meeting your demise in the middle of the night on a cold, lonely mountain is more than enough to keep you awake in deep contemplation.