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The best horror games for Xbox Series X

If you love horror games, you should be excited about the Xbox Series X. Horror is a gaming genre that particularly benefits from advances in graphics support for lighting, speedy loading times, and extra detail on the screen. If you’re getting chills just thinking about it, we’ve got the list for you. These games are works of excellent horror on the Series X or are specifically enhanced for Series X gameplay!

Further reading

Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village
83%
M
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre
Shooter, Adventure
Developer
Capcom
Publisher
Capcom
Release
May 07, 2021
Capcom has put in serious work to perfect the Resident Evil formula, and few of the titles have benefited as much as Village, a tightly focused RE game set in a gothic town filled with a wide variety of monsters and machinations. You play Ethan Winters, who explores and unlocks the village while running from — and eventually facing down — a number of terrifying enemies inspired by ancient horror tropes (plus, of course, the towering Lady Dimitrescu). The Series X does a particularly great job of running the ray tracing around Village while still ensuring 60fps. Gamers who like action with their horror will certainly want to try Village, even if it’s been a while since you’ve dipped your toes into the Resident Evil series.
Resident Evil Village - Special Developer Message

Scorn

Scorn
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Adventure, Indie
Developer
ebb Software
Publisher
ebb Software, Kepler Interactive
Release
December 31, 2022

Scorn is a first-person horror game set in a terrifying environment that’s immediately reminiscent of works by H.R. Giger. It’s no surprise, then, that there are disgusting monsters to fight and weapons to desperately loot as you try to survive. The focus is on exploration and fending off terrors in an ancient alien world filled with body horror (some self-inflicted). It’s arriving on Game Pass and in stores on October 14, 2022, just in time for the spooky season!

Scorn pre-alpha footage

Chernobylite

Chernobylite
68%
M
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Simulator, Adventure, Indie
Developer
The Farm 51
Publisher
All In! Games
Release
October 16, 2019
Styling itself a sci-fi survival-horror RPG, this game is set in the literal Chernobyl Exclusion Zone – they did a 3D map of it and used it for the game’s environment. The story follows a physicist returning to the nuclear plant to investigate the 30-year mystery of his lost fiancée. What he finds are dark secrets, chilling reminders, and monsters in the shadows. It’s primarily a shooter with some stealth and survival elements.
Chernobylite Teaser Trailer

The Callisto Protocol

The Callisto Protocol
M
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Shooter, Adventure
Developer
Striking Distance Studios
Publisher
Krafton
Release
December 02, 2022
The Callisto Protocol is the game all Dead Space fans have been waiting for, created by Striking Distance studio, which is helmed by Glen Schofield, one of the co-creators of Dead Space. The similarities are easy to see: You play as an inmate who escaped from a prison on Jupiter’s dead moon Callisto, where you must survive both modern and ancient horrors, master tools like gravity guns, and (of course) focus on cutting off limbs of the abominations you find. The release date is set for early December 2022, so you don’t have long to wait.
The Callisto Protocol - Cinematic Trailer Reveal

Subnautica: Below Zero

Subnautica: Below Zero
80%
E10
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Adventure, Indie
Developer
Unknown Worlds Entertainment
Publisher
Unknown Worlds Entertainment
Release
January 30, 2019
Speaking of survival horror … Subnautica was a hit thanks to survival and crafting gameplay set in a hostile alien ocean, which constantly shifts from atmospherically stifling to downright scary (especially if drowning, endless water, ocean monsters, etc., make your skin crawl). Below Zero, the sequel, improves on the graphics and adds more to do, as well as more dangers in the alien sea. It’s a good choice if you like a little horror and challenge but don’t want to take it too seriously. Newcomers may want to play a little of the first game before, ah, jumping in.
Subnautica: Below Zero Early Access Trailer

Outbreak: The New Nightmare - Definitive Edition

Outbreak: The New Nightmare - Definitive Edition
Platforms
Xbox Series X|S
Release
January 15, 2021
This Outbreak sequel is Series X enhanced and ready for a buddy! It’s a co-op survival horror game centering on a scary nighttime zombie experience. There’s some Left 4 Dead in it, certainly, but with a variety of interesting twists:  You only get one life per playthrough, so scrounging for supplies and staying hidden is vital to success. Many missions include tense, timed activities where death is always just around the corner. The shadowy environments are also creepy in a way few recent zombie games have been — and horror is always more fun when you can bring friends along, too.

Martha Is Dead

Martha Is Dead
72%
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Adventure, Indie
Developer
LKA
Publisher
Wired Productions
Release
February 24, 2022
This terrifying period piece is set in 1944 Italy, where a woman must uncover the truth about the death of her twin sister, Martha, as WWII overtakes her country. The horrors of war meet folkore mystery as the psychological thriller unfolds. There’s also a deluxe version with an additional story available for purchase if you decide you really enjoy this style.
Martha Is Dead Announcement Teaser

Little Nightmares II

Little Nightmares II
83%
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre
Platform, Puzzle, Adventure
Developer
Tarsier Studios
Publisher
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Release
February 11, 2021
Little Nightmares 2 is filled with what made Little Nightmares so great, but with more of it. While the first game made you a mouse-like person hiding in a ship overcome by monsters, the second takes you to a new world. Here you play as another of these small people, a young boy trying to escape a creepy landscape dominated by an eerie signal tower — and a variety of twisted monsters, haunted locations, and more threats eager to hunt you down. Comparisons to Inside are easy to make, but there’s a greater focus on platforming than puzzle solving here, and the combination works very well.
Little Nightmares 2 Reveal Trailer ( Gamescom 2019)

Dying Light 2: Stay Human

Dying Light 2: Stay Human
76%
M
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer
Techland Publishing, Techland
Publisher
Techland Publishing, Spike ChunSoft
Release
February 04, 2022
“The virus won” is a key tagline for Dying Light 2: Everyone is either a feral human doing whatever it takes to survive, or a zombie waiting for nightfall to start chewing on anyone unable to defend themselves. You play Aiden Caldwell, someone whose current immunity to the virus gives him an extra edge when surviving — and the potential to lead humans to a new future. Now it’s time to pick a side.
Dying Light 2 - E3 2018 Gameplay World Premiere Trailer

The Medium

The Medium
70%
M
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Adventure
Developer
Bloober Team
Publisher
Bloober Team SA
Release
January 28, 2021
One of the very first horror games made for the Series X, The Medium has a very clear core gameplay offering: As a medium, you’re able to jump between two different worlds, one real and one spiritual, to uncover the truth. You use these powers to explore a rundown resort and piece together what actually happened. Just one thing — the spiritual realm can get truly nightmarish, and you aren’t the only presence haunting these ruins. Those looking for plenty of narrative and exploration will enjoy this ride.
The Medium - Official Reveal with Gameplay

Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark
RP
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Adventure
Developer
Pieces Interactive
Publisher
THQ Nordic
This reimagined look at Alone in the Dark is optimized for the Xbox Series X and written by Mikael Hedberg, who you might recognize from games like Amnesia and Soma. It’s a gothic horror sensation that follows two people exploring an old mansion – one that increasingly becomes more terrifying and filled with evil as the game progresses. Reality and nightmare merge, and you have previous few weapons to fight the madness. The reason we’re putting this one lower on the list is that it’s not out until the end of 2022, although you can preorder.
Alone in the Dark | Announcement Trailer
Tyler Lacoma
Former Digital Trends Contributor
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
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