Fans of horror, unite! This article is for you all, but not for those who’re into gore horror, no! This list below is for the gamers who’re into real, twisted, psychological horror gaming. Because let’s face it, horror of the greatest kind is always a thing of the mind. When you’re terrified because of any reason, it always starts with a thought, and then spreads around the body like the plague.
Horror games have been around ever since the first arcade machines came out. It’s a genre that has fascinated the minds and souls of gamers all over the world, as well as the lives of fans of movies, books, and other forms of entertainment, even illusions. Is there a better illusion than the famous sawing of a woman into halves? No! It’s terrifying horror at its best, isn’t it?
Horror, But No Gore
When it comes to video games, horror does not have to mean blood, blown up intestines, severed heads of zombies or other gore infested scenery. With this list of ours today, we want to present to you the very best games in the horror genre which are without gore, without splitting blood or killing by knife or sword. If you think these are impossible, you’ll think again after today.
A great horror game is challenging not because of gore aspects, but because of how much it plays with the mind of gamers. Of how much it triggers their deepest fears, even if they’re just about moving from one corner of a room, a dark room, to the other. When horror games are good enough, sleepless nights follow. And when they’re amazing, there’s no need for gore.
Most Terrifying Gore-Free Horror Games
We’ve searched the entire internet for the most horrific, gore-free games we could find. These titles are a spectacular mix between psychological horrors, fears of the most dark kinds, and insecurities you can only battle through, not move past. Out of all these games, the most impressive ones are the ones that are the simplest. You’ll see why when you play them.
Five Nights At Freddy’s - This is a series of games, not a single title, in which the way the game works and the environment, the base idea, is so unique and intriguing, it's a surprise it's not more popular. This game focuses on the strangeness of animatronic creatures, and the premise that they're not as innocent as you might think, which means certain stuff will happen to unsuspecting individuals. Five Nights at Freddy's is about death, themes one more disturbing than the other, as well as some good old jump scares, made possible with the first-person perspective. When things are left to the imagination, that's when horror works its magic.
Little Nightmares - We've all had our fair share of bad dreams, even nightmares, there's no doubt about this. But the "little" nightmares you'll be experiencing in this game are not to be taken lightly. Made by Tarsier Studios, Little Nightmares is a horror made to look like a puzzler and platformer, making it feel different from the crowd. With constant suspense, and unmatched design, as well as a unique world offered to the players, Little Nightmares is about Six, as he tries to escape a world in which kids are prisoners and the currency is deeply emotional. With many ungodly visuals, it needs no gore to be truly scary.
The Exorcist: Legion VR - If you've made it this far as to look for some gore-free horror games, you know a thing or two about the horror scene. And chances are, The Exorcist movie is nothing new to you. This game though? You're IN the world of the Exorcist thanks to the VR capabilities that "Legion" comes with. The scope of the game is to fight the many demons and have your nature tried out in many ways. Just like in the famous, demonic movie, the game will test your scare endurance and fighting skills hand-on-hand, without having to appeal to any free violence at any moment.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent - A legendary title on its own, Amnesia is now ready to introduce "The Dark Descent", the first episode of the series in which horror is omnipresent and extremely serious. This first episode centres on the very best features that the series has to offer to its fans. The people behind Amnesia know and have mastered the art of making real fear through gameplay. Without even the need for constant, unnecessary violence you'd usually get from other titles. When you're constantly on the lookout for the fear of being followed, you're more than fearful by nature.
Alien: Isolation - One of the most famous of all horror games series, Alien has overdone it with the "Isolation" episode. This horror, which needs zero gore, is fantastic, to say the least. The darkness, the constant fear and threat, the ungodly creatures that can turn you into nothing in a heartbeat, and offer you the most gruesome of all deaths? All of these elements have made the game into what it is, a masterpiece of gore-free horror, psychological terror, and hard-to-swallow gameplay of nightmares. One go at this game and you'll be forever encapsulated in the legendary series.
SOMA - If there's one thing that they do right, the people at Frictional Games are masters of modern horror games. SOMA is one heck of a first-person horror survival, mostly put in terms of psychological struggles and jump scares, as well as enhanced by a state-of-the-art, so to speak, narrative that's intricate and weird. The story in the game is about identity, consciousness, and hybrids made out of humans and machines. You'll solve puzzles as you discover more clues and quickly realise these are far more important than killing monsters. All creatures in the game were made with significance to the theme of the title.
Layers Of Fear - How many layers do you think fear comes with? Is it just the fear itself, or can fear be... more frightening as you live more and more of it? Have you ever thought about that? Maybe you did, if you're into games like Layers of Fear, and its expansion, and sequel. Amazing examples of what a good psychological horror title should look and feel like, the game at hand is driven by a story that's unmatched. Keeping the player fearful with the dark revelations and the increasingly delusional state of the mind of the main character, while also keeping it true, honest, and downright terrifying.
Alan Wake - If you're into console games with horror of the psychological kind, as well as shooting stuff and getting some good jump scares, Alan Wake is surely the title for you. Being considered one of the best horrors for the Xbox 360, this game is about a writer who discovers that his wife vanished. The most terrifying thing is, the thing that he wrote about in his novel is happening to him and his family in real life, as frightening and horrifying as he described them. This is no easy, ordinary horror…
Dead By Daylight - A nightmare come true for all fans of the horror cinema genre, Dead by Daylight is multiplayer in which the mix between horror icons and their movies, Halloween, Saw, or The Blair Witch Project, has been taken to art status in video game form. Players have the chance to turn into one of the most famous killers ever produced in the movie industry, or just survive their horrors as simple humans. Fairly put, some blood will be spilt in this one, but not directly as in a regular gore game, and more of an aesthetic feature.
Ju-On The Grudge: Haunted House Simulator - This is the ultimate horror game that has nothing to do with blood and everything with pure horror and scares. Made for the Wii, the Nintendo console which is often reduced to simple motion gimmicks, this haunted house simulator is the perfect example of just how much you can stretch the capabilities of a console to the max. The title is as bizarre as they get, putting the player through many ghostly encounters as they move through the house in a first-person way. Although mild in terms of jump scares, the haunted house simulator is a remarkable title for horror fans who're not into the blood.
Tips On How To Survive Your First Horror Game
Now that you’re all set with the list of the most horrific gore-free games, you might want to start by reading a couple of tips on how to survive these most terrifying titles. You don’t want to go into those dark corridors and rooms unprepared, isn’t it?
Reality versus imagination - Remembering this rule, that this is all imagination, not reality, while playing a video game of the horror genre, this is what's literally going to keep you alive. You are in no real danger regardless of how messed up the game seems to be. There are no zombies out there that will invade, no monsters with heads the shape of a pyramid, nor beasts with tentacles instead of arms or killer animatronics, none of that exists. A video game is just that, a video game, sprung out from the mind of some "creative" beings just like you and me.
Preparation for scares - This game that you're playing is filled with jump scares and other types of miniature heart attacks, so be prepared for them. You should be doing so, jumping out of your skin once or twice. This is the only way in which you'll know if the game masters have done a good job or not with their creation. If you're as calm or even relaxed as when you'd be watching a comedy series on Netflix, something is wrong. Prepare for the scares, and then enjoy them to their fullest. No need to lose any sleep over a jump scare. It's all entertainment.
Play in daylight - If horror video games are your thing, you probably ought to play them at night, when the experience is even more real? Yes, let's go with that and not "completely mental!", sure. But if you're new to the genre, and especially to the non-gore horror games, which are always having to do with darkness and psychological despair, play these games during daylight at first. Get familiar with them, get used to the scares, and the screams, and pop-ups of monsters and other weird creatures. Do not turn the lights off until you're not 100% comfortable with the fear that the games are causing you.
Foresee cliches - Games like "Slender" have many cliches you're going to find in most horror games. Things like jumpscares and rising tensions are omnipresent everywhere during gameplay. After a while, you'll see that you grow on the skill of detecting these cliches as they reach your screen during gameplay. These major selling points of any video game are much easier to bear when you see them coming. They're still scary, yes, but remember that this is their ultimate goal, to make you feel things. Experience these things repeatedly and you'll soon develop better resistance to them. You'll enjoy them eventually!
Make fun of them all - In the end, the best way to overcome any horror situation, be it in a game or in real life, is by making fun of it in its face! Make fun of the monsters and their appearances, of how silly they all are, and laugh at the most gruesome characters you can find in a particular title. Using humour to get over the horrors of a game, even if you fake the laugh, is a great helper when it comes to lessening the tense mood you're in when you start playing. You'll simply become a stronger being than all of the monsters in the game, or the objects that turn you into a fearful bunny. Imagine the protagonist bleeding rainbows from his ears, or anything that might help. Turn the game as ridiculous as your creativity will allow it. It will turn the paranoia way down and your experience of these games into something enjoyable.