9 best survival horror games to play in 2023

last of us part 1 Joel and Ellie stealth

We’re living in a new golden age of survival horror with more spooky games coming out than ever before, but some stand out above the rest. Here are 9 of the best survival horror games you can try in 2023.

Survival horror games are often focused on exploration and crafting, with each offering unique elements to keep players on their toes as they try to survive. Many take the emphasis off action and focus on the atmosphere, giving the player limited ammo so that they can use some guile and tactics to fend off whatever is lurking in the darkness.

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Games in this sub-genre provide addictive gameplay loops that often sees your character isolated and scrambling around for resources to survive, whereas other survival horror games forgo an open-world environment and instead provide a cinematic experience — one in which your decisions and reflexes are put to the ultimate test.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best survival games you can play in 2023 on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC. While each one may share some similarities to the others on the list, every title below is a unique experience and is a must-play for survival horror fans.

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The Evil Within 2

Evil Within 2Tango Gameworks
As a sequel, The Evil Within 2 improves on the first game in every way.

The Evil Within 2, and the first Evil Within game, were made by the original creator of RE4 and RE2, Shinji Mikami. His idea was to make a game like Resident Evil that put the ‘horror’ back in survival horror during a time when games like Resident Evil 5 and 6 seemingly stripped this away from the series.

The game is set in an open-world environment (unlike the much more linear original game) and sees a detective called Sebastian trapped in a literal nightmare world. His greatest fears, and the fears of the other survivors are made manifest, which creates some truly scary moments and monsters to fight.

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The Evil Within 2 Features

  • A sequel to another creepy game
  • Available on PlayStation, Xbox, & PC
  • Incredibly atmospheric with some excellent bosses
  • Made by the mastermind of horror Shinji Mikami
  • Plays like a scarier Resident Evil 4
  • Makes open-world survival horror work

Resident Evil (Remake)

Resident Evil Survival gamesCapcom
Will you survive the night at the Spencer Mansion?

The remake of the game that coined the term survival horror and defined it for a generation. As the player, you step into the shoes of an elite mountain rescue team who have been trapped in a mansion filled with zombies and other horrific bioweapons.

Bullets won’t be the only way out of this mess, though, as you’ll also need to trust your survival instincts. For example, do you waste ammo killing that lone zombie trapped in a hallway? Or can you safely sneak past it or use another route? Resident Evil forces you to make these decisions, and getting one wrong can lead to your character getting eaten alive. No pressure.

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Resident Evil Key Features

  • A remake of the first true survival horror game
  • Available on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, & PC
  • Incredibly atmospheric
  • Spawned 7 sequels, including Resident Evil Village
  • Fixed camera angles
  • Two main playable characters 


Outlast survival gamesRed Barrels
There’s no crafting in the survival game Outlast – only running and screaming.

Outlast and its sequels put the player in the shoes of someone armed with only a video camera in a dangerous, creepy location while murderous psychopaths stalk them. Be it mutated patients from an insane asylum or scythe-wielding cultists; your only option is to run for your life if they see you, before hiding and praying they don’t look in that spot you picked. It’s heart-racing stuff and something every survival game fan needs to experience.

Outlast Key Features

  • First-person perspective
  • No combat
  • Survival depends on your wits
  • Incredibly scary
  • 3 games in the series
  • Available on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch

Until Dawn

Until Dawn survival gamesSupermassive games
A psycho killer in a clown mask isn’t the only threat to your survival in Until Dawn.

Until Dawn is essentially a playable horror movie where the player controls the narrative. Those looking for a scary interactive experience on a dark night will find exactly what they’re looking for here. You’re in control of a group of stereotypical horror movie teens as they take refuge from the snow in a log cabin.

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Naturally, they start getting murdered one by one. The question is, can the player’s choices save or doom them? It’s also free to PS5 owners who subscribe to PS Plus in the PlayStation Library. Who survives is ultimately down to the player, but keeping everyone alive isn’t going to be easy. You can also try its spiritual successor, The Quarry.

Until Dawn Key Features

  • Playable movie with lots of twists and turns
  • Channels classic horror films
  • Multiple outcomes and endings
  • Lots of replayability
  • Available on PlayStation 4 & 5

The Last of Us

The last of us ps5 remakeNaughty Dog
The Last of Us blends survival, horror, and third-person shooting.

While The Last of Us and its equally acclaimed sequel aren’t traditional survival experiences, they borrow heavily from the genre to tell a compelling story. Both games are set in a fungus-filled zombie apocalypse where horror and survival are key gameplay elements.

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The Last of Us features moments that are simply terrifying, be it the enemies you face or the depths of human depravity in the name of survival. The series may actually represent the future of survival horror, one in which the genre isn’t constrained by expectations of what it should be.

The Last of Us Key Features

  • A survival game that blends horror and shooting
  • Gripping story and characters
  • A fresh take on the zombie apocalypse genre
  • Both games are PlayStation exclusives

Alien Isolation

Alien survival gamesCreative Assembly
The Alien will stalk you through the whole game.

In space, no one can hear you scream, but your neighbors will. Alien isolation catches the spirit of Ridley Scott’s original monster movie: Forget colonial marines, pulse rifles, and Xenomorphs as cannon fodder – this is a game about survival, where one Alien creature stalks the player across a space station. The emphasis is on pure horror, making Alien Isolation one of the most nerve-shredding survival games ever made.

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Alien Isolation Key Features

  • First-person horror adventure
  • Indestructible Alien stalks throughout
  • Mirrors the original movie
  • Survival-focused, not action
  • Not a mid-tier action game like Aliens: Colonial Marines
  • Available on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox


survival games dayzBohemia Interactive
Zombies are the least of your worries in DayZ.

Much like its undead denizens, DayZ refuses to die. This MMO puts players in the shoes of a lone survivor in the wake of a zombie apocalypse, with the goal being to explore and survive. This can be achieved by looting whatever you can find while avoiding the undead. However, where DayZ gets really interesting is in your interactions with other players. Will you join forces to help each other survive, or will you mercilessly kill and loot every other living person you meet?

Beware though, as you’re not the only one out in the wilds preying on the weak. While DayZ is a game about avoiding or killing zombies, the true horror lies in what your fellow survivors are willing to do to stay alive.

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DayZ Key Features

  • Vast open-world
  • High player base
  • Fun in groups
  • Unpredictable gameplay
  • Permadeath feature
  • Available on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox


SubnauticaUnknown Worlds Entertainment
Subnautica is gorgeous, but you’ll need to work hard to survive in the Aurora.

Subnautica is not strictly speaking a horror game, however, things soon get scary when you realize this gorgeous underwater world wants you dead. You start to understand that you’re alone in a marine wilderness, and if the elements don’t get you, the creatures that lurk in the depths will.

What makes Subnautica special is that it’s the only survival game that places so much emphasis on the ocean. While Subnautica has elements of survival horror, it leans more heavily into the survival and exploration side. This means if horror and spooky survival games aren’t really your thing, Subnautica should be a much nicer refuge overall.

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Subnautica Key Features

  • Underwater world to explore
  • Alien sea monsters can eat you
  • Sequel also exists
  • Original concept
  • Lots of crafting
  • Available on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch

The Forest

A screenshot of The Forest gameplayEndnight Games
The Forest’s original inhabitants are intrigued by you, and what you might taste like.

If the ocean is the star of Subnautica, then the vast woods are the star of The Forest, a game that sometimes feels like a photo-real – but horrific – version of Minecraft. You’re a plane crash survivor who’s stranded in a vast wilderness, and what’s more, there doesn’t appear to be any signs of civilization in any direction. To survive, you’ll need to find shelter, food, and water, while also needing to craft items and ultimately figure out a way to be rescued.

The only problem is that at night, The Forest becomes home to a whole host of humanoid cannibals who’ve taken a keen interest in you. You’ll need to defend yourselves from them and even seek them out in dark caves during daylight hours to thin their numbers. Just don’t lose your humanity and become something worse than them as you do. A sequel is also now out.

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The Forest Key Features

  • Gorgeous woodland world
  • Enemies are mysterious
  • Blends various genres
  • Tense gameplay at night
  • Intriguing story
  • Available on PC and PlayStation

So there you have it, 8 of the best survival horror games to play in 2023.

Check out more gaming lists below to find plenty of exciting titles to play:

10 Best MMOs in 2022 | New World starter guide | Best scary Roblox horror games in 2022 | Best VR horror gamesBest indie horror gamesBest free horror games | Best multiplayer horror games | Best horror games to watch on Twitch

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