10. SOMA (PS4)
Horror is perhaps at its most impactful when it uses psychological scares, and SOMA definitely wants to get inside your head. The most recent release from Amnesia: The Dark Descent developer Frictional, this unsettling underwater adventure is all about human consciousness and the attributes that determine life. It’s a topic that’s been done to death, admittedly – but this game does it extremely well.
Supermassive Games’ schlock horror is an absolute must play on the PS4, taking the adventure game format popularised by Quantic Dream and Telltale, and delivering a fright-fest that’s both gruesome and guffaw-worthy in equal measure. The title’s trademark Butterfly Effect means that no two playthroughs will ever be the same, and while the release’s cast of teenage characters grate, that makes it all the more satisfying when they inevitably come to their grisly end.
Arguably one of the greatest actions games of all time, Resident Evil 4 may be over 12 years old but it’s still an absolute must-play today. Leon S. Kennedy’s mission to save the president’s daughter is fraught with encounters against diseased Spanish villagers, and while the actual scares are in surprisingly short supply here, there’s a definite tension attached to the stop-and-pop shootouts that pepper the 15-plus hour campaign.
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It never got quite the marketing push that it probably deserved, but The Evil Within 2 is considered something of a cult classic these days. Set three years after the events of the first game, the sequel is much larger in scope than its predecessor – an impressive achievement considering how horror games generally rely on enclosed areas in order to ensure you always sees exactly what the designers want you to see. Of course, the larger size leads to more gameplay variety, where you can choose to tackle objectives as you please – and even venture off the beaten path. This is a much improved sequel which, rather than re-tread soiled ground, instead finds its own footing.
Alien: Isolation has a pretty powerful elevator pitch: you’re the daughter of Ellen Ripley and you’re being hunted by a single Xenomorph. This canonical release is all about stealth and tactics; you’ll regularly find yourself trapped with the titular extra-terrestrial, and with no way of fighting back, you’ll need to be patient and precise in order to slip-by. A restrictive save system adds tension to each encounter, and the visuals brilliantly recapture the sci-fi sets from Ridley Scott’s iconic movie.