19 Best RPG Horror Games | GAME3A

19 Best RPG Horror Games

Role-playing horror games are an unfairly niche genre. Perhaps because the combination of the confident thrill of treasure hunting in role-playing gam...

Anne Ostler Sept 07, 2023
19 Best RPG Horror Games

Role-playing horror games are an unfairly niche genre. Perhaps because the combination of the confident thrill of treasure hunting in role-playing games with the menacing tension of horror is a challenging blend. Therefore, games that can carefully merge both elements are often timeless masterpieces, whose brilliance may never be matched again.

Indeed, it is a challenging task to find RPG horror games of triple-A quality or at least close to it. That's why we have searched far and wide to present you with the best in the realm of RPG horror. Of course, they may not be as scary as dedicated horror genre games, but they are certainly more replayable.

Updated on September 7, 2023, by William Quick: Horror is not for everyone, but one cannot deny its fascination. Unlike humor, horror is much less subjective, as there are certain things that the majority would objectively find frightening. The problem is that we have been presented with these things so often that we have become accustomed to them or even desensitized. That's why horror games need to work much harder to be creative and truly scare and haunt us. If you're looking for titles that not only consistently give you chills but also make you invest time in your character and the world, then look no further than this list.

19 Deep Sky Derelicts

19 Best RPG Horror Games

When Darkest Dungeon was released, we were overwhelmed by its captivating visual design, horror, and attention to detail when it came to the physical and mental state of the characters. If you never want to go back to it, that would be understandable, but if you're looking for a different approach, then give Deep Sky Derelicts a try, if you have the courage for it.

Guess what? It's the future, and you're way out in space, and everything is terrible. Luckily, you have just enough resources to assemble a ship and a rugged (or at least desperate) crew to explore the remnants floating in space. You're a salvage and exploration mission, scraping by with odd jobs. Each wreck is a disturbing labyrinth filled with things gone wrong, eerie aliens, murderous robots, and humans disfigured by various horrors. Every encounter could mean the end of your journey.

18 An Outcry

19 Best RPG Horror

Pixel art and psychological horror seem to go very well together, with the statement "the simpler, the better" proving true. While supernatural horror elements can also be present in the game, a title like An Outcry is primarily focused on the impact on your mind and emotions.

You portray an anonymous individual residing in a gloomy section of a densely populated city within a dilapidated apartment building. You have severed ties with nearly everyone you know, the job prospects are abysmal and scarcely existent, yet there is a glimmer of hope in your amiable neighbor. As the night progresses, flocks of crows descend upon you, assuming increasingly eerie and monstrous forms. They even possess a spokesperson who casts doubt upon everything about you. The structure itself begins to metamorphose, and while you may engage in battles, it is more prudent to flee for your life.

17 Disco Elysium

19 Best RPG

Have you ever awakened in a grimy and devastated place, while questioning your own existence and the significance of it all? Well, that's precisely how everything starts in Disco Elysium, with a much weightier and more disheartening tone, where every step you take becomes a struggle to merely persist in living.

The game follows an unnamed police detective who awakens after a phase of excessive drinking, resulting in property damage, people's panic, and the discarding of personal belongings. You start at a very low point, and all you can do is give your best to pick yourself up, even if just a little. Not only is the world you find yourself in cold and unfair, but your inner voices incessantly chatter, mostly without contributing anything helpful. The sole glimmer of hope is your professional and tolerant partner, Kim Kitsuragi, who will strive to stand by your side no matter how dire the circumstances become.

16 Sunless Sea

19 Best

The sea is beautiful, yet also violent and indifferent. It demands respect from anyone who chooses to sail across its waters. As a testament to how dark these waters can become, the "Zee" unfolds in the vast and bizarre world of Sunless Sea.

In an alternate Victorian London, the city has descended into a vast underground realm from which escape seems impossible. The good news is that you commence your journey with a ship that grants you a measure of freedom to explore and experience. The bad news is that it is ill-equipped to confront the dark and perilous creatures lurking above and below the water's surface. You can purchase upgrades and hire a crew to better handle the challenges, but misery loves company. Sooner or later, you may be compelled to make decisions that will leave scars upon your mind.

15 Pathologic 2


The plague has arrived, and it is immensely, terribly hungry. Pathologic 2 is a symphony of contrasting genres, ranging from immersive simulation to RPG to survival horror. You find yourself stranded in a small, secluded village overtaken by a disease that darkens the sky and drains all warmth from the world.

The horror elements of Pathologic are subdued, but it would be a falsehood to label them as subtle. Fear in Pathologic arises from human predicaments - everything is scarce, and morality must be bent to acquire what one needs. In Pathologic, you don't fear due to the supernatural elements - you are terrified because you become someone else as you play.

14 Vampyr

You traverse the world as the shadow of your former self, driven by an unholy hunger and perhaps paradoxically by your innate desire to do good. In Vampyr, you journey through desolate streets of London, plagued by disease and the late stages of the First World War. Yet even you, a creature of the night, will feel that tangible fear deep within your bones.

The characters and stories in Vampyr reflect your decisions from beginning to end. Districts can decay and be plagued by vampiric violence if you yield to your thirst too often - every target can be more than they appear. You are the monster here, quite literally. But you don't have to be what lurks in the dark.

13 Prey

Arkane Studios has a fondness for immersive sim-RPGs with a touch of eldritch essence, and Prey is no exception. High above the sky, far removed from the depths of reality on Earth, orbits Talos 1, a mid-century-styled space station. Here, TranStar has constructed its science and testing facility for a product that interfaces with the user's brain... and employs aliens known as Typhon to grant psychic abilities to the users.

Of course, everything goes awry; what did you expect? As Morgan Yu, you will navigate through Talos 1 after a disaster strikes. The narrative responds to your actions, and Morgan's abilities can be fully customized. The Typhon are always nearby and can appear as harmless as a coffee cup – remember, safety comes first.

12 Omori

When you first play Omori, you might think that something so cute and nostalgic couldn't be frightening. You might feel something unsettling under your skin, but you'll dismiss it as quickly as it arises.

Omori is a game that embraces unease. It relies on its surreal setting and a slowly unfolding psychological horror story centered around a boy named Sunny. This, coupled with a gentle pastel palette and gameplay reminiscent of the simplicity of SNES RPGs, creates an eerie experience.

11 Dead Space (2023)

Isaac Clarke is not having a good day. The 2023 remake of Dead Space takes everything that made the original game stunningly terrifying and amplifies it several levels, leaving no possibility of escape from its constant tension.

With improved graphics and more thoughtful design, you can expect to be frozen in fear more than once. Customizable and upgradable weapons allow you to play in your own style, and the open exploration provides some room for movement - just never get too comfortable. Never.

10 Dark Souls Series

You're probably already tired of hearing about this series whenever someone asks about horror. Well, tough luck, because the Dark Souls games are among the most terrifying RPGs ever made. While the type of horror here is more of a slowly burning unease rather than intrusive jump scares (although there are some of those too), the menacing atmosphere and creepy creature design are undeniably present.

In all three Dark Souls games, there is a constant fear of being crushed to a pulp and losing your hard-earned currency. It can happen so frequently that the factor of fear diminishes and is gradually replaced by infantile rage. However, nothing compares to the feeling of despair and hopelessness when witnessing a boss unleash their most abhorrent combination of attacks upon you.

9 Bloodborne

If the horror elements of Dark Souls are too tame for you, you might want to take a look at its even more terrifying cousin, Bloodborne, also developed by the same creators. It follows the same formula but is set in a fictional Victorian era plagued by Lovecraftian creatures and mythology. As you can imagine, the creature design here is the stuff of nightmares... as if a high fever delirium accompanied the nightmare itself.

It's a game you really shouldn't miss if you're a long-time fan of Lovecraft. There aren't many games that successfully translate this type of horror. Even some fans of the Soulslike genre consider Bloodborne to be better than Dark Souls. However, it might be more challenging to get access to Bloodborne as it is an exclusive console game.

8 The Evil Within 2

The Evil Within 2 has proven to be a worthy successor to the first game. It leans more towards horror than RPG, so don't expect extensive customization options and character development as a hardcore RPG fan. While The Evil Within 2 does incorporate RPG elements, at times they can even feel added in retrospect.

However, it offers a pleasant change of pace and provides more freedom compared to games like Resident Evil. Your character, Sebastian Castellanos, can be upgraded and possesses specialized abilities that you can develop for a specific playstyle. The variety of weapons is also noteworthy, and you will certainly feel increasingly empowered (or less helpless) as you progress through the game.

7 Dead Space 3

The previous Dead Space games were pioneers of the horror genre and were unique in their own right. They became much more than just "Resident Evil in space" and were popular enough to warrant a third installment. However, the third game, Dead Space 3, is notably a weaker entry compared to its predecessors. It introduced a new progression system into its aging mission structure and incorporated more RPG elements.

Furthermore, there are optional side missions in the game that can distract you from the main story. What truly screams "RPG" in Dead Space 3 is the modularity of the weapons. Your arsenal has been expanded, and you can even engage in some crafting to create hybrid versions of your standard weapons. This is arguably the biggest advantage of the third game compared to the first two installments.

6 Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

There is no doubt about the horror elements of this game; it's already in the name. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is a classic from 2004 that was revolutionary at its release. However, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is more of a traditional role-playing game than a horror game. You can customize your character's statistics during character creation and even choose your vampire clan.

There are also plenty of dialogues between the action sequences, and your choices carry more significance than in most RPG horror games. It's definitely a true role-playing game. However, there is at least one guaranteed location in the game called the Ocean House Hotel that can quickly change the mood and make you feel more like prey than a bloodsucking hunter. It's a haunted hotel that is better experienced firsthand.

5 System Shock 2

The first game in the System Shock series shook the gaming industry to its core and ultimately led to the creation of some spiritual successors like Bioshock. The point is, it is a masterpiece and was definitely ahead of its time. System Shock 2 continues its legacy with great additions to the core gameplay.

System Shock 2 incorporates certain RPG elements such as abilities and character development through statistics, but it is still primarily a horror game and survival first-person shooter (FPS). However, it is a worthy continuation of the cyberpunk legacy that System Shock created. If you can handle the significantly outdated graphics, it is worth giving it a try.

4 Stalker Series

Here we have another hybrid survival FPS game that has never been successfully replicated to this day: the Stalker games. Clear Sky, Shadow of Chernobyl, or Call of Pripyat - no matter which of these three games you play, you will certainly have a unique experience. The Stalker games have successfully woven together survival, RPG, FPS, and horror elements into a package (albeit a flawed one).

You play as a lone Stalker in the Zone, a sealed-off area that was abandoned due to the Chernobyl nuclear accident. You must do your best to scavenge equipment, improve your skills, and uncover the secrets of the Zone - perhaps even reach the legendary center where an entity that grants wishes resides. There is nothing quite like these games, even though they have been around for over a decade.

3 Darkwood

Since horror RPGs are not a very popular combination of genres for video games, not many mainstream or triple-A developers create such games. Therefore, it's up to indie studios to fill this gap, and one of the best indie games in this genre mix is Darkwood. You play it from a top-down perspective, but it is just as captivating as most horror games.

The RPG elements are kept relatively simple, but they effectively support the survival aspect of the game. There is also a crafting system to keep the monsters at bay. Even the premise is straightforward: the forest is eerie, dark, and deep (apologies to Robert Frost), so you do your best to explore and survive the place while finding some weapons and tools to aid you.

2 Parasite Eve Series

It is typical of Japanese developers to create hybrid games that actually work. What would the gaming industry do without them? Anyway, the Parasite Eve games are one of our top recommendations for anyone seeking that harmonious horror RPG experience. Developed by Square (no surprise there), it puts the player in the role of Aya Brea, a rookie police officer at the NYPD, in an evolving mutant apocalypse.

The gameplay of the first game is turn-based, while its sequel has redesigned it to be real-time. Like most Square games, there are complex and functional RPG elements present, but Parasite Eve doesn't skimp on the horror aspects in any way. In fact, it might have worked even without the RPG elements. The unique gameplay and interesting ideas of the Parasite Eve games alone make them worth playing.

1 Darkest Dungeon

We previously mentioned that Lovecraftian horror games are rare, right? That's what makes the handful of them all the more unforgettable. Darkest Dungeon is a shining diamond in this regard. It takes the good old dungeon crawling and turn-based combat and adds a touch of madness and masochism to it.

The result is one of the most challenging and nerve-wracking horror RPG games ever. It could even be more difficult than Dark Souls or Bloodborne. You have to manage the stress level of your adventurers and deal with the fact that they are all replaceable, no matter how much you cherish them. Oh, and you also frequently encounter creepy Lovecraftian monsters that like to lurk in every corner and hiding place of the titular Darkest Dungeon.