With the PS5 coming out soon, many of us are taking one last, forlorn look at the trust old PS3 collecting dust in the corner, considering one last hurrah! before the sun sets on what was once our most beloved gaming companion. That’s why, just for fans of horror, we’ve gone out of our way to dig up some of the single best horror games to ever grace one of the most monumental platforms ever created. So turn the lights out, lock all your doors, and get the headset on and make no plans for tomorrow afternoon because you won’t be sleeping tonight.
1. The Evil Within 1
Released: October 2014 | Developer: Tango Gameworks | Platform: Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Price: $19.99
The Evil Within is 15 chapters of gory, ghastly, goodness with some of the most visually striking monstrosities you’ll find in any decade of gaming. The game is an unnerving journey into the darkly brilliant of director Shinji Makami, and the cinematic lighting effects and brilliant compositions make it seem like something pulled out of the most twisted Japanese horror film.
And it’s more than just scary — the game is exceptionally difficult, complete with a kill counter to remind of just how inadequate you are. FYI, the game has a deserving successor in the form of The Evil Within 2, but it’s not available for PS3, sadly.
2. Alien: Isolation
Released: October 2014 | Developer: Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive | Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 | Price: $39.99
Alien: Isolation was famously negged by both IGN and Gamespot despite being widely celebrated by the playing audience, with whom Alien: Isolation is regarded as one of the finest horror games ever created. For those of you more acquainted with newer games, it can best be described as Granny meets Alien.
You play as Amanda Ripley, daughter of the original female badass, as you move about your ship as quietly and calmly as possible while avoiding the clutches of the terrifying Xenomorph drone aboard. All you can do is run, and sometimes hide, but you can’t fight it. If you’ve ever wanted to simulate being murdered by a Xenomorph in gripping detail, Alien: Isolation is it.
3. Siren: Blood Curse
Released: July 2008 | Developer: Project Siren | Platform: PS3 | Price: $19.99
Siren: Blood Curse mostly flew under the radar when it came to the mainstream gaming audience, but the core mechanics remain the inspiration for a wide variety of modern games. It was one of the earlier stealth survival horrors and one of the few games that managed to work despite being broken up into multiple, separately purchased chapters.
Probably because each chapter actually felt like a different game, with you playing a new character each time. You’re slightly less powerless than other survival horrors, with a couple psychic abilities and world full of makeshift weaponry — basically anything you can pick up — but combat is often your last resort. Even when you luck out with a gun, expect to die a lot.
Download Siren: Blood Curse: PS3
4. Dead Space 1 & 2 (but not 3)
Released: 2008 | Developer: EA Redwood Shores | Platform: Windows, PS3, Xbox 360 | Price: $19.99
Dead Space, the first two at least, are considered some of the scariest survival horrors ever created. And its graphics were way ahead of its time. You play as Isaac Clark, an exceptionally unfortunate engineer aboard the USG Ishimuraa when it comes under attack by a species of space-zombies called Necromorphs, and have to find a way to survive through a mixture of stealth-survival and full-blown TPS.
The narrative in both games is head and shoulders above your typical horror game, and feels throughout like a mashup of Resident Evil and Event Horizon — something the game accentuates with its absence of an HUD and incredible sound design.
5. The Last of Us
Released: 2013 | Developer: Naughty Dog | Platform: PS3, PS4 | Price: $9.99
The Last of Us, is… well, The Last of Us. You’ve heard of it. It is simply one of the greatest games ever, let alone horror survival games. You play as Joel, rugged guardian of the seemingly helpless fourteen-year-old girl, Ellie, who turns out to be miraculously immune to the virus that annihilated humanity. The gameplay is intense, stealth-oriented, and with a strict emphasis on realism and critical thinking. Not to mention difficult.
But what shines most is the game’s breathtaking story. It is, considered by many, a strong contender for the single best game ever wrought with mortal hands. And with Last of Us 2 out on PS4, as well as a remastered edition of the first version available, now’s a good time to finally experience it for yourself.
6. Condemned 2: Bloodshot
Released: March 2008 | Developer: Monolith Productions | Platform: PS3, Xbox 360 | Price: N/A
Bloodshot 2: Condemned is the sequel to the lesser-loved Bloodshot, feels a lot like a first-person fighting game mixed with a crime-horror game. You return as Ethan Thomas, criminal investigator, but this time confronting a severe case of alcoholism and seeming psychosis on top of actual demonic entities coming to murder you (and those of the victims whose cases you’re investigating).
Unlike many of the stealth horror games on this list, you’re not expected to run and hide. Quite the contrary. In the Bloodshot series, you’re encouraged to smash your horrific, infernal opponents by any means necessary. Toilet seats, broken doors, pieces of timber — whatever’s laying around. Or sometimes just a good old bare-knuckle boxing match. What can we say? It’s fun, dark, and full of horror.
Download Condemned 2: Bloodshot iOS | Android
Released: October 2005 | Developer: Monolith Productions | Platform: Windows, PS3, Xbox 360 | Price: $54.99
F.E.A.R is a straight-up FPS that actually manages to be scary as hell while providing rewarding combat that doesn’t remove tension from its valuable moments of suspense. You play as the Point Man, essentially a placeholder for any central heroic figure, hunting down psychic overlord Paxon Fettel as he wreaks havoc from afar with his mind-controlled drones.
Combat hinges on a bullet-time slo-mo mechanic that is both useful and satisfying, especially when combined with its rag-doll physics engine. One of the game’s standout design features is its intelligent AI that was way ahead of its time. Enemies in F.E.A.R learn and react in different ways every time, making replay value especially high and providing some of the most gratifying solo-player campaign combat of any FPS
Released: August 2007 | Developer: 2K Games | Platform: Windows, MacOS, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch | Price: $9.99 – $19.99
Bioshock isn’t the scariest game on this list, but it certainly has a strong horror element and moments of delicious tension throughout as you, an unnamed hero, does their best to survive in the underwater, retro sci-fi city of Rapture amid all the inventive monstrosities therein. The game hits all the right notes to make a true classic: a salient, meaningful storyline and narrative backdrop, fully-fleshed out characters, dynamic gameplay, highly original and memorable concept art, and an entirely novel concept.
As you explore the failed city of Rapture, you’ll collect a variety of old-school weaponry and genetic modifications that endow you with special powers like pyromancy or psionic hacking. The game features some of the best combat and best fights, and coupled with its incredible story and setting is a must play.
9. Silent Hill: Homecoming
Released: 2008 | Developer: Double Helix | Platform: Windows, PS3, Xbox 360 | Price: $19.99 – $34.99
Silent Hill: Homecoming marked a turning point for the franchise, the first time that the original developer, Project Silent, handed over the reins to another developer — and it worked out well. It is regarded by many as one of the last of the Silent Hill games before the series took something of a downturn. You play as Alex Shephard, a soldier returning to his hometown of Shephard’s Glen, to find the town strangely empty, and overflowing with a strange, uncanny fog.
The game proceeds in classic Silent Hill fashion as Alex sets out to find his missing little brother, Joshua, and encounters numerous puzzles, cryptic clues, and of course: hellish, nightmarish creatures from the bottom of a twisted imagination. The game relies on the trusty, terrifying Flashlight and Radio mechanics from the original games, and features all the hallmark monstrosities — including the conspicuous Pyramid Head. Any fan of a story-driven, exploration horrors with a PS3 would be remiss to skip out on Silent Hill: Homecoming.
10. Deadly Premonition – Director’s Cut
Released: February 2010 | Developer: Access Games | Platform: Windows, PS3, Xbox 360, Switch | Price: $24.99
Deadly Premonition is one of the more… unique games on this list. Or any list for that matter. And probably the single most divisive game ever created, the true embodiment of the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” The original game’s questionable graphics, ultra-campy tone, and occasional unintentional hilarity rightfully turned some off, while the game’s questionable graphics, ultra-campy tone, and occasional unintentional hilarity made it a cult classic for many others.
It follows Francis York Morgan, FBI agent with an imaginary friend, as he confronts many creatively, unspeakable horrors and interacts with one of the quirkiest, most bizarre cast of characters of any video game. Think Twin Peaks, but somehow weirder. Thankfully, there is now a Director’s Cut edition that goes out of its way to fix many of the technical issues that plagued the original game. Better camera, better controls, better interface and some new cutscenes make the open-world survival horror much more palatable for the broader audience.
Download Deadly Premonition 2: Switch
Honorable Mention: Fatal Frame
Released: 2001-2002| Developer: Tecmo | Platform: PS2 | Price:
This might actually be a PS2 game, but since most PS3s are backwards compatible, why not include one of the scariest, most inventive games ever made? Fatal Frame is still beloved by those (un)fortunate enough to have played it back in the day, and is an enduring but still-hidden gem for many fans of the horror franchise. The game is distinctly Japanese, not only in its setting but in the inclusion of Japanese horror’s many hallmarks. And you’re a Japanese schoolgirl.
It follows said schoolgirl, Miku as she searches for her younger brother in a derelict mansion where he was last seen weeks ago. You quickly learn the house is full of numerous, horrifying ghosts, and replete with many journal scraps, audio recordings, and other messages from the victims of the house that now haunt its darkly lit hallways. The game’s most salient feature is its unique camera mechanic, in which Miku’s trusty “spirit camera” is your only defense against the lost souls wandering its halls. Sounds cheesy, but Fatal Frame is truly one of the most terrifying, most inventive, most glorious sur
We hope you enjoy the nightmare fuel-dipped, horror-fest that is this list. Any of the games on this list have the ability to give you a cardio workout akin to running stairs with 5-gallon jug water tied to your back — so good luck!