The 10 Best Scary Virtual Reality Games

VR's immersive nature takes horror to a new level

The immersive nature of virtual reality takes scary games to the next level. With VR, the atmosphere, sounds, and jump scares found in traditional games are magnified, delivering a riveting, frightful experience that goes beyond any first-person shooter.

Here's a look at 10 scary VR reality games. They're guaranteed to get your heart racing and stimulate your fight-or-flight response.

01
of 10

HordeZ

Screenshot from HordeZ by Zenz VR
What We Like
  • Relentless and fast-paced.

  • Level one is a tutorial that can be skipped.

  • Multiplayer option.

What We Don't Like
  • No music in the game.

  • Very little story.

  • Limited selection of weapons.

HordeZ, by Zenz VR, is an on-rails, zombie-filled first-person wave shooter. The atmosphere in this game is well beyond creepy, with a bit of a Doom vibe, evoking the eeriness of the id Software classic (although this title was not developed by them).

HordeZ can be played in both single mode and multiplayer (which is a lot less scary since you have a friend to help you). The game is full speed all the time, without giving you any breaks to catch your breath the way other VR zombie games do.

In HordeZ, zombies constantly sneak up on you, which can be extremely unnerving. You have a lot of weapons to work with, but the sheer numbers of undead steadily coming at you, along with worries about ammo, induces panic and makes this game both scary and exhausting.

HordeZ requires an HTC Vive or Valve Index headset.

02
of 10

Raw Data

Screenshot of Raw Data (VR game)
What We Like
  • Nice graphics.

  • Dramatic and fun weapon actions.

  • Multiplayer is fun and almost necessary later in the game.

What We Don't Like
  • Need a room with space and high ceilings for swordplay.

  • Classes feel very similar to each other.

  • Doesn't innovate much in the VR wave-shooter genre.

We're not sure Raw Data’s developers at Survios set out to make this a terrifying game, but with its creepy robots, dimly lit levels, and glowing robot eyes, it can be quite frightening and jarring (in a good way).

Raw Data, at its heart, is a VR wave shooter. The robots that assault you are eerie, with glowing eyes and emotionless facial expressions. Their slow, deliberate, and unflinching attacks are incredibly unnerving.

From the glass-shattering first encounter where a robot smashes its head into safety glass to attack you, to the spider-like torso robots in the darkly lit level 2, this game is right on the line between sci-fi and horror.

Raw Data requires an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headset.

03
of 10

Ghost Town Mine Ride & Shootin' Gallery

Screenshot of Ghost Town Mine Ride & Shootin' Gallery (VR game)
What We Like
  • Interesting and scary setting.

  • Provides a great range of VR gaming experiences.

What We Don't Like
  • Short game length.

This title, developed by Spectral Illusion, came out of nowhere and ended up scaring a lot of people. Even the lobby menu area of this game is creepy.

Ghost Town is part on-rails shooter and part limited exploration. It takes place in an abandoned tourist attraction, which raises the creepy factor immensely. Mix in weird malfunctioning animatronic characters and a darkly lit abandoned mine, and you've got yourself a nightmare factory.

Requires one of the following virtual reality headsets: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Valve Index.

04
of 10

Arizona Sunshine

Screenshot of Arizona Sunshine (VT game)
What We Like
  • Variety of settings, both bright and dark.

  • Gunplay is fun and aiming is easy to learn.

What We Don't Like
  • Scarce ammunition.

  • Two-step reloading takes some getting used to.

Unlike other zombie shooters that rely on darkness to make things scary, Arizona Sunshine, by Vertigo Games, puts all the horror on display in the bright desert sun (except for some cave and evening levels).

In this game, you're a lone-wolf type just trying to find other zombie apocalypse survivors. You must scavenge to find food (health), ammunition, and weapons while you make your way through many different environments, fending off hordes of the undead during your quest.

The feeling of being totally alone in a terrible apocalyptic world makes it a pretty scary experience. Getting surprised by a hungry zombie horde is no picnic either.

Requires an HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, or Windows Mixed Reality headset.

05
of 10

The Brookhaven Experiment

Screenshot from The Brookhaven Experiment (VR game)
What We Like
  • Large variety of monsters to face.

  • Unlockables help change up gameplay.

What We Don't Like
  • Story is thin and familiar.

The Brookhaven Experiment, by Phosphor Games, was one of the first wave shooters available in VR. The pre-release single-level demo was also one of the first polished virtual reality experiences that many early adopters played when they first got their VR headsets.

This game was also many people's first VR horror experience (mainly because early adopters wanted to show off to their friends how scary and real it seemed). This game has truly scared the pants off many players.

Brookhaven is a straight-up zombie/monster wave shooter, where the creepy antagonists come at you from all sides. The relentless waves of monsters coming at you, sometimes almost silently from all directions, can cause paranoia.

Resource conservation is key, which makes shooting accuracy very important. There's nothing worse than running out of ammo when there's a horde of zombies coming at you.

Requires an HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, or Windows Mixed Reality headset.

06
of 10

Emily Wants to Play

Screenshot of Emily Wants to Play (VR game)
What We Like
  • Thrills and jump scares abound.

  • Atmosphere is creepy and scary.

What We Don't Like
  • Graphics are not as good as others in this list.

  • Plot is simple and longer play can become repetitive.

Emily Wants to Play, by Shawn Hitchcock, is a traditional horror game that was converted to VR format. This game is all about jump scares. Its graphics aren't AAA caliber, but they still manage to get the job done.

In the game, you're making your last pizza delivery of the night, and the residence is beyond creepy. It's raining and the door is open, so you step in. Big mistake.

With creepy dolls and clowns, unexpected jump scares, and other horror classics, this game is scary good fun.

Requires one of the following virtual reality headsets: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Valve Index.

07
of 10

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

Screenshot of Until Dawn: Rush of Blood (VR game)
What We Like
  • Excellent scary atmosphere and music.

  • Polished graphics.

What We Don't Like
  • Jump scares can be exhausting at first.

  • Gun tracking is frustrating at times.

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, by Supermassive Games and available only on PlayStation VR, is a horror ride of roller coasters, shooting galleries, and hordes of enemies.

Rush of Blood is from the team behind the PS4 horror classic Until Dawn and is set in the same universe. It's an on-rails shooter (literally!) where you are placed on several scary roller coasters with different horror themes. You're provided with various weapons to shoot killer clowns, scary dolls, and more creepy antagonists.

The rides are full of jump scares and you'll find yourself bracing for the next one. It's exhausting to play the first few times until you learn where to expect the scares.

The sound design, lighting, and atmosphere make for a terrifyingly fun ride.

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is exclusive to PlayStation VR.

08
of 10

A Chair in a Room: Greenwater

Screenshot of A Chair in a Room (VR game)
What We Like
  • VR makes good use of space.

  • Goes beyond jump scares to create fear and tension.

What We Don't Like
  • A bug made picking things up harder at times.

  • Story may seem convoluted and hard to follow.

A Chair in a Room: Greenwater, by Wolf & Wood Interactive, is much more than its name. In fact, you're not stuck in a chair in this game. It's a great room-scale experience that takes advantage of your VR space.

You start out as a patient in what appears to be a mental hospital, and you're trying to get your memory back and figure out what's going on.

This is more of a puzzle-solving, escape-room type of game, but it slowly builds tension and gets scarier as the game progresses.

The game doesn't rely on cheap jump scares. Instead, it provides a very creepy unsettling atmosphere that creates a sense of immersion and a feeling of truly being trapped.

Requires one of the following virtual reality headsets: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Valve Index.

09
of 10

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Screenshot of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (VR game)
What We Like
  • The scary and beloved horror franchise in VR.

  • Truly terrifying VR experience.

  • Hours of gameplay.

What We Don't Like
  • First person POV and VR may not appeal to fans of previous titles.

  • Visual detail of previous games is somewhat lost in VR.

Back in 1996, Resident Evil, by Capcom, came out of nowhere and basically started the survival horror genre. It went on to spawn sequels and spinoffs, with varying degrees of quality.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard's use of VR is groundbreaking, making it a scary good experience. It's a well-done survival horror game, carrying on the series traditions of fights, puzzle-solving quests, relentless bosses, and filthy locations, but now it's all packaged in a hellish first-person world.

This game will stay with you long after you quit playing it. Add VR to the equation and you better have a healthy heart to handle this nightmare.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard works with the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows platforms.

10
of 10

The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners

Screenshot of Walking Dead Saints and Sinners VR game
What We Like
  • Intriguing plot.

  • Many customization options.

What We Don't Like
  • Mission structure can be repetitive.

In the latest edition of the Walking Dead franchise, by Skydance Interactive, New Orleans is at war. The living aren't just fighting the dead, but also inflicting pain and brutality upon each other. Your mission is to survive while caught in the middle of this conflict while unraveling the mystery behind it all.

Saints & Sinners is uniquely terrifying in that every challenge faced and decision made is driven by you. Fight the undead, scavenge through the flooded ruins of New Orleans, and face gut-wrenching choices for you and the other survivors.

Requires one of the following virtual reality headsets: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, or Windows Mixed Reality.