Top 10 Horror Anime Games [Best Recommendations]

Halloween has surely come and gone but the frightening experience that you feel still lingers long after it’s all said and done. The horror genre has been around for as long as we can remember, and it’s been widely considered to be one of the more celebrated genre that people enjoy playing. However recently with such an influx of other titles, the horror scene has been overshadowed in some way. That doesn’t mean that the games are bad by any means, in fact, some of the most celebrated titles in gaming history have been horror titles! So whether you’re running around desperately trying avoid zombies with little ammo, walking through the dark corridors of a spooky mansion, or taking photos of ghosts to exorcise them, the horror genre will most certainly never die. So let’s take a look at some horror titles with an anime style or with an anime influence attached to it and see who takes the number one spot.

10. 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

  • System/Platform: Nintendo DS, iOS
  • Publisher: Spike Co. Ltd | Aksys Games
  • Developer: Chunsoft
  • Release Date: December 10, 2009

This adventure title mixed with a horror novel experience takes you on a pretty scary ride as you’re trapped on a ship, and only have nine hours before the ship sinks to the bottom of the abyss. The story stars Junpei as he’s given an invitation to take part in a game known as the Nonary Game. The people in charge of this game refer to themselves as Zero, and don a gas mask to protect their identity. Nine people take part in this random game on a cruise ship as they must pass through nine doors, desperately trying to reach the exit. If they don’t follow the terms pertaining to the game, they risk dying from a small ingested explosive given to them in this game of death.

Nothing is scarier than being trapped on a ship, let alone an abandoned ship with a small explosive lodged in your stomach if you fail to comply with the rules. The game is such a thrill ride because you have to cleverly solve puzzles on the fly, while getting to know the other 8 passengers that are with you as everyone is clinging on for dear life. Logical thinking and paying close attention to clues thrown into the dialogue heavy game is imperative, and what’s more is that you’ll need to complete the game several times to actually get the true ending, with 6 in total. Just knowing that you need to complete the game 6 times is scary enough.


9. Corpse Party

  • System/Platform: Multi Platform
  • Publisher: 5pb. | Team GrisGris
  • Developer: 5pb. | Team GrisGris
  • Release Date: August 22, 1996

Originally created for the PC-98 and eventually made its way to other platforms later in its maturity, Corpse Party tells the story of a group of students who find themselves trapped within a haunted elementary school, which now puts everyone’s lives at risk as they deal with vengeful ghosts. After toying around with a ritual known as Sachiko Ever After, these young girls and their teacher now must solve puzzles, and choose the right path otherwise they’ll find themselves in a situation they may not be able to escape.

Nobody likes being in a haunted house, let alone a haunted elementary school that’s full of spirits who just aren’t too happy to see you. The game is a throwback because of the graphical power that existed back then, but picking up the more recent updated version will truly give you an experience like no other as you must choose the right dialogue options throughout the game or face a gruesome death. With a handful of enemies chasing you down to torment you it’ll be hard to concentrate, but if you manage to succeed (IF you manage) the game will reward you dearly. If you manage to fail however you’ll be greeted with some crazy bad endings.


8. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Sui

  • System/Platform: PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3
  • Publisher: Kaga Create
  • Developer: Kaga Create
  • Release Date: March 12, 2015

Keiichi Maebara just moved into a small village called Hinamizawa, where he befriends four young girls during his stay. Things go well between all of them as they attend festivals and participate in school activities. However Keiichi learns of a startling truth at a well known festival, that every year someone has died in the village, and other have mysteriously disappeared. Suddenly his friends start to behave strangely around him, so now Keiichi must now use his wits to untangle the mysteries of this rural village before it’s too late.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Sui is a compilation of all the previous scenarios from past titles, that now come with complete voicing for the characters. In total, there are twenty arcs for you to play through which is a lot considering how long this franchise has been going on for. If you’ve ever played any of the past titles, then this PS Vita update is sure to bring back horrific memories of you dying over and over, receiving the most gruesome endings possible. Each arc is split up into four with the final Hajisharashi-hen being unlocked once all other arcs are completed. Plenty of time to solve challenging puzzles, along with a pretty convincing dialogue to keep you on your toes for a while.


7. Phenomeno

  • System/Platform: Windows
  • Publisher: Nitroplus | 5pb.
  • Developer: Nitroplus | 5pb.
  • Release Date: June 16, 2012

Nitroplus is no stranger to the horror genre, as they’ve created some of the more popular anime hits such as Steins;Gate along with Chaos;Head both of which we’ll cover later. Phenomeno follows the life of student Yamada who just recently moved to Tokyo, where he ends up finding a suitable place for himself for a relatively cheap price. However what wasn’t stipulated in the contract was that this house contains a deadly mystery that Yamada is about to discover the hard way. As the torment of scratching and random numbers found on walls gets to his conscience, he finally reaches out to his friend from the occult-forums to dig deeper.

Based off of the actual novel created by Ninomae Hajime, Phenomeno takes you on this crazy journey that messes with your psyche every time you play through it. You’re never too sure what will pop up around you, and a lot of clues need to be figured out through paying attention to details. The real charm in this game however are the characters, since you truly get a sense of their emotions as you investigate all of these horrific events taking place in your home. The dialogue is gripping while the artstyle truly emphasizes the horror-themed setting. Play through this game at night for the best experience.


6. Chaos;Head

  • System/Platform: Multi Platform
  • Publisher: Nitroplus | 5pb.
  • Developer: Nitroplus | 5pb.
  • Release Date: April 25, 2008

Nitroplus and 5pb. are on a roll in our list and Chaos;Head should come as no surprise to anyone. The story follows a young student named Takumi, who must deal with the horrific delusions in his mind after being involved in a brutal murder case that still haunts him to this day.

A lot of what takes place throughout Chaos;Head is what you’d expect from a horror mystery series in that, a lot of investigating will take place and it’s up to you to put all of the pieces together to seal the deal. In spite of the game having a linear approach to story and gameplay, the game’s unique delusional trigger system makes up for it and allows for an intriguing experience. Choosing the right delusion can make or break the situation with cardiac cycles notifying you whether your choice was right or not. Not choosing one will just play out the scene normally, but choosing blindly can result in some pretty gruesome imagery that’ll surely leave you feeling squeamish. Truly one of the better horror titles out there for the handheld market.


5. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

  • System/Platform: Multi Platform
  • Publisher: Chunsoft | Aksys Games
  • Developer: Chunsoft
  • Release Date: February 12, 2012

If you really enjoyed 999 then you’ll most likely find Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward to be just as satisfying. Taking the same premise from the prior titles which focused on the game of death type of scenario, the story revolves around Sigma who finds himself among 8 other random people who are all forced to take part in the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition. The goal of this game is to collect enough Bracelet Points in order to open the door with number 9 on it, and so you’ll need to either pair up with others or betray them and take their points away. If you disobey the rules or your BP is depleted, it’s game over.

With 24 endings to work your way through, Zero Escape really does feel like there’s no escape since you’ll need to take part in reading dialogue thoroughly to pick up clues, while figuring out challenging puzzles that could easily end up giving you a bad ending if you aren’t careful. Similarly, you’ll need to complete the game several times to know the true ending but fortunately the game provides the option to skip through paths you’ve already encountered. Will you escape this horrific game with your head intact, or will you become another victim in the game of death?


4. Parasite Eve II

  • System/Platform: PlayStation, PlayStation Network
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release Date: January 12, 2000

Parasite Eve was known for its very cinematic RPG experience, and number two comes packed with some changes in its gameplay this time around to create a new flow. The story continues from the original where you follow Aya on her journey to further your investigation in the mystery behind the mitochondrial evolution.

So what’s so horrifying about Parasite Eve? Many reasons, one of which is that a lot of what takes place in this game can potentially happen in real life if we aren’t careful. While the game, of course, is entirely fictional, it’s the premise itself that truly makes you question our existence, and tie that in with the horrific looking creatures that you come across in the game and you have yourself a horror title. Much of the game feels more like an action style game compared to its predecessor, but that didn’t take away any of the scares that you get when you turn a corner only to be confronted by this grotesque looking creature who wants to eat you for lunch.


3. Shin Hayarigami

  • System/Platform: PlayStation 3, Playstation Vita
  • Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software
  • Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
  • Release Date: August 7, 2014

Translated in English as True Sudden Popular God, Shin Hayarigami stars Saki Hojo, a young police officer who just entered the force just after graduating from the academy a few months prior. She is put on the case pertaining to the notorious serial killer known as Blind Man, known for removing the eyes and tongues of victims. She must work alongside Sojiro Sekimoto, an ex-occult occultist professor who has had some run ins with the law prior due to an involvement in the death of a university student. They must rely on their skills and knowledge to determine whether this Blind Man is just an urban myth, or if this is truly the work of a mad man.

The Shin Hayarigami series is a very popular title in Japan, with its most recent release making its way to the PS Vita just a few months ago. Much of the horror comes from not really knowing whether these gruesome crimes are the work of a true serial killer, or just a random turn of events with someone using the myth to their advantage. The strong dialogue is exceptional along with gruesome depictions of the crime to help you uncover clues as you push for more information from witnesses around the area. With a handful of multiple endings to entice you, along with a feature known as Event Flags that will have you using logic to figure out just who these maniacs are, Shin Hayarigami is an import title you must buy.


2. Project Zero 2: Wii Edition

  • System/Platform: Nintendo Wii
  • Publisher: Nintendo Australia | Koei Tecmo
  • Developer: Koei Tecmo
  • Release Date: June 28, 2012

Project Zero 2: Wii Edition is the remake of the popular Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, which contains extra features that were not found in the original. For those who haven’t played the original Crimson Butterfly which launched on the PS2 in 2003, Project Zero 2 is perhaps the best way to enjoy the original, along with perks to keep you coming back for more.

What made Crimson Butterfly a horror classic to many hardcore horror fans was that it incorporated an impeccable story that followed two twins as they uncovered the truth behind an abandoned village known for its horrific rituals. The two get caught up in all of it and now you need to get them out. The ambience in the game is enough to freak anybody out, with the moaning of lost souls constantly tormenting you and being taken by surprise by all of the randomness that happens. It’s dark, it’s unforgiving, and just trying to fiddle with your camera to kill the ghosts makes your heart go into overdrive so often that you sometimes need to put the game down.


1. Resident Evil 4

  • System/Platform: Multi Platform
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Developer: Capcom Production
  • Release Date: January 11, 2005

Resident Evil is the quintessential survival horror title and there was just no way we couldn’t put it on our list. While it doesn’t necessarily possess a strong “anime” feel to it, Resident Evil 4 is arguably one of the best RE titles ever made because it had such a hellish plot that would scare any grown man out of his pants. You star as Leon Kennedy as you travel to Spain to investigate some mysterious events that are taking place in a small village, and rescue the president’s kidnapped daughter.

Resident Evil 4 introduced some very innovative features that were never seen in previous titles such as being able to do timed button presses to avoid attacks from zombies, but what truly sold this title was just how freaking scary the town was. You never really knew what was going on with the villagers and they spoke in very old latin at times which threw you off. Everywhere you turn there’s some surprise waiting for you, and with limited supplies to guide you through this hell hole the scare meter just skyrockets beyond comprehension. This is the RE title that everyone should play, no matter what.


Final Thoughts

The horror genre is slowly making a resurgence in the industry with titles like Biohazard 7 coming out next year, along with classics like Silent Hill, Clock Tower and Siren to keep you busy all year round. With so many to choose from it was hard to put them all on the list, so perhaps you can help us by sharing your favorite horror anime title and maybe we’ll throw it on our next top 10 horror game list! Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date, and share our articles to keep the community buzzing!

As always, if you want to know about all the latest buzz straight from the bee’s nest in Japan, be sure to keep it locked here at Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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