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Top 20 Survival Horror Video Games

Browse some of the best survival horror and scary games for the PC

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Everyone loves a good scare now and then. Survival horror video games have become increasingly popular over the past few years as graphics and visuals have become more realistic. There are hundreds of great PC games that will give you a good jump, but the games in my top survival horror games list should give you the frights from start to finish. So forget seeing this week's B horror movie...turn off the lights, turn up the volume and try playing one of these horrifying PC games instead.

Updated Oct 2012

1. Dead Space 2

Dead Space 2 Box
Electronic Arts
Release Date: Jan 25, 2011
Genre: Action, Third Person Shooter
Rating: M for Mature
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer
Series: Dead Space
Dead Space 2 the survival horror sci-fi sequel tops my annual list of the scariest survival horror themed PC games. Players once again take on Isaac Clarke who wakes to find himself in a hospital bed confined in a straight jacket, with no memory of the past few years. Upon escaping, players must fight their way through the Sprawl, an enormous space city, in hopes of defeating an evil being known as the Marker. It's atmospheric space horror setting is one that can't be beat in Dead Space 2.
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2. Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Amnesia The Dark Descent Box
© Frictional Games
Release Date: Feb 22, 2011
Genre: Action/Adventure, First Person
Rating: M for Mature
Game Modes: Single player
Amnesia: The Dark Descent is survival horror from Frictional Games, the same developer behind the Penumbra series of survival horror games. Players will take on the role of Daniel as he awakens to find himself in a mysterious castle with no memory about his past. Not only will players explore through the physical castle they will also experience Daniel's tormented memories as he slowly regains them, not knowing what is real or imaginary.
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3. Left 4 Dead 2

Release Date: Nov 17, 2009
Genre: Action, First Person Shooter
Rating: M for Mature
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer co-op
Series: Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead 2 follows a group of four survivors, different from those in the first game, through five campaigns that stretch from Savannah, GA to New Orleans, LA. Much like the original Left 4 Dead, this zombie thriller will have you racing for safe areas while fighting off hordes of zombies. The new zombies and environments will have your heart jumping and lands Left 4 Dead 2 near the top of my top scary game for 2011.
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4. Resident Evil 5

Release Date: Sep 15, 2009
Genre: Third Person Shooter
Rating: M for Mature
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer co-op
Series: Resident Evil
Chris Redfield, hero from the original Resident Evil game, is back in Resident Evil 5. Set 10 years since the events of the first game Resident Evil 5 takes place in a fictionalized west African region. Chris and Sheva Alomar are on a mission to capture an arms dealer before he is able to sell a bio weapon on the black market. Along the way they encounter scores of parasite infected zombies know as Majini.
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5. BioShock

BioShock Box
2K Games

Release Date: Aug 21, 2007
Genre: Action - First Person Shooter
Rating: M for Mature
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer
Series: BioShock
With stunning visuals BioShock is one of the best looking and spookiest games to hit the PC in the past couple years. Although technically not a survival horror game in the traditional sense, the eerie soundtrack and whispered conversations in the underwater utopia of Rapture will have you looking over your shoulder more than once. Players will once again return to Rapture in 2010 with the release of BioShock 2
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6. Left 4 Dead

Release Date: Nov 18, 2008
Genre: Action - First Person Shooter
Rating: M for Mature
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer co-op
Series: Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead is a co-op multiplayer first person shooter that tells the story of four survivors in a post-apocalyptic world with each player taking on the role of one of these survivors. The world has been in the grips of a pandemic that has transformed the infected into mutated zombie type creatures. A highly anticipated sequel Left 4 Dead 2 tells the story of 4 differnt survivors in the southern United States.
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7. Dead Island

Dead Island Box Art
© Deep Silver
Release Date: Sep 6, 2011
Genre: Action, First Person Shooter
Rating: M for Mature
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer
Dead Island is not your typical every day zombie survival horror game. Set on the fictional resort island of Banoi, Dead Island has been overrun by a mysterious outbreak that has turned much of the island dwellers and visitors into Zombies. Players will have plenty of zombie hack and slash with this melee heavy game. It includes a single campaign that can be played in solo or co-op mode with up to 4 players.
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8. System Shock 2

Release Date: Aug 11, 1999
Genre: Action Role Playing
Rating: M for Mature
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer co-op
System Shock 2 was released nearly 10 years ago but is still one of the best sci-fi survival horror games. Set in the year 2114, players awake from a cryo-sleep on the space craft Von Braun to find they are the lone survivor. Players then set out to uncover what has gone wrong on the Von Braun.
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9. F.E.A.R.

F.E.A.R. Box

Release Date: Oct 17, 2005
Genre: Action - First Person Shooter
Rating: M for Mature
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer
Series: F.E.A.R.
The spine-tingling tension of F.E.A.R. puts it near the top of the list of the most scary games. Mysterious paramilitary force and eerie interruptions of radio communications are just the beginning of this terrorizing supernatural storyline which will give you more scares than a horror movie!
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10. Dead Rising 2

Dead Rising 2 Box
Capcom
Release Date: Sep 24, 2010
Genre: Action/Adventure
Rating: M for Mature
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer
Series: Dead Rising
Dead Rising 2 is another zombie survival horror game where players will need to fight off hordes of relentless zombies wanting to feast on human flesh. What makes Dead Rising 2 stand apart from some of the others is the way it allows players to create their own weapons. The game has a solo campaign mode as well as a variety of multiplayer modes including co-op.
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