Horror gaming is a fine art, and it’s one that many developers have struggled to get right.
Even developers working on games for major consoles and PC can stumble when it comes to creating compelling horror experiences, so how could browser-based games hope to compete?
Quite handily, as it turns out. Here are the 20 best browser horror games you can play right now!
A note: we’ll be including games available via cloud gaming here, as they’re accessible via browsers (at time of writing). Let’s get started!
This disturbing, unnerving horror experience is available to play via Xbox Cloud Gaming, and it’s a successful, effective reboot of the Amnesia formula.
You’re trapped in a World War I bunker, and something is hunting you. Using your wits, you must escape the bunker and avoid the creature.
The Bunker incorporates immersive sim elements into a well-worn horror experience, so you can often find creative solutions to problems.
Another game available via cloud streaming, Darkest Dungeon is a horror-inflected dungeon crawler that evokes hopelessness, despair, and the stress of adventuring.
You must lead groups of adventurers into dungeons in order to get them ready to explore the titular Darkest Dungeon, in which lurk horrors beyond human imagination.
This turn-based RPG is not for the faint of heart, but it’s a great horror experience.
3. Dead Space (2023)
Thanks to the majesty of cloud gaming, anyone with a browser can experience this excellent 2023 reimagining of the 2008 survival horror classic Dead Space.
The narrative may not be too much to write home about, but Dead Space’s excellent atmosphere, resource-based gameplay, and superb combat make it well worth a look.
It looks gorgeous, too, so it’s a great showcase for the power of cloud gaming.
Rarely has a sidescrolling cinematic platformer been quite as disturbing as Inside, Playdead Studios’ excellent followup to the equally unsettling Limbo.
This spiritual successor has you exploring a dank, unpleasant facility for an unknown reason (which will be made clear as the game reaches its terrifying climax).
Inside’s scares are more atmospheric than visceral, but it’s a thought-provoking and deeply strange affair.
Speaking of Limbo…we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend Playdead’s first game, a wonderfully off-putting cinematic platformer that evokes Heart of Darkness and Another World.
You have arrived in the titular limbo in order to seek your sister, but along the way, you must contend with physics puzzles, vertiginous leaps, and horrifying monstrosities.
Limbo is a short game, which makes it ideal to check out if you’ve signed up for a cloud streaming service.
Another great argument for Xbox Cloud Gaming, SOMA is an existential sci-fi horror game from the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
While it’s not a particularly frightening game on a moment-to-moment basis – you won’t find many jumpscares here – SOMA boasts a philosophical narrative and a great sense of place.
If you want horror that will make you question your own existence, SOMA is the game for you.
Before there was Sunless Sea (or, indeed, the followup Sunless Skies), there was Fallen London, a very strange browser-based text RPG in which you explore a weird world inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and Jules Verne.
Fallen London isn’t much to write home about on a visual basis, but its writing is superb, so if you’re looking to immerse yourself in a horror world, look no further.
It’s free to play on browser, too, which makes it well worth a look for everyone.
We know that the title of this one sounds innocuous and silly, but trust us when we say that How to Make a Cup of Tea does get weird, although we don’t want to spoil how.
Things start off straightforwardly enough; you are, indeed, making a cup of tea at the outset of this game. Suffice it to say that the game doesn’t end up where it starts, though.
Stick with this one and you’ll find surreal horror fun galore.
Let it never be said that Newgrounds is only good for violent and puerile games. Perdition is a Newgrounds classic, and it’s a great horror game to boot.
In this atmospheric 2D platformer, you play as an android seemingly at the mercy of a brutal god, and you must decide whether to obey your god’s instructions or not.
With multiple endings and peerless atmosphere, this is an excellent browser horror game.
Much like How to Make a Cup of Tea, this game has a deceptively simple and innocent title. It’s just a slide in the woods; how could that possibly be sinister?
Play this game for more than a few minutes and you’ll quickly find out just how sinister it can get. The darkness quickly begins to encroach on you and things get weird fast.
The visuals may be simple, but don’t let that put you off.
What is it about innocuous-seeming indie games that hide deep horror beneath their innocent facades? If you hadn’t guessed already, Filled with Freedom is, indeed, another one of those.
You’ve inherited a house from your grandparents, who have passed away after living in the house for 43 years. What could go wrong, right?
You’ll have to play the game to find out, but the answer is “quite a lot”.
At least this game puts its instructions front and centre, so you’ve got nobody else but yourself to blame when things start to go wrong.
Stay Away from the Lighthouse casts you as a lighthouse keeper who must discover why other lighthouses are going dark. Spoiler: it’s not a coincidence.
This is another browser horror game that places ambience over jumpscares.
Itch.io really is a haven for all manner of deeply disturbing browser-based horror games, and Flesh, Blood, & Concrete is no exception.
Revolving around an architect who must explore an abandoned apartment, Flesh, Blood, & Concrete uses RPG Maker visuals, which somehow makes it feel even more cursed.
Check this one out if you don’t mind lo-fi aesthetics.
We’re honestly surprised that more point-and-click adventure games don’t go for horror theming, as the lack of direct control makes the genre ideal for spookiness.
Blackout understands that, though, and its tale of a witch descending into a scary house is ripe with superb atmosphere and solid puzzles.
If you want something a little more cerebral with your scares, try this one out.
Many of Itch.io’s best browser horror games are short experiences, and that’s certainly the case with Please Answer Carefully, a browser game all about surveys.
We don’t want to spoil the tricks this one pulls; it’s very short, so check it out yourself if you have even a passing interest in browser-based horror games.
It won’t take you long at all, and it’s worth it to see a developer trying something a little different.
Fans of retro-style horror gaming will likely get a kick out of Dreader, an old-school mouse maze horror game with a wireframe aesthetic.
If you’ve played those cheap jumpscare-filled Flash horror games and wish they were a little more substantial, then Dreader is definitely the game for you.
It builds its atmosphere expertly, and, while short, it’s great fun while it lasts.
The best indie horror games combine simple, straightforward ideas with successful execution, and that’s what Exhibit of Sorrows promises to do.
You have arrived at a circus-themed exhibit, and you can interact with various elements of said exhibit. Why not try doing so and seeing what happens?
Obviously, “what happens” is pretty disturbing, so don’t go into this expecting something cute and silly.
Sometimes, horror game experiences are more about the short and surreal, and that’s the ballpark in which Time Is Solid Here finds itself.
If you like the work of author Thomas Ligotti and you’re happy with something that doesn’t necessarily provide all the answers, Time Is Solid Here is definitely for you.
Just don’t expect a concrete explanation for its many wonders.
19. One Last Game
In One Last Game, the premise is simple: you must play “one last game of checkers in dreadful circumstances beyond your control”, as the game’s Itch.io page says.
This is a very short game indeed, so it won’t take you long to complete a playthrough; all you need to set aside are just a few minutes of your life.
Still, this one might stay with you longer than it takes you to finish it.
We’re drawing our list to a close with this rather strange little experimental project. Gavril is a “satirical” game about a home invader, according to its creator.
You must decide what to do with your interloper in a series of visual novel-style interactions. This isn’t a survival horror game, but it’s pretty unnerving nonetheless.
Again, Gavril is short, so it won’t take you long to uncover all of its endings.