The Callisto Protocol is set to come out in December of 2022, capping off yet another great year for horror games. Horror has always been a staple of the gaming world, ever since the days of Silent Hill on the PS1. Now, the likes of Poppy’s Playtime and Inscryption carry the torch.

The 2010s were a golden age for horror games. Old franchises such as Resident Evil got their second wind after years of stagnation, while indie titles such as Slender took the world by storm. All of them are memorable thanks to the monsters they set upon the world.

The Teacher (Little Nightmares)

Little Nightmares has plenty of terrifying entities in its dark halls. Sculpted as if out of mottled flesh, these abominable twists on the human form act as the enemies of the tiny yellow-coated child. Out of all these monsters, however, the Teacher stands a head above the rest.

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Quite literally, as the player soon finds out. Her face is a mask of scorn and judgment, a nightmarish version of the anxiety kids feel toward their meaner teachers. The unnatural lengths her neck extends to chase down the player, laughing maniacally as she does, goes far past a “little” nightmare.

The Guardian (The Evil Within 2)

The Evil Within 2 is a marked improvement over the first, ironing over the first game’s wrinkles while adding even more terrifying monsters of its own. The Evil Within 2 doesn’t waste time, as it puts players up against the horrifying Guardian.

The Guardian is a piece of “living art” stitched together with the bodies of women that Stefano Valentini has murdered. This perversion of the human form is a blend of Silent Hill’s psychological body horror and Resident Evil’s over-the-top preference for motorized murder saws.

The Variants (Outlast)

Outlast is considered one of the most iconic horror games of the 2010s, and the Variants are to thank for this grisly honor. While the variants all vary in personality and appearance, they all ultimately have the same goals. They want to relish murdering anybody unfortunate enough to cross their paths.

Be it the violent bullying of Chris Walker, the sadistically charming banter of Trager, the sardonic verbosity of the Twins, or the unhinged “love” of Gluskin, all the variants are terrifying in their own right. Naturally, the player’s only method to outlast the horrors is stealth or flight.


While SOMA does have the option of turning off the enemies, it would be a shame to miss the amazing designs of its doomed denizens. Well before the living hellscape of Scorn, SOMA put the player in the midst of a literally living, breathing world. They are surrounded by an abundance of both life and death, thanks to the WAU, a rogue A.I. turned biological nightmare.

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The WAU’s sole purpose is to keep the humans under its care alive. Unfortunately, the world is long doomed, and most of the staff had suffered mortal injuries. So, the WAU turned them into cancerous growths, bonded with technological biomatter. Those lucky enough to speak beg for death. Most of them just scream.

Jack Baker (Resident Evil 7)

After the world-spanning yet ultimately disappointing Resident Evil 6, the seventh entry brings the series back to its grassroots. Confined locations, tense chases, and zero haymakers to Wesker’s face. Jack Baker and his family are at the forefront of his refreshingly scary experience.

Jack Baker is unique among the “unkillable brutes” for being such a chatterbox. A lot of his psychotic rants are quite hilarious, but they stop being funny when he suddenly bursts out of a wall next to the player. The Baker family is Capcom’s take on the Sawyer clan from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and they pulled off the grossness perfectly.

Specimen 6 (Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion)

Spooky’s Jumpscare Mansion is a love letter to the gaming horror genre. There are a ton of fun references to other horror games, and the plot often has its tongue firmly in cheek. It’s still a horror game, though, and the Specimens bring the player back down to terrifying earth.

There are a lot of options here, but the most terrifying for most players was Specimen 6. A strange man based on the classic video game creepypasta Ben Drowned, he is also heavily inspired bythe Weeping Angels. The player is forced to stare at their unsettling face to survive. Thankfully, they don’t get forced to blink.

The Huddle (INSIDE)

The final creature encountered by the boy in INSIDE, The Huddle is a horrifying ball of writhing bodies, desperately crawling for breath with each movement. The Huddle is the culmination of all the sick experiments the player has seen thus far, with many of the abilities that the other enemies had.

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The Huddle, horrifyingly, isn’t an enemy at all, however. They become the player. Or, more accurately, the player has become a part of them. The Huddle is a horrifying manifestation of the marginalized people in this bleak future, and all it can do is scream.

SCP-173 (SCP Containment Breach)SCP-173 redesign for game

The SCP Foundation has been around for a long time, but it never truly reached mainstream success until the release of Containment Breach. Though many SCP variants have been added to the game since its creation, the classic will always remain the best.

SCP-173 was the first SCP ever written, so it was only fitting it would be one of the scariest. A ragged-looking sculpture with odd proportions, this entity is seemingly harmless at first glance. The moment it becomes unseen, however, it strikes all nearby with a sickening neck snap. Bizarre and unsettling, SCP-173 is the perfect introduction to the Foundation.

Slender Man (Slender)

Slender played a huge part in the explosion of indie horror games alongside Five Nights At Freddy’s, for better or for worse. The premise of Slender is very simple. There are eight pages in the forest, and the player has to find them. There is no time limit. There are no other instructions.

No others, except for the ones written on the notes themselves. Slender Man evokes in the human mind images of stalkers, faceless men in dark suits planning to take them away. Whatever horrors they believe they see, all victims have the same fate.

The Gatherers (Amnesia: The Dark Descent)

Without a doubt, Amnesia: The Dark Descent defined the entire decade. After years of allowing the player to fight back against the evils, Amnesia decides that it won’t even give the player that simple mercy. The only way to survive in Amnesia is to hide or run.

Of course, the player needs something to hide from, and that’s where the Gatherers come in. With stitched-together skin stretched over a skeletal frame, dagger-like claws, and mouths that gape all the way down to their stomach, the Gatherers quickly cemented themselves as iconic horror game monsters.

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