It’s awards season here at Twinfinite, and throughout this month we’re going to look back at our favorite games of 2021. In all honesty, it isn’t likely to go down as a vintage year for the games industry, but among the best of what was on offer, and those which will live longest in our memory, fell into the horror genre. So, here are our picks for the best horror games of 2021.
Voted on by our editors, these were the games that stood apart from the pack by introducing us to something new, whether it be via gameplay, story, or something else entirely, so let’s take a look at the best of the year.
Best Horror Games of 2021
Honorable Mention: Returnal
Senior Editor Alex Gibson: Returnal is best-known as a third-person shooter that cleverly weaves together SHMUP, rogue-lite, and bullet hell mechanics to create a challenging but addictive experience that is oh-so-hard to put down. Typical of developer Housemarque’s signature design, it’s the gameplay that is the core of its appeal for most players.
Although, for my money, Returnal’s mysterious, creepy, and at times downright spooky world and fascinating lore were so absorbing, almost intoxicating, that they’re equally at the heart of its excellence. I just love the ambiance of the many different biomes of Atropos, which remind me of Alien in the best ways — from the eerie soundtrack to the general aesthetic, premise, and even its main protagonist, Selene.
Returnal’s fusion of excellent music and sound design adds a spooky layer to an already foreboding setting and story. The result is a feeling of tension. There’s uncertainty as to where Selene is heading, what mysterious lay in wait, and ultimately what might bring about her nightmarish end. It’s not scary-you-silly, edge-of-the-seat stuff, but it’s uniquely unsettling the whole way through and an experience we think deserves special mention on our best horror game of 2021 roundup.