10 Video Games with Dark Stories That Will Haunt Your Dreams

If you're looking for some games that go a bit on the dark side, then we've got a list of them that will have you shaking in your boots!
Featured Inside Game Image
Image: Playdead

Video games have long been a medium for captivating storytelling and immersive experiences, and some of the most memorable titles have delved into the darker side of human nature, exploring themes of loss, despair, and psychological torment. These games challenge players not only with their gameplay mechanics, but also with their thought-provoking narratives, leaving a lasting impact on those who dare to venture into their dark worlds. Here, we present a list of 10 video games with dark stories that will haunt your dreams, providing a glimpse into the shadows that lie within our hearts and minds.

Games with Dark Stories

Silent Hill 2 (2001)

Silent Hill 2 is a psychological horror game developed by Team Silent and published by Konami. The game follows protagonist James Sunderland as he arrives in the eerie town of Silent Hill in search of his deceased wife. As James delves deeper into the town’s nightmarish secrets, he confronts disturbing monsters and unsettling revelations. The game explores themes of guilt, loss, and redemption, and its dark story leaves players questioning the nature of reality.

The Last of Us (2013)

Developed by Naughty Dog, The Last of Us tells the harrowing tale of Joel and Ellie, two survivors in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a fungal infection. As they journey across a desolate America, they encounter dangerous enemies, both human and infected, and form an unlikely bond. The game’s dark and emotional narrative explores the depths of human resilience and the lengths people will go to in order to protect those they love.

Spec Ops: The Line (2012)

Spec Ops: The Line is a military-themed third-person shooter developed by Yager Development and published by 2K Games. Set in a post-catastrophe Dubai, players take on the role of Captain Martin Walker as he leads a team to locate a missing U.S. Army colonel. The game’s dark story unveils the horrors of war and challenges players to confront the consequences of their actions. With a narrative inspired by Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” the game raises questions about morality and the human psyche.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (2017)

Developed by Ninja Theory, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is an action-adventure game that tells the story of Senua, a Celtic warrior on a quest to save the soul of her deceased lover. Suffering from severe psychosis, Senua’s journey is a haunting and emotional exploration of mental illness, grief, and the power of the human mind. The game’s dark and atmospheric story is further amplified by its striking visuals and immersive sound design.

Heavy Rain (2010)

Heavy Rain is an interactive drama and action-adventure game developed by Quantic Dream. The game follows the stories of four protagonists involved in the mystery of the Origami Killer, a serial killer who drowns his victims during extended periods of rainfall. The game’s dark and suspenseful narrative explores themes of loss, redemption, and the consequences of the choices we make, as players’ decisions directly impact the unfolding story and characters’ fates.

Inside (2016)

Inside is a dark and atmospheric puzzle-platformer developed by Playdead. The game follows a young boy who ventures into a dystopian world filled with mysterious experiments, horrifying creatures, and dangerous obstacles. As players delve deeper into the game, they uncover a chilling narrative that raises questions about humanity, control, and the essence of life itself.

Bloodborne (2015)

Bloodborne Promo Image
Image: FromSoftware

Bloodborne is an action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. Set in the Gothic, Lovecraftian city of Yharnam, players assume the role of a Hunter seeking a cure for a mysterious illness. As they navigate the treacherous city and battle grotesque creatures, the game’s dark and complex story unfolds, revealing a twisted web of cosmic horror and madness.

SOMA (2015)

Developed by Frictional Games, SOMA is a sci-fi horror game set in the underwater research facility PATHOS-II. The game follows protagonist Simon Jarrett as he unravels the disturbing secrets behind the facility and its seemingly abandoned human-like machines. With themes of consciousness, identity, and what it means to be human, SOMA’s dark and thought-provoking story challenges players to confront unsettling moral dilemmas and the nature of existence.

Bioshock (2007)

Bioshock is a first-person shooter developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games. Set in the underwater city of Rapture, players assume the role of Jack, a plane crash survivor who discovers the city’s twisted history. As Jack navigates the dystopian metropolis, he encounters genetically modified inhabitants, political intrigue, and the dark consequences of unchecked ambition. The game’s haunting narrative explores themes of power, human nature, and the ethics of scientific advancement.

Limbo (2010)

Limbo is a puzzle-platformer developed by Playdead that tells the dark and minimalist tale of a young boy searching for his sister in a mysterious, monochrome world. Filled with eerie and surreal landscapes, players encounter deadly traps and terrifying creatures as they progress through the game. Limbo’s unsettling atmosphere and ambiguous story leave players with a haunting sense of unease, making it a memorable journey into the unknown.

Each of these 10 games takes players on an unforgettable journey through the depths of human emotions, confronting them with complex narratives that linger long after the final credits have rolled. By exploring dark themes and creating atmospheric, immersive worlds, these games have left an indelible mark on the gaming landscape. Whether it’s the haunting tale of a Celtic warrior battling her inner demons, or the chilling revelations of a dystopian underwater city, these games demonstrate the power of storytelling in a digital medium, proving that sometimes the most profound experiences can be found in the darkest corners of our imagination.

Shaun Savage

Shaun Savage

Shaun Savage is the founder and editor-in-chief of Try Hard Guides. He has been building websites for over 20 years and has been gaming for even longer. He is a 2013 graduate of the Academy of Art University with an A.A. in Web Design and New Media. In his off-time, he enjoys playing video games, watching bad movies, and spending time with his family.

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