Horror games are very successful on consoles and PC, always being among the most played on platforms like Steam. The most modern titles of the genre, such as Resident Evil Village, can be heavy for modest computers, but there are many examples of games of this style that are good and run well on PCs considered weak. Among them, some of the most praised are Outlast, Amnesia, Little Nightmares and Limbo. With that in mind, the TechTudo prepared a list with tips for horror games that run well on older PCs. It is important to note that the list considers three main minimum requirements: RAM memory, processors and video cards.
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Outlast and other games are among the scary ones that run on any PC — Photo: Disclosure / Red Barrels
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Outlast is a first-person horror game where players take on the role of an investigative journalist, Miles Upshur. The protagonist needs to investigate complaints about violence and abuse committed in a psychiatric hospital, but, when trying to understand what is happening there, he is faced with unexpected horrors. In Outlast, the scares are constant and the player always deals with the dark, while having to turn around to look for batteries for his camera. Using the machine’s night vision is necessary to continue advancing, but it does not guarantee that the player will not be surprised.
Mixing survival with the need for light, Outlast is one of the scariest in recent times — Photo: Disclosure
Outlast was released in 2013 and therefore runs well on older machines. It is also considered a classic that has influenced other horror games. The title requires a machine with at least 2 GB of RAM, a 2.2 GHz dual-core processor and any video card with 512 MB of memory should handle its graphics.
2. Little Nightmares – PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Imagine controlling a child in a 2D game where you have to walk around the scene running away from violent deaths, gigantic beings that want to devour you and, at the same time, trying to keep yourself in the light. That’s how Little Nightmares works, an indie game released in 2017 for PlayStation 4 (PS4), Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, as well as PC. The title was so successful that it has already spawned a sequel. The game features well-crafted puzzle mechanics and inventive combat, as well as reminiscent of director Tim Burton’s film aesthetic in some ways.
Little Nightmares mixes 2D and 3D elements with touches of horror and Tim Burton’s film aesthetic.
Despite being more recent, Little Nightmares requires a computer with at least 4 GB of RAM to run, in addition to an Intel Core i3 processor (or equivalent) and an Nvidia GTX 460 video card. It is also recommended to play with a controller to improve the experience, if you enjoy it on PC.
Manhunt 2 is a classic from Rockstar, the same company that owns the GTA and Red Dead Redemption series. Here, however, there is nothing open-world and what counts is stealth. Third-person gameplay is the main mechanic, as we control the character Daniel Lamb in an asylum full of psychopaths who must find ways to kill each other. The game was praised for its extreme violence, but it also generated controversy and had its distribution suspended on several platforms.
Manhunt 2 was considered too violent for release in several countries, including Brazil — Photo: Disclosure/Rockstar
It is for this reason, for example, that it is not possible to buy Manhunt 2 in digital version for PC legally in Brazil, only physical copies used for computers, PlayStation 2, Wii and PSP, on product resale sites. If you find it, you must have a PC with only 512 MB of RAM, an Intel Pentium 4 processor and any video card with at least 128 MB.
Released in 2006 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, FEAR is one of the oldest games on the list, being considered one of the horror classics. The game mixes horror and tension with first-person shooter gameplay, bringing several moments of action. In the story, you control a soldier who investigates a mysterious and paranormal force with the support of the FEAR team, or First Encounter Assault Recon. It is necessary to analyze each scenario before shooting and deal with the threats created by Alma, the “villain” of the game”.
FEAR mixes shooting games with elements of horror and supernatural — Photo: Disclosure / Warner
FEAR went viral a lot with a video redubbed by the streamer Rato Borrachudo, the “Fala do protagonist”, where he makes several jokes with the scares of the game. To play FEAR on your PC you need at least 512 MB of RAM, a minimum Intel Pentium 4 processor and a video card with a mere 64 MB.
5. Amnesia: The Dark Descent – PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android
Another game already considered a classic and that has aged very well, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, came out in 2010 and is yet another horror game that bets on first-person gameplay to increase scares and increase fear. In the game, the player starts the journey with a character with no memory in an unknown environment and needs to escape from where he is to discover more of his past.
In the adventure of Amnesia: The Dark Descent your character wakes up with no memory in a desolate castle — Photo: Disclosure / Frictional Games
The character, eventually identified as Daniel, is trapped in a castle and, over time, discovers that perhaps his memories are not exactly pleasant. Amnesia: The Dark Descent requires a computer with at least 2 GB of RAM, a processor with 2.0 GHz and any integrated video card – normally, configurations from 512 MB will do the trick to run with everything maxed out.
Alan Wake is a game that has attracted attention since its announcement for being produced by Remedy Entertainment, the producer originally responsible for the Max Payne series. In addition, when it was released in 2010, the title was marketed as one of the great Xbox 360 exclusives, where it remained for a long time, until it gained versions for several other platforms. The Nintendo Switch edition is still out and is scheduled for late 2022, while the Remastered version for PS4 and PS5 was released in October 2021.
Alan Wake was made by the same producer as the Max Payne series and, more recently, Control — Photo: Disclosure/Remedy
In Alan Wake, we control the character that gives the game its name, a crime fiction writer who begins to deal with a dark force that possesses objects and even people. The game is in third person and has an investigative tone, despite containing several horror elements. Its PC version requires a computer with at least 2 GB of RAM, a 2 GHz dual-core processor and a 512 MB video card.
7. Alien: Isolation – PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS
Alien: Isolation came out in 2014 and is considered the best game in the entire Alien cinematic saga so far. In addition to the graphic quality, the game also offers an adventure that is guaranteed with a good story and interesting gameplay. Despite being in first person, Alien: Isolation is not a frenetic action game. On the contrary, the game offers a cat and mouse experience where the player needs to think a lot before each step, so as not to be surprised by the fearsome Xenomorph.
In Alien: Isolation you control Lieutenant Ripley’s daughter — Photo: Disclosure / SEGA
In the game, you control Amanda Ripley, daughter of Lieutenant Ellen Ripley, a classic character from the film series. The young woman works on a space station when everything goes wrong and the aliens take over the place. It’s up to Amanda to rescue survivors and try to survive herself to tell the story, doing justice to her legacy. Alien: Isolation is a little heavier than the other games, but not by much. He wants a computer with 4 GB of RAM, a 1 GB video card and a processor with a maximum clock of 3.16 GHz.
8. Limbo – PC, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, PS Vita, Nintendo Switch, Android, iPhone (iOS)
Limbo may have a relatively similar proposal to Little Nightmares, but deep down, it’s a very different game. The two are very similar in terms of gameplay as they are 2D platform adventures, however, Limbo also has a strong aesthetic appeal. The game uses a lot of the concept of shadows – all the characters are shadows, both the protagonist and the enemies and the scenarios. The dark environment sets the right tone of fear and constant care so that players are aware of the atmosphere of danger.
In Limbo you control a young man who can have violent deaths — Photo: Disclosure / Playdead
In Limbo, we control an unnamed young man who has to cross a nightmare to rescue his sister. The 2010 game challenges you to overcome obstacles and various monsters, with encounters that can result in the child’s violent deaths. Limbo only requires 512 MB of RAM, a processor with a 2 GHz clock and a Shader Model 3.0 compatible video card – normally anything above 512 MB works without major problems.