Rahul is a video game addict. Some of his favorite games are "Red Dead Redemption 2" and "The Witcher 3."
Surviving the Outlast Series
The Outlast series, developed by Red Barrels, includes Outlast, Outlast: Whistleblower, and Outlast 2. The entire series is like a roller-coaster ride, with plenty of drops to make your stomach flop. After about 20 minutes of my Outlast playthrough, I found myself yelling at the top of my lungs as a headless torso swung in my face. From there, I was continuously on the run and hiding from asylum patients until the last moments of the game.
I am sure that you can relate to my experience if you have played any of the games in the Outlast series. Each title has an amazing story and complex gameplay that will leave you sleepless, yet wanting more. If you've already finished them all, it's completely understandable that you'd want another game to fill that horrific void in your heart. That's why I've come up with this list of the top survival horror games most similar to the Outlast series in both quality and fear-factor.
9 Games Like the Outlast Series
- Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
- Amnesia: Dark Descent
- Anna: Extended Edition
- Condemned: Criminal Origins
- Dementium: The Ward
- Slender: The Arrival
- The Evil Within
- Gone Home (Bonus)
The survival horror sub-genre includes a broad range of themes—from supernatural to psychological horror—so no matter what your interest may be, there is definitely a game on this list for you!
Miasmata is an indie game developed by the two brothers that form IonFx. Your character, Robert Hughes, is a scientist who finds himself on an uninhabited island, hoping to find a cure for his deadly disease. Your character's background comes in handy as you study various plants and their properties. Apart from curing the disease, you uncover more about the island as you delve deeper in Miasmata.
There are dead bodies scattered all around the island, and most of them were your colleagues! What happened to them? You will find answers as you come closer to finding a cure. The island has everything you need, but do you have what it takes to survive here and come out unscathed? Exploration is necessary, but it's really dangerous. I found that the struggle to stay alive was extremely gratifying!
What’s surprising about Miasmata is its high production quality, especially when you remember that it was created by only two people. The island comes to life thanks to really solid, tense gameplay and an amazing graphical display.
2. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
Based on the novel Call of Cthulu by the legendary novelist H.P. Lovecraft, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is one of the most unsettling games you’ll ever play. You play as Jack Walters, a police detective who is troubled by his past and struggling to remember a six-year period of his life. Despite his issues, he is still as good an investigator as any. Determined to find out more about a missing person, he arrives at the mysterious town of Innsmouth, where things are not quite as they seem. He soon realizes that his own life is in danger. Things go from bad to worse when he is forced to flee from an angry mob in the middle of the night. The journey starts as a pure survival horror game, but you will find traces of mystery and fantasy elements as you spend more time with the cultist people of Innsmouth.
Initially, you are very vulnerable as you don’t have anything to defend yourself with. As you continue to pursue the case and put your own life in danger, you will get your hands on some weapons. That’s when Call Of Cthulhu starts leaning towards a shooter-oriented experience. But don't think a gun will keep you safe—the town is full of creeps who will continue to haunt you even after you put the controller down.
Overall, I would say that Call Of Cthulhu is one of the best games that is similar to Outlast. It successfully adapts a novel into a video game without losing the narrative. If you enjoyed spending your time in the mental asylum of Outlast, you are likely to love what’s waiting for you in this mysterious and dark town.
3. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Many survival horror games are influenced by Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Before its release in 2010, many series like Resident Evil and Silent Hill focused on horror alone. Amnesia changed the game by reminding people how thrilling it can be to use your wit to survive.
You play as Daniel, a man who wakes up inside a hauntingly empty castle with, as you can probably guess, amnesia. He begins to find notes written by his own hand scattered about that instruct him to kill someone named Alexander.
The story starts out slow, but it becomes a true nightmare as you descend deeper into the castle. The castle has dark secrets that only you can reveal. Do you have what it takes to confront your fears?
The dark tone, genuinely frightening atmosphere, and haunting encounters will certainly keep you up at night, but only because you won't be able to stop playing.
4. Anna: Extended Edition
Only a handful of games have managed to scare the hell out me, and Anna is one of them. During my whole playthrough, I was sitting on the edge of my chair trying to anticipate what would transpire next.
It’s a story about an amnesiac man who is becoming increasingly convinced that a sawmill near his home is haunted.
Determined to find the truth, he decides to investigate it himself. The structure then "comes alive" and reveals his sinister past and his relationship with a woman named Anna.
You will solve puzzles, uncover clues, and make some choices along the way that will determine which path the story will take. Anna offers multiple endings, which vary depending on how many clues you found and to what lengths you went to uncover the protagonist's past. The more you find out, the more enriching the ending.
Anna is a delightfully psychological horror experience that you don’t want to miss out on—and with various endings, you'll have an excuse to replay this title over and over again to unlock each one.
5. Condemned: Criminal Origins
In Condemned: Criminal Origins, Ethan Thomas is a crime scene investigator who works with the FBI's Serial Crime Unit in the city of Metro. His current case is not like the others, because he's being wrongly accused of the murder of two cops. Will he be able to apprehend the real killer and clear his name, or will he be the next victim?
The whole city is full of addicts, freaks, and homicidal people. Things are pretty much guaranteed to go wrong. Don’t worry, though. With an arsenal of weapons and a tough uppercut, you can fight your way through the horrors. The melee combat mechanics are really impressive, which almost makes you want to just throw away your guns. You can almost feel the weight of your kick landing on someone's jaw. It never gets old!
Condemned: Criminal Origins is dark, moody, and definitely worth your time. And don’t forget to check out the sequel, Condemned 2: Bloodshot.
6. Dementium: The Ward
Dementium: The Ward takes place in a hospital that your character, William Redmoor, is scheduled for an operation in. The game starts with you being pushed helplessly in a wheelchair while catching glimpses of zombies and dead bodies scattered in the halls. Something is obviously not quite right.
Your journey begins once you find yourself lying in a ward after this harrowing cutscene. Throughout the 16 chapters of Dementium: The Ward, you’ll be chased by monsters, witness surgical experiments gone wrong and solve puzzles on your way out of the hospital. Each chapter has flashbacks and increasingly difficult puzzles which you’ll have to solve to progress through the story.
If you are looking for a game like Outlast that will haunt you for days, give Dementium: The Ward a chance. It’s full of surprises, jumpscares, and twists that will make it hard for you to not yelp. The building tension and plot twists will keep you intrigued until the credits roll.
Note: The only downside of Dementium is its broken save system. If you die, you will have to start from the beginning of that chapter, which can be frustrating.
7. Slender: The Arrival
Slender: The Arrival is a really short game. It’s not going to take you longer than three hours to finish, but those three hours will be your scariest time in front of PC.
The game revolves around a woman named Lauren who has decided to pay a visit to her friend Kate, whose mother has just passed away. Once she reaches Kate's home in the woods, she finds everything in disarray, and her friend is missing.
It doesn’t take Lauren long to realize that something is not right. Determined to find Kate’s whereabouts, she decides to pick up a flashlight and head deeper into the woods. Then she starts seeing a tall, ghostly figure weaving through the trees. Your screen distorts whenever he is nearby—but never look back, as looking straight at him will make him chase you faster and act erratically. The only way to get rid of him is to run as if you've just committed a crime.
Throughout the rest of the journey, you investigate the woods, decipher notes left by others, and find out more about your friend. Again, it’s really short, but it will terrify you to your core.
8. The Evil Within
Did you love the dark and gritty Resident Evil series? If so, you'll love The Evil Within. Shinji Mikami, the director of the series, really outdid himself by creating this darker and grittier game. Beacon Mental Hospital, Krimson City police detective Sebastian Castellanos
The Evil Within is about Sebastian Castellanos, a police detective who goes to Beacon Mental Hospital to investigate a mass murder. He realizes that things are not what they seem, but only when it's too late.
He gets captured and wakes up to find himself being tied upside down by a mad butcher. After he escapes, he finds that his other colleagues are dead. Now he must find out a way to escape while making sense of the horrific world he has been transported to.
The game buckles under its ambition and the story derails somewhere down the line, but that doesn't mean it's not a well-crafted title. Despite its flaws, The Evil Within is a challenging and brutal game that will make old-school horror fans scream with glee. My stats show that I have died 324 times after my 26.5 hours of playing this game. I've seen the "Game Over" screen more times than I'd like. But despite the difficulty level, I keep coming back for more.
9. Gone Home (Bonus)
Gone Home is a beautifully crafted story with surprising attention to detail that turns the process of exploring a house into a fascinating journey of discoveries. Though it is not technically a survival horror game, it is certainly an eerie and unsettling title, which is why it deserves mentioning.
You take control of Kaitlin, a woman who has just come back from Europe to visit her family on one rainy night in the summer of 1995. You expect everyone to be there, but the house is empty. Where has everyone gone? You will try to find the answer by exploring the house and collecting clues.
There are no enemies to defeat and no puzzles to solve. There is not much to do apart from reading notes, playing messages on answering machines, and trying to gather information on the family by investigating their stuff. Though the family is not there, you start getting a feeling of being surrounded by them as you piece things together.
You shouldn't miss out on this amazing journey, and although the horror elements are not as prominent in this game, I highly suggest it.
Outlast: A Series That Will Last
The Outlast series has left a lasting impression on players as one of the best in the survival horror sub-genre. Hopefully Red Barrels will continue making these great games to scare us for years to come, but in the meantime, check out one of these great stress-inducing games!
Have I missed a game that absolutely terrifies you? Let me know in the comment section below!
zainab from Karachi on August 26, 2020:
Alexx Miller from New York on July 19, 2018:
I played The Evil Within. The beginning is intriguing, for the first 10-15 minutes a lot of different situations are falling on the player, that you do not have time to get used to the pace of events. By the middle of the game, everything is becoming evident. Unfortunately, I was expecting a completely different game.
Ced Yong from Asia on January 26, 2018:
I've long loved to try some of these games, like Call of Cthulhu. But I simply suck at survival, and I want to be able to sleep after playing.
Potato on July 06, 2017:
Love these suggestions except Gone Home. I feel like that doesn't belong on this list due to the fact that the only thing it has in common with outlast is that you're free walking around a building trying to find clues. All it is is a lesbian story about a child defying her parents. Felt like a complete waste of time honestly.
Charles from Axsom on September 02, 2015:
I am an avid horror game player and have been looking for good recommendations for games. Thanks!