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Horror Games That Would Make Even Better TV Shows

One of the best tools at any horror story's disposal is the ability to immerse the viewer, something that video games excel at. What better way to immerse the viewer, or player, than by literally putting them into the action or the main character's literal POV? Even something as simple as walking down a dark hallway or opening a door is made infinitely scarier when you are the one controlling it.

From big-budget console releases to smaller indie releases, horror games are thriving and show very little sign of stopping. These games range from the horrific to the atmospheric, covering everything from unrelenting psychological torment to unholy abominations made flesh. Considering the length and copious detail that often goes into these games, a televised adaptation would be a perfect fit, which we're seeing in 2023 with the already-critically acclaimed HBO series, "The Last of Us." So grab your flashlights, turn off the lights and get comfy, because these are horror games that would make even better TV shows.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

"Amnesia: The Dark Descent," released by Frictional Games, is the textbook 2010s horror game, but in all the best ways. The game is set in the early 1800s, where a man named Daniel traverses the dark and creepy halls of a Prussian Castle with no memory of who he is aside from his name and that something is after him. As Daniel looks to solve the mystery of his identity and why he's there, he soon finds himself swarmed by monsters throughout the castle. As the game progresses, Daniel learns just how deep the situation goes and why he lost his memory in the first place.

The entire game is a disorienting and disturbing experience, succeeding at effectively immersing the player within its horrific narrative. Add to that, a game mechanic where if you remain in the dark for too long, Daniel can actually begin to lose his mind. With its "Memento" style plot and its memorable creature designs, "Amnesia: The Dark Descent" would be the perfect basis for a horror television series.

Bendy and the Ink Machine

When it comes to games that ooze unique style, look no further than "Bendy and the Ink Machine," released by Kindly Beast in the late-2010s. The game, divided into separately released chapters, focuses on Henry, an animator returning to his former place of employment, Joey Drew Studios. Shortly after arriving at the now decrepit studio, Henry soon finds himself caught up in an ink-drenched nightmare. Now Henry must contend with horrific creatures made of ink who all seem to be under the control of an entity known as the Ink Demon. Add in some Max Fleischer-inspired visuals, and hauntingly appropriate music, and you have the makings of a unique gaming experience.

The game developers clearly had a deep appreciation for the animation of the 1930s and 1940s, imbuing the game with various easter eggs. This style offers a chance for a unique hybrid adaptation that, much like "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," could merge live action and animation. The idea of seeing animated creatures with realistic movements could make for a thoroughly unsettling experience. With "The Cuphead Show!" becoming a fan favorite on Netflix, there's definitely room for more media patterned after the cartoons of yesteryear.

The Evil Within

Mental hospitals have always made great settings for horror films — just look at "Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum" or "Grave Encounters" for proof of that — and horror games are no different, with several titles opting to use them as a primary or secondary setting. A prime example of this is "The Evil Within," a single-player survival horror title released by Bethesda Softworks in 2014 and considered one of the best horror games of all time.

The game focuses on Krimson City Police Detective Sergeant Sebastian Castellanos and his team who go to investigate a gruesome incident at Beacon Mental Hospital. However, shortly after arriving on the scene, Sebastian and his teammates find themselves thrust into a horrific alternate world. Sebastian must contend with puzzles, deadly traps, chainsaw-wielding maniacs, and inhuman monsters with multiple limbs.

Despite the game's success, which led to a 2017 sequel, there were a few who were a bit critical of its narrative. So perhaps a small screen adaptation would provide the perfect chance to improve any of its weaknesses. The game already has an impeccably disturbing style, including some truly glorious creature designs, ones that could easily be achieved with practical effects. Also, given the amount of hidden lore and interesting locations featured in the game, there's plenty of material for an enthralling season of television.

The Mortuary Assistant

"The Mortuary Assistant, released in 2022, definitely made a big splash online following its debut on Steam. The game begins with a very simple setup: the gamer plays as Rebecca Owens, a woman who's starting her titular job as an assistant to a mortician. Unfortunately, her job just happens to start on a dark and stormy night when her boss, Raymond Delver, is out sick for the evening. Now Rebecca must get started on her assignments which are soon revealed to be a bit more than run-of-mill embalming tasks. It appears a demon has latched itself onto one of the cadavers, leaving Rebecca to determine which one it is. Rebecca is also plagued by traumatic visions of her past, as well as a haunting demon with pale skin and sunken eyes.

This makes for a haunting experience, as all the while the player handles their mortuary duties, they'll be caught off guard by an unexpected scare. These elements would lend themselves nicely to a television series, especially because they'd have more time to flesh out Rebecca's character. Each episode could take place in real-time, showing us Rebecca's entire disturbing ordeal from sundown to sunrise.

The Silent Hill series

When it comes to celebrated horror gaming franchises, very few have stuck with players quite like the "Silent Hill" games. Created by Keiichiro Toyama and originally published by Konami, the games focus on the mysterious New England town of Silent Hill. The town itself often preys on the mental state of its victims, often transporting them into an alternate reality known as the Otherworld. This means appearances by monsters that are often derived from the main character's various fears, insecurities, and even health issues. These monsters include the likes of metallic spider-like abominations, grey children, evil nurses, and a being known as Pyramid Head.

The series has had some of gaming's most interesting and compelling storylines, still held in high regard even today. Many of the various protagonists of the series are often saddled with ungodly mental and emotional baggage, making them ideal targets for the town. This would lend itself well to a television series, as each season could focus on adapting a different game. While we've seen "Silent Hill" on the big screen before, many fans were left underwhelmed on both occasions. However, in some exciting news for "Silent Hill" fans, a sequel to the 2006 film was announced in late 2022, so we will be getting a fix in some capacity soon.


Since the late '90s, Rockstar Games has been providing hardcore players with some of gaming's most addictive shooters and open-world games. However, one title that, at first, didn't get the same respect as many of their other titles was "Manhunt," released in 2003. Death row inmate James Earl Cash is sent to be killed by lethal injection but is intercepted by a mysterious figure known as the Director. Simply put, Cash has a chance to earn his freedom but only if he can survive the horror and bloodshed of Carcer City. The city's population largely consists of hyper-violent gang members all out to cause as much pain and suffering as possible.

Now, Cash must contend with gangs decked out in masks and outfits, such as the Skinz, the Smilies, and the War Dogs. There's even a Leatherface-inspired serial killer known as Piggsy, a mass murderer with a pig skin mask and a chainsaw. With a great setting and a dark survival narrative, "Manhunt" would be perfect for a season of severely violent television.

Doki Doki Literature Club

"Doki Doki Literature Club" is quite possibly one of the greatest bait and switches in all of the modern video games. The game presents itself, at first, as a Japanese-styled romantic visual novel, very much in the same vein as "Rewrite" and "The Fruit of Grisaia." That means games modeled very much like a choose-your-own-adventure point-and-click game but focused on romance instead of action. However, Team Salvato, the developers behind the game, opted to use this candy-coated setup to fool gamers into playing one of modern gaming's most disturbing titles.

It focuses on the titular literature club, which the main character has seen fit to join, mostly at the behest of its members — Sayori, Natsuki, Yuri, and the club president Monika. However as the game goes on, things go from sweet and romantic to depraved and horrifying in an utterly grand fashion. The game tackles distressing subjects such as obsession, self-harm, and even suicide, all against a candy-coated backdrop. By the end of the game, you'll find yourself asking where the game ends and your reality begins.

It's not uncommon for visual novels to receive anime adaptations, which "Doki Doki Literature Club" would be perfect for. With the right animation team and the right script, Team Salvano's macabre subversion of visual novels would be perfect for the small screen.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Clock Tower

Launched in the '90s, the "Clock Tower" franchise lasted long enough to jump from the Super Famicom to the PlayStation to the PlayStation 2. The series truly helped to pioneer many of the horror game tropes that we know and love today, including jumpscares and exploration elements. Inspired by the works of Italian horror maestro, Dario Argento, the first game was directed by Hifumi Kono and developed by Human Entertainment.

The first game follows Jennifer Simpson, an orphan who finds herself adopted alongside three other kids by Simon Barrows, a reclusive wealthy man. The girls are transported to a mansion named after the titular clock tower, where within mere moments things begin to go sideways. Jennifer goes to investigate and soon finds some of the other girls dead, later discovered to be the handiwork of a grotesque scissor-wielding child named Bobby Barrows. Now Jennifer must survive the night, try to save any of the surviving girls, and unravel the mystery of Mr. Burrows.

While the now-antiquated gameplay might be an acquired taste for some, "Clock Tower" is still a pioneer in pixelated horror and suspense. With more and more horror mini-series popping up on TV and streaming, it might be time to give "Clock Tower" the live-action treatment.


"Devotion" is the brainchild of Taiwanese gaming studio Red Candle Games, best known for the 2017 psychological horror game, "Detention." As opposed to hinging its gameplay on action or survival, the game instead uses exploration and puzzles to craft a disturbing narrative.

This narrative in question concerns the steady demise of the Du family — including screenwriter Du Feng-yu, his wife, retired singer Gong Li-fang and their daughter Du Mei-shin. As the story progresses, we see the family's financial struggles compounded by their daughter's worsening illness. With Mei-shin's condition worsening every day, Feng-yu opts to put his family's fate in the hands of a cult leader named Mentor Heuh. Feng-yu continues to devote himself to the cult, all the while his daughter worsens and his wife grows more disillusioned.

The entire game plays out like a disturbing tour through this family's tragic downfall, with you as the passenger trapped on this journey. With ample disturbing imagery and a dense story packed with few details, a self-contained miniseries would be the perfect venue for an adaptation. With "Detention" having already received a cinematic and streaming adaptation, perhaps it's time for "Devotion" to follow suit.


When it comes to horror games, very few can grab you by the throat and make you beg for mercy quite like "Outlast." Developed by Red Barrels, the game follows Miles Upshur, a journalist who looks to investigate rumors of inhumane experiments being performed at Mount Massive Asylum. Upon arrival at the hospital, Miles is immediately thrust into an unyielding nightmare where his only source of light is his camcorder's night vision. Swarmed by Mount Massive's endless siege of deranged inmates and patients, Miles must use his stealth to survive this hellish ordeal. All of this while he attempts to solve the mystery of the asylum and the shady Murkoff Corporation.

Much like "Amnesia: The Dark Descent," the game focuses less on combat and more on the palm-sweating suspense of traversing the asylum in the dark. The creators have gone on record as saying that two major influences on the game were found-footage films such as "REC" and "Quarantine" (via Game Informer). These found footage motifs, as well as the game's setting and disturbing imagery, make it a prime candidate for an episodic adaptation.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

It's fair to say that vampires will always be a celebrated part of horror media on the big and small screen. White Wolf Publishing, a tabletop game publisher founded in the early '90s, definitely knew this when they released the first "Vampire: The Masquerade" role-playing game. The game quickly became a fan favorite, leading to novels, comic books, and, most relevant here, plenty of video games. Following the success of "Vampire: The Masquerade — Redemption" in 2000, the decision was made to craft a sequel set in a first-person setting.

The game follows a recently killed human who has resurrected as a vampire and is thrust into a world populated with various supernatural creatures, including werewolves and demons. The player must traverse 21st-century Los Angeles, completing various missions, all the while learning about the seven different vampire clans. Despite the game's infamously-unfinished status, it's still highly regarded by modern gamers, especially for its setting and the level of choice given to the player.

With a setting this vibrant and lore this fascinating, a "Bloodlines" television show would make for an amazing viewing experience. With shows like "What We Do In The Shadows" continuing to thrive, hopefully, we're not far off from a proper small-screen adaptation.