8 Horror Games That Mix Multiple Genres

Highlights

  • Horror in gaming is more of an aesthetic than a genre, as classic horror games can fall under different genres while still maintaining intense frights.
  • Genre-mixing games combine multiple genres in unique ways, either through mixing gameplay styles or having different parts of the game play like separate games.
  • The addition of different genres in horror games can provide unexpected and intense scares, adding tension and depth to the gameplay experience.

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Horror in gaming is more of an aesthetic than a genre. After all, multiple classic horror games fall under vastly different genres. Even games within the same franchise change genres frantically while still maintaining a series of intense frights. Resident Evil, Fear, and House of the Dead are all horror games despite playing completely differently from each other.

RELATED: Best Story-Driven Horror Games

The games below enter a different tier. They combine multiple genres in a variety of ways. Either the single-player campaign mixes two well-known genres or different parts of the package play like completely different games. The mixing of genres makes these horror games unique.

Updated on October 21, 2023, by Jason Wojnar: There’s nothing quite like getting cozy with a horror game. People sometimes like to be scared, and these games let you do that in a controlled, safe environment. The genre-mixing games below, however, can sometimes take you by surprise.

Maybe you played these games for the unique gameplay and did not expect such intense scares. The update to this list adds one game in particular that is famous for misleading gamers. Though it’s now famous for its dramatic turn, putting it on the list can almost be seen as a spoiler in and of itself.

8 The Sinking City – Action And Adventure Game

The detective crosses a wooden pier while approaching Oakmont in The Sinking City.

The Sinking City

Platform(s)
PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S

Released
June 27, 2019

Developer(s)
Frogwares

Publisher(s)
Frogwares

Before their Lovecraft-inspired psychological thriller, Frogwares was most famous for their Sherlock Holmes adventure games. The Sinking City takes their experience in detective stories and adds action and shooting into the mix. The game is an open-world affair, leading you through all manner of sanity-testing mysteries in its supernatural setting.

Though the shooting was criticized by critics at launch, the addition of life-threatening stakes potentially popping up around every corner adds tension that traditional adventure games sometimes lack.

7 Doki Doki Literature Club – Dating Simulator And Psychological Thriller

Three anime girls staring at the screen

You could say putting this game on the list is already giving away too much, but it is so popular now most know that the visual novel/dating simulator is a secret psychological thriller. The original version on the PC adds ARG elements since you have to actually go through the game’s files on your computer to progress through the game.

Later parts of the story even break the fourth wall, with characters directly addressing the player. Few things have the ability to creep you out more than feeling like the game is aware of your presence, especially if you’re alone late at night.

6 System Shock – RPG And First-Person Shooter

System Shock PC game gameplay

System Shock

Platform(s)
PC

Released
May 30, 2023

Developer(s)
Looking Glass Technologies, NightDive Studios

Publisher(s)
Origin Systems, Prime Matter

System Shock and its sequel are two of the most influential first-person shooters from their time. They are both first-person adventures with heavy RPG elements and a focus on environmental interaction. The original System Shock, which came out in 1994, will be a little hard for modern gamers to play.

It is appropriate, then, that Night Dive Studios remade the game in 2023. System Shock 2 remains a highly-celebrated first-person horror game made by Irrational Studios. Ken Levine, who would go on to make BioShock, worked on the title. The horror of System Shock comes from the isolation of space and the malignant AI hunting you down.

5 Parasite Eve – RPG And Survival-Horror

parasite eve gameplay screenshot of the protagonist
via: theisozone.com

Parasite Eve

Platform(s)
PS1

Released
September 9, 1998

Developer(s)
Square

Publisher(s)
Square

Parasite Eve would be a unique RPG just because of the setting. It takes place in modern-day New York City, and few other turn-based RPGs take place in a contemporary urban setting. Other examples include Earthbound and Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

RELATED: RPG Maker Horror Games To Keep You Up At Night

Parasite Eve changes the genre by including features common to survival-horror games. Running through the environments resembles Resident Evil, but battles turn into something akin to Final Fantasy or other traditional RPGs.

4 Typing Of The Dead – Rail-Shooter And Educational Game

Agent G shoots a zombie with the phrase,

Light gun games ruled arcades for a time before arcades themselves fell from popularity. One of the best around was House of the Dead. Putting the game onto home consoles could be solved using a controller or buying a peripheral. What about PCs, though?

It was decided to make the game another type of challenge for the hands and accuracy. Instead of pointing a fake weapon at the screen, you now had to type the words near the zombies at a lightning-fast speed. The quirky, incongruous combo worked out better than most would have imagined. The game is also available on certain consoles, provided you have a keyboard peripheral for it.

3 Resident Evil: Dead Aim – Light Gun Game And Survival Horror

resident evil dead aim third-person gameplay holding a shotgun

Resident Evil itself has dabbled in multiple genres to different degrees of success. Resident Evil: Survivor was the first time the series entered the light gun territory, and it was universally panned and is one of the weaker games on the original PlayStation.

A future attempt at the same genre for the PS2 retained more of classic Resident Evil by letting players explore the environments like a typical survival horror game. Only when you aim and start shooting do the light gun mechanics take over. Reviews were not kind to Dead Air, but it had a better reception than Resident Evil: Survivor.

2 Sweet Home – RPG And Survival-Horror

Sweet home fighting skeleton RPG battle

Parasite Eve was far from the first game to combine features from both RPGs and survival-horror titles. Sweet Home earns a spot on this list because it came when survival horror was in its infancy, giving it more unique qualities. You switch between several characters while trying to escape a haunted house.

RELATED: Best Retro Horror Games

Each character brings a different ability to the table. Battles play out like a classic first-person RPG. The cool thing about Sweet Home is its permadeath mechanic. Characters do not come back after dying, which can change the course of the game and its ending. Resident Evil started as a 3D remake of this horror game before becoming its own IP.

1 Resident Evil: Village – First-Person And Third-Person Survival Horror

Lady Dimitrescu stands in the middle, surrounded by Bella, Cassandra, and Daniela as they tower over Ethan Winters in Resident Evil Village.

Resident Evil Village

Platform(s)
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Stadia, PC

Released
May 7, 2021

Developer(s)
Capcom

Publisher(s)
Capcom

Resident Evil: Village came out in 2021 as a first-person survival horror game similar to its predecessor, Resident Evil 7. The game was massively successful and proves the franchise still has a lot of gas left in the tank after more than 25 years.

The eighth numbered entry in the franchise received a big update in October 2022. In addition to a DLC story chapter, the main game is now playable entirely from the third-person perspective. The VR mode gives you three unique ways to play this title. With Resident Evil: Village taking so much inspiration from Resident Evil 4, it is cool to finally be able to play it from the same behind-the-shoulder perspective as the 2004 title.

NEXT: What Your Favorite Horror Game Series Says About You

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