10 Best Short Horror Games You Can Beat In Less Than 10 Hours, According To Reddit


Although remakes have a habit of ending up a lot longer than the game they’re based on, the Resident Evil franchise has been smart in usually keeping the first run-through under 10 hours as this shorter playtime allows horror games to keep up a level of tension and atmosphere that would be much harder to achieve in a longer game.

For fans looking forward to a revamped but still compact horror experience in the form of Resident Evil 4 Remake next year, there are tons of other short horror games to try out in the meantime. Horror game fans on Reddit had a handful of titles to recommend.

Distraint (2015)

Gameplay from Distraint

There is something about 2D horror games that gives them a unique appeal and this indie title is no exception. Redditor cracudocarioca suggested Distraint, calling it “a pretty good short horror game” and emphasizing that it can be beaten in a tight 2 and a half hours which puts it on the shorter side even by the standards of short horror titles.


A psychological horror with a darkly beautiful art style that makes it immediately stand out, Distraint plays out like an atmospheric novel as its main character discovers the cost of his ambitions. The game was created by the 0ne-man team of Jesse Makkonen and it shows in how coherent the game feels as a single tense and bleak experience.

Resident Evil 2 (2019)

Leon and Claire in the run in Resident Evil 2

The Resident Evil franchise is bound to come up in a discussion of great short horror games and, for Redditors like trungnguyen1006, there was one title from it that was a particularly superb example. They put forward Resident Evil 2, saying “10/10 would recommend.” Although the various routes make the game last a lot longer for dedicated fans, its initial campaign can be beaten in just over eight hours.

The remake includes revamped visuals that are still impressive a few years on from its 2019 release and modernized controls that make the experience all the more terrifyingly immersive. Of course, there’s also plenty of adrenaline-inducing action to be found in Leon and Clare’s mission to survive in a zombie-infested world full of surprises and that’s also a big reason the game has so many fans.

Resident Evil 3 (2020)

Resident Evil 3 remake promo art with Jill and Carlos with weapons in-hand and Nemesis looming overhead.

Although Redditor 93PercentSodiumAzide suggests Resident Evil 3 for its ideal playtime, saying “Resident Evil 3 sounds about [the right] length,” there are tons of great reasons to play the title beyond its compact nature. The remake sacrifices some of the tension of the original game for a heavier focus on action but it works well in such a short, explosive package.

Along with a fascinating story and fan-favorite characters from the franchise, it’s a winning formula for a lot of horror game fans. With it being possible to finish a playthrough in just six hours, it’s the perfect length to get through in a single afternoon or even a night for a player who’s feeling brave.

The Last Door (2013)

A screenshot of gameplay from The Last Door

The Last Door is an episodic game that uses its short nature to ensure a slow but inevitable buildup of tension that somehow ends up being scarier than any more traditional horror thrills. Redditor ChalcedonyInBlue was effusive with praise for the title, complimenting it for its “great atmosphere, great soundtrack” and saying “the plot was intriguing, and the puzzles were well thought out.”

Although its unusual pixelated art style may put off some players who prefer more realistic scares, its gameplay and its Victorian England-set story are so well-executed that a lot of players will wish it was longer than its 4-5 hour playtime. With a second season also out and slightly longer, it’s a game well worth checking out for fans of unusual horror experiences.

Lost In Vivo (2018)

A creature like Lost in Vivo

For many Redditors, including realchoobyLost In Vivo is one obvious choice for a short horror game everyone should try. They drew parallels between the game and Silent Hill, a connection many have made about the horror game, saying “it really is like a first person Silent Hill on PS1″ which is high praise indeed for a contemporary indie title.

Perhaps not a game for people who hate small spaces, Lost In Vivo is centered on the idea of claustrophobia and it takes this concept to some terrifying extremes. In many ways, its compact form, with it being possible to beat the game in just a few hours, is perfectly suited to this while its striking visuals also help make the game memorable.

Simulacrum (2019)

A gameplay screenshot from Simulacrum Chapter 1

Silent Hill is still one of the most iconic horror titles for many people and, as a result, its influence can be felt wherever there are darkly atmospheric environments and neat puzzle-solving. One Redditor points to Simulacrum by Prymordium as one of the best examples, calling it a “strongly SH inspired game” that can be beaten in just 2-3 hours.

In the game, the player takes on the role of a girl named Abigail as she navigates the game’s creepy environments and unwraps its intriguing mysteries. Although only one chapter is available at the moment and the game may eventually grow into a longer experience, as of right now, it’s one of the most interesting as well as shortest out there.

The Painscreek Killings (2017)

A gameplay screenshot from The Painscree Killings

Although primarily a mystery game, Redditor Superw0rri0 puts forward The Painscreek Killings as a great less obvious choice in this category, arguing that it has “horror elements and the game in general feels really eerie.” Along with the fact that it can be beaten in under 10 hours, albeit a guide may be needed, it might be the perfect game for a concise and scary experience for some players.

Putting the player in the position of a journalist investigating a mysteriously abandoned town, dark secrets with a distinctly horrific flavor soon begin to be unwrapped. The gameplay, which is partially inspired by “walking-simulator” type games, may not be exciting enough for some but the game rewards the player with some real chills that are more than worth it.

F.E.A.R. (2005)

An office desk in the F.E.A.R. video game

Now over 15 years old, F.E.A.R. is an iconic mix of intense FPS action and psychological horror. Redditor ChalcedonyInBlue was one horror game fan that felt it’s not a title that should be forgotten, recommending it succinctly for its compact playtime, saying that in terms of hours “F.E.A.R (took me about 8)”.

Although its visuals are somewhat dated now, that doesn’t make the scares any less real as the player is put in the position of a new member of an elite task force sent to deal with a new and powerful psychic threat. Despite that, it’s primarily an action game and there are plenty of moments of triumph to break the heavy tension which won over many players.

Observer (2017)

Screenshot of the inside of a building in Observer: System Redux.

One of the best psychological horror titles of recent years also happens to be a short enough game that even the most time-strapped player should have no problem beating it. Redditor joseph160 put forward the incredible cyberpunk title Observer, saying ” it took me only 5 hours to beat.”

The game is set in Krakow in 2084 and stars Blade Runner‘s Rutger Hauer in a bleak world where brain implants are commonplace and the authorities have the means to hack them with force. Even the more recent expanded edition System Redux comes in below 10 hours, making it more than worth it for a better experience.

Stories Untold (2017)

Stories Untold The House Abandon

Rather than one game, Stories Untold is a compilation of four different experimental adventures that are all amazing in their own way. This title proved a popular choice with Redditors including TurkusGyrational, who praised it for its short length and low price, summing it up as “Several unique short horror experiences.”

Each one can be experienced independently meaning even players with the shortest of attention spans will find them engrossing little bursts of horror and adventure. The collection’s creativity and use of different gameplay elements to tell distinctive stories earned it critical praise and no shortage of fans, meaning its titles are some of the most well-liked short horror games around.

NEXT: 10 Scariest Games For The Nintendo GameCube

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