Counting Down Some Of The Most Stressful Games Ever Made

Not for the faint of heart, these titles I tell you.

Story Highlights

  • While gaming is supposed to be fun and amusing, that is not always the case in some scenarios. 
  • Games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Alien: Isolation are extremely stress-inducing. 
  • If you want to push yourself over the edge, keep on reading and discover my top recommendations.

You’ll find the horror genre topping the list when it comes down to games that are meant to scare the living heck out of you, but as sad as this is, it’s actually true when I say that the true mark of a horror game has dwindled over the past years, down to the point where no one is making AAA horror titles anymore of that level and standard. 

Anyhow, if you’re like me and you want your games to be a mental challenge, here are some recommendations that are going to send you over the edge and push your mental fortitude—that’s a promise. Just make sure to keep it healthy and take breaks in between, so you don’t take that “release” out on something else. 

These Anxiety-Inducing Titles Should Be Embarked On Carefully

Feel free to comment down below if you see yourself adding more entries to this list, because all forthcoming recommendations are subjective and come from personal experience. 

1. Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Amnesia: The Dark Descent Is a Great Gift to Gaming | Source: Frictional Games

Recognized as one of the greatest games ever made, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is more than just a fright. It’s a nightmare cascade, built from the ground with impeccable accuracy. The developer Frictional Games has done such a good job at it, you can’t really but feel you’re inside this game as you play it. Subsequently, however, the anxiety can be a bit more than what you can handle here, so I highly recommend proceeding with caution. 

Just so you know, this game has given birth to some of the most successful YouTubers on the planet, including PewDiePie and Markiplier, with the folks in question kicking their streaming career off with nothing other than Amnesia: The Dark Descent. 

2. Escape From Tarkov 

Escape From Tarkov
Escape From Tarkov Is a Realistic FPS | Source: Battlestate Games

Battlestate’s Escape From Tarkov is very much a horror game until you start getting comfortable with its systems and how the in-game world works. That is especially true for your first couple of raids, considering that the first-person shooter is rooted in realism, all the while borrowing elements from the MMORPG genre as well. Suffice to say that this title will put you to your paces, that’s a given.  

eXputer rated Escape From Tarkov 3.5/5.0 in its review, with author Daniyal Sultan remarking, 

Escape from Tarkov offers an addictive experience only to those who overcome its steep learning curve and get used to the mechanics.” 

3. Subnautica 

How To Get Cave Sulfur In Subnautica
Subnautica Is a Beautiful Nightmare | Source: eXputer

Unknown Worlds Entertainment’s Subnautica is one of the most terrifying games you can play, if not one of the most immersive as well. A breathtaking atmosphere, followed by a catchy art direction, and great gameplay systems make this a great play, but the element of anxiety is real and there. Oh, and the scale on which Subnautica is set is something that makes players seem small, because when you feel like you’re making progress, you find out that you barely even scratched the surface

4. Alien: Isolation

Alien Isolation on sale on GOG
Alien: Isolation Is True Horror | Source: Creative Assembly

I have memories — not fond — of Alien: Isolation back from when the title came out. This is what a pure, unfiltered horror game is, that’s all I can say after getting my butt handed to me while letting out sharp screams, scaring the heck of out my friends, who were equally frightened at the sight of the Alien. It’s played from a first-person perspective, and will have you battling your anxiety through and through. 

Alien: Isolation. My first playthrough was right after launch, over the course of a weekend. I played in my office only after night fell, in pitch black, with surround sound/noise canceling headphones. I actually had palpitations before taking short breaks for a breather/snacks. Was the most stressful, anxiety inducing gaming experience I had in over a decade,” comments one u/MitchOnDemand.

5. Pathologic

Pathologic Doesn't Fall in the Realm of Fun
Pathologic’s Design Forgets to Include the “Fun” Part | Source: Ice-Pick Lodge

The reason Pathologic couldn’t settle in with most fans despite being a critical hit is that it’s not designed to be fun, being one of the most stressful games out there that you can go ahead with and give a go. Its mechanics aren’t the friendliest, and you will constantly have to grind, repeat your failures, overcome them, and define your story yourself. But do dive in well-informed—this game is not for everyone.   

6. Ecco The Dolphin

Ecco the Dolphin Is Not What You Think | Source: u/DudePlays
Ecco the Dolphin Is Not What You Think | Source: u/DudePlays

So this one is probably a little too dated, but it’s worth mentioning here all the same, because Ecco the Dolphin did its fair share of damage back in the day, no questions asked. Although there are multiple renditions in the franchise, the original from 1992 released for the Sega Genesis is the one being talked about here, and oh God, what a rollercoaster

Won’t spoil the game for you much. Just do me a favor and try it out on Steam. It costs less than a dollar. 

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Huzaifa, an Online News Editor at, is a video game industry aficionado with a talent for unearthing the juiciest stories for his beloved readers. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Data Science, he dives deep into the abyss of news, meticulously dissecting every tiny detail to serve his audience. When he's not unravelling breaking news, he becomes a master storyteller, conjuring up captivating tales from the depths of his imagination. With a wealth of experience as a Video Game Journalist, he's penned his mighty words for numerous other video game outlets, leaving no video game unturned and no pixel unexplored! Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor of Science in Data Science || Previously Worked at VeryAli Gaming & TheNerdMag || Covered 100+ News Articles

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