10 Nightmarish Japanese Horror Video Games


Horror is one of the most popular genres among gamers. phasmophobia, Alien Isolationand The Anthology of Dark Pictures are just some of the ones everyone is talking about. However, horror games set in Japan – or containing Japanese elements – are a big hit and definitely give it a run for their money when compared to western horror. Here are 10 nightmarish Japanese horror video games that you will surely not forget.


School girl horror games are always a hit, and Yomawari: Midnight Shadow was one I immediately thought of as I was planning this list.

After going to the mountains together for a late summer fireworks festival, two friends get lost on their way home. When they let go of their hands, they are separated. The two girls – Haru and Yui – gather their courage and explore an ominous night city (which is completely different during the day) where something always lurks in the shadows.

The cool thing is that you can play as both, but be careful, the actions, choices, and information you get from playing as one will affect the other’s story.

However, don’t be fooled by the adorable appearance of the two girls. This game is quite terrifying, and not just because of the terrifying monsters these two are chasing. The story deals with a very sensitive subject that will completely shake you.


In the remake of the original horror adventure game, you play as 11-year-old girl Aya Drevis and must unravel the mysteries of a bizarre incident that is happening at the Drevis residence, where insane experiments are being conducted night after night.

Explore every inch of the terribly insane mansion while being hunted by mutilated creatures and other terrifying beings.

Aside from the jumpscares and the various disgusting secrets you’ll discover throughout the story, the shocking plot twist will give you real nightmares. I played the original game a few years ago and I still can’t forget how scary Aya was summoned while running for her life. If you’ve played this game, you probably know what I mean.


As a nightmarish Japanese horror video game misao is another one worth mentioning. Help Aki unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of her classmate Misao. Japanese schools are known for being catalysts for supernatural phenomena and this school is no different.

Prepare to be terrorized by evil spirits… and a mad scientist with a chainsaw! I can assure you that the pixel art doesn’t make the bad guys any less scary.

Will you also connect the dots of the rumor claim misao and angry father are supposed to be connected?


Inspired by his Japanese roots, shadow corridor takes place in a world based on traditional locales. The game features a variety of maps that are randomly generated with each playthrough.

As beautiful as they look, traditional Japanese houses always have something that gives you goosebumps, especially when abandoned or explored at night.

Not only shadow corridor is scary because you basically have to sneak through several corridors without getting caught by all the different ghosts, but the constant state of the unknown will make your heart beat like crazy.

Oh, and a word of advice… If you’re browsing the official website to learn more about the game, make sure you turn off scary mode. It will save you from a heart attack.


Speaking of nightmarish Japanese video games, Hanako |花子さん offers many opportunities not to sleep.

Haven’t we learned by now that sneaking into a – Japanese – school at night leads to death and despair? I’m guessing the three fifth graders who entered their school well after curfew to curse a classmate with the ritual of Hanako didn’t get the memo.

Beware of cursed toilets

Beware of cursed toilets

Credit to: 多趣味のつらつらブログ

Don’t disturb a ghost in the toilet unless you want it to come out and beat you to death. As one of the students, you must find the others and survive the horrors Hanako – rightly – puts you through.

It’s okay, I’ll keep it until I get home.


What better way to scare you for life than a horror video game played in VR? Nothing is more petrifying than the feeling of being truly hunted by a vengeful spirit. In Reiko’s fragments– an FPS/VR vs Crowd game – you have to escape from a haunted house, a vengeful ghost and even worse, your friends playing as ghosts who have full control of the house you are trying to escape from.

Remember when I mentioned Japanese traditional houses and their slightly spooky factor? Japanese shrines are equally spooky, and with the shrine map available as a free update, you’ll need to wander around to avoid getting caught by the priestess haunting the area.

I’m sure you know what to do next time you meet up with your friends.


Speaking of shrines, Ikai is another perfect game to add to this list of nightmarish Japanese horror video games.

Inspired by Japanese folklore, Ikai is a first-person psychological horror game in which you must experience horror at the hands of its formative yokais and delve into the superstitions of the past, driven by a unique story and exploration.

What makes the game really scary in my opinion is this constant feeling of pressure throughout the game. Time is NOT on your side so you must solve puzzles and defeat each Yokai as quickly as possible before they get you. You’ll need a clear head – and a steady hand – if you’re going to survive.

I’ll go back and keep practicing my kanji before attempting to solve this riddle, thanks.


On the tracks of angry father and misao, funeral party is another game that has undergone a major update/overhaul.

A group of friends unknowingly perform an occult ritual that traps them in an otherworldly elementary school. Here, the vengeful spirits of young children threaten their lives and sanity, and the only hope of survival is to uncover the chilling details behind the murders of those caught before them…

Considering that it contains intense violence, gore, gore, salacious content and strong language, funeral party is not for the faint of heart. It’s not even just a pixel art game, but a mix of point-and-click adventure and non-combat RPG, and the choices you have to make will greatly affect the course of the story and the fate of its characters.

Yes, these students’ lives definitely do not depend on your actions, don’t worry.


Re:Turn – One-Way-Trip tells the chilling story of five college friends on their post-graduation vacations. This could be their last journey together before adulthood swallows them whole. Unfortunately, a far more sinister force has found them and is starving for their souls.

If you are on a journey with your friends and they suddenly disappear and you are attracted to a creepy abandoned train, you would definitely run for your life, right? nope The sensible thing to do is to find out what mysteries – and horrors – this train leaves behind to be experienced.

Don’t worry about the severed hand you just found, it’s no big deal…


I end this list of nightmarish Japanese horror video games with a franchise. fatal frame is a popular survival horror series that draws inspiration from the developers’ own spiritual experiences and popular Japanese horror films.

Although each game has its own story – someone remembers Deadly frame purple butterfly? – they all have one very important aspect in common: the camera obscura used to photograph the evil spirits. However, it is not that easy as capturing a ghost on film requires precision and good timing.

I’m sure the photography course I took in high school will be useful.

And there you have it, 10 Nightmarish Japanese Horror Video Games That Are Definitely Worth Playing. Have you played any of these games? Do you have others that you thought might have made the list? Let us know in the comments!


Comments are closed.