• Video games about serial killers offer player a chance to be detective, victim, or even the killer themselves.
  • Games like
    Dead By Daylight
    The Devil In Me
    offer immersive experiences with famous serial killers.
  • Titles like
    Killer Frequency
    Detective Di
    provide unique perspectives on serial killer narratives.

Serial killers have been a hugely popular staple in horror films for decades, but they’re just as popular in horror video games as well. Players of horror games often take on an investigative role, either as a detective or someone else hunting a serial killer; but sometimes they play the role of a victim trying to survive, or even the killer themselves.


12 Scariest Serial Killers In Video Games

These iconic serial killers are enough to keep players up at night!

There are countless video games about serial killers – some that are based on real history and some that are completely fictional. These games tend to be very story-focused and offer a brilliantly sinister atmosphere, but they’re all different and each brings something new to the table.

12 Dead By Daylight

Metascore: 64

a promotional image for dead by daylight

Dead By Daylight is perhaps more of a horror game than a game exclusively about serial killers. However, it’s a popular title that most gamers have probably heard of, and it features plenty of famous killers – not to mention an achievement literally called “Serial Killer.”

Dead By Daylight is a multiplayer horror game in which four players play as Survivors trying to escape another player who takes the role of the Killer. Although some players complain that the game can be unbalanced and challenging for newcomers, it has nevertheless developed a devoted fan base. The best part of the game by far is its range of content and amazing licensed characters, with well-known serial killers like Michael Myers from Halloween, Ghostface from Scream, and even Chucky, making appearances.

11 The Dark Pictures: The Devil In Me

Metascore: 69


The Dark Pictures: The Devil in Me
November 18, 2022

The Devil In Me is more than just a survival horror. Like other horror titles by Supermassive Games, it’s an interactive narrative drama where the player decides the choices and actions that the game’s characters make, from quick-time events to dialogue options that determine the fates of various characters. It follows a string of other games in The Dark Pictures Anthology, again boasting an excellent cast, including Oscar-nominee Jessie Buckley.

Inspired by films like Saw and Halloween, this game is based on real-life serial killer H.H. Holmes and his “Murder Castle,” which he disguised as a hotel to lure his victims. The game follows a documentary crew as they visit a replica of this hotel, but they soon discover that it’s more authentic than they ever dared imagine. There are some genuinely tense scenes and hard decisions for players to make, all the while being stalked by a vicious serial killer.

10 Still Life

Metascore: 70

Still Life poster

  • Platform(s): Xbox, PC
  • Release Date: June 3, 2005
  • Developer: Microids Canada

Still Life is a game that follows both FBI agent Victoria McPherson in 2004s Chicago, as well as her grandfather, Gustav McPherson, in 1920s Prague, as they investigate a series of murders that may be connected. The serial killer in question is clearly inspired by popular depictions of Jack the Ripper, targeting sex workers while wearing a cloak, top hat, and mask.

Still Life is a point-and-click game that gives players a chance to interact with environments and persons of interest to search for clues and take part in various conversations. There are loads puzzles that players need to solve to push the story forward, encouraging them to explore everything and sometimes even to backtrack to previous stages.

9 Sherlock Holmes Versus Jack The Ripper

Metascore: 73

Poster for Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper

  • Platform(s): Xbox 360, PC
  • Release Date: May 26, 2009
  • Developer: Frogwares, Spiders

Sherlock Holmes might not have been a real detective, but Jack the Ripper certainly was a real serial killer. However, although set at the same time as the Ripper attacks, author Arthur Conan Doyle never had his world-famous detective investigate these killings. Nevertheless, Sherlock has done so since in films like Murder By Decree (1979) and A Study In Terror (1965) and even in games like Sherlock Holmes Versus Jack The Ripper.


The 20 Best Anime About Serial Killers

Some of anime’s darkest stories also feature serial killers who are so well-crafted that they can make viewers shiver with a single look.

This is the fifth game in the Sherlock Holmes video game series. Set in 1888, players control Sherlock and Watson as they navigate the sinister environment of Whitechapel to solve one of the greatest mysteries in history. It’s hugely satisfying for Sherlock Holmes fans, but it’s also a must-play for amateur “Ripperologists” who get to control Sherlock as he investigates, searches for clues, and makes brilliant deductions.

8 Silent Hill 4: The Room

Metascore: 76

Silent Hill 4 The Room Henry Stares At Locked Door

Silent Hill 4
September 7, 2004

Team Silent

Survival Horror

Silent Hill 4: The Room is the fourth installment in the popular Silent Hill franchise, this time taking players outside the titular town and instead dropping them in the fictional city of Ashfield. Players follow Henry Townshend as he tries to escape his apartment, which he has been trapped in for five days. Tormented by nightmares, he soon discovers portals to alternate dimensions where he witnesses several victims murdered by serial killer Walter Sullivan. Henry soon discovers that Walter is determined to commit twenty-one murders in order to perform a ritual – and Henry is his target for the final murder.

The apartment serves as a much-needed safe space for the first half of the game, but it later becomes possessed, truly making it feel as though Henry isn’t safe anywhere. The player guides Henry in third-person as he seeks out items to progress through the story, and battles against several different enemies, such as ghosts, hummers, sniffer dogs, and even serial killer Walter Sullivan himself.

7 Killer Frequency

Metascore: 78

Poster for Killer Frequency

  • Platform(s): PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Meta Quest 2, PC
  • Release Date: June 1, 2023
  • Developer: Team17

Killer Frequency isn’t like most games about serial killers; players don’t take the role of a killer, detective, or even a victim trying to escape. Instead, they play as a humble radio DJ. The 1987 setting feels pleasantly nostalgic as players take the role of local DJ Forrest Nash. However, Nash soon finds himself acting as a radio dispatcher for the town’s citizens when they discover that the Whistling Man, an infamous serial killer long thought to be dead, is on the loose.

Killer Frequency is a first-person game in which the player takes calls and solves puzzles to help various victims escape the rampaging murderer. Whether these callers survive or not is entirely down to the player. It’s not all grizzly though, often seeming more like a comedy horror. It received widespread praise from critics and players alike, especially those who like to shout at the TV screen when they watch horror films, wishing they could help the victims escape.

6 AI: The Somnium Files

Metascore: 78

Cover are featurinf the name of the game, two girls sirring in a pink bubble and a man dressed in black standing in front, his left eye glinting gold.

AI: The Somnium Files
Nintendo Switch , Xbox One , PlayStation 4 , Microsoft Windows , PC

July 25, 2019

Adventure , Puzzle

AI: The Somnium Files is a sci-fi game set in Tokyo in the near future. The story follows Detective Kaname Date as he investigates a series of murders similar to the Cyclops Serial Killings, in which the killer removes the victims’ right eyes. Part of the game is a point-and-click adventure where players select specific items in an environment in order to analyze crime scenes, and interact with NPCs to gather more evidence.

The sci-fi element becomes really obvious when Date enters the suspects’ memories to gather information. These parts of the game are more distinct, shifting the player into third-person and giving them puzzles to solve. Throughout the game, players can make various choices that lead them down different branches toward several possible endings. In fact, players are actually encouraged to explore various branches to witness all the endings and fully solve the mystery.

5 Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders

Metascore: 80

Poster for Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders

  • Platform(s): Xbox Series X and S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, macOS, iOS, Android
  • Release Date: May 1, 2019
  • Developer: Nupixo Games

As with many games that focus on serial killers, Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders is a point-and-click game that makes the player a detective. However, unlike other serial killer games, this one is set in ancient China, giving players a chance to take on the role of Di Renjie as he tracks down a serial killer.


6 Slasher Movie Villains Inspired by Real Life Killers

Truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction. These fictional killers were all based on murderers that terrorized the public in real life.

Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders is set during the reign of China’s one and only Empress, Wu Zeitan, a time in which many schemed and plotted against her. It’s against this important historical backdrop that Di Renjie is tasked with solving a series of brutal murders. With plenty of cultural and historical references, the game’s full of twists and turns as players explore environments, interact with NPCs, investigate objects, and solve puzzles in a beautiful 2D-pixel world.

4 The Wolf Among Us

Metascore: 80

Bigby Wolf stands in a air, fixing a character off screen with a look of suspicion.

The Wolf Among Us
October 14, 2013


Although it’s full of characters from children’s stories, The Wolf Among Us is actually one of the best serial killer games around. Set in Fabletown, a secretive enclave of fairy tale characters hidden within New York City, gamers play as the sheriff Bigby Wolf, more commonly known as the Big Bad Wolf. When Bigby and Snow White discover a sex worker’s decapitated head, Bigby begins investigating a series of murders as he tracks down Fabletown’s serial killer. Throughout the story, he interacts with several famous fairy tale characters, including Mr. Toad, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Ichabod Crane, the Magic Mirror, and even both Beauty and the Beast.

Serving as a prequel to the Fables comic series, this game is similar to previous Telltale Games titles. It’s comprised of five episodes, each with similar gameplay. The player explores various environments and investigates their surroundings, as well as interacting with a huge roster of characters. How Bigby responds to these characters is entirely down to the player; they can pick whichever dialogue option they want, often completely altering the outcome of the story. The Wolf Among Us has amassed a large cult following, with fans eagerly awaiting a long-anticipated sequel.

3 Condemned: Criminal Origins

Metascore: 81

The cover of Condemned: Criminal Origins featuring a woman in chains

Condemned: Criminal Origins
November 22, 2005

Monolith Productions
Survival Horror , Action

Condemned: Criminal Origins is a psychological thriller inspired by the likes of The Silence Of The Lambs and Se7en, combined with some survival horror and action elements. The story follows FBI agent Ethan Thomas as he investigates the link between a series of killings and assaults in the fictional city of Metro. As he’s hot on the heels of the Match Maker killer, he suddenly finds himself framed for the murders, and is soon being chased by his own colleagues.

The developers at Monolith Productions used their previous experience with first-person shooters to create a first-person game that instead focuses on brutal melee combat with a intense and sinister atmosphere. There is a range of melee weapons available, each with their own damage, range, and blocking abilities. This is still a detective game at heart though, and players spend much of the game investigating crime scenes. Although plans for a Condemned film to expand the franchise never came to fruition, this is still an excellent serial killer game, with a well-liked sequel to boot.

2 Heavy Rain

Metascore: 87

10 Most Shocking Twists - Heavy Rain logo

Heavy Rain
February 23, 2010


The developers at Quantic Dream are known for cinematic games that are heavy on story, such as Detroit: Become Human and Beyond: Two Souls. Heavy Rain was their third game, and really set the standard for the two projects that came afterward. Unlike many other games about serial killers, Heavy Rain veers away from the horror genre and instead focuses on being a psychological thriller packed full of twists and turns.

Players take on the roles of four characters throughout the game – private investigator Scott Shelby, journalist Madison Paige, FBI profiler Norman Jayden, and grieving father Ethan Mars, each one on the hunt for the infamous Origami Killer before he kills another child. Although players can explore and interact with environments, Heavy Rain largely plays as an interactive drama with quick-time events and branching dialogue where players make choices on behalf of the characters. Each choice players make can determine which of the various endings each of the main characters will arrive at.

1 L.A. Noire

Metascore: 89

Rockstar Games Take-Two interactive Team Bondi L.A. Noire DLC

LA Noire
May 17, 2011

Team Bondi

Although best known for Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar had enormous success publishing Team Bondi’s L.A. Noire. Set in 1947 Los Angeles, the game follows war hero and detective Cole Phelps as he advances through the LAPD, solving cases in Traffic, Homicide, Vice, and Arson. Each case is distinct and allows players to investigate crime scenes for evidence, interrogate witnesses, and sometimes even chase after suspects in thrilling car chases and gunfights. However, the most notable part of the game is the use of motion capture technology to record actors’ faces, capturing the slightest nuance of expression and helping players discern whether a character is telling the truth, hiding something, or outright lying.

Although the game doesn’t focus entirely on serial killers, Cole Phelps’ stint in Homicide forces him to confront a dangerous killer. As he apprehends suspects for each case, he begins to notice similarities between the murders, becoming more and more convinced that they’re all linked. Although his captain encourages him to abandon his theory, Cole can’t shake the feeling that there’s a serial killer running amok in Los Angeles. Many of the cases in the game are based on real-life crimes that happened in Los Angeles at the time. For example, “The Red Lipstick Murder” is the most obvious example, clearly inspired by the Black Dhalia case, which remains one of the most famous unsolved murders in American history.


16 Horror Games Where Your Choices Really Matter

Every decision, no matter how small, can lead to big consequences in the horror genre. These horror games place a heavy emphasis on player choice.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *