Considering the amount of torment that most survival horror protagonists go through, it only makes sense that they would be able to have a bittersweet ending once the nightmare is finally over. However, while the majority of games in this genre end on a somewhat high-note with the characters walking into the sunset and breathing easy after everything they’ve been through, this certainly isn’t the case for all of them, since there have been quite a few survival horror titles that are actually pretty dark in how they conclude.


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Having a dark ending can admittedly be a little risky for a game within this genre, since it can imply that all the effort made throughout the game ends up being for nothing, but when the story is in the hands of a skilled writer, it can still feel like a satisfying end, even if it’s a little less lighthearted than some might expect. Before taking a look at the darkest ending seen in the survival horror genre, this list will obviously include heavy spoilers for the games mentioned, so please continue with caution.

6 Resident Evil: Village

After Everything He Goes Through, Ethan Only Gets To Spend A Few Precious Moments With His Daughter Before Crumbling Away

Ethan Holding Rose

Resident Evil Village
May 7, 2021

Survival (dupe) , Horror

After his daughter Rose is mysteriously kidnapped at the beginning of Resident Evil Village, Ethan must go on a long and arduous journey to retrieve her, encountering numerous creepy monsters along the way and coming face to face with the four lords who run the village. It’s fair to say that Ethan gives everything he has to once again be re-united with Rose, losing several people throughout the story and being literally torn to shreds at multiple points by the enemies he encounters.

Near the end of the game, when Ethan is only moments from reaching his daughter and saving her from the clutches of Mother Miranda, it’s revealed that he actually died back in the Baker Mansion, meaning the only reason he’s still standing is due to being infected by the mold. As a result, Ethan’s body is almost completely decayed by the end of the story, and while he does get a few precious moments to see his daughter, this would be the final time, as he then passes her off to Chris before crumbing away after blowing up the Megamycyte.

5 Dead Space (2023) (Secret Ending)

Isaac’s Promise To “Build Something New” Confirms That The Marker has Fully Corrupted His Mind

Nicole with her hand on Isaac's shoulder

Dead Space (2023)
January 27, 2023

Survival Horror

In the original ending of Dead Space, Isaac manages to narrowly escape the destruction of the colony on Aegis VII by flying away in an escape shuttle, and though it’s clear that his experience on the Ishimura has left a massive impact on him, he at least is shown to be somewhat sane by the end of it. This can’t be said for the secret ending though, which can be unlocked by completing the game on New Game Plus mode and finding all the Marker statues. In this alternate scene, Isaac seems a little more unhinged as he starts babbling about “Building something new” while a hallucination of his dead girlfriend Nicole comforts him.


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If players look closely in the background, they can even see that Isaac has scribbled the Marker’s language all over the interior of the shuttle, implying that he will always be corrupted by its otherworldy power, no matter how much distance he puts between him and the Marker. Though this does somewhat connect to the story of Dead Space 2 where Isaac is still feeling the effects of the Marker’s influence, this is still an incredibly unnerving ending that lingers in the mind long after the game has been put down.

4 Project Zero 2: Wii Edition

Mayu And Mio Are Torn Apart By An Evil Spirit In This Disturbing Ending Sequence

Mayu with Mio's her don her lap

Project Zero 2: Wii Edition
June 28, 2012

Tecmo Koei Games

Survival Horror

Project Zero 2 is a remake of Fatal Frame 2 that changes around a few of the core gameplay mechanics such as the camera angle and control scheme, along with adding in two brand-new endings, one of which is the incredibly disturbing Frozen Butterfly ending. The majority of the game centers on twin sisters, Mayu and Mio, who are being targeted by evil spirits which intend to use them as part of an ancient ritual.

In the Frozen Butterfly ending, Mayu becomes possessed by one of these evil spirits, but although Mio knows that the only way to save her is to end her life, she can’t bring herself to go through with it. Mayu, who is clearly still being controlled by the spirit, starts to cry tears of joy as she then takes the opportunity to strangle her own sister. Things get even more weird when Mayu is shown painting her sister’s lips red after she’s just killed her, which is without a doubt one of the creepiest visuals ever seen in a horror game.

3 Haunting Ground

If Players Mistreat Hewie Throughout Haunting Ground, He Won’t Be There To Save Fiona At The End

Fiona screaming while in a cubic structure

Haunting Ground
May 10, 2005

Survival Horror

Players can achieve different endings in Haunting Ground depending on what decisions they make throughout the game, including how they treat Hewie; Fiona’s canine companion who accompanies her throughout the game. If players don’t take the time to grow their relationship with Hewie, it will result in him being absent at the end of the game, causing Fiona to be captured by the maniacal Riccardo, who carries her away back into the castle that she spends the entire game trying to escape from.


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There is then an incredibly creepy scene of Fiona screaming as she tries to escape a giant cube-like structure that she’s been trapped in. In the next scene, Fiona can be seen sitting in a chair while laughing maniacally, which suggests that she’s been completely corrupted by Riccardo’s sickening influence, resulting in a pretty dark and twisted ending that can luckily be avoided so long as players take good care of Hewie throughout the story.

2 Soma

Soma Ends Off With One Of The Most Unexpected And Terrifying Final Twists Ever Seen In A Horror Game

Screens at the end of Soma

September 15, 2015

In a desperate final effort to save himself and the rest of humanity, Simon Jarrett works with an AI called Catherine to try and upload all the AI human copies into a structure called the ARK, which will then be launched into space. For most of Soma, this mission seems to be going reasonably well, but when the ARK actually launches at the end of the game, Simon is confused as to why his mind isn’t being uploaded to the ARK, finding himself still being stuck in a pilot seat.

As he starts to lash out at Catherine due to losing the “coin toss” and not arriving on the ARK as promised, her AI completely breaks down, causing Simon to then beg for her to return so that he’s not left alone. Unfortunately, it turns out that Catherine is gone for good, with Simon being left in a pitch black room with nothing but a faint beeping sound ringing off in the background as the credits roll. This unexpected conclusion is incredibly memorable for how dark and disturbing it is, and although it’s not made completely clear what happens to Simon once the screen turns black, the mystery only helps to make it all the more terrifying as a result.

1 Silent Hill 2 (Maria Ending)

Despite Trying To Ignore Reality, James Is Reminded In This Ending That He Can Never Escape His Past Sins

James talking to Maria

Silent Hill 2
September 24, 2001

Survival Horror

Silent Hill 2 has very specific requirements that the player must meet in order to achieve certain endings, such as inspecting certain items, and talking to NPCs a certain number of times throughout the game. When it comes to the Maria ending, players will need to make a big attempt to be as considerate and caring for Maria as possible, which can involve protecting her from monsters and checking up on her when she falls ill during the story.

Because of how infatuated James becomes with Maria, it will result in an ending where he literally dismisses the death of his real wife, Mary, and effectively blocks out his traumatic memory of killing her by simply replacing her with Mary. This is already very disturbing, but things become even worse when Maria starts to cough, implying that Jame’s buried memories of his late wife’s illness will never be able to leave him, and that his attempts to escape reality will ultimately prove to be useless. All the game’s endings, except for the dog and UFO ones, could be considered very dark in their presentation, but the fact that James fails to make peace with himself and his past deeds in this sequence is truly unnerving and a very haunting way to finish off the game’s iconic story.


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