7 Scary Games That Involve Mazes

What’s worse than being chased by a bloodthirsty ghoul? Getting chased by a bloodthirsty ghoul through a maze. Linear horror games can at least carry the implicit comfort of a set path, which is why a game that breaks that mold can be especially spooky.

Non-horror puzzle games like Portal can still be creepy on their own if they have the right atmosphere. From linear horror titles that warp the golden path to puzzle games with a penchant for creepy atmospheric window dressing, here are the scariest games that involve mazes.

7/7 Catherine

The wild puzzler Catherine sees players take on a series of different mini-game challenges in between bizarre and often frightening story beats. The game focuses on Vincent, an average Joe with constant otherworldly nightmares, who finds himself in a mysterious love triangle.

The fun variety of puzzles is engaging, and the bizarre plot helps the title stand out. Though Catherine may seem more focused on relationships than scares on the surface, it still has some great horror moments.

6/7 Outlast

While much of the game is linear, there are several moments in Outlast where the player must navigate an open-ended maze-like section of the Mount Massive Asylum to complete an objective and progress through the story. These goals are often simple, such as turning on a generator. Things get a little more difficult when it’s dark, you’re lost, and there's an unfriendly-looking guy with a hammer slowly walking behind you.

Much of Outlast's playtime is punctuated by an overwhelming feeling of helplessness not too far off from being trapped like a rat in a maze. This comparison isn't too far off, as it's later revealed that the Mount Massive asylum staff were performing experiments on their patients.

5/7 Doom 64

Doom may be remembered as the granddaddy of FPS games, but it was no slouch in the horror department either. Doom 64, in particular, dialed up the creepiness with a renewed emphasis on dark environments and scarier creature designs. Add in Doom’s signature maze-like levels, and you’ve got a harrowing mix. Nintendo fans had exclusive access to arguably the franchise’s scariest entry, but Doom 3 diehards might beg to differ.

After some silence, Doom fans were treated to several throwbacks to the Nintendo 64 entry in 2020's Doom Eternal, with weapons like the Unmakyr and enemies like the Pain Elemental making their triumphant return.

4/7 Silent Hill 2

Many will remember Silent Hill 2’s labyrinth, which is located underneath the Toluca Prison. Instead of fun Jim Henson puppets and David Bowie, this labyrinth is filled with near-total darkness and horrific monsters. Protagonist James Sunderland doesn’t have a map of the maze and is forced to draw his own as he navigates the claustrophobic passageways.

Lurking in the darkness is a suite of monsters including series staple Pyramid Head, which only adds to the tension. This creative segment forced players to brave the abyss in order to progress.

3/7 Portal

Valve’s classic puzzle game, Portal, had no shortage of creepy moments. The seemingly endless puzzles and an unsettling lack of humans in the game’s early hours make you feel as if you're stuck in an endless loop within the facility. When you are finally given the chance to escape, the Aperture facility opens up into a labyrinth of empty offices, vents and industrial areas.

Portal and its excellent sequel receive most of their praise for setting the benchmark for linear first-person puzzle games, but the creepy atmosphere both entries create deserves just as much attention. As if there weren't enough reasons to replay the series, players should take a second to appreciate Valve's environmental storytelling more on their next run.

2/7 Control

The supernatural third-person action game Control had great variety throughout in everything from its puzzles, story, and combat. The Ashtray Maze was one of the game's highlights thanks to its replay value and uniquely creepy vibe. The maze can only be entered correctly at a certain point towards the endgame (players who take an early look will just be sent around in circles). The developers made the right call, as the gauntlet can be especially difficult for untested players.

Besides the existing challenge of navigating through the labyrinth in the first place, the maze is populated with some of the most brutal Hiss enemies in the game. Persevere, and you'll be rewarded with great gear and story beats.

1/7 P.T.

Kojima Productions’s “Playable Teaser” for their ill-fated Silent Hill entry was an entirely unique horror experience for those who were able to access it. The demo consisted entirely of a single looping hallway. While not a proper maze, the endless hallway still elicited a feeling of being trapped. P.T. had some of the most frightening visuals in gaming and is still a great example of how minimalist games can still be memorable and engaging.

It's a shame that P.T. has disappeared from online outlets, and it's an even bigger shame that the Silent Hill project it teased will seemingly never come to fruition. If P.T. could do so much with one hallway, imagine what the developers could accomplish with an entire game.

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