By a large margin this one is my favorite game in the horror genre.
Resident Evil 7: Welcome to the Family (son)
RE:7 just gets a lot of things right in my opinion. Chief among them is the fact that RE:7 doesn’t handicap the player in any way that is unrealistic. I know a lot of people liked tank controls and fixed camera angels but frankly I wouldn’t miss them at this point. I feel a lot of horror games, especially indie horrors you’ll find on itch.io or Steam often rely on gimping the player in one way or another to help generate that fear factor. Weather that’s with fixed camera angles, tank controls, a flashlight that works more like a .99¢ glow stick, the inability to fight in any way, the stamina of a 500lbs man with 2 broken legs, the speed of the US postal service, etc it all feels cheap to me. In a lot of ways these restrictions don’t make much sense in the games they’re in and more often than not lead to frustration rather than fright.
Resident Evil 7 throws all these things out the window and crafts a terrifying experience from start to finish without needing to gimp the player in order to do so. As Ethan you have enough control and freedom to make decisions that make sense within the context of the game. Fighting and running are both viable options and neither of them are hampered by rigid controls, bad cameras, or bad lighting. The mistakes you make aren’t because of a poor judgement you made while shooting something off screen, if you missed it’s because your aim was off. You can also make some creative decisions such as running over Jack in the car, or if you aren’t quick enough Jack will run over you with the car (or at least try). It’s stuff like this that really makes a difference in the experience, mostly because it makes sense. I'm sure we've all played at least one horror game where a viable weapon is right next to you but because the game demands it, you can't use it. For me that is an immersion killer. Giving the player freedom and power to try and do things the way they want to while still making an absolutely terrifying game is a marvel and Resident Evil 7 manges to do this and a whole lot more.