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Five Nights at Freddy’s has infected our dreams with relentless nightmares about animatronics. And it even made me pass up a night security guard job because I thought… what if fiction turns into reality when I’m on the job?
With thousands of YouTube videos, unrivaled popularity in the horror game sphere, and more jump scares than your average slasher flick, Five Nights at Freddy’s is a horror juggernaut. With the release of Security Breach and talks of an upcoming movie, it’s still going strong.
But what if you’ve played and replayed FNAF until you’ve mastered all the animatronics’ movements? What if you’ve tried all the mods until the games no longer look or feel the same?
Well, my suggestion is to try other games. But not just any games; I recommend games similar to Five Nights at Freddy’s.
Of course, I’m here to help you with my recommended list of the best games like FNAF.
Bottom Line Up Front
My top recommendations are Emily Wants to Play, Poppy Playtime, and Boogeyman. These games are the most similar to FNAF while offering a scary experience. But I also recommend a few other games because of their similarities and the different things those games offer.
I looked at plenty of games, games I’ve played, and those I’ve researched. So naturally, the most important criterion for them is to be horror games.
I also looked at the difficulty of enemies, the similarities of characters, and the influence on pop culture and compared the settings.
I put all of that together to form this list, and I’m sure you’ll find a surprise.
So, let’s kick this off!
1. Emily Wants to Play
Developer: Shawn Hitchcock
Publisher: Hitchcock Games
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Mobile, VR
This is probably the game most similar to FNAF. In Emily Wants to Play, you are a delivery guy delivering pizza. But there’s something off about your latest delivery. The house that made the order has an overgrown yard, the windows have all been boarded up, and it looks like no one has lived inside for years—no, make those decades.
Despite that, the lights are on, and the door is invitingly open. Plus, it’s raining, it’s 11 pm, and this is your last delivery for the night. So, you enter the house. But the door shuts behind you, locking you inside. Now, you must explore the house as you seek a way to escape. And a creepy girl called Emily, along with three dolls, also starts moving around the house.
Just like FNAF, keeping your distance from these entities is best. But that gets tougher as the hours progress because you face more demanding challenges. And the dolls are reminiscent of FNAF’s animatronics. You can’t fight them; instead, you must handle them differently. For instance, when you first encounter Kiki, you should stare her down until she vanishes.
Why is Emily Wants to Play on this List?
- Like FNAF, you face foes you can’t beat through direct violence. Instead, you must learn their patterns and use them to outwit them.
- Both games are set in a single location that you can’t escape.
- In both games, you must survive from midnight until 6 am.
- Both games were incredibly popular with YouTube streamers like CoryxKenshin and Markiplier.
- Emily Wants to Play makes excellent use of jump scares, which is part of why FNAF was considered so scary.
- It has in-depth lore that you discover by exploring the house. This is similar to FNAF, which sneaks in bits of lore through notes, certain dialogues, death scenes, and minigames.
2. Poppy Playtime
Developer: MOB Games
Publisher: MOB Games
Platform(s): PC, Mobile
Don’t let the cute name fool you. Poppy Playtime is a terrifying game with characters who should be adorable but strike terror instead.
You play as a former toy factory employee who returns to check in on the factory and their former colleagues. However, they learn that the Playtime Co. Toy Factory factory has been closed for ten years. The staff never left the factory one day, and no one has seen them since.
You explore the factory to discover the truth and encounter creepy experimental toys that would feel right at home in any FNAF game. They have lovable names like Mommy Long Legs and Huggy Wuggy, but be careful. They will pursue you and jump scare you if you let them catch up.
One way this game stands out is its GrabPack. This tool has extendable hands you can use in several ways, from pressing buttons to swinging. I didn’t find Poppy Playtime as frightening as most FNAF games, but that might be because I’m used to jump scares now.
Why is Poppy Playtime on this List?
- It offers a first-person perspective, similar to FNAF.
- It has enemies who should be cute but have been corrupted to become the stuff of nightmares.
- Both games are set in a single location, which creates claustrophobia.
- The enemies are overpowered, so you can’t fight them directly. Instead, you should run and use the environment to your advantage.
- The game doesn’t spoon-feed its lore. Instead, you have to find it by playing VHS tapes, which reminds me of FNAF: Help Wanted tapes.
- Poppy Playtime has also exploded in popularity, thanks mainly to YouTubers.
3. Bendy and The Ink Machine
Developer: Joey Drew Studios
Publisher: Joey Drew Studios
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mobile
When you think of early 20th-century animation, you probably think of Mickey Mouse and homages like Cuphead.
The animations were simple, cut, and family-friendly. Now we have Bendy and The Ink Machine, a game that corrupts that innocence to create nightmare fuel.
You play Henry Stein, a former animator whose former employer, Joey Drew, sends him a mysterious letter. This prompts Henry to visit the now-abandoned Joey Drew Studios. Thirty years ago, the animation studio was in its prime, creating popular shows like the titular Bendy.
But now, it’s in a state of disrepair, the animators are missing, and ink seeps through the walls. Bendy and the Ink Machine’s enemies are corrupted versions of safe, kid-friendly cartoons. And the game is chockful of jump scares. In fact, it has so many jump scares that I became desensitized after a while.
Still, this is an earnest game that tries its best to turn your fond childhood memories into nightmares, and I commend it for that.
Why is Bendy and The Ink Machine on this List?
- Like the above games, it takes things that kids love and turns them into horrific beings.
- It has a fair amount of jump scares, just like FNAF. However, some of them don’t feel earned (unlike in FNAF, where most jump scares are preventable if you learn the movements and actions of the animatronics).
- It is another game where combat is not prioritized; instead, you should avoid your enemies to stay alive.
- It has a distinct animation style that makes it stand out over the other games on this list.
Developer: Barry McCabe
Publisher: Clockwork Wolf
Have you ever been terrified by stories of the Boogeyman?
So, imagine my surprise (and terror) when I learned there was a VR game based on this fictional monstrosity. You play as a kid all alone at home during the night. And the Boogeyman is trying to get you.
You’re a kid, so you naturally don’t have the physical capacity to kill an inhuman entity. Instead, you’re armed with just a flashlight. When you shine a light on the entity, it will be forced to retreat and look for another way to reach you.
But there’s one problem: you don’t have infinite batteries for the flashlight. You should rely on your eyes and ears and only light the torch when you’re sure the Boogeyman is close. This makes for a tense experience, especially in virtual reality.
Naturally, the game will draw comparisons to FNAF 4, where you also play as a child armed with a flashlight. But that doesn’t make Boogeyman a rip-off. Instead, I consider it an homage.
Why is Boogeyman on this List?
- For starters, it’s pretty similar to FNAF 4. So, if you loved that game and have been looking for an alternative, this is a grand entry.
- It’s not heavy on the lore (you’re a kid facing off against the Boogeyman, basically). Still, it delves into a creature most horror fans know. So if you’re looking for lore, just google “boogeyman” and watch your jaw drop at the millions of results.
- It’s a tense, atmospheric game where you don’t have access to weapons and feel vulnerable. Every second I didn’t turn the flashlight on was an eternity when my childhood fears crawled back into my mind.
Developer: Red Barrels
Publisher: Red Barrels
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Ugh, mid-20th-century psychiatric hospitals. Those were the stuff of horrors, especially if they were abandoned. So, it’s only natural that these locations make for the perfect horror locations. And Outlast makes full use of that.
You play an investigative journalist who receives an anonymous tip that something nasty is happening at Mount Massive Asylum. Specifically, the doctors are supposedly conducting inhumane experiments on their patients. So, of course, like any good journalist, you follow this lead and infiltrate the asylum.
You then discover that the tip was horribly accurate. And to get to the root of what’s happening and why, you must face packs of mutilated madmen, mad doctors, countless corpses, and frightened inmates. As you try to stay alive, you must also find keys to unlock doors, restart breakers, and more. This is definitely not a passive game.
Why is Outlast on this List?
- Though it’s less similar to FNAF than the above games, it’s still a stellar horror game where you can’t shoot your way to victory. Instead, stealth is mandatory, and you must use your camcorder wisely. And if stealth doesn’t work, fleeing is often the only option (I did this more than I’d like to admit).
- It still has that creepy first-person camera.
- Outlast has its fair share of jump scares, but it doesn’t overdo them.
6. Slender: The Eight Pages
Ahh, Slenderman. In case you missed Slenderman, this was a creepypasta that turned into a media franchise and even created a moral panic that ended with a kid getting stabbed. In short, this is a horror franchise you shouldn’t miss. And the easiest way to get into it is through Slender: The Eight Pages.
This is a free-to-play game that came out in 2012. You play an unnamed person who wanders through the woods alone at night (not the best idea, in my humble opinion). Your goal is to collect the titular eight pages you find scattered around the forest. And, of course, there is a supernatural entity in the woods that’s stalking you.
The fog grows thicker as you collect more pages, and the Slenderman becomes more aggressive. Finally, the entity teleports closer and closer to you, which gets freaking unnerving and makes you wonder if you really want to collect the remaining pages.
And, to add to the pressure, your only illumination source is a torch with batteries that rapidly dwindle if you don’t conserve them.
Why is Slender: The Eight Pages on this List?
- Like FNAF, it leaves you helpless against an overpowering enemy you can’t defeat.
- It has jump scares. I consider every time I saw the Slenderman a jump scare because he often teleported somewhere close to me. And I had to steel my heart whenever I turned on the flashlight because I feared he’d pop up right in front of me.
- Slender: The Eight Pages is another game that became an internet sensation. There are countless videos of video game streamers playing and reacting to it.
Question: Which Games are Similar to Five Nights at Freddy’s?
Answer: There are plenty of similar games to FNAF, including clones. But not all of them offer great experiences. The best games like FNAF are:
• Emily Wants to Play
• Poppy Playtime
• Bendy and The Ink Machine
• Slender: The Eight Pages
Question: Are the Five Nights at Freddy’s games AAA Games?
Answer: While the spending might have gone up for later games in the FNAF franchise, they are all still considered indie games. They were made by small teams, and this has been consistent throughout the releases.
Question: Is FNAF appropriate for School?
Answer: The FNAF games are rated 12+, so we don’t recommend them for preteens. They might be bloodless and have minimal gore, but they are chockful of jump scares that might upset many players.
Best Games like FNAF: Conclusion
The above six games are delightful horror games that scare you in their own way. They offer similar experiences to FNAF and new experiences you won’t find in the franchise. My picks are Emily Wants to Play and Boogieman because you can change a few characters here and there, and they’ll be outstanding FNAF entries. But the other games are also decent.
I hope that you’ve found this list informative and helpful. Here’s to more FNAF and similar games!