There are those games that scare you a little. Then, there are those games that scare the living hell out of you and make even the most steel-nerved players cower in fear. Certain games stand out from the pack and have redefined the horror genre, with compelling fright factors and tense moments that keep you awake at night. Here are the top seven scariest games out there:
Resident Evil 2 (PS2, Gamecube) The original Resident Evil set the bar for the horror genre, and then Resident Evil 2 pushed the limits by raising heart beats among players of all ages. Creepy police stations, deserted streets, abandoned schools and some of the scariest creatures made the game something to be afraid of, and even if you switched discs (there were two playable characters and storylines) you couldn’t escape the horrors that awaited.
Scare Factor 4/5
F.E.A.R. (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) The name says it all. F.E.A.R. came into the ring as an action-packed bullet-time inspired shooter which was set to reignite the first-person shooter (FPS) genre. Little did anyone know this game was freaking scary! Crazy paranormal events and an incredibly frightening little girl by the name of Alma put F.E.A.R. in a league of its own by placing the player inside of a Japanese-inspired horror flick, with all the guns and heart-pounding action of a Western FPS.
Scare factor: 4/5
Doom 3 (PC) Doom 3 may not seem so scary now, but upon its release it was one of the scariest experiences you could have as a gamer. The id Tech Engine 4 was the peak of gaming technology when Doom 3 released, which helped the game produce the most realistic looking zombies, flying skulls and monsters around.
But one thing made Doom 3 stick out more than other games – the lighting. The tech behind Doom 3 gave the game incredible depth in terms of lighting, making every dark nook and cranny a hiding spot for eager creatures; and your flashlight running out of battery power doesn’t help.
Scare Factor: 3.5/5
Silent Hill (PSX) Silent Hill was, at a point, the benchmark of all things spooky. Everything about Silent Hill screamed tension and fear, from the eerie fog to the static over the radio as monsters approached.
Silent Hill scored big in the horror department and even built a cult following of fans, who to this day still consider it one of gaming’s scariest titles. The dual-shock rumble even followed the lead characters heart-beat, which always seemed to sync with whoever was playing i.e. 100 000 000 bpm.
Scare Factor: 5/5
Alien vs. Predator - 1999 (PC) Ok, ok, so Alien vs Predator (AvP) isn’t essentially a horror game, it revolves around more action-orientated gameplay and even allows you to take on the role of a Predator. Although, when playing as the marines, players can’t help but to scream and shake with fear from the incredible shock-tactics and fright moments AvP has to offer.
Whether it’s being stalked or sprung upon by a leaping Alien or hearing the crackling clicks of a Predator, players will find themselves clenching their keyboard and mouse, waiting for that uncontrollable outburst of pure fear.
Scare Factor: 4/5
Alien vs. Predator
The Suffering (PS2, Xbox, PC) The Suffering is one of the most underplayed and underrated horror games this generation. Not only does the game throw all types of freakish monsters at you, but it also pulled strings on your psyche throughout play.
Set on a prison island, a horrible event occurs which results in some terrible creatures crawling around the compound. The monsters are all inspired and represent certain ways of death, such as the Slayers, which are the embodiment of decapitation and run around with large machetes attached to their limbs. All of this, in combination with Torque, the lead character, who is dealing with his own demons of whether he murdered his family or not, plays into the game’s strengths and makes The Suffering a fearful experience.
Scare Factor: 4.5/5
Dead Space (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) While the sequel is pretty damn scary, the original Dead Space takes the prize for coming out of nowhere and leaving gamers trembling. EA’s insatiable shot at the horror genre went on to create one of the most cinematically frightening and hair-raising games of all time.
Early in the game you notice blood stained walls which read: “Cut off their limbs” letting the players know they’re in for a good ride. Unique dismemberment, spine-chilling set-pieces and absolute uncertainty of what and where your next enemy might be, places Dead Space as the number one scariest videogame.
Important: In space, no one can hear you scream, except for everyone in the vicinity of you playing this game.
Scare Factor: 6/5 (Yeah, I just did that)
What do you think are some of the scariest games of all time?