When it comes to the horror genre, you either love it or you hate it. Watching a scary movie is one thing, but being immersed in a terrifying world where you control every move the protagonist makes is a whole new level of frightening that has you in a constant state of anxiety. The horror video game genre keeps getting more and more popular with developers never failing to terrify you. So, in honour of Halloween we’re taking a look at some of our favourite horror video games.
5. Dead Space (2008)
We’ve played enough games and seen enough movies to know that aliens aren’t exactly the best company to be around, so we know being trapped on a dark abounded starship with blood thirsty creatures has horror written all over it.
Playing as engineer Isaac Clarke, you are sent to investigate a spaceship after it stopped communicating. Things begin to go wrong very quickly and you find yourself and your team stranded on the ship.
Everything about Dead Space is creepy, from the dark environment that’s already dangerous and unpredictable as it is, to the way the aliens charge at you. Dead Space mainly uses lighting and effects to inflict fear in you, made much more effective by blind corners in level design and darkness that hides the necromorphs in plain sight until they decide to show themselves.
The necromorphs are mutated and reanimated corpses that have been reshaped into a deadly new form. This new form of enemy has an unpredictable nature and will not go down easy. The recommended way of dealing with them is to remove their limbs, however, they are very smart and will quickly adapt to this sudden lack of limbs in the blink of an eye.
4. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (2002)
Eternal Darkness is the first ever mature rated video game to be released by Nintendo, and it does things a little differently than most other games. The game being designed to mess with people’s heads and pits players against their own sanity.
The story follows Alex, a student who is investigating her grandfather’s death. After discovering a hidden book, she learns of a 2000-year-old plot fabricated by roman commander to summon an ancient deity. As Alex finds more hidden pages from the book, she reads of various figures from across history who have tried to stop this from happening.
What makes this game so unique is the sanity system. Represented by a green bar on the side of the screen, it will deplete with every monster that you fight. As your sanity gets lower and lower the camera angle gets more tilted, you’ll hear voices, and the game will start to play its tricks on you. For example, you’ll walk into a room and see lots of ammo, only for it to be gone a second later, or you’ll open your inventory to find it empty then have everything suddenly reappear.
The game even goes as far as breaking the fourth wall by tricking you into believing that the TV has been muted or your controller has disconnected, and my personal favourites, pretending to delete your saved data and the fake blue screen of death.
3. Until Dawn (2015)
Until Dawn is a cinematic horror experience that factors in your actual fears and personal opinions and has you making split second decisions that have an impact the whole story.
When a group of teenagers return to the secluded winter resort where their friends tragically died one year earlier, they quickly discover that they aren’t alone on the mountain. After calling for help, they’re told that it won’t arrive until the following morning, so playing as eight different characters you must navigate your way through a variety of dangerous locations in order to escape your mountain guest and survive until dawn.
After being attacked or chased, each character ends up in a different location where they learn of past events and begin to unlock secrets of the mountain and what happened to their friends one year earlier.
With plenty of jump scares and disturbing psychological content you’ll find yourself on edge all the way though the game.
2. Outlast (2013)
When Miles Upshur began his investigation into Mount Massive Asylum he knew something wasn’t quite right. Expecting to find a case of unethical treatment, he instead finds the deranged inmates of the asylum who have taken it upon themselves to brutally murder anyone who enters the grounds.
Armed with nothing but a video camera, Miles cannot attack enemies so players must rely on stealth to survive, and if that fails, get ready to run. Outlast plays mostly in darkness with your only light source being your camera’s night vision setting. However, using night vision comes as a cost as it will drain the camera’s battery life.
And if that isn’t scary enough for you, Outlast has plenty of jumpscares and gruesome violence to keep you on edge.
1. Silent Hill 2 (2001)
Silent Hill 2 is considered to be one of the best in the Silent Hill series and frequently lists as one of the best horror games ever made.
The story follows James Sunderland who travels to the town of Silent Hill after apparently receiving a letter from his deceased wife. After meeting a variety of characters, each of whom have their own disturbing problems, James must then take a dark and psychologically terrifying journey through the town while facing monsters that are a projection of his own subconscious.
The creepiest part of the town, apart from the thick fog and low visibility, is that everything in it draws upon the darkest elements of the psyche of its guests. While you never explicitly see the town from the perspective of other characters, it’s suggested that everyone who enters Silent Hill experiences it differently.
Silent Hill 2 was specifically designed to trigger a fear response and just the idea of Pyramid Head, the series’ iconic antagonist, does just that.
Do you agree with our picks? Let us know in the comments below.