Gaming Halloween_Gimmedigital_Generic

Published on October 30th, 2013 | by Philip Bethel


Top 5 List of Horror Games

So as we all don our scary costumes and beg for candy or beer (depending on your eligibility), I have composed the top 5 scariest horror games ever created!  The list is determined by the nature of the games being truly frightening.  So no Call of Duty Nazi Zombies here.  There are so many video games these days that ask us to plough through swathes of generic zombie type undead.  Games like Dead Island, Left for Dead and Dead Rising but lets face it, they’re not scary so they won’t be on the list.  It’s the games that made you jump when you thought you were safe or just turn off your console in terror.  Also I am going with the ethos that the more frightening the game was the better it was.  So have a look at the list and tell me in the comments what I have left out.  And play them – if you dare!



As you may have noticed a lot of horror games have the word ‘dead’ in their titles.  Thankfully this is the only one of that nature on my list.  The difference between the Dead Space franchise and most other scary games was that it was set in space.  The protagonist – Isaac Clarke being an engineer had an array of ad hoc guns at his disposal that cut and lacerated his way through a bunch of terrifying necromorphs.  The unpredictable nature of these monsters only added to the eerie atmosphere of the ship USG Ishimura with its narrow corridors and claustrophobic walkways.  Only when you began to think you were safe a multitude of half dead crawling undesirables would pounce from around the next corner leaving the player jolting off the side of their seat.  On top of that you had to deal with a mysterious Marker, its true purpose unknown.  Suffice to say it was responsible for the spawning this horrific nightmare.  A true horror classic.



Torque – a man sentenced to death for butchering his entire family.  Did he do it?  Not even he knows but what ensues when he arrives in prison is hell unleashed.  A third person shooter designed to frighten the living daylights out of any reasonably minded person succeeds in every respect with its twisted take on what becomes of a man attempting to atone for his sins.  The really scary part of this sick game was the whole idea of what hell on earth would be like for one tormented by guilt.  Persecuted by ferocious demons and haunted by his own fragmented memories Torque not only has to deal with his own conscience but also hell itself.  The many grotesque ways in which the player could perish to the demons was a head turner in itself.  One scene springs to mind when Torque is being attacked by little gremlin like creatures with hypodermic needles for fingers who attempt to stick them in his neck among other places.  Not for the squeamish.  A terrifying satanic gorefest.



The first brilliant instalment in a series of critically acclaimed games, Legacy of Kain was scary for all kinds of reasons but none more so than Kain himself.  After haplessly wandering out of a dank tavern in the middle of the night (like you do), Kain is brutally murdered by a gang of thugs.  He then is resurrected as a vampire and swears vengeance on his attackers.  But it is the way he goes about doing this that makes him a complete anti hero and an immortal without conscience.  To stay alive Kain must drink the blood of anyone he comes into contact with.  Innocent villagers being the prominent prey.  After slicing them up with his sword he would don a victory stance and cry “Vae Victis” only then to slurp on their blood drenched necks whereupon they fall dead to the ground.  Brutal and cold, Kain ia a vampire of immeasurable terror.



Alpha team are forced to take refuge in what is believed to be an abandoned mansion after being attacked by a pack of ravenous dogs.  What ensues is a terrifying battle for survival as they encounter for the first time the biologically infected undead nightmare.  There are numerous famous scenes in the first iteration of Resident Evil which will always stay in the memories of those who were brave enough to play it, namely the moment when the first zombie is found via a cut scene as it turns its head after chomping down on some human flesh.  It was that moment that the true terrifying reality of the situation became clear to Chris Redfield and his team of Raccoon City police officers .  This and quite a few ‘jump off your chair’ moments combined with the fear of the unknown is what makes Resi 1 one of the most tense and frightening games ever made.  Just having the nerve to open the next door in this game made for a horror classic.  Great plot, great puzzles and constant fear constitutes a number 2 on my list.



The original Silent Hill on the Playstation had a brand new approach to survival horror and is a classic in its own right.  Silent Hill 2 took it a step further in every aspect especially with its disconcerting creepiness and nightmarish atmosphere.  The developers Konami took a lot of inspiration for the game from the downright disturbing paintings of  Irishman Francis Bacon and its not hard to see why as SH2 really is unnerving as you wander the monster infested streets and buildings of Silent Hill.  Even the story of James Sunderland’s quest to find his dead wife, which brings sadness and the notion of an etheral plain of the dead, becomes twisted and surreal as the game progresses.  The player never really gets a grip on where James is or what’s happening to him.  Armed with makeshift weapons and a flashlight to see in the dark you will encounter dead decaying nurses, deformed walking corpses and Pyramid Head himself.  What makes it so special is its unique alarming take on the genre that can never be cloned as so many other horror games were.  SH2 is a sinister and truly horrific masterpiece that we will never see the like of again.



About the Author

Philip Bethel

Philip is a journalism graduate who believes wholeheartedly in the 'Lawnmower Man' theory. He yearns for the day when he takes over the universe within his own utopian digital frontier. He also likes small animals and going to the dentist for checkups.

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