Menu

The Scariest Games We’ve Ever Played

The end of Spooktober brings with it the dawn of Halloween – the creepiest night of the year and the perfect excuse to play some horror games. But what to play? There’s so many scary titles to choose from and maybe you need some fresh recommendations for a new horror game. After all, what is more terrifying than stepping into the unknown?

Instead of doing a classic countdown, we opened the floor to our staff so they could share the games that made them scream out loud, cower in fear and turn speechless with terror. In this list, all the games are #1’s.

 

Fatal Frame

Fatal Frame Poster

“I’m partial to a good horror game now and again, and I definitely appreciate the genre more now that I’m older. Despite my enjoyment of the horror genre being much more nuanced now, I rarely, if ever, find myself genuinely unnerved. The same can’t be said about my childhood though, young Lewis was pretty susceptible to something frightening, especially when it involved those of a spectral persuasion.

Fatal Frame, known as Project Zero over in the UK, kept me awake at night when I was a wee boy. I didn’t play the game much myself because I was terrified, and pretty awful at it. I did watch my mother play the game, as well as Fatal Frame 2. I remember finding the camera shutter sound really unnerving, and the vulnerability of the main character adds to the nail-biting tension.

I mentioned it briefly in my Silent Hill retrospective (shameless self-plug here), that Fatal Frame was heavily inspired by Silent Hill according to the people who worked on it. The weakness of the protagonist is turned up more than a notch, pitting you against spectral monstrosities as a schoolgirl armed only with a camera. You could fight the ghosts off slightly with your camera’s flash, but that involved looking at them and I’ll be damned if I was gonna do that as a kid.” – Lewis Mackin

 

FAITH

 Faith Title Screen

“Everything about FAITH is a fever dream. The callback to second-generation graphics, nostalgic but with a sickly twinge when it comes to the art design. The sounds that screech from the speakers whenever a monster comes closer, some of which are supposedly sampled from an actual exorcism. The writing which is layered in both sympathy and fear– it’s all great, but the true horror in FAITH lies within its rotoscoped cutscenes.

Involving the use of tracing of still images, frame by frame, developer Airdorf used it magnificently to provide bizarre hallucinations and looks into the occult. Images from this game are still burned into my retinas, and every time I prepare to close my eyes to rest, I can see that image of the demon escaping from Amy. It’s a small game, but my God, does it last.” – Sam Taylor

 

Condemned: Criminal Origins

Condemned: Criminal Origins Title

“Let’s take things back to 2005, when the Xbox 360’s future was merely prospective, horror games that hinged on atmosphere were almost always third-person, and the scariest game to me was the Land of the Dead flash game, because I was six. A strapping young lad, I was hardly equipped to dive into the world of full-on horror games, yet what video footage I could encounter on G4TV offering previews of Condemned: Criminal Origins immediately stuck with me. The smut of the tattered environments seen through the character’s eyes, the intimate brutality of its hand-to-hand (pipe-to-face) combat, the nuance of the lighting and shadows. It formed my interest in horror games single handedly.

Time passed and at the age of ten I played my first horror game… Resident Evil 4, but I made sure I hadn’t forgotten Condemned: Criminal Origins and picked it up soon after. And where Resident Evil 4 thrived with a shambling pace, tightening the space between you and chainsaw wielding enemies, Condemned made the quarters even closer. Enemies in Condemned don’t creep up behind you. They occupy your entire field of view with no escape in sight. Condemned’s combat always reeks of desperation, not because of faltering controls but due to a fleeting, unpredictable arsenal. Battles with drills and broken pipes in hand are unrelentingly gut-wrenching, and Condemned only gets more hauntingly grotesque with age.” – Zach Kauz

 

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

Eternal Darkness Title

Several horror games excel at creating horror through tension and atmosphere, but few games can make a player question their own sanity like Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem. Spanning multiple centuries, the game takes you back to the root of all evil and explores the fates of those to tried to quash it. One chapter you’ll hack at zombies with a Persian sabre during the Ottoman Empire, another you’ll be using rudimentary firearms to defend a bombed out Church during WW1. Every chapter focuses on a different character and you’ll get to experience their deepest fears first hand.

An ever dwindling sanity meter governs the intensity of nightmarish hallucinations that affect how you experience the game. Blood dripping from ceilings and the chilling sound of a child’s laughter are mild visions of terror compared to most terrifying thing any gamer can face: a phoney corrupt memory card message. The game destroys the fourth wall, constantly gas-lighting you and distorting your sense of reality – eventually, you won’t know what to believe.

Eternal Darkness is a game that lingers in your brain long after switching it off. You’ll ponder the sanity effects, of course they all seem so obvious and cheesy in hindsight, but in the heat of the moment, fear can make you irrational. Realizing how manipulative fear can be is the real thing that’ll keep you awake at night. – Theo Durrant

 

There you have it, a little list of recommendations of the best horror games you can play (or avoid) this Halloween. For best results, play with the lights off while huddled up close to a friend or a loved one so you can share the emotional trauma these games put you through.

 

Happy Halloween!

No comments

Leave a Reply

Newsletter

Asphalt 9: Real Game Stuffed in a Mobile Game

Finding yourself trapped indoors with nothing but your internal monologue to sustain you can drive a person really insane really quickly. From a strictly medical standpoint, you should be playing…

March 27, 2020, 182
Shaun Of The Dead Tea self isolate

Best Video Games to Self-Isolate With

Bad news, the Coronavirus situation is rapidly getting worse with each passing day, and many are recommended to self-isolate. Good news, there’s never been a better excuse to hole up…

March 18, 2020, 460
Dreams concept image showing a kaleidoscopic display of shapes, colors, and guitars

Media Molecule Opens Up Dreams Beta Evaluation

The potential of Media Molecule’s game-creation system, Dreams, has seemed limitless since its debut and starting today, Dreams has made another massive stride. Central to the platform’s focus is the ability to…

March 13, 2020, 227

Sony Worldwide Studios Discusses First-Party Releases

After Sony’s continued silence on the PlayStation 5, Worldwide Studios Head Hermen Hulst broke the ice by detailing the company’s strategy for their first-party games. While Hulst confirmed that PS4-exclusive Horizon:…

March 11, 2020, 784
Vitamin Connection Title Screen

Vitamin Connection Review – A Tough Pill to Swallow

WayForward has an impressive portfolio of games, including the likes of Shantae and Mighty Switch Force. I was pretty excited to try out another one of their games when I…

March 11, 2020, 269
E3 Cancelled due to coronavirus

E3 Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

[12:25 EST, 03/11/2020] UPDATE:  It’s official: E3 2020 has been cancelled due to Coronavirus. The Electronic Software Association released this statement officially confirming the event’s cancellation: “After careful consultation with…

March 11, 2020, 261

The Radar Room: March Game Releases to Look For

Welcome back to the Radar Room, where we cover the biggest upcoming releases in gaming! March is looking to kick 2020 into high gear with multiple highly anticipated sequels to…

March 10, 2020, 525
DOOM Eternal Archville vs. Crucible

DOOM Eternal PC Specs Announced

DOOM Eternal‘s PC minimum and recommended specs have been announced! There are plenty of options for playing DOOM Eternal, but there’s a certain attractiveness to playing with a mouse and…

March 7, 2020, 376
Ghost of Tsushima trailer and release date

Ghost Of Tsushima Gets June Release Date and Story Trailer

Just when everyone started to wonder if Ghost of Tsushima dropped off the radar, Sony hit us with a brand new trailer for the game out of nowhere. The best part:…

March 5, 2020, 250
Resident Evil 3 Nemesis Throwback Review

Throwback Review: Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999)

It’s no secret that Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is the black sheep of the classic Resident Evil trilogy. Across the board it feels like few people have played it and…

March 4, 2020, 445