It’s that time of year when all we want to do is try to scare ourselves and others. Halloween is nearly upon us, and it’s time to find new and exotic ways to terrify ourselves. What better way to do that than with a blast from the past? There have been so many amazing horror games released on consoles and computers throughout the years. This Halloween, why not go back and revisit ten of the scariest games ever?
Resident Evil HD
Back before zombies were everywhere, Resident Evil was the first game to really use them as an effective and horrifying villain. When we followed Jill Valentine through a mansion filled with infected creatures, death lurked around every corner. We had to use our wits and all our skills to stay alive. The Resident Evil HD release makes it prettier than ever and offers the best control scheme for this entry in the series.
Rule of Rose
Kids can be cruel, but we don’t see games really exploring that. There was Bully , sure, but one of the best instances of childhood horror is Rule of Rose for the PlayStation 2. You get trapped by the Red Crayon Aristocrats in their airship and must endure all sorts of psychological horrors to survive. It’s all sorts of unsettling.
Condemned: Criminal Origins
Condemned: Criminal Origins is horrifying, because the monsters we’re dealing with are human serial killers. We have to investigate crime scenes and clear Serial Crimes Unit agent Ethan Thomas’ name, all while surviving the murderous assaults of the actual guilty party. There are some seriously demented and horrifying things here.
Five Nights at Freddy’s
There are a lot of Five Nights at Freddy’s games. Everyone’s going to have their favorite. For me, though, there’s something about that first game. It’s the one that showed us that those unsettling animatronics from the themed restaurants we used to visit as kids could get even creepier. Though the experience was rather limited compared to what current games offer and there was less lore to enjoy, there’s something about those first jump scares.
I think part of what makes Until Dawn so horrifying is knowing that you’re responsible for everything that happens. If one of your characters gets hurt or dies, it’s your own fault. You couldn’t face your fears. You weren’t fast enough. You weren’t skilled enough to save them. It weighs on you. Plus, it’s really horrifying, with both monstrous and human opponents. It’s one of the best ways PS4 players can scare themselves.
Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill has always been one of those series that’s more unnerving and thrilling than actually scary, but Silent Hill 2 had some genuinely terrifying moments. This is the installment that introduced us to Pyramid Head. It’s also the one that best used the fog mechanic to hide the game’s technical limitations at the time and terrify us with things we could hear, but not see. And that hospital? Yikes.
Dead Space was great, because at the time you weren’t sure exactly what Isaac Clarke was going through. You knew that something terrible happened on the Ishimura and that you have to repair it and discover the truth. Except, something horrible is on that ship, and unbearable truths are about to come to light. The fact that there wasn’t a traditional HUD and UI made it even better, because it was almost like you were Isaac.
The PlayStation 2 era started introducing us to horror games that could actually be scary. One of the best was Fatal Frame . Inspired by Japanese folklore and horror stories, we followed a young woman into a haunted village. She had to photograph ghosts to defeat them and find her missing sister. There were jump scares. There were situations where you couldn’t win and could only run. There were unbearable noises. Worse, we even had hints about the various ghosts in the house, so we knew who was after us.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
What’s worse than exploring a dark, terrifying castle filled with monsters determined to drive you crazy and kill you? Well, that’s easy. It’s knowing you have to solve various puzzles if you want to survive. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is one of the scariest games you will ever play. Especially since you can’t fight back and these monsters can and will tear down doors or barricades to get you. It’s one of the best horror games you can play.
Like many of the games on this list, Outlast sticks with you. It draws from real horrors from actual asylums and criminally insane individuals and uses them as inspiration for terrifying inmates and enemies who will hunt Miles Upshur, our journalist avatar, down. You know you have to keep moving forward, even if you don’t want to. You have to see it through to the end, and that’s terrifying.