Halloween is upon us and we at Japandaman thought we’d get into the spirit by showcasing a list of the top 10 scariest horror games. A lot of thought went into this and no doubt you’ll have your own thoughts and favourites which we’d love to hear about. Maybe we’ll give them a go and see how long we can last playing them in the dark…
In no particular order, our list starts with…
10. Alan Wake
With the eerie, not of place Twin Peaks-esque setting, this game hit that nerve in your body that unsettles you from the word go. It’s not so much that it’s a game full of gore and horror but what it does do it substitute those factors for something that is more disturbing and mildly uncomfortable. It’s a game that does it well and has inspired other games since then.
This is one game that came out of nowhere and scared the crap out of many gamers. With it’s weird dreamlike states and illusions caused by Alma, the little girl that is creepy soley by existing. The first person view, watching things happening when there’s no one else in view, makes the hairs on the back of your stand up and has you looking over your shoulder. A true classic even today.
8. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
This is Nintendo Gamecube game has a special place in my heart. With it’s unique time travelling levels and the use of the cleverly implement Sanity Meter, you can never tell if what you’re looking at is real or just in your head. Once the Sanity Meter kicks in, you can expect things to happen like the volume on your TV adjust itself, the Gamecube itself crashing or even in-game power ups not working like they’re supposed to. But…are these things really happening or is it all in your head?
7. Until Dawn
One of the newer titles in this list landed on the PS4 in grand style with it’s incredible visuals, recognisable actors, stunning locales and brilliant storytelling. With the characters in the game all trying to survive with a maniac on the loose, the cabin and dark, snow filled environment make the perfect setting for many jumps and yelps. You can’t help but develop to have feelings for your favourite characters while you learn to detest others. And the sharp design of the game sees the decisions you make while talking to your in-between levels psychiatrist come back to haunt you later in the game. Is any decision you make in the game truly the right one?
6. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly
No list would be complete without a mention of the Fatal Frame series and Crimson Butterfly truly had us shook during the playthrough. Using an ancient camera as your only defence seems like a foolish weapon but when you weigh it up against the spooky spectres which can be beaten by it, you quickly learn that the camera is your best friend. With a storyline involving two sisters, guilt and loss, it sets the scene for one of the most disturbing entries in the series. If you get the chance, play the Wii U entry, Fatal Frame: Maiden Of Black Water, another worthy entry.
Outlast ticks all the boxes for a truly scary experience. Asylum, check. Dark environments, check. Enemies bigger than life, check. Little to no weapons, check. Employing a first person perspective, this is one game that throws you right into the action and early on you see that you’re up against insurmountable odds. With scary enemies (mouths sewn shut) and terrifying men (wearing someone’s skin), this is one game that will stay with you after the credits roll.
4. Resident Evil 4
Another game that hit the Nintendo Gamecube and ripped the survival horror franchise right open. With main protagonist, Leon Kennedy sent into a wooded area with weird religious characters, all the while fighting his way through with limited ammo while trying to find the daughter of the USA, it’s a scarily brilliant game. And even after you find her, the scares don’t stop there as you basically have to head to the extraction zone while also trying to protect her, Ashley. She’s not the brightest girl which makes for some extremely tense moments in the game. The re-release on the Wii and again the PS4 opened up the experience to a new audience and if you haven’t played it yet, we strongly urge you to. This is a true classic, ageless game.
3. Resident Evil 1
With it’s claustrophobic mansion setting, extremely limited save opportunities and ammo, fighting off zombies, zombie dogs and other assorted nasties was never more scary or creepy when this game hit up the PS1. It introduced gamers around the world to the concept of Survival Horror and started a series that has had more ups than downs. The STARS team need your help to rescue their missing members, can you find them before you get eaten alive?
This demo which was to be a new Silent Hill new game has been shelved but this demo from Hideo Kojima and film maker, Guillermo Del Toro, brought a truly unique experience to Playstation. How they manage to effectively take one hallway, place it on repeat and offer a new experience each time you walk through it is truly astonishing and quite a unique experience. It isn’t what you see that makes it scary but rather what you don’t see and what keeps you guessing around each corner. It has jumps, thrills, puzzles and more. Truly a shame that it’s only a teaser.
1. Silent Hill 2
Another series that needs to be mentioned is Silent Hill and in particular Silent Hill 2. Set in a town covered in a perpetual mist with a radio that begins to spew out static any time an enemy is near will play on your nerves. Because you can’t see them until they’re usually on top of you, the static noise will often have you walking in the opposite direction, too scared to confront what awaits you in the dark. You control James Sunderland who receives a note from his dead wife and of course has to investigate. However at every turn, he has to battle his inner demons as he finds himself swimming in a pool of regret, guilt and fears. A truly atmospheric experience.
What do you say? Do you agree, disagree, have your own list? We’d love to hear about them, let us know!