Top 25 Best Horror Games of All Time

Best Horror games: A good horror story may keep most of us awake at night, but a scary video game will ensure that we won't sleep for weeks. Gameranx stepped into the wayback machine to create this tidy list of the top 25 horror games of all time.

by on 1st Oct, 2013

15. Condemned: Criminal Origins

condemned criminal origins

Condemned is a detective story that was overlooked when it first came out early in the 360’s lifespan. With both horror and brawler mechanics, it was the first true “next-gen” horror title. 

You play Ethan Thomas, an agent tasked with investigating the lowest rung of society while searching for a serial killer, with the rest of the world going mad around you. Hobos and junkies jump out from the shadows to bludgeon you with anything they can get their hands on, and you have to do the same. 

The atmosphere is what puts it over the top, as Ethan tracks down the horror the city streets. While the game feels rather “out there”, the crime investigations and crunch of the bones keeps it close enough to reality to be truly unsettling.

 

14. F.E.A.R.

fear

Alma. That’s all that really needs to be said about this game. Little girls are scary, especially psychic little girls with long dark hair covering their faces who appear in the middle of empty corridors. As for the game itself, the shooting is great and the AI smart, but it’s the nightmare moments that really shine. The world goes topsy-turvy and your characters sees things that aren’t there out of the corner of his vision. 

F.E.A.R. provides one thing that other gun filled, fast paced action, super solider horror games don’t, in that the character you are playing is constantly unnerved. The slight sway of his gun and the shallowness of his breathing during and after these nightmare events make you believe they are happening and the character is vulnerable to having his mind fucked.

 

13. Haunting Ground

haunting ground

Fiona wakes up in a cage after a car accident and little memory of what happened before she woke up (this seems to be a recurring theme with horror games). Fiona finds an ally in the form of the dog Hewie, but he will only follow your commands if you treat him well and keep up his interest. Together, you have to solve puzzles, avoid your pursuers and survive the night. 

It’s easier said than done, as the game takes survival horror to a new level. While other games will give you resource scarcity, Haunting Ground doesn’t give you any resources whatsoever. You have no choice but to run and hide. There are enemies that will relentlessly hunt you down, giving you a very strong signal that you’re the final course on their menu.

 

12. Silent Hill 4: The Room

silent hill 4 the room

Silent Hill 4 is an odd entry for the Silent Hill series, because it’s the only one that doesn’t take you to the titular town. Instead, you are locked in your room in your apartment building and have to find your way out. The room acts as your hub and your safe haven through the game, as you travel through various supernatural locations filled with the ghosts, monsters and general mind-fuckery. The Silent Hill series in general is well known for these things. 

Halfway through, the game upsets all your expectations and learned behavior. It teaches you the rules of the world and then it betrays you; ghosts invade your safe haven launching you into a new direction of horror. Suddenly, nowhere is safe.

 

11. Penumbra series

penumbra

The series is full of an atmosphere of horror, and the setting is as much a character as the unfortunate man whom you play. You will spend half the time being terrified of nothing and the music, sound and environments will have you jumping at empty dark corners, flickering lights and your own paranoid imagination. 

There is danger, but the game knows it doesn’t have to do much or anything at all to keep you on your toes. It knows you’ll scare yourself stupid so long as it hangs its Sword of Damocles over your head.


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