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

10. Resident Evil 2

resident evil 2

While the first Resident Evil game invented the formula, it is difficult to take seriously thanks to the poor voice acting; you’ll end up laughing during any serious moments. Resident Evil 2 may not have great voice acting, but you won’t burst out laughing. It also contains a superior set up and pulls better scares. The first game was memorable for a number of scenes—with dogs bursting through the windows, but the scene happens in a bright hallway during normal gameplay. Resident Evil 2 ups the ante by pulling the same stunt in a room you can barely see while your fussing with the inventory. It was the single greatest jump scare in gaming and stays with you long afterwards. That scene is simply emblematic of how the game pulls off its scares better than the original.

 

9. 7th Guest

7th guest

In the early 90s, full motion video with live actors were all the rage in video games. 7th Guest was a game where its implementation wasn’t campy, but rather unsettling and done so on purpose. You play an amnesiac (surprise, surprise!) who has to figure out what happened to the other six guests invited to an insane toy maker’s mansion. 

Everything is unnerving, even the puzzles and how they are introduced. The atmosphere is crushing and there is so much strangeness going on that you can’t help but be frightened by what you see. 

 

8. Clock Tower

clock tower

Clock Tower is a point and click game set in Norway. Jennifer Simpson, a young girl, finds herself adopted by a wealthy recluse named Mr. Barrows, who lives in a mansion called “Clock Tower.” Shit hits the fan as the other adopted girls disappear in the night. Playing the role of Jennifer, the player has no choice but to figure out what happened to them. 

Things are bad enough with the unhinged Mary Barrows who brought the children to the mansion, but the introduction to Bobby, also known as “Scissorman” is where the game truly comes into its own. Gardening sheers were never so frightening. The game becomes a contest of lethal hedge trimmers against your panic and ability to run as fast as the point and click interface will allow. Bobby hunts you relentlessly and, like every scary antagonist, he can come from anywhere—including bursting through the walls, out of the floorboards and even drop from the ceiling. 

The game contains 9 different endings, including a secret one.

 

7. Alone in the Dark

alone in the dark

I refer of course to the original Alone in the Dark, not the reboot or Uwe Boll movie based on the series. The first Alone in the Dark is the game that more or less invented the survival horror genre, with its introduction of the concept of resource scarcity. Inspired by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, the player takes on the role of Edward Carnby, a private investigator, as he sets off to explore a haunted house where an artist committed suicide. 

Despite what we know of the basic premise, there’s much more going on than the game lets on at the beginning. It starts off with the scares, with no building up and no big introduction to the threats. Within seconds of the game starting, monsters will swarm in and kill you. You have to know things practically ahead of time to prevent unknowable horrors and live through the adventure.

 

6. Call of Cthulu: Dark Corners of the Earth

call of cthulu

Based off of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow over Innsmouth” is the first person action, survival horror game set in the town of Innsmouth. You play as Jack Walters, a man who has just been released from a mental institution, but is still suffering from amnesia and schizophrenia. Needless to say, you can’t even trust yourself. 

You are given no HUD or indicators as to your character’s health, and so you have to listen to his breathing and his heartbeat. A severe lack of weapons and ammo is a big problem too where everyone is out to kill you. As with Lovecraft’s novels, witnessing the more upsetting and otherworldly aspects of the environment will cause your to go insane. 


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