Halloween is upon us! I thought it would be a neat idea to list my favorite horror games of all time. I tried my best to make this list as diverse as I possibly could. Meaning this isn’t a top 10 best Resident Evil game list :).
Resident Evil 5
I love Resident Evil 5. Many people are divided when it comes to this game. You’ll find people that love this game and people that hate it. The Resident Evil fans are an interesting bunch. You’ve got the fans that think the glory days were before Resident Evil 4 released and you have fans that have accepted the way the series has evolved moving forward. So why is my personal favorite Resident Evil game an honorable mention and not on the list? Because when I think of horror games Resident Evil 5 does not come to my mind at all. I consider this an action game with great co op and it’s one of the best co op games ever made to me. That doesn’t mean I think it’s one of the best horror games ever made because if I have to be fair… it isn’t.
Resident Evil 0
This game marked the first time that we controlled two characters in a Resident Evil game at the same time. I enjoyed playing as Rebecca Chambers and Billy Coen. I really enjoyed the train and mansion sections and managing both characters inventories. This is another of my all time favorite Resident Evil games, but it’s not the one that I decided to include on my list.
Silent Hill 2
Many people consider Silent Hill 2 to be the best horror game ever made. I’m not one of them. The truth is I remember very little about this game, but I do remember enjoying it. James Sunderland is one of my favorite horror protagonist and I don’t there will ever be another game as creepy as Silent Hill, but this game has not aged well at all. The magic it once held over me is gone, but I thought it was at least worth an honorable mention.
Siren: Blood Curse
Siren: Blood Curse is a very interesting game. Sneaking around plays a big part in this game. You have to quietly make your way around enemies while looking for temporary weapons to defend yourself with. You can use almost anything in this game to defend yourself with and it’s a mechanic that I wish games like Outlast and Amnesia would have had because any real person in those situations would pick up the first thing they perceive as a weapon and start defending themselves. I got sidetracked though. That’s not what I’m here to write about today. Siren: Blood Curse is a creepy, slow paced game that rewards patience and has some of the best ambient sounds I’ve ever heard in a horror game.
Dying Light was a very unique experience for me. After I had all but given up on the zombie genre of video games this game released and I was sucked right back into it. Take Mirror’s Edge and mix it with Dead Island and you’ll get Dying Light. This game is fantastic and I had to at least include it as an honorable mention. Roaming around at night is where this game truly shines. It’s intense because there’s something out there that’ll hunt you if you make too much noise. This game can be terrifying at times and running from a zombie that can match me in speed and agility was an experience I don’t think I’ll ever forget. The shitty story and protagonist is what made me place this game as an honorable mention.
10. The Evil Within
I didn’t expect Shinji Mikami to strike gold twice. I thought he was done after Resident Evil, but I was wrong. I fell in love with The Evil Within and it’s grotesque monsters. I still remember the first time I ran into this thing –
This game was filled with unforgettable moments for me and I was always wondering what was around the next corner and if I had enough ammo to kill it. There’s an entire stage with nothing but invisible enemies. I almost noped out right there. This is survival horror at its finest and I feel really bad that I never got around to playing the sequel to this creepy ass game.
9. Haunting Ground
One of the best games Capcom ever made that isn’t titled Resident Evil is Haunting Ground. This game sold very poorly so it never got a sequel,but damn it was good. You play as Fiona Belli. At the beginning of the game Fiona’s parents are killed in a car accident and she wakes up trapped in a cage in a creepy ass castle. To make things worse it’s filled with unkillable enemies that all want the poor girl dead. Add in her faithful dog companion and you’ve got yourself one of the most underrated games of all time. Haunting Ground is fantastic and I would kill for a remaster or sequel to this game.
8. Condemned: Criminal Origins
I don’t think Condemned gets enough love. It was ahead of its time and, at the time, had amazing graphics, lighting and atmosphere. Nothing was creepier than walking down a hallway and not knowing what would jump out at you next. It’s too bad that the sequel was more grounded in reality and pretty much killed the series by having too much action and too little scares. The first game though is one of a kind and is one of the most tension filled game experiences I’ve ever had. And it still holds up pretty well today. Give it a shot if you haven’t already.
7. Little Nightmares
Little Nightmares is probably the shortest game on this list. It can be completed in under 3 hours, but man those 3 hours are pure horror bliss. This is another horror game with no combat whatsoever, but it makes sense in this game since you’re playing as a child. You can do much besides run and hide and solve puzzles. The further I made it in this game the creepier it became and the ending of this game was fantastic. It ended on a strong note and I wanted more after I finished it. I never got around to any of the DLC, but one day I might. Little Nightmares is something special and I highly recommend it if you’ve never played it.
6. Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly
Do you want to be scared shitless? Then play this game. Fatal Frame was developed by Koei Tecmo (known as Tecmo back then) and is one of the most unique and horrifying games I’ve ever played in my life. The Camera Obscura is your only “weapon” against the terrifying spirits that roam the dwelling that you find yourself in. Taking their picture can stun or hurt the various different ghost which will allow you to make a speedy escape or you can be like me and completely freak the F out whenever a ghost popped up unexpectedly and die :).
Bioshock is a masterpiece. It has a great story, gameplay, and atmosphere. You’re trapped underwater, surrounded by lunatics, and inject yourself with unknown substances to get special abilities. The environments are some of the best in all of gaming. Dimly lit rooms hiding from Big Daddies (until you have no choice but to kill them) and rescuing, or not, the little sisters. The little sisters are fucking creepy as hell and you know when you see one that the terrifying Big Daddy isn’t far behind. Mess with one of them and the Big Daddy will attempt to murder you. Bioshock is just a good ole time and is a true masterpiece.
4. Dead Space Series
You don’t know what tension is until you’ve played Dead Space! These games are fantastic! In normal survival horror games a few shots or a well aimed headshot will kill most enemies. Not in this game! You have to blast off every limb of these grotesque monsters in order to kill them. Shit gets creepy fast in these games with some of the most intense, grotesque, and down right crazy moments in all of horror game history. I’m looking at you eye poke scene from Dead Space 2!
3. Resident Evil
The game that started the term survival horror is number 3 on my list. 1996 was a special year in gaming. Not only did we get Super Mario 64 we also got the very first Resident Evil game and that changed how everyone looked at horror games from that day on. The Resident Evil on this list isn’t the one that released in 1996. I’m talking about the remaster that released on the Gamecube and just about every console after that. The remake is absolutely fantastic and is scared me shitless when I was a kid and well into my adult life. Even though I’ve played this game many times I still nope out on a few moments in this game. When I’m walking down a hallway and all I hear is zombie groaning from somewhere up ahead I freeze. I can’t help it and this game has aged incredibly well and it’s 16 years old.
2. Alan Wake
There will never be another game like Alan Wake. It doesn’t have zombies or an antagonist that can dodge bullets and Kung Fu you to death. It’s a game about a writer trying to survive his own creation that he doesn’t remember writing while he searches for his wife on an island filled with dark beings that want to kill him. His best weapon is his flashlight that he uses to combat the growing darkness around him. Alan Wake is a special game that sold poorly when it released and became a cult classic over the years. We might never get a sequel to this masterpiece and that’s okay. I don’t think this game can be topped and I’ll be perfectly fine with a remaster.
1. F.E.A.R 1 & 2
The F.E.A.R games have a lot going for them. They’re incredibly fun to play, have the best controls in a FPS to this day, and they’re the scariest games I’ve ever played. Alma is a terrifying presence that hunts you throughout the entire trilogy. I can be walking down a hallway and all of a sudden the walls will turn red and when I turn around I’ll see Alma slowly making her way towards me. Don’t get me started on that elementary school in the second game. That stage had my heart racing, palms sweaty, and I jumped at literally everything that happened because I didn’t know when Alma would appear. That poor bastard at the end of that game… F.E.A.R 1 & 2, not 3, are masterpieces and I can’t recommend them enough. Alma is one creepy gal and I enjoyed the stories that these games told and actually had a lot of fun playing them from beginning to end multiple times. F.E.A.R. is my favorite horror game of all time.
What are your favorite horror games of all time?