Ok, so when I started on this, I was going to stick to the usual format of top ten. But come on, that’s just not scary enough, so top 13 it is
Over the years I have played A LOT of computer games; however I have not played every single game there is (sadly) so the ones compiled here are the scariest games in my opinion from personal experience. I have also only included only one game per franchise so that there was room to include more games.
I have put some brief information about each game, but I have refrained from putting in any spoilers, so if you do choose to go off and play any of these games, the story will not be ruined.
Let’s jump in!
13 – Murdered Soul Suspect
Developer – Airtight Games
Publisher – Square Enix
Year of Release – 2014
The story takes place in Salem, Massachusetts and follows Detective Ronan O’Connor. O’Connor has been murdered but needs to complete unfinished business that is binding him to this world before he can move on. The game developers have done an amazing job of creating an intense atmosphere throughout the whole game, leaving you feeling that something could happen at any time. As you progress through the story, you can interact with other ghosts and some of their tales are more than enough to make your skin crawl. Adding extra creepiness and some jump scares are demons that you have to contend with on your path to completing your work.
12 – Bioshock
Developers – 2k Boston, 2K Australia, 2K Marin, Digital Extremes and Feral Interactive
Publishers – 2K Games and Feral Interactive
Year of Release – 2007
Set in 1960, the game follows Jack who survives a plane crash near the Bathysphere Terminus which leads to the city of Rapture. Again the game developers here have got the atmosphere right throughout the game, to me this is an integral part of a “scary” game, if you don’t get the atmosphere right, you don’t get the scares right. The setting adds to this atmosphere, there can’t be much creepier places than (mainly) abandoned underwater cities? If this isn’t sounding scary enough for you, Little Sisters…little girls that are perfectly comfortable around murder and destruction…*shudder*
11 –Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Developer – Capcom
Publishers – Capcom, Eidos Interactive, Virgin Interactive and Nintendo Australia
Year of Release – 1999
This game is set both before and after the outbreak of the T-virus in Raccoon city and expands on this story. The main boss is called Nemesis (duh) and he drops in and out unexpectedly throughout the game. As you can see in the picture, he is not very attractive, unless you’re into the whole, mutated, zombie, decaying kind of look! For those of you who don’t know me, zombies terrify me….so yeah that’s a big part of why this is on the list.
10 – Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
Developer – Silicon Knights
Publisher – Nintendo
Year of Release – 2002
This game is set in Rhode Island and we follow the story of Alexandra Roivas as she investigates the death of her grandfather. This game uses a sanity meter and if your sanity becomes low the game starts playing with you and creating jump scares to increase the tension. One of the tricks it plays on you is genuinely genius and will confuse the heck out of you! Towards the end of the game, no matter how sane you are the game will start playing tricks on you and act like you’re losing your mind. The fact that this game makes you doubt yourself is a brilliant touch and adds to the scariness of the game.
9 – Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Developer – Frictional Games
Publishers – Frictional Games and THQ
Year of Release – 2010
You wake up as Daniel and you have no memory other than your name, you are exploring a castle in 1839 so that instantly sets the tone of creepiness. Though you have no memory, Daniel has written himself a note explaining that he needs to kill the Baron who is called Alexander. All throughout the game you are being hunted by something that you cannot see; it really makes you feel paranoid and jumpy even when nothing is happening. To add to this, you have no weapons and have no defence, all you can do is hide and run which is a genuinely terrifying thought. As the title suggests, the game is dark or low lit and it makes use of sound effects in the most perfect way, adding to your nervousness.
8 – Dead Space
Developer – EA Redwood Shores
Publisher – Electronic Arts
Year of Release – 2008
Playing as an engineer called Isaac Clarke on a mining space ship called USG Ishimura you fight against things called necromorphs. This game ups the scary ante as there is complete immersion. Instead of having to toggle in and out of menus, you are always looking over Isaac’s shoulder so you can see how much ammo you have left and his “health bar” is on his back. By doing this, there is no break from the horror that’s going on around you in the game as you feel like you’re actually there. This game is another one where the developers have made great use of sound effects, they use fear based audio depending on what you can see at the time.
7 – Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare
Developer – Darkworks, Spiral House and Pocket Studios
Publishers – Infogrames and CyberFront
Year of Release – 2001
Set on Halloween 2001 on Shadow Island near Massachusetts, You play as Edward Carnby who is trying to find the killer of his friend Charles Friske and three ancient tablets of great power. This game is all about the jump scare, I literally had to play in stages as I kept jumping. You get attacked in the dark a lot and there’s not much scarier than being attacked by something you can’t see and from somewhere you didn’t expect.
6 – The Forest
Developer – Endnight Games
Publisher – Endnight Games
Year of Release – This game is still only in alpha testing starting from 2014
Obviously as this is only still in alpha, there will be a lot more to this game than there is now when it is released, but genuinely what they have so far is amazing and terrifying to the point of tears at points. The basic story is that you are the lone survivor of a plane crash onto an island filled with a tribe of cannibalistic mutants. The game is dark and extremely atmospheric, there are jump scares and times where you just don’t want to turn around as you can hear that there’s something behind you that you know you don’t want to see.
5 – Alan Wake
Developer – Remedy Entertainment
Publishers – Microsoft Game Studios, Remedy Entertainment, Nordic Games GmbH and E Frontier
Year of Release – 2010
You play as a best selling author Alan Wake, on holiday with his wife who mysteriously vanished. The setting is a fictional town of Bright Falls, Washington. I’ll be honest, I thought this game was written by Stephen King, the dark threatening atmosphere and the vibe that something just isn’t right is done so well that surely only the king of horror could have written it. I was wrong, so well done to the writers of this game! The thing that makes this story scarier is that you’re just a normal guy, no military background or anything, this gives the thought that it could be you (this is true also in the Silent Hill series)
4 – The Evil Within
Developer – Tango Gameworks
Publisher – Bethesda Softworks
Year of Release – 2014
You play as Detective Sebastian Castellanos who is investigating a mass murder when all of his team are slaughtered. You are on a journey to unravel what is behind the evil force making all the horror happen and fighting against absolutely terrifying creatures called Haunted. This game is gory; I’m talking blood up to your waist gory. The whole thing is uncomfortable to watch even though you have to as you’re the one playing. It’s been another huge jump back into the horror genre for computer games. One last thing – woman spider thing…….nightmares!!!!
3 – Silent Hill
Developer – Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo
Publisher – Konami
Year of Release – 1999
I’d imagine most people know the story behind this game, if not; you play as Harry Mason searching for your adoptive daughter in the town of Silent Hill. As mentioned previously, playing as “everyday” characters adds to how scary the game is as you can picture yourself in the situation easier than if it was a super soldier. The developers of Silent Hill made innovative use of sound, which has been reused and improved upon by other games since, but at the time was one of a kind. The atmosphere is oppressive and the change between environments is disconcerting to say the least. As to jump scares, well if that’s your thing, then this is the game for you! All I’ll say is watch out for that locker ☺
2 – Slender: The Eight Pages
Developer – Parsec Productions
Publisher – Parsec Productions
Year of Release – 2012
So what could be more terrifying than being alone in the dark in the middle of the forest with nothing but a torch that runs out of battery? Well if there’s all that and you’re being hunted by the Slender Man! There’s no real rhyme or reason behind this game except that you need to collect 8 pages all while avoiding Slender man. The discordant piano sound when you see Slender man will make you literally jump out of your seat in sheer panic and terror. The whole game plays on your paranoia which grows and grows the longer you play. Though this game is extremely simple and there’s not much to it at all, it is definitely one of the most terrifying games out there.
1 – Condemned: Criminal Origins
Developer – Monolith Productions
Publishers – Sega and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Year of Release – 2005
Playing as Ethan Thomas a CSI for the FBI in the city of Metro, you have to search for the mysterious Serial Killer X who has framed you for murder. This game has so much atmosphere it oozes, the light is low and there are jump scares in all the right places. To add to the tension, the game play is melee focused with very little gunplay, meaning that you are up close with your psychotic enemies. What makes this number one for me is the sheer attention to detail that just makes this stand out more than any of the other games I have mentioned.
So that’s it! How did I do? Are there any here that are on your list? Are there other games that you think are even more terrifying? Let us know here on the blog or on Twitter with the #Hallowiggles and #IGGPPC making sure you @IGGPPCHQ or @NerdishMum