But what are the scariest video games of all time? This is, of course, largely subjective, but we’ve compiled a list of our favorites here. Do you agree? Let us know in the comment section below.
10. Condemned: Criminal Origins
Condemned is a first-person horror game that was released in 2005 by developer Monolith Productions. When it was first released, it received mixed to good reviews but has since garnered a cult following that cements its place as one of the most terrifying titles in the history of gaming.
In terms of pure horror, there are few that can rival the unnerving atmosphere that Condemned creates. Walking around with weapons at the ready seems to do little to ease the tension within the fictional city of Metro.
The developers have cited Seven and Silence of the Lambs as influences on the game, and it’s easy to see why – this game will leave you equally as disturbed. The protagonist, Ethan Thomas, is tasked with hunting down serial killers, but numerous twists throughout the story will leave you questioning humanity by the end of the game.
A sequel – Condemned 2: Bloodshot – is equally as terrifying, for those who enjoy the pant-moistening terror of the first. Just watch out for the bear…
Outlast is one of the more modern horror games in this list, having been released in 2013 by developer Red Barrels. The game sparked a renaissance of the first-person survival horror movement that we’re still in the midst of today.
Outlast has all of the atmospheric prowess of Condemned, with a level of tension that creates jump scares on a minute to minute basis. The only difference, however, is that Outlast doesn’t permit weapons.
That’s right, this horror game becomes all the more frightening by ensuring that the only way to avoid the ensuing terror is to run and hide. Once you see the Walrider and the hulking Chris Walker, you’ll quickly feel the desperation to escape the psychiatric hospital where you find yourself. Just try not to run out of camcorder batteries.
Despite its brevity, many think that Outlast is the scariest game ever made. Undoubtedly, it offers a truly spine-tingling experience, with an impressive sequel and DLC to boot.
8. Dead Space 2
The first Dead Space game got a lot of love from a lot of people – and for good reason, too. But Dead Space 2 takes everything good about the original and makes it improves it tenfold.
This 2011 third-person survival horror game is truly a work of art within the horror genre. Developed by Visceral Games, Dead Space 2 follows Isaac Clarke’s fight against an outbreak of Necromorphs on a civilian space station known as The Sprawl.
Equipped with a RIG suit, a stasis module, and numerous firearms, players must navigate the dark chasms of the spaceship as they attempt to root out the problem.
Be prepared for freakish creatures and intense jump scares.
7. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Resident Evil 7 was a return to form for a horror series that seemed to become more action-based in the titles that preceded it in the series. The Capcom series returned to its survival horror roots in a way that revived its fanbase and captivated a new audience.
Taking on the role of Ethan Winters, players must search for the protagonist’s missing wife, Mia. The game takes you to an old plantation which is home to the rather strange Baker family.
Navigating through the dark and musty house is not a pleasant experience, as you’ll soon find out when you bump into Jack. A number of different weapons – including a trusty shotgun and a rather handy flamethrower – make the experience ever-so-slightly more bearable.
If you’re a real thrill seeker, try playing the game in VR mode.
6. Silent Hill 2
The Silent Hill titles will always be involved in a discussion about the scariest game of all time, but some are more terrifying than others. For us, Silent Hill 2, is one of the standout horror games of the series and is pioneering in the survival horror genre.
Released in 2001, the game follows James Sunderland in the fictional town of Silent Hill. By following hints and clues, you must find Sunderland’s missing wife.
This game relies on fight or flight instincts and can leave you frozen in terror at certain points of the game. The game is not for the fainthearted, with a storyline that covers rape, suicide, depression, and a whole load of hard-hitting topics.
If you like your horror games to have an intensely engaging story, Silent Hill 2 could be the game of choice for you.
P.T. (or playable teaser), was released in 2014 as a teaser for the Hideo Kojima led Silent Hills game. Unfortunately, Silent Hills was eventually cancelled, but this may have been a blessing in disguise.
P.T. was so gruesomely terrifying that a whole game in a similar fashion could have tipped us over the edge.
It differs from other Silent Hill games in the sense that it takes on a first-person perspective. Looking through the lens of an unknown protagonist, players are forced to explore a freakishly haunted house.
After solving puzzles, you can progress to the next stage (or loop) of the game, with each one becoming increasingly disturbing.
4. Silent Hill 4: The Room
Another Silent Hill title to make it into this list is the fourth entry of the series. For us, this game is the creepiest horror game of the lot.
Henry Townshend, the protagonist, lives in the fictional town of Ashfield. The aim of the game is to escape from his apartment in the South Ashfield Apartments building.
Things aren’t so simple, though, all kinds of monsters, mysteries, and horrific unknowns await you within the dingy, claustrophobic confines of the apartment complex.
The story is compelling, the atmosphere is chilling, and the gameplay is tense. Silent Hill 4 is truly one of the great horror games.
3. Fatal Frame
Fatal Frame is a masterclass in creepy, atmospheric gaming. Despite being released all the way back in 2001, it still stands up well in today’s market.
Exploring the abandoned mansion as Miku Hinasaki (and her brother, Mafuyu, for the opening scene), players must explore the dimly lit surroundings armed only with a flashlight and a camera.
The antique camera (Camera Obscura) equipped by the protagonist is essential for dealing with hostile spirits and entities dotted around the mansion.
Fans of this game will also enjoy the equally impressive second and third instalments of the Fatal Frame series.
2. Alien: Isolation
Released in 2014, Alien: Isolation is one of the most terrifying horror games to play on any console. It received numerous awards and was praised for its ability to create tension and for successfully capturing the spirit of the Alien film series.
The game, developed by Creative Assembly, has impeccable AI that creates a perpetual sense of fear and dread. The main Alien antagonist’s movement is so unpredictable that you will be on tenterhooks from the outset.
Use your motion tracker to outsmart enemies, access weapons to try and destroy them – just try not to make too much noise…
The level of fear isn’t just based on our experience with the game, read another testament as to why Alien: Isolation is so scary.
1. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Let’s face it. Anyone who has played Amnesia: The Dark Descent won’t forget it in a hurry. This game provides a haunting experience that few others have managed and is, for us, the scariest video game ever made.
Frictional Games’ 2010 game takes you on a psychologically crippling journey and creates a level of atmospheric tension that will send shudders down every bone in your body.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent is more than just jump scares – it has a compelling story, chilling audio, and a unique gameplay style that sets the standard in the survival horror game genre.
For those who are brave enough to finish the game, the sense of satisfaction is tangible after a gruelling ride throughout the game.
For many, The Amnesia Collection is the scariest game ever, and it’s easy to see why. If you are a fan of the horror genre, this is simply a must.