All Hallows Eve, or Halloween depending on where you celebrate, is fast approaching. That can only mean one thing. It’s time for a Top Five Scariest Games list! These five games did horror right and earned their spot on my list as my choices to make your Halloween as creepy as possible.
I’m sure this list could be highly debated and that’s the fun of it. So here we go!
5. Until Dawn
Recently released but met with lots of praise, Until Dawn has made a name for itself in the horror genre and with good reason. It plays out as a stereotypical 80s teen horror movie and that is to the games credit. It knew what it wanted, went after it and the payoff was huge. The game is addicting with its multiple choices, detailed environments and creepy story telling. After my first play through I was excited to get back in and make completely different choices and see, basically, a whole new game.
While the sound design is not great and can take you out of the experience in a few areas, the rest of the game helps to make up for it and delivers a fun experience with huge replay value and will get your palms sweating without even realizing it. Not really scary, but it has plenty of tense moments and works the horror angle very well.
This is a perfect game for Halloween night with a group of friends over. Turn off the lights and make choices by committee and you are in for a terrifying night.
4. Resident Evil Remake
Resident Evil is the grand daddy of horror games. Sure it was Alone in the Dark that inspired the game but Resident Evil did it better. Capcom hit it out of the park again with the Gamecube remake. Playing the original game now, it’s more comical than scary. The campy dialogue, the blocky characters and stiff animations just don’t have the same impact. Still fun in its own right, but if you want to experience the Spencer Mansion the way it was meant to be, the remake is your game.
The game holds up amazingly well. The HD remake looks good but the Gamecube version still looks good and is just as creepy. The lighting, the sound, it all comes together to present you with a feeling of uneasiness if you play it alone with the lights off. The atmosphere is only made creepier with the sound of rain and thunder outside as you make your way through the Spencer Mansion.
This game should appear on any and every “Top” list this year and for many years to come. It’s a damn scary game. The party piece for this game is in how simple it is. It consists of a room and a corridor that just keeps looping and that’s it.
It will change slightly based on your actions and it’s likely the player will quit well before they solve the creepy puzzles unless they use an online guide.
The subtle lighting changes, the sound design and phenomenal visuals crank the creepy factor up to 10 in this love letter to horror. It’s a shame it has been pulled from the PlayStation store. If you don’t have it downloaded already, you most likely will never get a chance to experience it unless you have a friend with it. And that is a shame. Luckily we here at the Daily Goat Show still have it on our PS4 and plan to play it this Halloween.
2. Dead Space
Dead Space puts you into an environment that immediately has the player on edge. Lost, trapped in what looks to be an abandoned space station but you quickly realize you are not alone, not even close. The ship is infested with monsters, crawling on the ceiling and through the vents. It has a bit of an “Aliens” vibe to it.
The monsters, the necromorphs, seem to stalk you and watch you are every turn. The game took itself seriously as a horror title and it paid dividends in how well the game created a scary, tension filled atmosphere. The sound is spot on and gives you feeling that the monsters are real, and in your room with you. Playing this game alone in the dark is challenge only a select, devilish few could meet.
I found that I enjoyed the segments without action a lot more than the shooty bits just for the sheer atmosphere and creepiness of the game.
1. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly
I had this at number 2, but after capturing footage for the video I was reminded why it should top the list, and so here it is at number 1. Released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox Fatal Frame II centered around a set of twins that were exploring a creepy old village. Armed only with a Camera. The premise is that the camera will damage and eventually capture the ghosts. It’s an odd sounding mechanic but it works incredibly well.
The game looks and feels very similar to Resident Evil. From the pre-rendered backgrounds all the way to the tank controls. The game plays to its strengths and creates a very uneasy feeling in the player. You never truly feel safe playing this game. Of all the games on the list, this is the one we don’t recommend playing alone with the lights off.
The reason this tops the list is you can tell a lot of love went into this game. The most enjoyable part for me was walking through environment and seeing a ghost float in the background. The game does not mention it or draw attention to it and if you miss it then you miss it. But when you see it…well you know.