The Top Ten Scariest Games of All Time

By James Hawkins in Lists!
Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 10:41 am

Eternal Darkness (570 x 428).jpg
Don't worry if your head just falls off...

5. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (2002)
Nintendo GameCube
The fastest way to a horror-lover's heart is through the brain. When Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem was released in 2002, it was met with universal acclaim and numerous accolades. For horror titles to reach this amount of success, they have to be able to blend the horror with great plot, intricate gameplay and innovative mechanics. Eternal Darkness was able to fulfill these requirements while still reaching out to the hardcore horror fan. You control Alexandra Riovas, who is investigating the mysterious death (likely murder) of her grandfather. During the course of the game, you are able to embody a number of different characters, spanning thousands of years of history. The mystery unfolds while you begin to experience the insanity that has rooted itself in the minds of the other characters that you come across in your search. And the result is not only shock, it is extremely creepy. Don't be alarmed if your head falls off in the middle of a temple. It's probably only temporary.
Scariest Aspect: Is what you see real? Numerous times you will encounter a corpse (often presented in a fast cutscene) who does not appear to be real, or may exist in another timeframe. If you see a bathtub, don't look inside.

Fatal Frame II (570 x 428).jpg
Who needs guns?

4. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly (2003)
Xbox, PlayStation 2
Japanese horror has fascinated American audiences for years, and the Fatal Frame series has been able to cash in on that craze at its inception. The second entry in the series is largely considered the scariest. Set in a Japanese village (I told you!) by a forest, two sisters follow a butterfly into the dense trees. There they discover a village where the dead do not rest, a place where the buildings are shrouded in fog. You play as Mio for the majority of the game, only occasionally switching to older-sis Mayu, as you encounter the many lost souls of the village. It sounds innocent and mildly scary, I know, but the real challenge is when you find out what your tool of ghost-destruction is -- a camera. No guns, no outrageous vacuum cleaner, just a camera. The kicker is... the closer the ghosts come to you, the more successful your shot will be (remember that the only way to eradicate them is through the lens of the camera). And these ghosts aren't friendly. Regarded by many as the scariest game of all time, Fatal Frame II is a fantastic mix of Japanese ghost story horror and original, strangely non-violent gameplay.
Scariest Aspect: If you feel a hand on your shoulder, make sure who know who it belongs to. These ghosts have a habit of touching you there.

Dead Space (570 x 321).jpg
Hello, is there anybody out there?

3. Dead Space (2008)
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Dead Space is a scary as hell roller-coaster ride of a game. It blends brilliant scoring with the full capability of next generation hardware, a fantastic setting and frenetic action. From the first minute you become protagonist Isaac Clarke, you are shown the massive killing capabilities of the 'Necromorphs." These creatures, host parasites from a distant world, turn living, breathing humans into clawing, anthropomorphic murder machines. As a lowly engineer on a rescue ship (following a distress beacon, by the way... [are you not getting this? If there is a distress beacon, don't go to it!]), you come upon a crew that has been entirely decimated -- reduced to carnivorous aliens made of reanimated necrosis. They move through the air vents. Fast. Some will never die. They even took over the children. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is some scary shit.
Scariest Aspect: Occasionally, the room you are in will go into a quarantine mode. The doors will lock, the lights dim, and a screeching siren will wail. It is then that all of the messed up, raging aliens in a five hundred foot radius will flood to your area and set about making a quick dinner of your hind parts.

Silent Hill 2 (570 x 428).jpg
I love you.

2. Silent Hill 2 (2001)
Xbox, PlayStation 2, PC
There are only a few horror franchises that belong in the canon of great video game franchises, and Silent Hill is certainly one of them. Each time we venture back into this mysterious, trippy, horrifying locale, we find ourselves fascinated by the brilliant creation of the monsters and the creepy atmosphere. These things, coupled with a magnificent score and engaging plot, make the Silent Hill series a must-own for fans of the horror genre. And especially Silent Hill 2. None of the other entries in the series have been able to put together such a complete package. I guarantee when you play this game, you will see some stuff that you would never expect to see in a video game.
Scariest Aspects: There is a certain part of this game where you see Pyramid Head doing the dirty with a few corpses...that will never leave my mind. Ever.

RE1 (570 x 356).jpg
You can stand under my um-bar-ella, ella, ella, aye, aye, aye.

1. Resident Evil (1996/2002)
Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Wii, PC, PlayStation
No other franchise in horror game history has defined the genre like Resident Evil. With around a half-dozen widely acclaimed, highly innovative games to their name, Capcom has built something that will likely be around for a very long time. The first entry in the series, as well as the subsequent remake of it, is often praised as the scariest game of all time. This survival horror title defined the genre, and its influence rings very clearly even today in games like Dead Space and the newer entries in the Silent Hill series. But it isn't only reputation that puts this game above the rest. It is the anus-tightening tension, the breathtaking fear that comes from traversing the old halls of the game's abandoned mansion setting. As you battle those infected by the viruses produced by the Umbrella Corporation, the slow moving zombies become your worst nightmare and it seems, no matter how many bullets you have, there certainly aren't enough to keep you safe.
Scariest Aspect: I'll give you two. For the original, it was the infected dogs jumping through the windows in that long hallway. Scares the hell out of me every time. For the REmake, it was the modification of Lisa Trevor. She is one scary-ass chick.

Honorable Mention:
Resident Evil 4, Silent Hill 3, The Suffering, Clock Tower, Alien Vs. Predator

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