Tell Us Dammit: Scariest Video Games Ever

I was talking about P.T. with a friend recently. Here's what I told him. I said that I believed P.T. was one of the scariest things ever made. Not just video games. Things.

Like it's up there with the scariest books, movies, TV shows, whatever.

Is it the scariest video game ever made? I'd argue that it might be. I also suspect it created a high barometer of quality that Silent Hills probably wouldn't have been able to maintain.

But that's another story for another day. What I want to talk about is this: what do you think is the scariest video game ever made?


    Hmmm, System Shock 2 probably for me. Also was very happy when I finished Alien Isolation.

      Part of me wants to agree with you on SS2. It had its moments, but not in the traditional horror/scare sense. For me, the only game I recall actually having to turn off due to being too freaked out to play more, was the original Alone in the Dark. Which, by todays standards seems pretty tame, but back then.. whoa!

        Yeah I was going to mention Alone in the Dark. Terrified me as a kid, though now days it's now texture polygon art is kinda funny.

        SS2 and funnily, early Minecraft (before armour/ refilling health) are both great examples of “less scripted” horror.

        Both games have spawning enemies that tend to wander in an unpredictable manner. They also both have very audible enemies that force you to listen for danger as much you do to look for it. It means that you almost always have to be on your toes even in a room that you’ve cleared.

        From the sound of things Alien is the another game that follows a similar mould.

        I find games where the enemies wander far scarier than the “jump scare” format of RE, Dead Space ect…. In those games I tend to do a lap of each room to trigger all the jump scares and then relax a bit.

        lol! I had no trouble playing the original AITD because the graphics were too disconnected from realism. Nowadays, I can't even watch my son play some of the new ones!

        Last edited 14/08/15 6:27 pm

      I agree, Alien Isolation, in VR was bloody terrifying.

      I find me old mate the Alien has been around so long he no longer scares me. He's as familiar as Spider-Man or Mickey Mouse.

      SS2 was the first game came to mind for me, too. Running low on scarce resources, every engagement running at a loss, hearing enemies LONG before you could see them or know exactly where they were... Plus those damn recordings.

        I remember hiding in the corner for five minutes once just listening to ambient shuffling. So creepy.

    pathways into darkness.
    scared the hell out of 7-year-old me.

    more recently. amnesia : the dark decent.

    Last edited 13/08/15 11:21 am

    Probably a Bad Company 2 tournament I played in. Our team knocked out of first round of the finals to that years 2nd place. I remember waiting to respawn.

    Project Zero (Fatal Frame) on original xbox... Used to scare the shit out of me.

      Yep.... plus one for that. I think the best horror games really do audio incredibly well and the creators know exactly what notes to hit to make your skin crawl.

    For me it's the original STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl. Traditional scares don't really do much for me and jump scares are just a cheap manipulative trick. STALKER had a really creepy atmosphere at all times, and amazing ambient sounds. Creeping through abandoned concrete bunkers and turning the corner to find a Controller at the other end of the corridor, that was scary.

      I recall that one time you first encounter a blood sucker in a dark bunker... "WTF Are those glowing lights bobbing up and down?"

      Any time the lighting was dark in that game, whether it was night or inside a building. STALKER had a terrifyingly oppressive atmosphere at the best of times, but when it got dark, it got real dark.

    Actually for me its H1Z1 and when the zombies group up (talking ALOT) they will chase you forever and that has scared me a bit. I play on the dropbear server and was at the pleasant valley police station found some guns and some guy shot me now the gun sound was that loud it scared the crap outta me lol.

    Last edited 13/08/15 11:34 am

    In recent years Alien Isolation and P.T. have really spooked me. I was so relieved to finish Isolation because I was so on edge pretty much the entire time playing it.

    Amnesia is really scary too.

    I remember being really freaked the eff out by yahtzee croshaw's chzo mythos games. Gave me a couple of nightmares

    Depends on the age as well. As a 10 y.o. kid, RE1 on PS1 was mind- and soul-numbingly scary... fast forward 10 years or so, not so much. Brings back nostalgia though, that was my first ever horror game.

    Now, i'd say P.T. is the scariest, followed by DreadOut (that Indonesian horror game, did they ever release the second episode???)

      RE1 for me. Those windows smashing as the dog came in which was a perfect jump scare for the time.

      Also the fixed camera angles made life hell as you could hear the untreated PDS (Partially Deceased Syndrome) sufferers in the room staggering toward you.

        That is exactly the point in the game I threw away the game controller, turn off the PS1 and run away saying nope...nopenopenopenope...

    The Suffering creeped me right the hell out. Something about prisons/hospitals/asylums mixed with abandonment makes me super uneasy.

      The first one was incredible. Blew me away when I played it way back when. Really full on.

      My claim to fame is I created a handwriting font that they used in The Suffering: Ties that bind.

    Wax Works. 10 floppy disks of horror. The game was pretty scary too for its time (1992).

    As a kid 7th Guest freaked me out. The intro anyway.

    As an adult, I'd say Among the Sleep. The demo for that was the only game or movie I've turned off because nope. Nope nope nope nope nope.

    Condemned (2?). Those goddamned mannequins. Anyone who's played it will know what I mean.

      Condemned: Criminal Origins. That whole game is creepy as hell, I think I was more creeped out when you first enter the mall and that mannequin moves his head to look at you....

        I just remember a room off a long hallway that you walk into, and has mannequins in it. You think nothing of it, move into the room to check a cupboard or something and turn your back on the mannequins. Except when you turn around, they've all moved closer and are surrounding you. Each time you break line of sight and look back, they've moved again. They never did anything beyond that that I could tell, but holy Jesus I got out of that room and legged it so damn fast.

        Last edited 13/08/15 3:07 pm

    The original FEAR was pretty creepy for me when I first played it, cant remember how old I was but I had to turn it off a few times and only played it when there were other people in the house. I'm not sure how much it would freak me out now though (desensitized and all that). Before that I remember having a mate over on school holidays to play resident evil (I was really young) and we both freaked out when my sisters cat started scratching at the glass door to come inside (to our very young selves it totally sounded like zombies trying to get inside), we still laugh about it to this day.

    But recently Amnesia and PT probably gave me the best scares.

      fear scared the crap out of me at times too. Really enjoyed that game.

      FEAR had some creepy moments. Its up there for one of my Favourites that I replay every year or 2. I think they mixed the Atmosphere with jump scares well. Still remember the one point your walking around and nothing really is happening. Theres a ladder you go down and just as you turn around she was standing behind you. ERRHH

        Yeah, might have to go back and replay it I think. It was a long while ago (seems like it anyway). cant really remember the game that well but I remember the atmosphere felt really dense and the jump scares were well done.

        I think I know what I'm doing tonight !!

        thanks for the nostalgic nudge mate

    In the 90s, Alien vs Predator on the Jaguar, we played it after hours in the office in the Presentation room on a 3metre wide screen and sat so close it took up all our vision. The building was abandoned except for us. The damn tension in that game with no music, just the hum of the air conditioning... We were creeping around a level, and then heard something. We very, v-e-r-y carefully edged around the corner, motion detector echoing across the darkened room, then an effing life size alien just starts careening towards us. We panicked, running backwards shooting wildly and managed to get through a door and hide for a while, breathing heavily.
    We both looked at each other and said, "let's turn the lights on".

    Kojima and Del Toro could've really brought Silent Hill back to life, but hey, a better business model would be to make crappy mobile gambling games...WUT???

    I can't play scary games lol but i did give Slender about 5 minutes and that was enough.

    Also just remembered HalfLife2 Ravenholm got me good back when it first came out.

    Last edited 13/08/15 12:16 pm

    Clive Barkers - Undying. All of it, but especially the brother who was chained on meat hooks.

    In terms of moments, for some reason Vampire Masquerade the Ocean house hotel really unnerved me.

    Oh and Silent Hill 2 where you just hide in that closet with Pyramid Head doing his thing.

    Practically anything on Oculus Rift.

    Believe it or not, in the old days, Colonels Bequest spooked the hell out of me, and it wasn't even a horror game.

    Last edited 13/08/15 12:15 pm

      That scene in SH 2 is exactly what I was saying below, what is Pyramid Head doing? Is he raping that mannequin, is he killing it? Or maybe they're just wrestling or mucking about, who knows what monsters get up to when noones looking.

      The ambiguity is far more scary than a straight up jump scare.

        Exactly... you don't need a narrative for that scene. Your mind completes the terror for you.

      The haunted hotel terrified me. Usually I like to slowly wander around, exploring and making sure I don't miss anything. In that area I flew through faster than I thought possible, all I could think about was "get me the hell out of here". I've been wanting to re-play the game for a while now but I think I'll actually have to get my partner to play through that section for me. I don't think I can take a second round :(.

        Yeh i still remember clearly going up the staircase and seeing a little toy car slowly rolling out of one of those rooms.

        Then in the basement, that woman runs past you along an adjacent corridor with her face in terror. Yep... i was done.

    The original Resident Evil on PS1. I never owned it - a friend got it for his birthday, and we played it at his party.

    We got up to the first zombie. You approach it from behind as it's chowing down on a corpse, there's a cutscene where it turns to look at you. We all screamed like little girls, and that was the end of that.

    Silent Hill 1,2& 3

      I don't find monsters particularly scary, but when you start hinting at things & my brain fills in the gaps. That shot scares me.

      I also get my scare in from reality questioning stuff, so the way the other world in the first SH seems to have a pattern & then they throw it out the window.
      Then other people don't see what you see? That's scary as shit, maybe I'd been walking about shooting innocents or something.

      Also, the pulsating, oozing flesh walls.

    At the time Resident Evil did it for me, although that was coupled with the incredibly shithouse controls that makes every undead encounter 100 times more tense than it should have been. FEAR's probably the closest I've come to being scared since, but the scare moments were tamed by long periods of shooting in between so it wasn't too bad

      I'm actually really good at the resi style tank controls. It's just something you learn.

    Maybe not the scariest game ever made but nearly having a real life heart attack playing Doom 3 puts it up right there for me. Still causes me to hit alt-f4 early on in many a horror game I have attempted to play since *rocks back and forth shivering at the memories*

    Last edited 13/08/15 12:30 pm

    P.T. has got to be up there - it's everything I look for in a horror property, regardless of medium.

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