Which Games Scared You As A Kid?

Screenshot via YouTube

When I was a kid, I begged my parents for a Game Gear. When I eventually wore them down, they bought me the handheld, along with six games — but I only had the courage to play five of them.

I made my way through Sonic the Hedgehog, Ecco the Dolphin, Lemmings, Winter Olympics: Lillehammer 94 (my absolute favourite), and Tengen World Cup Soccer (my other favourite, and which I always got to play when I was benched in AYSO because I sucked at real soccer). But after that, there was only one game left: Predator 2.

Predator 2 scared the shit out of me. I distinctly remember struggling through the darkness, horrified by the game's sound effects and tense atmosphere. I think I made it through part of the first level before giving up in terror. I tried to play it a few more times, but I could never muster the courage. The thing is, this is Predator 2:

Not that scary.

Thinking on it now, it must have been the game's box art that really got to me, with its ominous Predator (a monster I'd never heard of) clutching a handful of viscera. I have no idea why my parents bought me the game, just that I couldn't have more games because I had ones I hadn't finished. I can only imagine all the games I could have played if I hadn't been such a wuss. (Young me would be devastated to learn how many Sonic games existed after that first one.)

What about you? What games scared you as a kid? Were they really as scary as you remember? Let us know in the comments.


    Resident Evil 2.
    Trying to work out the controls and dying to that first zombie.
    RIP sleeping for the next few night.

    The only one I can think of from when I was young wasn't so much a game, but the actual Game Over screen. I think it was from Thundercats on the C64 but obviously I'm so decrepit and old I can't remember - sure there was a scary ass picture of Mumm-ra accompanying it? Google didn't help either...

    Other than that, I'd say me and my brother were just a tiny bit too young for Alien Trilogy on the Saturn - playing one xmas and a face hugger scared the geezus out of us to the point we both screamed and raced out of the room much to the amusement of my parents (neither of which considered maybe we shouldn't be playing it!).


    nuff said.


      hahaha the most terrifying thing was that super loud roar he did

    The first Alone in the Dark - playing it at night, with the lights off and volume up scared the crap out of me. I think I only tried it once before deciding against it.
    The atmosphere in that game was intense...

    Still the number on game that creeps me out is Dark Messiah of Might and magic.
    The spider section, god I still shudder just thinking about it. It wasn't the giant boss spider but the small trash mob ones. In the caves that was just web coated, the horrid skittery sound they made, the way they moved and climbed down walls of web.
    It is just horrible

    I can't think of any specific titles which sucks because i'm sure there's some good examples but I remember feeling a little uneasy by some old gameboy games because of the palette and music sometimes along with some PS1 games simply because of the low draw distance even when it wasn't meant to be scary.

    Believe it or not, Hook on NES. Played it as a 4-5 year old and loved it, but the music was just so damn creepy.

    It seems stupid now but the last level of the Doom shareware, Phobos Anomaly, Those barons scared the absolute shite out of me as a youngster.

    Nightmare Creatures on the PSX. I don't think I ever got past the first level because it was so scary.

    I also never managed to put the disc in for Ghost in the Shell, the name alone kept me from playing it.

    The original Alone in the Dark. Could only handle it for 5 minutes at a time with the sound off.

    First game that properly scared me as a kid was Venture for the Colecovision. If you took too long in a stage some creepy music would play and this invincible green bastard would appear side of screen and cut through all the obstacles to get you.

    You mentioned Ecco, large dark bodies of water freak me out and the Vortex Queen (final boss) holds a permanent place in my mind as head of the nightmare fuel squad.

    The original Dead Space.

    I have NEVER been that stressed playing a game before. Every save point was like a sign from the heavens!

    Ecco the Dolphin
    Mortal Kombat 3 (I already played 2 so something about 3 I didn't like)
    A certain boss in Soul Reaver
    Doom 3
    Half Life 2 Ravenholm especially the poison headcrabs
    Didn't played Resident Evil 1 but the front cover for the CD case was for me to be afraid of it
    Resident Evil Remake

    Wolfenstein 3d when Hitler yelled coming to get cha I'd hit panic mode as a kid and as a teen I'd have to say one of the tomb raiders when the cobras or what ever snake it was popped up from the long grass imma scared of snakes

      ABSOLUTELY. I was 5 when I first encountered Wolf3d.exe and man. The audio queues on that game. Always freaked me out.

    My cousin had a computer with The Last Half of Darkness on it. A horror click and point adventure. The thing that horrified me would be if you went in to certain rooms without the appropriate gear, the monsters would kill you if you tried to leave.

    I remember the dread coming over me, realising that I had clicked into the wrong area a second too late and being frozen stiff, too afraid to move away, knowing I would die.

    Of course, because it was my cousin's computer, I never got to play it again, meaning I never got to face my fears.

      Those 2 girls...

      I remembered this game so vividly from being a kid but never knew what it was called. Cheers mate.

    Aliens on C64 . Anyone remember this? The up tick in tempo on the pulse meter when a xeno or facehugger was closing in...yikes.

    Bloodborne. At the tender age of 31.

    Fuck that shit.

      Lol, it was certainly atmospheric and at times creepy. The hack and slash gameplay (while excellent) kinda dilutes the scariness for me.

        If they would just allow the option of pausing in a non-online iteration of the game world, I would enjoy it plenty. I'd rather not than suffer the anxiety of only ever experiencing relief at save points.

        Honestly? It's my problem. DS fans tell me that's all part of the fun.

    Resident Evil 1 on ps1. I was about 13. I enjoy being scared and that game has so much tension because the enemies were not super plentiful, long walks around in silence. Great incidental music too.

      ... never got past the snake.

      I'm really bad at this lol

    Zombi on the Amiga 500. I was young and couldn't figure out how to kill the zombies so they killed me every time.

    Darkseed on the Mac back when I was about 10. That game had atmosphere in spades, in a bizarre almost lynchian way. Cut scenes featuring giger penis demons kinda flew over my head at the time but they were totally unnerving.
    Brutally hard game too.

    The original Halo. I went in knowing nothing about the game game happily shooting bright purple aliens when suddenly the whole tone of the game changed and I've got horrible monsters jumping at me from out of nowhere. The flood were pretty scary to me back then.

    Shadowman was a pretty messed up game. Also the first Condemned game was scary as fuck. Resident Evil 1, 2 & 3 had some scary moments

      RE2... ironically, the moment you fell through the hall to the floor below. Just about gave me a heart attack.

      Yup. Dat fear of shoddy carpentry/apocalyptic entropy.

    Shadowman and Doom 64 definitely had their moments

      I was fine with Shadowman, until you got that serial killers house with the bad lighting. That and the prison.

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