Six Terrifying Games You Need To Play

No matter how good a horror movie is, it'll never quite match the horrifying feeling of being in control of the main character's desperate struggle for survival. Horror games are uniquely terrifying for their interactivity - you're not allowed to just close your eyes when things get scary. Here's our pick of the five scariest horror games every horror junkie needs to play.

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PT

Even though it's just a 'playable teaser' for a now cancelled game, PT is still one of the scariest games I've ever played. Initially released for free on the PS4, it was later taken offline, never to be made available again.

But never fear, new players, you can now get a datamined version of PT for PC that's pretty close to the original.

If you do play either the PC or PS4 version of it, expect difficult puzzles, incredibly simple controls - and no places to hide from the terrifying ghost who's stalking you. Good luck!


Amnesia: The Dark Descent

The game that got me into horror and almost singlehandedly kickstarted YouTube's Let's Play culture, Amnesia is a horror classic that still has yet to be outdone. Its success is largely down to a few elements that have been excessively copied since.

First, the game's lack of combat means the player has to hide rather than fight, building tension without an easy release. It incorporates a lot of dark spaces, and makes the light dangerous by having monsters drawn to it. Lastly Amnesia's 'insanity' feature is a little stroke of genius, stopping players from looking directly at the monsters - because the unseen is always scarier.

Once you've survived Amnesia's creepy corridors a first time, you can also play the expansion 'Justine', or even get immersed in the huge world of custom stories created by a once incredibly active fanbase. Amnesia is available on PC and PS4.


Layers Of Fear

One of the more recent games that was likely inspired by Amnesia, Layers of Fear builds on the former's haunted house formula, while still creating a game that's all its own. Layers of Fear is quite linear, making it good for players who are more interested in a good scare than figuring out complicated puzzles.

Don't expect this game to go easy on you, however. As you go through it, Layers of Fear only gets more tense, disorienting and mind-bending, making you question the nature of reality and the game space you're inhabiting.

Layers of Fear is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. It also has a DLC called Inheritance, which is just as solid an experience as the main game.


Resident Evil 7

A surprise entry in a classic horror series, Resident Evil 7 brought the game back to its survival horror roots while simultaneously taking RE in a new direction with a first person viewpoint.

While the latter decision was controversial among longtime fans, it only helped to build the creepy tension that makes the game so damn scary. Want to be extra scared? It's also available in VR. You're welcome.

Resident Evil 7 is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. (The PlayStation version is currently going for $31.20 on Amazon Australia.)


Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly

An oldie but a goodie, Fatal Frame 2 is possibly the best iteration of an already unique style of Japanese horror. Featuring the ghosts of Japanese myth, Fatal Frame sets you loose in a haunted house with nothing but a camera - your key to survival.

In the exact opposite to Amnesia's monster-avoiding gameplay, Fatal Frame has you face up to the horrors and snap photos of them in order to banish them.

Released in 2003 for the PS2 and Xbox, Fatal Frame 2 can be hard to get a hold of, but it has since been re-released on PlayStation 3 and on Wii in more recent years.


Silent Hill 1-4

I'm sorry, I cheated with this one, but the whole series is some of the best in horror game history - giving us one of the most legendary horror villains in Pyramid Head and proving that our psyche is our own worst memories. Silent Hill 1-3 are the classic games in the series, though I would count Silent Hill 4 among those too, despite its change in tone from the rest of the games.

Silent Hill 2 and 3 are bundled in the Silent Hill HD Collection, which, while it has its issues, is probably one of the easiest ways to play Silent Hill in 2018. Other games are available on PSN - though I'm not sure if that extends to the Australian PlayStation Store. Pretty much: play whichever of the first four games you can find.

For heretics like me, you can also check out Shattered Memories on the Wii. This spin-off is a reimagining of the first Silent Hill game, differentiated from the rest of the series by the lack of combat and the unique enemies the player is forced to flee and hide from.

While it's by no means a classic Silent Hill experience, I still think Shattered Memories is worth a play.

What are your favourite horror games?


Comments

    There's a weird one coming to the Switch soon that I'm bulk keen for - Yomawari: The Long Night Collection. You're very small with a flashlight and there are giant things that startle you :D

      I played the first Yomawari on Vita and finished it a few months ago. I really enjoyed it had some sneaky jump scares too

        I haven't played the first one yet, I saw the trailer and decided to wait for the Switch port.

    Fatal Frame to this day is still the one that truly got under my skin and I've played them all. Honorable mentions to F.E.A.R 2 and Outlast 2 both have given me shivers hardcore!

    "Six Terrifying Games You Need To Avoid"

    Fixed. :) And thanks for the warning Hayley...

    Amnesia can fuck right off.
    out of all of those, i could not finish amnesia. it was the only game that made me feel thefight or flight. i had a huge rush of adrenaline to my legs during most of the game where the monster was concerned.

    noty

      It's the only one I didn't finish cause I got bored. It's weird I was hooked on a machine for pigs but the first just didn't do it for me.

        Definitely agree with you there, Machine for Pigs was interesting and kept you engaged, whereas the first game just felt like it was always lacking something to keep you wanting to play.

      Amnesia is one of those games that just sucked me right in with its atmosphere, its sound design, the interplay - and constant conflict - between its sanity and stealth mechanics... It's a masterpiece of proper horror... I really wish I had the courage to finish it.

    Watched Markiplier play through Outlast 1, loved it. Decided that I'd play through Outlast 2 myself (the story intrigued me). Scared the pants off me (even though I only played on story mode, so the actual threat was reduced somewhat).

    Liking Shattered Memories isn't heresy, I'm a huge SH fan and I freaking loved it (eventually)

    For a reimagining of SH1 it really tried to be unique and I thought it was damn effective in separating itself so much from the source material while still maintaining a base in psychological horror.

      SM is fantastic, the way it works is great, the acting and animation is top notch, and the wiimote implementation is perfect.

      It's a far more clever game than most people give it credit for, even the "maze-like" chase sequences are actually full of references which act as signposts.

    What about Superman64? WHAT LURKED IN THE FOG?!?!?!?!

      The bad programming, or the game itself.

    Came for Silent Hill in top spot, didn’t leave disappointed.
    The series is important to me. I was totally desensitised to feeling scared in my early 20’s after a three year stint in the NT (I saw some things, man) and SH2 brought me back. Sounds weird, but I really needed it at that time in my life. Fear is healthy.

    Fatal frame 2 (Or Project Zero 2) is loved by fans of the series. Personally. I prefer the first one.
    3 really amped up the tension, I felt. Kei doesn't have a camera and must hide, Miku must crawl into tiny spaces and fight there.
    In two, for most of the time you have someone with you (your twin). I felt that ruined the tension for me.
    4 I couldn't play because Japan only (I still own it though =P)
    5 on WiiU was pretty good, but went into some messed up territory, even for a Fatal frame game.
    I actually enjoyed the spin off on 3DS but it was very short.

    System Shock 2. Ain't played any of these games so I can't say that SS2 is scarier, but it's definitely far from pleasant, and also just a great game with solid gameplay!

    Loved the Silent Hills games.

    But PT was 100% nope.

    Resident Evil 7 in VR was one of the most terrifying gaming experiences I've had, and it wasn't just the jump scares it was when you had to hide from the guy who was stalking around the house trying to find you.

    While not strictly a horror game, Bloodborne is easily the most horrific thing I've played in recent memory. It's also the first game that made me dive into the literature inspiring it. I now know who the hell Lovecraft is and why Lovecraftian is a thing.

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