Top 10 Most Terrifying Videogames
171 8.11. Amnesia: The Dark Descent - PC Games
AMNESIA: THE DARK DESCENT (PC, 2010)
The absolute scariest game of all time. It’s got everything that makes you feel helpless- no weapons, horrific creatures that can and will kill you if you don’t stay in the light, and an overwhelming sense of madness. The game's all about finding light sources and keeping torches and candles lit with tinderboxes, because the dark will destroy your sanity. If you lose your sanity, you start to see hallucinations and your vision and movement are impaired, and what's worse- the supernatural beings in the castle will find you much more easily.
Scariest moment: There is no one moment. The atmosphere here makes you terrified to walk anywhere. Ghostly voices shout out from all around you, creeks and slams and unexplainable noises punctuating the silence and constantly keeping you on your feet. This is the most crippling game you will ever play. This game makes grown men weep, the hardest among us want to play it with the lights on in broad daylight. Only the hardest of the hardcore will make it through unscathed.
22 82. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly - Director... - Xbox
FATAL FRAME II: CRIMSON BUTTERFLY (PS2, Xbox 2003)
If you’re afraid of spooky Japanese girls with hair in their faces stay far away from this excellent-yet-terrifying series. You’re a schoolgirl exploring some extremely haunted town with your sister, trying not to get killed by the violent ghosts that live there. Thankfully you’re armed with your trusty.... camera? That’s right, all you’ve got is a camera to fend them off with. This is genius, because not only does it make you feel completely defenseless but it also forces you have to get up close and personal with these deadly apparitions, trying to get the best shots to best fend them off.
Scariest moment: It’s the little things that freak you out. During the exploration of one particuarly creepy attic I felt the hairs on my neck stand up, and looked around to see if there was anything in the room with me. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something in the rafter and looked up to see the ghostly white face of a man looking down at me. I jumped, turned the game off, and went straight to bed after that one.
435 8.53. Silent Hill - PlayStation
SILENT HILL (PS1, 1999)
The videogame equivalent of THE MIST, it thrusts you into a nightmarish town and lets monsters have their way with you. The atmosphere, the terrifying static that would start playing on your radio whenever a creature was near- it all adds up to a game that kept you on edge at all times. The best part was that your main characters was such an everyman- he's horrible with guns and weapons so your usual best bet was to just run.
Scariest moment: One word- SCHOOL. It’s bad enough that you’re spending your days in this foggy town apparently losing your mind, watching as the world changes around you to a rust-stained nightmarish version of itself, but then you decide that the best place to explore would be the school. And of course there are little creatures with knives- probably former schoolchildren- trying to kill you. Terrifying.
126 8.64. System Shock 2 - PC Games
SYSTEM SHOCK 2 (PC, 1999)
Ken Levine’s precursor to the BIOSHOCK series, SYSTEM SHOCK 2 saw you as a soldier waking up on a space ship and finding that everything’s gone to hell. You explore what happened through creepy logs left around the place and find all manner of things trying to kill you- zombies, robots... killer monkeys? It may sound silly in print but in execution it makes for one of the best PC games ever made, with the sound design and insane enemy design making you hesitant to enter the next empty corridor.
Scariest moment: Probably the midwifes on the ship. Deformed cyborgs screeching about visiting hours coming at you as you explore the maternity section of the ship’s hospital...
195 7.25. Condemned: Criminal Origins - Xbox 360
CONDEMNED: CRIMINAL ORIGINS (Xbox 360, PC)
As usual you're stuck in the dark with madmen trying to kill you, but what makes CONDEMNED unique is that you're constantly looking for weapons. You'll find guns but they'll only have a bullet or two left in them and ammo is almost nowhere, so you're usually dependant on whatever melee weapons you can pry off the environment. Table legs, pipes, 2x4 and whatever else you can find to help you stop these deranged madmen from killing you. It makes it that much more brutal and visceral.
Scariest moment: The Department Store. You’re walking around dozens of mannequins in a dusty old department store before you realize that some of the crazies have dressed up like mannequins. After getting the shit scared out of you a handful of times you’ll run around like an insane person smashing every mannequin to pieces.
128 7.56. Doom 3 - Xbox
DOOM 3 (PC, Xbox - 2004)
Tip for you future space travelers- never open up gateways to hell on Mars. It never works out. Many people complained about the fact that you could only carry a flashlight or a weapon in this game (but not both at once) but what this did was force you into the darkness. Jump-scare after jump-scare combined with everyone’s innnate fear of the dark left you afraid to go on.
Scariest moment: When you look into the mirror of a dark, blood-splatterd bathroom- and see a demonic version of yourself staring back.
49 7.47. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth - Xbox
CALL OF CTHULHU: DARK CORNERS OF THE EARTH (Xbox, PC 2005)
The unfortunately poorly-received CALL OF CTHULHU title is a very damn good game. Based on H.P. Lovecraft's "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", it starts you off as a detective exploring a small seaside town. One that’s full of horrible creatures, of course.
Scariest Moment: There's a sequence where you're trying to escape from a hotel that's ripped straight out of the original novella, where a mob of fish-people are trying to beat down your door to kill you. You're rushing through adjacent hotel rooms, slamming doors and smacking the latches into place and frantically trying to find the next exit. This scene made your character go mad (and end up in Arkham Asylum- yes, Batman stole it from Lovecraft), so you can guess what it does to you.
48 7.28. Clock Tower - PlayStation
CLOCK TOWER (PS1, 1996)
Still perhaps the best videogame representation of a slasher movie, this game has you trying to figure out the identity of a masked killer known only as The Scissorman while trying not to become his latest victim yourself. You wouldn’t think a point and click game would lend itself towards scary situations but it was very easy to die, and you had to be smart about keeping an eye on possible escape routes, weapons and hiding spots.
Scariest moment: Hiding from the Scissorman in a closet while he walked by you, bringing together those huge scissors with each step. SHINK. SHINK. And you just cowering, hoping he doesn't stop...
50 8.19. Sanitarium - PC Games
SANITARIUM (PC, 1998)
You wake up in a sanitarium with bandages covering your face and no memory of who you are or how you got there. Nearby, a man smashes his head against a wall continuously, blood spattering the cement. Next door sits an empty bed soaked in urine. A woman walks around clucking like a chicken, while another stumbles around with his pants around his ankles. The game just gets more unsettling from there. Add in a beautiful-yet-creepy soundrack and a dreamlike atmosphere and you’ve got one freaky game.
Scariest moment: The second chapter, which sees you entering a town full of deformed children.
318 7.710. F.E.A.R. - PC Games
F.E.A.R. (PC, Xbox, PS3 2005)
This is the rare game that manages to combine incredible action sequences with scenes of horror and actually make it work. It’s not easy to scare someone when they’re carrying an assault rifle, but throw in quick glimpses of a spooky little girl named Alma running around barefoot and it’s easy to get a little unsettled. Plus there’s also the fact that she may or may not be dead and has psychokinectic powers that can easily kill you.
Scariest moment: You’re climbing down some stairs and as you swing your leg around to the rungs you turn your head around you and see Alma staring down at you. You'll never look at a ladder the same way after that.