Humans are strange, we enjoy being scared. We ride fast roller coasters, jump out of air planes, and watch scary movies, just for that terrifying adrenaline rush. Gamers have another way to face our fears however, and that is through scary video games. Now what is considered scary by one person may be laughable by another, so this list may not be anywhere close to someone else’s top ten. So be sure to let me know what games freaked you out the most!
- Alan Wake (Xbox 360 and PC)
Alan Wake is not one that will appear on most people’s lists, but for me personally it was a new kind of scary. The atmosphere of this game is what gets to you, between having to literally fight off shadows, and desperately trying to find the next light source, all while solving the constant questions that the game presents you. Alan Wake keeps you going, fighting through the darkness because, like a good book, you just have to know what’s next.
- Little Nightmares (Xbox One, PS4, and PC)
The newest title on this list, Little Nightmares is a terrifying game mostly due to the environment. Your character wakes up and just starts walking; only find she is very small in a huge world. Throughout the level you find dead bodies hung from the neck, giant refrigerators covered in blood, and a cold dark world that never truly explains what is happening until the very end. One thing is for sure though; the scariest part of this game is in the last level, having to avoid all the grotesque dinner guests who want nothing more than to snatch you up for a snack. We are all food for something else, it would seem.
- Metro Last Light (Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, and PC)
Metro Last Light and its prequel Metro 2033 aren’t meant to be scary per se. You play as Artyom, a young ranger who has spent his whole life living in the metro tunnels underneath what is left of Russia after the world nuked itself. Based off of a book series by the same name, the Metro games focus on the struggle for survival in an underground world. This means you have to worry about conserving ammo, power, and dealing with everything from bandits who want to kill you just to loot your body, soldiers from the remains of the Russian and German military factions, mutated monsters throughout, and even worrying about breathable air while on the radiated surface. The whole world is out to kill you, which really brings home the fear of how the biggest threat is other people.
- Dead Space (Xbox 360, PS3, and PC)
Dead Space is a simple, horrifying concept. A man goes to fix a spaceship, only to discover that it’s overrun with vaguely human shaped mutated monsters. The necromorphs are bad by themselves, but add to that the abundance of large boss enemies and npcs who kill themselves for no reason, it creates one jumpy atmosphere to explore. And to top it all off, your character is an engineer. He isn’t an elite soldier, he’s just a guy with some tools who is suddenly fighting for his life, and I thought I have had bad days at work.
- Outlast (Xbox One, PS4, and PC)
Outlast is scary in the same way that playing as Isaac in Dead Space is scary; you’re a journalist, a regular guy. Unlike Isaac and his tools however, you don’t have a way to defend yourself. Your character can’t fight with a camera, he can run and hide, but the cut scene in the wheelchair is one of the goriest and heart pounding scenes I have ever seen in a game. I’m man enough to admit that I had to stop playing for a few days after that!
- Resident Evil (PS1, various remakes)
A scary games list wouldn’t be complete without Resident Evil somewhere on it. While every game had its good and bad aspects, the original Resident Evil will always stick out as a horrifying reminder of how far this game series has come. The original RE was all about survival and fear, requiring the player to find clues, resources like ammo and ink ribbons, and being afraid to find what was around each new corner. While many fans have criticized the fixed camera angles of the games, that was part of what made it so scary. You couldn’t peek down the hall and see what was next, you had to walk down slowly and hope to everything holy that nothing jumped out at you. Just watch out for those windows….
- The Evil Within (Xbox 360, Ps3, Xbox One, PS4, PC)
The Evil Within was all about iconic fear. There were plenty of normal enemies but the fear came from the one of a kind guys like The Keeper. Knowing these big baddies were on your tail made your adrenaline pump so much that you (or maybe just me) scream like a little girl when an unexpected trap caught you. Shinj Mikami knows how to do fear!
- Dying Light (Xbox One, PS4, and PC)
I know, zombies are a bit overplayed, and really not scary anymore, but not when playing Dying Light. This game took zombies to a different level, literally, with open world parkour being a huge aspect of the game. Being able to climb up buildings to escape the horde instead of just gunning them down by the hundred gave a thrill that most zombie games don’t provide anymore. It also added a healthy aspect of fear with the first person perspective and establishing early on that night is where the true danger is. Knowing the sun will set soon and seeing how far you are from safety is what makes this game such a terrifying thriller to play.
- Silent Hill 1 (Ps1)
Let me paint you a picture of a young 11 year old boy, who had been invited by his friend to come over and play a cool new game, Silent Hill. We booted up the game, ignoring the warning of “graphic imagery”. Eventually we got into the game and found ourselves in a dark alley covered in blood and gore, only to be surrounded and killed by enemies. Confused and horrified, we both decided this game was dumb (without admitted we were scared) and not worth playing, so we switched to something else. I didn’t touch that game again for many years, but eventually I made my way back to the quiet little town. I have braved my way through the game once, and that was enough for me. I wasn’t scared though! I just didn’t want to play it anymore, yeah, that’s the truth, promise!
- Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (Gamecube)
Eternal Darkness…. This game messed me up bad. Everything about the insanity effects messed with me. I would walk into a library and my head would get cut off, then it’s back. The screen would move, the blue screen of death popping up, random screaming at completely inappropriate moments… I couldn’t walk five steps in this game without getting scared something was about to happen. The concept of the game was incredible and not something I would ever expect to see on a Nintendo console, this is by far the scariest game I personally have ever played. Someday I might even beat it.
What about you gamers? What is the scariest game you have ever played? Like us know either on Facebook or Tumblr! And don’t forget to follow Bonus Level Gaming for the latest in gaming news, memes, cosplay, and more! Thanks for reading!