8 Scariest Moments in Horror Games
Why we love horror games so much remains a mystery. They keep us awake at night. Force us to leave the lights on and to check over our shoulders. So what is it about the genre that gamers can't stay away from? Is it the sudden surge of adrenaline? The reward of completing such a terrifying experience? Whatever the case, horror games have been around for a long time and have proven to stay for years to come. With recent successes like Resident Evil 2, it's a great time to be a fan of the genre.
One thing that gamers love about horror is the moments that stick with them, even years later. These moments are sealed in the subconscious, always there to remind us of the jump scares the eerie atmospheres and the twisted stories that haunted us. We've compiled a list of the best horror moments in gaming history.
Scariest Moments in Horror Games
Dead Space - The Final Cutscene
Still a favorite amongst horror fans, Dead Space had all the thrills with jump scares, creepy monsters, explicit gore, and psychological terrors that were the thing of nightmares. Although the game is mostly about a physical outbreak of an alien life-form, there's a psychological/supernatural element that haunts player nightmares even to this day. The main character, Isaac Clarke, is on the search for his missing wife. Throughout the game, he sees visions of her that could be construed as real or an illusion, but in the very last cutscene, we finally get a glimpse at the truth. His wife is dead, but she's very much alive in Isaac's psyche and in some chilling and disturbing ways.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard - Run & Hide
When people think of the Resident Evil franchise, they usually think about the inventory system, the weapons, the ammo rationing, puzzles, etc. What they don't think about is a run-and-hide scenario game much like Outlast. Generally, in previous games, players took on the roles of a police officer or someone capable of using weapons, but in Resident Evil 7 that all changed. You play as Ethan, a desperate husband to a missing wife, a man less competent and less experienced in virus containment. For a large part of the game, players find themselves hiding from their enemy, a small southern family infected by a new form of the virus that makes them sadistic murderers with extreme pain tolerance. The game also changes POV to 1st person shooter rather than the traditional 3rd-person, making it all the more terrifying.
P.T. - A Hell House
Once the playable trailer for a now-canceled Silent Hill game, this short demo opened with the main character waking up in a strange house. At first, everything seems normal, but as players explored, they realized that the house was a continuous loop. As soon as they opened one door, it took them right back to the start. The only problem was that with each new loop, the game became scarier and scarier. At first, it was just a few smaller things like the radio playing on its own or strange noises, but soon enough players found themselves in a hell house. After a few loops of the house, a grotesque spirit of a woman haunts the player, unrelenting in her desire to kill. If the player ran into the woman or was ever caught, it was game over. Unfortunately, P.T. is no longer available for download, but there are entities out there trying to replicate the game.
Fatal Frame III: The Tormented - The Crawling Spirit
Although Fatal Frame II is the stronger game narratively, Fatal Frame III: The Tormented had some of the most grotesque ghosts and spirits in the history of the franchise. In one chapter of the game, players have to take the main character into a small crawl space where they encounter a crawling spirit that moves on all fours - and very quickly at that. The worst part is trying to snap a photo of the spirit with the Camera Obscura, turning the game into a 1st-person POV. There's also a surprising moment where the crawling spirit shows up once more, but we won't spoil that in case anyone wants to try this out. Just remember to keep the lights on for this one.
Silent Hill 2 - Pyramid Head
An oldie but goodie, Silent Hill 2 surprised fans with its horror elements and a crazy ending that stuck with them for years to come. Throughout the game, players found themselves facing off against some deformed and evil looking enemies, but none of them even compared to Pyramid Head, the famous mascot of the franchise. He's large and in charge and makes for intense gameplay. Things have changed drastically for the horror genre since this game's release, so playing it now might not have the same weight, but in its day Silent Hill 2 was a nightmarish and dreadful experience for the most hardcore horror fans.
The Evil Within 2 - The Guardian
Hailed as an homage to classic horror games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill, The Evil Within franchise is a terrifying look at reality versus fantasy and blending the two so that the player can't differentiate the two. It explores the world of mental illness and the disturbances of psychology in ways that no other game has done. One of the creatures that players meet is called The Guardian, a ginormous creature that is an assembly of human parts and other objects - including chainsaws. She has the head of a woman, who laughs and giggles her way through chasing the main character around the map and through the dark hallways. The Guardian is no joke and shouldn't be approached as such, but there are many encounters with it, so anyone who wants to play the game should be ready for those occurrences.
Alien: Isolation - Unpredictable Xenomorph
Through the years there have been few games that captured the true essence of the original Alien film, but fans of the horror classic were finally treated to Alien: Isolation, a game that pits the player one-on-one against a Xenomorph whose whole goal is to catch the main character. The gameplay style is run-and-hide, much like Outlast. Although there are weapons in the game to use, they aren't for killing the Xenomorph, but slowing him down. The Xenomorph's AI is incredibly intelligent in the way that it hears the player and hunts the player. The tools that the main character can use also play a big part in how the Xenomorph can find and kill her, so using tools sparingly is the only way to survive. The creature is hard to predict and can come from any direction, from any vent, and out from any shadow.
Resident Evil 2 - Mr. X
In the remake of the classic Resident Evil 2, there's a lot of terrifying and chilling moments, but none are worse than Mr. X, experimentation used as a weapon against any survivors of the T-Virus in the hopes to silence anyone who might know too much. Mr. X sets his sights on Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield for a majority of the game since they're not only survivors but characters whose goal is to bring out the truth of the Umbrella corporation. Problem with Mr. X is that he shows up randomly and he's invincible until a designated time in the plot. His timing is terrible. His presence is intimidating. He wrecks you with one punch. Don't tangle with this guy.