Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

MMR: The Scariest Games of the Decade

Last response: in Video Games
Share
October 30, 2006 3:33:39 PM

Over the last few years, horror PC and video games have been elevated to a formidable genre. In fact, horror games may have surpassed horror movies in the fear factor category. With Halloween just around the corner, it's time to bobbing for the scariest games of the decade - so far.
October 30, 2006 7:12:03 PM

Personally, not having played a few of those games, especially the original Silent Hill, I think Silent Hill 2 was the best horror game I've played. I really enjoyed the story and the immersive environment.
October 30, 2006 7:17:47 PM

Quote:
Over the last few years, horror PC and video games have been elevated to a formidable genre. In fact, horror games may have surpassed horror movies in the fear factor category. With Halloween just around the corner, it's time to bobbing for the scariest games of the decade - so far.


HL2 was pretty good...but FEAR was down right evil! Freaked me out man!
Related resources
October 30, 2006 8:57:12 PM

[/u]
Quote:
Personally, not having played a few of those games, especially the original Silent Hill, I think Silent Hill 2 was the best horror game I've played. I really enjoyed the story and the immersive environment.


I have to confess, I never got around to playing Silent Hill 2 or any other SH title after the original, which was a damn good game. I should probably get around to that at some point.
October 30, 2006 10:31:16 PM

Well, I am not sure the entire story of SH, but from what I know, SH2 was better (not to mention the improved creepy visuals on PS2). I have to track down a copy of SH sometime and play it.

3 wasn't as good as two, and I haven't played 4 yet...
October 30, 2006 10:42:22 PM

Finally, The Thing, gets some credit. I completely agree on this being in fist place. I also agree with avp and fear. Personally however I don't think HL2 was scary, the first was scarier, but neither really qualifies for me. I'd place undying in there, that had a great atmosphere. So my top 5 would be:

1. The Thing
2. Undying
3. Fear
4. AVP2
5. Doom (three in the morning, all the lights out, been playing for hours, get tapped on the shoulder, almost soiled myself!)

Scariest mod was They Hunger.
October 30, 2006 11:02:16 PM

Quote:
Finally, The Thing, gets some credit. I completely agree on this being in fist place. I also agree with avp and fear. Personally however I don't think HL2 was scary, the first was scarier, but neither really qualifies for me. I'd place undying in there, that had a great atmosphere. So my top 5 would be:

1. The Thing
2. Undying
3. Fear
4. AVP2
5. Doom (three in the morning, all the lights out, been playing for hours, get tapped on the shoulder, almost soiled myself!)


Clive Barker's Undying is another one I need to try. Personally, I think Clive is one helluva writer. Didn't care for Hellraiser or any of those movies, though.

The Thing was money. I can understand why it wasn't a platinum hit -- it was based on a cult movie from 1982. I guess it just got overlooked and underappreciated, just like the movie. History repeats itself...

BTW, Michaelahess, you avatar pic would probably make my list of top 5 scariest avatars.
October 30, 2006 11:32:20 PM

AvP 2 is def my scariest game ever, not in the horror sense, but more in the "oh shit there are aliens in here!" sense :D 

I did not find hl2 to be scary, though I guess the "first ;) " time I played through ravenholm I did nearly pee myself.
October 30, 2006 11:52:16 PM

Undying was good, but I didn't get as into it as the SH series. Though that could be cause I got stuck about 40% into the game and gave up on it.
October 31, 2006 12:30:25 AM

Alien vs Predator 1 was scarier than AVP2.
October 31, 2006 2:55:02 AM

fear is the only game i hav ever played in the dark, 50 inch tv with gfx almost max, i almost sh*t myself that first time when fettel mails u with the wood slab(i turned the other way at first)
October 31, 2006 9:04:24 AM

Take it you lot have never played the Thief 3 level called ‘The Cradle’, it is by far the scariest level I have ever seen in a game…

But The Thing… don’t know about all of you but that game was fairly tame on the scare factor for me. Could see everything coming, almost everyone you ever met was a thing so it kind of became very predictable.
October 31, 2006 11:51:38 AM

Quote:
and I haven't played 4 yet...


8O 8O 8O

SH4 rocks harder than granite and is scarier than George Bush's decision making skills (well, almost).

There's no Pyramid Head though :cry:  But you do get to be freaked out by having about 20 crying babies hanging from your apartment wall... not that that is why you would play the game.

Who knows what goes through the mind of the SH development team.
October 31, 2006 3:51:33 PM

I can't comment on some of these games, but I can say what I do know:

I'm laughing that you find Half-Life 2 scary. Definitely creepy & surely intense (the first time through at least) but it wasn't scary...

FEAR... Heh... Hehe... Hehehe... I think I can throw this in direct comparison with Doom 3, only lower production quality. There's nothing to see here but some cheap attempts at startling you & nothing truly scary beyond the fact that such a cheesy piece of mediocrity could a) recieve such high praise & b) hinder the excellent gameplay hiding underneath its unpolished surface.

Now how about some truly scary games for your list?

Well Alien vs. Predator you've already got on there, that's a good start. How about the big one we're forgetting, eh? Did we forget System Shock 2!?! Yes, I think we did forget to even mention it. How about Metroid Fusion?

...

<_<

>_>

Okay, maybe that's just me & maybe it's mostly just the sound & atmosphere playing with headphones in the dark...

But moving right back along to another serious entry, the early Thief games could become quite terrifying if anybody remembers certain levels that shall go unnamed. From the creepier elements to just the plain old guards sneaking up on you & attacking from behind when you least expect it, I think we forgot another real entry.

The word here is psychological. You generally have to get into someone's mind (most scary games have excellent sound, especially of the ambient nature & that's a trend some of the games on your list didn't follow to perfection) to truly scare them.

Everything else is just a cheap, startling, sudden noise. Though I have to give Doom 3 credit while I'm here:
I really did jump up in my seat when that scientist behind me said "Oh! You startled me.".
October 31, 2006 4:02:34 PM

Quote:
I'm laughing that you find Half-Life 2 scary. Definitely creepy & surely intense (the first time through at least) but it wasn't scary...


Man, I'm taking some heat for HL2. Hey, what can I say? It creeped me out. It wasn't all about monsters jumping out at you, like Doom 3 (which was a contender for this list, to be sure). I had a consistent, unrelenting and intense mood of creepiness that stayed with me long after I finished it.

Quote:
Did we forget System Shock 2!?! Yes, I think we did forget to even mention it.


There are two reasons I didn't include System Shock 2. First, I haven't played it. And second, the list is focused on the scariest games of the decade, as in this decade, and System Shock 2 was released in 1999. I suppose I could have clarified that point better in the column, so that's my fault. Anyway, I'm trying to obtain a copy of it now so I can give it a try. Looking forward to it, since it's been compared to the movie "Event Horizon," which despite being directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (who did bad movies like "Mortal Kombat," "Resident Evil," Alien Vs. Predator") actually scared me pretty good.
October 31, 2006 4:04:40 PM

Oh, don't mind me, I'm just ranting to get some steam off. I had a fairly lousy day.

I didn't even notice the decade part. How silly of me.
October 31, 2006 10:28:57 PM

The scariest game ever?

Superman 64.

Damn, that game is MADE of nightmares.
November 1, 2006 12:45:02 AM

Errrr watching the news scares me :o 
November 1, 2006 6:49:50 AM

Some unmentioned memorable games of 1990s with horror elements.


WaxWorks
Alone in the Dark I-IV
Gabriel Knight I-III
System Shock I & II
Alien vs Predator 1


I wonder if S.T.A.L.K.E.R (supposed to be released in Q1 2007) will have horror elements. At least Alan Wake is supposed to be a horror game, probably the first one of that genre designed to use DX10.

What world really needs is some kind of massive online multiplayer game from the horror or survival horror genre (MMOFPS Aliens vs Predator 8O). "Face of Mankind" looks promising, as its a blend of MMORPG and MMOFPS built on similar engine as AvP 2 (LithTech engine), some of the aliens in FoM look like the xenomorphs/drones in "Aliens", and the developers want to create an alien homeworld. Now, if they could only incorporate some horror elements in their game. :roll:


Btw, is "Call of Cthulhu: Darkest Corners of the Earth" any good? :?:
November 1, 2006 1:07:44 PM

Clive Barker's Undying gets my vote for scariest PC game ever...
November 1, 2006 2:14:50 PM

How about a list of those earlier games or even a list of "all time scariest" games. At the time, I thought Phatasmagoria, 7th Guest, and 11th Hour were as scary as Gabriel Knight.
November 1, 2006 9:48:29 PM

Having played just about everything out there, I still think that Undying kept me on edge more than any of the other games did. The enviroments, graphics ( gotta love the UT engine ), and more so enviromental audio, combined with the mechanics of the game that constantly induce low-visibility and constant looking-over-the-shoulder-isms... it was just fantastic.

Another element to consider is the factor of how old the player is when these games come out. I was in elementary school when Doom came out, and was lucky enough to get to play it too. To an eight year old in a world that hasn't been drenched in high-detail gore yet ( I remember TV being clean back then, etc ), this game scared the crap out of me. I remember going downtown after playing the DZone! expansion and looking up at the skyscrapers hoping there weren't imps hiding up there... Now to someone who was much older at the time, it was just an awesome game, but to a child, it could scare you pretty well.

Of couse, SS2 and AVP get mentioned, there are lots of other great games that do an outstanding job for suspense and deprevation of control over a situation, thus instilling a pucker factor that makes you have to pull the seat cusion out of your ass.
November 2, 2006 1:51:16 AM

Quote:
I wonder if S.T.A.L.K.E.R (supposed to be released in Q1 2007) will have horror elements. At least Alan Wake is supposed to be a horror game, probably the first one of that genre designed to use DX10.


While there's no telling whatsoever what's actually gonna come out the other end of this (recently broken - though only vaguely) silence, STALKER as it was originally intended is largely a survival game & secondly an open ended, free roaming game.

Survival is the greatest form of horror. Outside of sound, it's one of the only ways to truly get into the deep psychological terrors of the brain.
November 3, 2006 11:34:45 AM

Quote:
Btw, is "Call of Cthulhu: Darkest Corners of the Earth" any good? :?:

Dunno, but the Metallica instrumental is pretty awesome. ;) 
November 6, 2006 10:41:47 AM

HL2 is not scary. It's a game I personally don't like anyway but scary? You're having a laugh.

FEAR. Demo, very creepy. Game itself. Pants and definitely not creepy.

My votes go to AvP2 although that was always more in line with apprehension than anything else.

Next is Undying although it's a game I never got around to playing much of, just one of those things.

In fairness tho if I think back to just about any game I've ever played that affected me it would have to be Silent Hill. That game when first played was so scary I could barely play the blasted thing. Recently played and finished SH3 which was also pretty good in horror terms as well. Don't like scary games tho. They make me uncomfortable and therefore I don't enjoy playing them :) 
November 6, 2006 12:56:05 PM

Quote:
Errrr watching the news scares me :o 


That's what it's supposed to do. (What, you didn't think the TV networks were actually a reliable source of info, did you?)
November 6, 2006 1:33:23 PM

id say resident evil!!
i remember playing it alone in my room late one night and woke the whole family up when out of nowhere this alien zombie thing pops outa nowhere shreeking!
My mum changed my covers and i carried on (LOL) :roll:
November 16, 2006 6:54:26 AM

Silent hill 4 (The Room) the best of the genre

Cold Fear (just started playing)

I also found project zero was not very good
November 17, 2006 12:39:02 AM

Quote:
Silent hill 4 (The Room) the best of the genre


Hell yeah, especially playing it with no lights on and in 5.1 surround.

Whenever I try to tell a non-gamer that games can be just as, if not more scarier than movies, I always use this game. This game just screws with your head (remember the first time you walked into the apartment and heard babies crying?).
February 15, 2007 9:34:05 AM

There is a lot of scary or disturbing stuff in computer games, but have you ever encountered any particular moments or even single images in games that seem to stick to mind for many years?

Here is my list:

1) Beginning the second mission in Alien vs Predator 2 when you play as alien. The mission starts with the little alien who is your character sitting in a guy's chest. The first time you play it you might not even realise why the screen is completely red and when you click the attack button you hear screams. After a few attacks there is a cutscene showing the alien bursting out. "The horror, the horror!"

2) The transformation into strogg in Quake 4. The corpse of a marine without limbs floating in space in the intro is quite nasty too.


3) The grotesque transformation of the main antagonist character in the end of The Thing from a human into a gigantic alien creature. Not particularly horrible, though.

4) The corpse of the male antagonist either in Baldur's Gate or Neverwinter Nights (I think it was Sarevok in BG1) shown in a cutscene after the battle with him. The corpse is filled with lots of arrows and other weapons, which lets you realise that player character's party delivered a very horrible end to him.
February 15, 2007 1:35:09 PM

If you haven't played The Suffering: Prison Is Hell on the PS2 or Xbox I HIGHLY recommend it. It's a decent shooter with good mechanics, the best monster design ever, a great protagonist, an excellent venue filled with history, and all in all is one scary frikken game. With Suffering you get psychological horror and pure slasher horror with an intensity that I have found in no other game.

Avoid the sequel; The Ties that Bind. It is unfortunately a buggy piece of crap.

Unlike Rob I really enjoyed Condemned and thought the fighting mechanics was a nice departure from FPS. The block and attack system is better than Oblivion and pacing is great. The finishing moves give it an extra visceral touch.

FEAR was an amazing action game and it did some things really well, like running through an exploding building or a fire filled room, but I thought the horror was mild and somewhat canned compared to others, like Condemned.

If horror involves tension then Resident Evil 4 is a masterpiece. That game put stress on my heart that I could feel and cramped up my hands. From things that jump out at you to hordes of slow moving zombie types, to blowing off a head only to have tentacles shoot out it is a bad dream of a video game in the best possible way.
February 15, 2007 4:16:06 PM

System Shock 2 freaked the sh1t out of me when that little monkey popped around the corner with its brains showing.
February 15, 2007 10:04:09 PM

Quote:
System Shock 2 freaked the sh1t out of me when that little monkey popped around the corner with its brains showing.


If terror has a name, it is SHODAN.

"H-h-h-how can you desssssttttrrrrroooyyy perfec-tion, human?"

Gives me chills everytime I hear it.
February 15, 2007 10:23:07 PM

Wow, this discussion thread has risen from the grave, so to speak. Hah-ha ha-ha...

Everyone raves about System Shock 2, and it kills me because I never played it and can't find the game anywhere for a reasonable price.

I have an addition to the list: Resident Evil 4. Fantastic horror survival game that lived up to its reputation. Probably the best Gamecube title I've played.

I just picked up Clive Barker's Undying, looking forward to giving it a try soon.

Finally played Silent Hill 2, but it was too slow. Fatal Frame 2 was much better.
February 16, 2007 11:12:30 AM

Quote:
System Shock 2 freaked the sh1t out of me when that little monkey popped around the corner with its brains showing.


If terror has a name, it is SHODAN.

"H-h-h-how can you desssssttttrrrrroooyyy perfec-tion, human?"

Gives me chills everytime I hear it.

I only remember the "Look at you, hacker: a pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you destroy a perfect immortal machine?" line.

Here is a link to a site that contains all voice audio from System Shock 1:
http://www.ttlg.com/ss1/archive/voice.htm


Quote:

Everyone raves about System Shock 2, and it kills me because I never played it and can't find the game anywhere for a reasonable price.


I wanted to try it out too. I've only played System Shock 1, but System Shock 2 was one of the early games that required an AGP video card. When I got a video card there were already better games out there and SS 2 was somewhat old.

Btw, some screenshots from Ultima Underworld 2 and System Shock 1:
http://tsshp.sourceforge.net/ss-shots.html
It's weird, but Ultima Underworld 2 seems to look prettier than System Shock 1 from today's perspective, even though it's an older game.
February 16, 2007 12:54:39 PM

Scariest games or parts in games:

F.E.A.R. - the first time that "Unknown Origin" radio static is heard and seeing all those blood trails.

AvP - the very first mission as Marine going down dark corridors filled and hearing movement on the radar.

Vampire Masquerade: Bloodlines - when you have to solve the "Haunted Hotel" quest. This was the best part of the game and was really scary.

Silent Hill 2 - I hate those zombie thingies moving on the ground

Doom series - I always hate them sneaking up behind me
February 16, 2007 5:49:31 PM

Quote:
Everyone raves about System Shock 2, and it kills me because I never played it and can't find the game anywhere for a reasonable price.


I keep the game in my drawer, whenever I open it looking for something, I hear that little monkey in my head screaching and the computer system voice.. freaky, haven't dared playing it in 3 years.

Someday I will reinstall it, maybe make friends with that freaky monkey.

RE4 was pretty good, I never like the other RE games, but this one set a bar much higher.
February 16, 2007 5:54:52 PM

Alex: "Where's the monkey now?"
Dante: "He's upstairs putting his nunchackus away."
--Grandma's Boy
February 18, 2007 10:20:11 PM

Quote:


Here is a link to a site that contains all voice audio from System Shock 1:
http://www.ttlg.com/ss1/archive/voice.htm



Thanks heaps for the link (looks like I found some new ringtones for my mobile; :wink: )
February 20, 2007 7:13:47 PM

I didn't read this back in October for some reason, so I just looked at it. I'll buy your explaination of SS2 coming out in 1999, but there's no other reason not to include it. Not only is it the scariest game ever - it's one of the better games to ever come out.

Silent Hill still ranks high, though. I still occasionally find myself looking over my shoulder for those shadow children with knives. I'll have to check out the Room after seeing the praise here.
March 5, 2007 9:01:57 AM

I got Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth recently and it turned out to be one of the best horror games I've ever played! It's a combination of horror adventure and first person shooter. It's also a detective story since the main character is a private detective hired to investigate a case. The coolest thing about this game is that it doesn't resort to cheap sudden frights like a monster leaping at you from behind a corner, but it tries to build up the feeling of horror slowly with various more subtle and complex effects.


A lot of stuff in the game has been borrowed from Lovecraft's novels and stories and the general atmosphere in the game is true to Lovecraft's writing. The first part of the game is heavily based on "Shadows over Innsmouth" (film version "Dagon"). I also noticed some stuff from "Call of Cthulhu" and "Mountain of Madness" (haven't read any other of Lovecraft's novels, but there's probably stuff from other stories too).

One of the most unique features of Call of Cthulhu is that main character starts to go crazy when looking at disturbing stuff. Vision blurs, character whispers insane phrases like "They are calling to me" and sometimes he has flashbacks in which he ends up for 10-20 seconds in the mental asylum (you can walk there). If the fear factor increases too much, it may be dangerous to pull out the weapon because the character might commit suicide. In many cases it's possible to avoid going insane by not looking at corpses and other scary stuff. Quite often there are also strange short episodes when you see through the eyes of some other character or monster on the game map. Of course, the game also has lots of special situations and scripted events in many places to increase the horror. Besides horror, there are also elements from some WW2 games like Call of Duty and Medal of Honour. In one map you are at the back of a moving truck shooting people who are trying to stop you from getting out of town and later a few maps begin with assaults by FBI agents and US marines.

Call of Cthulhu is also the first game I've ever played which has very intense and scary escape situations. You don't get any guns during the first parts of the game, so when the action starts you can only flee. While being pursued, you can bolt doors and move furniture to block doors to buy you some time.

In many places the game resembles Thief games in that you need to sneak around and use shadows to hide. Surprisingly, Call of Cthulhu also turned out to be a really nice FPS shooter when I got the guns because handling and aiming the pistol and other weapons just feels somehow more realistic and challenging thanks to the horror elements. It's a lot of fun trying to aim your gun at an enemy's head to score a headshot when the character is going insane, his hands are shaking and he has fractures or other injuries. Fortunately, you get enough bullets in each map to have decent gunfights, but if you kill every monster by shooting them in torso you'll probably eventually run out of bullets. It usually takes 1-2 shots to kill a monster if you hit the head and 5-6 bullets if you hit the torso. The medical system is more complicated than in other games. In the inventory window you see different body parts of the main character like Right/Left part of head, torso, legs, arms. You need to use bandages to heal bleeding wounds, sutures to stich open wounds and splints to fix broken limbs. You can break a leg or an arm by falling from a high place (gunshot wounds can also cause fractures sometimes). It takes 5-10 seconds to use medikit supplies and you cannot do anything at that time, so you need to find cover and hope that no enemy manages to shoot you before you finish patching yourself. I've noticed that sometimes monsters start limping the same way player character does (probably when hit in an arm or leg), so the same damage system probably applies to them.

The game was released in 2006, so the graphics aren't bad at all (but it's no Crysis)! You cannot change any visual settings other than resolution and Anti-Aliasing, but somehow the game always manages to run completely smoothly even with high Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on Athlon XP 2400+/1Gb RAM/Radeon 9700. If the game's graphics lack anything, it is compensated by great gameplay.
!