Games have had a massive impact on my life so I found it fitting to make a list based on my favorites, only I’ve played a ton of games so it would be a lot to cram them onto one list so I’m going to make a series out of it and rate my favorite games by genre. How this works is I’ll be going through my favorite games genre by genre and then end the series with a final list of my favorite games of all time. Due to the wide range of genres we are covering you will see the some of the same games on multiple lists which will help them net a spot on the final list. To make the lists I will need to have at least played the game so any games I haven’t played will not be appearing.
Today’s genre is: Horror
For the second post in this series I’m going to go with one of my favorite genre’s: horror. Horror can be a difficult genre. Most of the horror movies and games that come out are poorly paced garbage meant to make the studio behind it a quick buck (cough Annabelle Creation). But when done right we not only get a masterpiece in storytelling but one with the ability to scare the pants off us. With that said let’s count down my top 10 favorite horror games.
10.Among The Sleep
Starting off our list is Among The Sleep, Which is easily one of the most unique games on the list. The game puts you in the shoes of a two year old and tasks you with surviving a hellish landscape found in your closet. Because you are a toddler you are unable to fight back or run (at least not without tripping over yourself because you are a toddler), your only real option is to crawl into someplace to hide and pray the monsters lurking about don’t find you. Now the game isn’t perfect because it came from a small indie studio way back in 2014, but they recently remastered it in late 2017 to try to reach the missed potential the original version was so close to reaching. I haven’t played the remaster yet so I don’t know if it fixed anything yet but I look forward to playing through this indie gem again in the near future (will probably review it).
9.Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Amnesia The Dark Descent is probably single-handedly responsible for saving modern-day survival horror. It came out at a time where no new horror games were out or even planned for the near future. You had a few outliers such as F.E.A.R. 2, and the original Dead Space but those were few and far between. Point being the horror genre was lying stagnant due in large part to all the old franchises switching from horror to action oriented gameplay (Resident Evil 5, Bioshock 2). Then out comes the developer of the little known Penumbra series with a new IP, Amnesia The Dark Descent. Amnesia took the internet by storm and launched the careers of many a youtuber. What set this one apart wasn’t high budget action spectacle or next-gen graphics or a stellar voice cast comprised of celebrities. No, what set Amnesia apart was that you couldn’t fight back.The game relied only on scares and it proved to be more than effective, and laid the foundation of the survival horror genre that has an abundance of games now days.
8. Dead Space Series
Long before EA killed off Visceral games or started putting loot boxes in Star Wars games, they were hard at work making the fantastic sci-fi survival horror series known as Dead Space. What i truly love about Dead Space is that it doesn’t make you play as the generic soldier character instead players take control of Isaac Clarke, an engineer who takes on what was supposed to be a simple repair mission so he could find his girlfriend aboard the mining vessel the USG Ishimura. Of course this wouldn’t be a horror game if things didn’t go incredibly wrong and they do in spectacular fashion. Having played a ton of horror games I didn’t find it too scary but the series makes the list for its sensational writing and characters that you actually care about.
7.The Evil Within Series
The Evil Within comes from the mastermind behind the Resident Evil franchise, Shinji Mikami. The man knows how to do survival horror right. The gameplay is intense, the story isn’t over long, (poor pacing can absolutely kill a horror game) and it overall just feels like an original idea. I played 50% of the first one and completed the second one and I can definitely say the second one has a more focused story (at least in the latter half of the game). But as a whole The Evil Within is an amazing experience for Resident Evil fans.
6. Until Dawn
Another horror game that made waves upon release, Until Dawn turned both horror and choice based games on their heads. The game follows the cliched story line of teenagers partying in a remote cabin but does it in a new and innovative way by letting you control each of the nine character. The cool part is not only do your choices impact the relationships between characters but it also lets you indirectly decide who makes it through the night. You can have an outcome where everyone makes it or one where only a few survive or an ending where no one makes it out alive. The choice is all in the hands of you the player. While Until Dawn does have a few small issues, it is overall a blast to play and a gaming experience I won’t forget anytime soon.
5. Resident Evil Series
Resident Evil is known as the grandfather of survival horror for a reason. most of the mechanics you see a lot in modern horror games (scavenging ammo, health, crafting supplies,etc) all came from Resident Evil. The series really didn’t find it’s voice until the second one due to the poor quality of the writing in the first. It was so bad Capcom recently rereleased the first one with improved graphics and writing. Fortunately most of the Resident Evil games remain relatively scary games. Plus with the recent release of Resident Evil 7 to terrify a new generation of gamer, it doesn’t look like this series is going away anytime soon.
4. Alien: Isolation
Finally a good game based off the Alien franchise. Alien Isolation takes place 15 years after the first movie and puts you in the shoes of Amanda Ripley, (Ellen Ripley’s daughter) who journeys to Sevastopol station to retrieve the flight recorder of the Nostromo which may give her some closure about what happened to her mother. Of course as soon as they arrive at Sevastopol everything goes horribly wrong and you the player must try to survive whilst also finding a way off the station. Now what sets this apart from most of the other first person horror games on our list is that you can actually fight back in this one. I will say this game has some pretty serious pacing problems towards the middle as in it becomes kind of a slog, but if you can look past that you get a game that is survival horror at it’s finest. Plus what huge horror fan doesn’t want to play a horror game where you are being hunted by a xenomorph?
Outlast is easily the scariest game on this list. The game let’s you play as Miles Upshur a reporter who’s follows a dangerous lead from a whistle-blower to Mount Massive asylum where all sorts of inhumane experiments are going on. Now what makes this game special is that you are only armed with a camera and cannot fight back. It essentially makes this game a found footage horror film that you control. Making things even scarier is that you often have to use the camera’s night vision mode to navigate the dimly lit environments but using the night vision mode drains the camera batteries even faster than using normally thus forcing you to find more batteries, often while you are being chased. This is also the one horror game I’ve been too scared to finish. Seriously whenever I go to continue the game I find myself getting stressed before I’ve even clicked launch. But hey who knows maybe I’ll do a series on it eventually.
Soma comes from the same developer behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent and has one of the best damn stories I’ve seen in a video game, it’s also scary as hell. It takes most of the gameplay from Amnesia (minus the insanity meter and lantern) but instead of a derelict manor you’re in an underwater research base. I’m not going to say anything about the plot because it is definitely better if you go in blind.
Capping off our list is the original Bioshock which had one of the biggest mind f–ks in video game history. Seriously if you haven’t played Bioshock go do it because you are missing out big time. What surprised me about Bioshock is I didn’t know it was a horror game going in so I was genuinely surprised when I kept jumping out of my chair in fright. While it isn’t the scariest game in the world Bioshock makes earns it’s place on the list for its innovative story.
Thank you for reading. Feel free to comment about your favorite horror game or make a suggestion for the next genre.