Best horror games

I’m on the lookout for a good horror-game experience. I’m thinking about picking up Silent Hill 3 for either PS2 or PC – any recommendations on which is the best version to get?

Also I’m looking forward to Fatal Frame 2, which seems to be heavily populated with the kind of Ringu/Ju-On-style ghostly little Japanese girls which never fail to creep me out.


Nosferatu is a pretty effective one. Nice sense of style, visceral action, some strategy with the weapons, and the castle layout and most locations change when you start over. Monster locales change if you reload after death. It’s my favorite since Realms of the Haunting (I liked Undying, but it was dreadfully uneven). I reviewed Nosferatu at GamerDad. It’s in the archive, under ‘N’. (We also covered the PS2 version of Silent Hill 3, but I didn’t handle that one so I can’t comment.)

I found System Shock and System Shock 2 very scary…if you haven’t played them I’d say give them a shot.

Or alternatively you could make a game of re-reading some of your forum posts.

Some of them are pretty damn creepy if you asked me.


I played both, but I had to give up on System Shock 2 because of the zombie-like enemies. I can’t play the RESIDENT EVIL games for the same reason… zombies just creep me out too much. It’s my own fault for watching DAWN OF THE DEAD when I was 10.

Eternal Darkness on the Gamecube.

PC Silent Hill 3 is better than PS2, but it is not a patch on ED.

Eternal Darkness is about as unscary as it gets, with the exception of that one part.

The Silent Hill series, however, is great.

Eternal Darkness is a good game, and I love it for the Lovecraft references, but it’s not scary. There’s one jump scare and that’s about it.

I liked Clive Barker’s Undying quite a bit.

Agreed. ED was a good game and it had a mood but it wasn’t creepy scary the way SH2 was.

The whole “Not one of us!” was pretty scary. Every time I heard it the little hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

Undying was creepy although it lost some steam near the end.

System Shock 2 is another good scary title (leave the monster respawn enabled!). :)

Aliens vs Predator 1. The “Marine” missions of AvP2 were scary as well.

Thief had a few creepy missions.

“Look at you, Hacker. A pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors . . .”

Silent Hill 3 will likely be better on a PC if only because of the improved graphics you’re bound to get. But don’t overlook Silent Hill 1 or 2, assuming you have a PS1 or PS2 that you can play the original on. I’d say SH2 has too many slow parts, and SH3 goes overboard with making you fight enemies and feeling a little too much like a pure action game, so the original may actually prove to be the scariest for you. But they’re all pretty good.

I agree mostly with Guildboss on the PC titles he listed. Undying is another pretty good title - it’s not as creepy as the Silent Hills, but it sure is more fun as a pure game. I found it repetitive since it relies too much on a couple of monsters, but that didn’t stop me from playing Serious Sam to completion a few times. There are some really good moments in it and you should be able to find it at ridiculously low prices, so I say why not go for it.

System Shock 1, assuming you can find it and then get it to run on a non-DOS-based machine, IMO is much more enjoyable than the sequel, but maybe not as scary. I say maybe because I can’t remember the game too well, as I’m missing a few of the floppies and haven’t played it since 1995 or 1996. I’ll say this much about SS2 should you decide to check it out: do NOT leave monster respawning or weapon degradation enabled. Those features will frustrate you more than scare you. Let the basic atmosphere of the game accomplish the creepy/scary part because it’ll do a good job.

Thief 1 is good and creepy, although for me it’s not because of the zombies or anything downright evil or anything. It’s just my favorite stealth-based game, because the tension you’ll feel from crouching in a shadow and praying that the guard walking five feet away from you doesn’t spot you is great. Yet if you DO get spotted, it isn’t “YOU INSTANTLY LOSE RELOAD YOU PATHETIC MORON” the way a lot of crappy FPS missions that try to be stealth-based can be.

And hell yes, by far Aliens Versus Predator 1 is the best at being both scary and a great game. The Aliens missions are disconcerting - I tried to replay it recently, and I honestly couldn’t get past the first mission. I just couldn’t find the exit. Christ. Meanwhile, the Predator missions are a bit too easy, because, you know, you’re a Predator and shit. The Marines missions - OH YEAH. Awesome.

On a final note - I’ve heard nothing but good things about Fatal Frame 1 and I just need to remember to rent it. Also, I really like that bizarre trailer for Forbidden Siren, which I think I’ve watched about a trillion times now just for the music. I can’t wait for that.

I’m assuming you’ve played through Fatal Frame 1?

Fantastic haunted house game that combined elements of SS2 and survival horror. Great atmosphere, creepy as hell, maybe the best pure scare game I’ve ever played.

Arx Fatalis, while not scary right away has some of the most frightening moments in a PC game for me. The crypts and some of the lower levels are just plain FUCKING SCARY.

But it has alot of zombies, lich lords and mummies that are all convincingly rendered, animated and voiced.

You’d probably shit yourself. :)

If you can deal with point-and-click adventure games, I found both Amber: Journeys Beyond and Darkfall (I think it was released as Darkfall: The Journal here in the US) to be pretty creepy. They’re not jump-out-of-your-pants type scary, but they have great high tension through many areas.

Thief 1 really only has one or two creepy missions, but they’re very creepy (especially the one in the cathedral). SS2 is probably the scariest game I ever played, but I thought it fell apart towards the end (and actually never finished, IIRC).

Undying? Pffft. A poor man’s Realms of the Haunting.

RotH was a damn good game, but I enjoyed Undying as well. Very creepy. Not System Shock 2 creepy, but what is?

Darkfall isn’t creepy at all. Having ghosts outright bitching at you for going through their stuff completely destroys any tension it was trying to build at all.