Best horror games

Nosferatu? Ok not really. Nosferatu is ferocious monsters (no zombies) freaky and has a creepy setting… and is much better than Undying, but it’s not quite as scary as System Shock 2.

I couldn’t disagree more. Although some parts of the game were ruined by repetitive ghosts, and obviously some of the ghosts were meant to be benevolent or harmless and were therefore not meanacing, long stretches of the game are really creepy/tense. Or at least they were for me. YMMV, of course. But you didn’t think it was creepy when all the lights in that one hallway went out? Or when all of the sudden the phone started ringing? Maybe I’m just a wuss.

I probably should play Fatal Frame 1 before I get the sequel, huh? Hmm… maybe I can find a used Xbox version someplace…

And here I thought I was the only person that thought Thief was scary.

Come to think of it, that was the scariest game I ever played.

AvP 1, the marine missions. I’ve never been so scared in my entire life. The tension of no saves, the desperate search for facehuggers as your motion detector suddenly sounds, the surprise leap of a drone from the ceiling, the claustrophobic levels where there never is enough light.

I never got it to work on Win XP though, and that’s a bloody shame because it is one of my top-5 FPS games I’ve ever played.

The first marine mission in AvP 2, where you keep expecting an alien to jump out at you.

I agree with Kalle. AvP 1 smoked AvP 2 in terms of fear factor. It probably has something to do with LithTech. Oh, also, AvP2 has a stupid music system. The music changes whenever an Alien appears. Even if you don’t see it. I found that really hurt the tension because it eliminated the surprise. Of course you could turn it off… but still a poor design decision, imo. AvP1 was just a better game in my opinion. The lack of save was a problem in the Alien missions, but for the marine missions playing on the edge enhanced the whole experience.

Bah, Rebellion got screwed when they got passed up for the sequel.

Yes, AvP2 sucks. It’s a mediocre FPS with a big-name license attached to it, I don’t think I’ve ever been so disappointed by a sequel. Oh, and the AvP music kicks ass.

I’d love to know why some corporate fucktards decided that the incompetent fools at Monolith were the right guys to make a sequel when Rebellion had managed to produce a rock-solid game.

Nope, not creepy at all, because it was expected. And it wasn’t a Silent Hill kind of expected, where you know something is going to happen but not what and that adds to the feeling of dread, just that there would be some attempts to scare you but then you’d be back talking to Ron Weasley and digging through piles of text.

I would definitely seek out Fatal Frame 1 before playing FF2 - not so much for any plot connections (I have no idea if they are connected) but just that Fatal Frame 1 was such an outright creepy game. The art direction, the pacing, the creepy Japanese ghosts all combined to make Fatal Frame the scariest game I’ve played. Play it with the lights out and with headphones.

Now, the Silent Hill series is more creepy/disturbing - if you think you might be interested, I think is worth it to seek out Silent Hill (PSOne) and Silent Hill 2 (PS2/Xbox - the Greatest Hits version of SH2 on the PS2 has all the bonus features that were in the Xbox version). One of the nice things about Silent Hill is that while the graphics are certainly dated (the extra smoothing option that the PS2 has for playing PSOne games doesn’t help at all) the sound is still deliciously unnerving. Again, playing Silent Hill in the dark with headphones is a great, creepy experience - the game designers lavished as much attention on the sound design of the Silent Hill games as David Lynch does on the sound design of his films.

So, assuming you have unlimited time, my perfect play order would be Silent Hill 1, Silent Hill 2, Fatal Frame, Silent Hill 3 (wait to see if the PC port is buggy - if yes, then the PS2 version, if not, the PC version will have higher res graphics) and then Fatal Frame 2. Since Fatal Frame 2 just got pushed back to a mid December, you have a little extra time to play through the archives.

(Oh, and I didn’t mention the Resident Evil games because they’re generally not that scary; a few “gotcha!” times where something jumps out at you, but the games are basically zombie-zombie-zombie-dog-zombie all the way through. Eh. Clock Tower 3 on the PS2 is somewhat interesting because it has some really excellent motion capture work done for the cutscenes, and was the last project of a recently deceased, well regarded Japanese film maker. However, CT3 is more of a play-the-befuddled-teen-in-a-slasher-flick sort of simulator. I enjoyed playing it, but I can’t in good conscience recommend it.)

What Viridian said.

I didn’t know you were Xbox-enabled, Gary, or that would’ve been my first suggestion. Better graphical look to the Xbox version of FF1.

And it is very, very creepy. You’re creeping around in this silent haunted house, floors creaking…and then in a mirror, or at the edge of your vision, you’ll see just a bit of an apparition flit across, and it’s gone. Just jangles the nerves.

…Where some bizarre character lurches out of the fog that obscures everything more than four feet away, delivers some dialog that was apparently written Dada-style, by drawing random words out of a hat, and then is inexplicably slain by extras from Resident Evil.

I hated Silent Hill 2. I just don’t get what anyone saw in that game.

Silent Hill 2 is my least favorite of the series. I like 1 because the style of storytelling makes sense with the complete ignorance of the protagonist. I like 3 because it has good action and Heather is a strong protagonist… instead of just accepting her fate she fights and screams and stuggles. 2 has some good moments, but it also has some of the worst. Getting through the apartment complex at the beginning is a total snore.

I like the series in general because the games actually have themes worth talking about. It’s more interesting to me to debate the motivations of the different characters than to talk about the targetting system, and I feel that the Silent Hill series that really makes that a priority.

Yeah, two is the weakest, but I still loved it. I had no problem with the slowness of the game, if anything, I was only disappointed at the minimal use of the alternate world. Still one of the freakiest games I’ve ever played. Of course, when it comes down to it, I’ve only ever played 4 games that scared me. All three SH games, and System Shock 2.

There was a story in Silent Hill 2? I mean, I know people talked, but I could never follow what they were talking about, or really what was going on in general (other than the whole “stuck in a town full of monsters” thing). Most of the dialog seemed nonsensical–sort of a mix of “all your base”-style translation gaffes and film school student surrealism. I can’t speak for either of the other two games, since I haven’t played them. But 2 left me with little desire to explore the series further.

Rock solid in the sense “scary game with no story”?
And the added tension/frustration of fighting (nearly) insta-kill enemies with no saves felt a wee bit over the top (to me and many others. Probably Rebellion too since they patched that part after release).
But I don’t think any of this had anything to do with the desicion to go with Monolith instead of Rebellion for AvP2

Silent Hill 2 is officially the least scary horror game I have ever played. It started off okay, but never recovered from the puking zombies of doom.

Just finished Nosferatu a couple days ago… scary stuff. Its up there with SS2, Thief and AvP1 in atmosphere. Worth a play though it is a short game, but it still has random replayability… the higher levels ARE hard. Only real problem with Nosferatu is the slightly bad weapon animations (low frames).


Ugh, Silent Hill 2 and 3 are pretty wretched. Neither can hold a candle to the first Silent Hill, inferior tech notwithstanding.

I’ve played through all three games. There’s nothing in 2 and 3 as remotely disturbing as the first Silent Hill’s prelude, the ‘turning’ of the nurse, the first time the world shifts in the school, the ghost/zombie kids, the phone, the locker, the TVs in the mall, the carnival on the lake. In fact, 2 and 3 feel like confused attempts to deconstruct and recapture what was great about 1. They’re as pathetic as the high school jock who graduates and can’t do anything with his life but talk about his career as a high school football champion.*

  • Bad analogy, I know, but you get the idea…

Your Silent Hill 3 review is as on-target as your DX review, Chicky Baby. I knew it’d been too long since you’d given me something to ride you about. :P