Reader Discussion: It’s Horror Month! What Are Your Favorite Horror Games?


We celebrate horror month every month, because horror is just how we roll. However, there’s something about October that makes celebrating the frightening genre just feel right. Last year saw the release of Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within, and this year brought SOMA, Until Dawn, and the upcoming Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water... to consoles that aren’t Xbox. I’ll admit, the Xbox is not the place to party on Halloween this year, but let’s open it up a little.

What are your favorite horror games?

Fatal Frame and Silent Hill are my top dogs (even as an Xbox guy, I’m looking forward to the new Fatal Frame more than Halo 5), but it all started for me with Resident Evil on Playstation. It looks awful in retrospect, but the eerie mansion, the limited inventory space, the jump scares… it was all new territory. I never played the original Alone in the Dark, nor was I ever terrified by the pixels in horror themed games like Ghosts n’ Goblins or Zombies Ate My Neighbors, but my friends and I were sucked in to the world Capcom had created. It became an event and every weekend we’d find ourselves huddled in my bedroom playing through Resident Evil, watching those campy live-action cut-scenes for the 30th or 40th time. Resident Evil’s popularity gave new life to the genre we know and love (like Final Fantasy VII did for RPGs), improving just about everything in the second and third entries.

It wasn’t until Silent Hill where I truly began to appreciate atmosphere and the fear of the unknown. It was this weird combination of The Last Man on Earth meets Hellraiser, and I was scared shitless navigating its foggy streets (named after famous horror authors) the whole way through. Combat was pretty terrible, and I remember having to restart after reaching the giant moth boss with only 2 shots of my hunting rifle left, but that feeling of helplessness added to the overall tension perfected by the series in Silent Hill 2 and 3. Silent Hill 4: The Room is where it kind of lost me, although I still enjoyed what I played of it. Homecoming was a bit of a bust, and to this day I’ve never even touched Origins. And I’m still not sure how I feel about Downpour. Shattered Memories though, that was a pleasant surprise.

Whether it’s the film-grained graphics and telltale signs of Japanese horror found in Fatal Frame, Siren, Haunting GroundKuon, Clock Tower, or Rule of Rose, the taste of the Silent Hill that never was in P.T., or the unimaginable monsters lurking in The Evil Within and Resident Evil 4, I love me some horror games. Even some of the bad ones. Ju-On, Calling, and Cursed Mountain were enjoyable in their own way on the Wii. Obscure and Obscure: Aftermath are laughably bad on PS2, but I’d still play through them. The mass amount of Slender or Five Nights at Freddy’s clones on PC though, that’s where I draw the line.

So what about you? What are your favorite horror games of all time? Sound off down in the comments.


  1. Silent Hill 1-4, Clock Tower 1 & 3, Haunting Ground, now P.T. has been added to this list, even though technically, it’s just a teaser demo, I like almost everything in the genre to be honest. I could go on for days. Cannot wait to see all of the new ones coming out.

    1. Although PT was just a teaser, I gave it our Horror Game of the Year award for 2014. It was incredibly atmospheric and one of the most terrifying games I’ve ever played in my life.

      Clock Tower 3, in my opinion, is criminally underrated. I liked the first two point-and-click adventure titles on PSX, but CT3 was exactly what I wanted in a horror game at the time. Terrifying enemies griefing you while you run around and solve puzzles.. so good. Not sure I could say the same about the weird bow-and-arrow boss fights, but it was a really enjoyable playthrough.

      I’m with you. If it’s horror, I want to play it.

      1. We’re far more active on Twitter than the blog, since we can post whatever comes to mind. Feel free to hit us up over there any time you want! We’re always looking for good conversation!

        I’m amgfail_WYT, Miles is @mileson_WYT, and the blog account is @whatsyourtag of course.

  2. I think I’ll list a few everyone will know, and a couple that some may have to research.

    Anyway, I would have to say Eternal Darkness. Why? Because it gave the world Resident Evil gameplay, with scares that are genuine. Not jump scares where a dog breaks a window, and you’re surprised for a second. Scares. Stuff that truly messed with your head. Making you think your save file got erased. Your player model falling apart, making you think you just lost, only to have a flashback noise, with a white flash to the room you started in. The story was pretty eerie too, channeling some Lovecraft during the campaign.

    Another couple of games everyone knows? Doom 3. Yep. The least popular Doom. While it certainly got predictable with the monster closets opening behind you, the texture work in it, and the re-release were great. Between that, and the ambient noises, it did really manage to creep me out at times. Sure, the characters are a bit blocky, and haven’t aged as well as some other games have, but it still managed to have a sense of dread about it.

    S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadows of Chernobyl is another good horror game. At first it doesn’t seem that scary. But once you get around a third in, things do pick up on the eeriness factor.

    The original Castlevania Trilogy. Not really scary games, but they are horror games nonetheless. Very difficult horror games. Everyone knows them, I don’t have to prattle on. But they’re up there for good reason.

    Similarly the Ghosts N’ Goblins, Ghouls N’ Ghosts games. Brutally difficult, yet rewarding games with a horror theme.

    But there are a few you may not have played, that you should.

    Forbidden Forest, and Beyond The Forbidden Forest. (Commodore 64) I reviewed these years ago, and they’re two of my favorite games from childhood. The 8-bit graphics won’t scare you these days, but they brought out a level of gore that wouldn’t be matched until Mortal Kombat hit arcades (You could point to Chiller I suppose, but these deaths were still pretty gruesome.) But getting trampled by frogs, set on fire by dragons, or stabbed to death by skeletons was the least of your worries. Going up against the Demogorgon was the scariest stuff at the time. You had to kill in 90 seconds, and was only vulnerable to the heart, AND you could only see him when lightning flashed. Failure to do so resulted in his creepy visage scrolling down the screen to creepy musical stings. Each stage was essentially a boss fight. Think of it like Punch-Out!! except you’re shooting monsters with a limited number of arrows, and reloading bows makes you vulnerable. There was dread from the gameplay in addition to the atmosphere.

    Beyond The Forbidden Forest isn’t quite as good due to the change in the aiming system, but it did allow you to change planes in it’s parallax scrolling forest, and cavern. So you could move in, and out of the foreground. The monsters were scarier, and the music was just as creepy. The man eating worm was probably the scariest because it would randomly pop up out of the ground. If it popped up under you, you were getting eaten in a gristly fashion. Then it would come back out of the ground to puke up your bow. While you won’t live in terror after playing these, you’ll still get a little bit freaked out trying not to die.

    1. I’m always interested in retro gaming, so I’ll have to give the Forbidden Forest games a shot. Sounds excellent! I totally agree that Doom 3 was terrifying. I played it on the original Xbox with headphones and I was stressed out the entire time. Eternal Darkness is a horror game that gets tossed around a lot, and even as someone who loves horror and had a Gamecube I just didn’t get in to it. I can’t even pinpoint why I didn’t really care for it. Maybe it just wasn’t what I wanted at the time, since the market was saturated with zombies and Resident Evil clones. It’s been a game I’ve desperately wanted to try again, and it’s only about $30 on eBay.

  3. Eternal Darkness was awesome. I really enjoyed it. Silent Hill 2 and 3 are my favorites, unsurprisingly… but I thought Origins was better and more atmospheric than The Room and the PS3 ones. I’ve never played a Fatal Frame game… very excited to play the Wii U game when it comes out.

    1. Origins always looked good, but I just hated playing anything on the PSP. I did pick up the PS2 port about 2 years ago and never got around to it, so it’s there when I’m ready.

      If you have a PS3 I *think* the Fatal Frame games are downloadable on PSN under PS2 Classics. Maybe. Hopefully lol. They’re an incredible series of games. It’s a shame we never got the 4th entry that came out on Wii in Japan. There’s a pretty neat spin-off title on 3DS called Spirit Camera that’s pretty cool too. It uses the same Camera Obscura gimmick as the FF games, but you use your 3DS to take pictures of ghosts around your own house.

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