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Five Video Games To Play For An Unforgettable Horror Experience


Video games are a powerful form of entertainment to delve into unique and absorbing experiences. Combined with the genre of horror, one of the most gripping genres across all forms of media, a video game can be an unforgettable experience. These are five horror video games that have proven to scare and delight players for years to come. 


Resident Evil 2 (2019)


Kicking off this list and ranked 81 on IGN’s Top 100 Videogames of All Time, is Resident Evil 2 (2019). While there are other and arguably more notable games in the Resident Evil franchise that could fill this spot, the 2019 remake of this horror game legend masterfully modernizes the original version. 


In this terrifying survival-horror game, the player will play as either rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy or university student Claire Redfield as they attempt to escape from a zombie-infested city. Discover the secrets of the Umbrella Corporation, a pharmaceutical manufacturer responsible for leaking the zombie virus into Raccoon City, as the player must run and shoot their way through zombies, infected dogs and monstrous abominations.


In this version, the controls, camera angles and graphics have all been given an upgrade to modern day standards, perfectly complimenting the survival horror experience meant to be experienced when playing Resident Evil 2.


Dead Space (2008) 


Ranked number 3 on GameInformer’s The Top 25 Horror Games of All Time, Dead Space (2008) brings a whole new meaning to the word “tense”. 


Set in the year 2508, humans have developed interstellar travel and must harvest resources from other planets due to a global and life-threatening resource shortage on Earth. Play as futuristic space engineer Isaac Clarke in the search for a resource-harvesting ship that went missing, in an attempt to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of Clarke’s girlfriend. After locating the ship — seemingly desolate and orbiting a planet — a docking malfunction causes Isaac and his crewmates to crash into the ship. Inside the ship, Isaac and crew quickly discover that it’s packed full of Necromorphs — humans turned monsters through the infection of a virus-like organism. Stranded in space and surrounded by monsters which resemble The Thing from John Carpenter’s The Thing, the player must utilize a versatile weapon modification system to gun down every Necromorph you come across to survive. 


Perfectly balanced between fast-paced combat and slow-paced horror, players will find themselves tip-toeing through every dark corridor and jumping at every Necromorph they run into. 


Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010)


In Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010), the objective isn’t to fight, the only options are to run, hide or die. Burdened by psychological and literal darkness, the player will control a man named Daniel, who mysteriously wakes up in a massive castle in the middle of the forest with a case of amnesia. Your goal is to kill your “master”, identified only as Alexander, as directed by a note you left for yourself. 


This begins the player’s dark descent into this critically-acclaimed psychological survival horror. As the player ventures through the castle, they’ll be chased at every turn by indescribable monsters, forced to hide inside wardrobes, behind curtains or in dark corners.


Every moment spent in the dark or directly viewing these monsters lowers Daniel’s sanity, which is tracked by a sanity meter in the game. The less sanity Daniel has, the more horrific hallucinations he will have, inducing visions of monsters and unsettling experiences, and threatening death. The player will have to run, hide and keep torches lit in an attempt to unveil the truth hidden in the depths of the castle. With a complete focus on instilling a sense of frailty and helplessness of the player, Amnesia: The Dark Descent does everything it can to inspire a fear of the dark. 


Silent Hill 2 (2001)


Nearing the end of this list is one of the greatest horror games in video game history: Silent Hill 2 (2001). This game is one of the best additions to psychological and survival horror. Not only does it know how to frighten, but it also tells a gripping cinematic story about the pain of loss and grief. 


In this game, the player will play as James Sutherland, a widower who has unexplainably received a letter from his wife, Mary, who died three years ago. The letter invites James to a small rural town, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, named Silent Hill. Upon James’ arrival, he’s greeted by a town blanketed by an endless fog, seemingly abandoned and desolate. Almost immediately, he runs into grotesque monsters who roam the streets who vaguely resemble humans but are contorted in horrific ways. 


While combat aspects are present, the game focuses heavily on narrative, puzzle-solving and survival. Every aspect of gameplay in Silent Hill 2 heavily emphasizes the physiological element of horror, with each monster representing an aspect of James’s grief over his wife and the environment growing increasingly antagonistic and oppressive. Ranked 59 on IGN’s Top 100 Videogames of All Time, Silent Hill 2 is a timeless classic in the horror genre of video games.


Doki Doki Literature Club (2017)


Ending this list is one of the most unique horror experiences offered in gaming, Dan Salvato’s Doki Doki Literature Club (DDLC). This game is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, posing as a typical anime romance visual novel, DDLC is a psychological horror game that utilizes the surreal and unsettling.


In DDLC, the player navigates through the game as a generic visual novel protagonist, attending a Japanese-inspired high school and eventually joining a high school literature club. The player is soon introduced to the four possible love interests of the game, Sayori, Natsuki, Yuri and Monika. Each of the four girls, the only other characters of the game, are based on popular character tropes from anime; Sayori is the upbeat childhood friend of the protagonist, Natsuki is the abrasive and initially rude hothead, Yuri is the dark and mysterious intellectual, and Monika is the popular and capable club president. The game initially follows a typical romance narrative, allowing the player to choose one of the four girls to pursue romantically. However, the tone and narrative of the game begin to shift dramatically with every choice, swinging from cheerful and upbeat to surreal and deeply disturbing. 


DDLC preys upon the player’s expectations and knowledge of visual novels to deliver sudden, shocking moments of psychological horror. The longer the player plays, the more the innocent and joyful world of DDLC seemingly melts away to reveal a darker truth. Through the use of graphic imagery and an anxiety-inducing atmosphere, the player will be left shaken at the end of this game.


Horror video games are quite possibly the most immersive form of horror media there is. As shown by this list of games, they can also come in many different forms and gameplay experiences. Whether the player prefers fighting zombies or hiding from grotesque monsters, these games all offer unique and genuinely terrifying gameplay.

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Tags: video games horror horror games doki doki literature club dead space resident evil


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