After two weeks of voting, I'm proud to bring you NeoGAF's Essential Horror Games of 2016.
Turn out the lights and close the doors.
Top 10, in Ascending Order:
Opening ThemeSpieler Eins said:Silent Hill has been the scariest series in its heyday. Arguably, the specific way the original trilogy has built its world might actually be the scariest thing ever created in horror fiction. Even the PS1 original holds up wonderfully. In fact, I didn't even play it myself until a few years ago, yet it was still absolutely terrifying. The low-poly look actually gives the ,,other world" in particular an even more abstract feel and the crucial sound design has hardly aged. While interactivity is another key for its terror, the core game design unfortunately never has been as strong as Resident Evil. Still, it's not much of a hindrance for its undeniable artistic greatness.
Lady MariaMagic Mushroom said:Nails cosmic horror and does it in such a way that lore and mechanics intertwine in almost perfect harmony. One of the greatest games of all time, let alone horror.
Crimson ButterflyCajun said:Every survival horror game I played before this allowed you to run away with your tail between your legs, but the name of the game this time around is face your fear, and it's looking right back at you. What truly scares me in Fatal Frame are the less threatening encounters with the paranormal which often happen on the periphery.
Spieler Eins said:While the level design isn't quite as intricate as in the REmake, it still is of high calibre in Resident Evil 2. The maps are woven together in a masterful way and hence the game comes with great pacing. The mood is great, not last because of an amazing soundtrack, and the eventual jump scares are in fact quite smart. The world on its own is already very fun to explore, but the game further improves its replayability through 4 somewhat individual campaigns that take place in it.
Ripley's ThemeJigglesBunny said:A dynamic A.I. system and open level design really made it feel as if the Xenomorph could be lurking around any corner, and often times, it was. Creative Assembly did right by this license, it's world and the tension it brought to so many when we originally discovered it years ago in Alien.
Welcome About The U.S.G. IshimuraHis Majesty said:Very oppressive environments, scripted scares and enough breathing room allow for a very enjoyable horror action game.
Letter From The Lost Daysgforguava said:The undisputed king of the Silent Hill series, everything about it is first class. Its imagery is potent, outdoing everything in its forebears, and its command of tone is perfect.
AmbienceReedirect said:The grim reminder of what could have been. The scariest hallway you'll ever walk through. Simple and brilliant game design with a touch of Kojima's weirdness and love for deceiving players. I'm still terrified even after every secret has been found. While I usually maintain the opinion that a game doesn't need great graphics to be scary, the visual excellence helps a lot this time. The hallway is almost photo-realistic, and every apparition you see is all the scarier because of it.
Echo In The NightDusk Golem said:i think this game is as much of a horror game as the classic RE's. They all have their moments, don't get me wrong, but I think RE4 was a natural evolution of what they were slowly setting up through the franchise, and I actually personally think it's just as scary as RE2/RE3, personally (there were a number of moments that got me the first time I played, ranging from Dr. Salvador, to the first Garrador, to the hedge maze, Regenerators, the invisible insects, 'IT', etc.).
Macabre Hallwaytintin1029 said:It took all the concepts of the classic REs before it, specifically RE1, and took it all the way up to 11. Amazing game design. Forcing players to think. save resources for later and risk the enemy still being a threat or kill the enemy and risk not having enough ammo for later. These design decisions were used in the RE games before of course, but I think they were used the best way in REmake.
And NeoGAF's Best Horror Game of All time IS..
Bass260 said:Masterfully blends narrative with its gameplay to create the most compelling and engrossing horror experience in a video game. Silent Hill 2 touches on topics that were foreign for video games at the time and are still rarely shown today. James Sunderland's search for his "dead" wife Mary and his redemption through suffering is an unforgettable tale.
Cipher Peon said:To me, Silent Hill 2 is more than just a perfect game. Perfect story, gameplay, atmosphere, music, pacing, structure, content, characters, setting, symbolism, tension, level design, game design, sound effects, enemy encounter design. Generally speaking, if I comment on any aspect of game design, chances are Silent Hill 2 is what I'd say is the best execution of that design principle in action. The minute I put the game down I stared blankly at my screen, incapable of comprehending the sheer brilliance of everything put before my very eyes.
I swore to myself to never play the game ever again, because even though I thought it was excellent at the time, I felt like my heart could not take it anymore. But I revisited it almost immediately and as time progressed I soon found myself pining over the game more and more. And now it is beyond the gold standard of horror, video games, and artistic expression. Silent Hill 2 is humanity's magnum opus. And we are all better for living in a world where such unfathomable beauty can exist.
tintin1029 said:No other game has handled such dark subject matter so subtly than this game has. The game's horror revolves morely around implications than just telling you or showing you, which is what true horror is imo.
The Theme of Laura
11. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
tintin2029 said:It brought pure horror back on it's feet in a world where all horror we had was either action horror or just bad horror.
12.Haunting Ground & Dead Space 2 (TIE)
Dusk Golem said:It's my personal favorite of the Clock Tower 'series', so I had to include it. Features actually one of my favorite settings in a horror game ever (Belli Castle is maybe one of the most underrated horror locations ever), some deranged and memorable stalkers, one of the best dogs in gaming, and a wonderfully twisted story that tackles several things horror games don't tackle often (including giallo and exploitation horror), it is a very fun ride through and through.
tav7623 said:I really enjoyed the first Dead Space and with the sequel the game's developers cranked everything up to eleven from the game's opening moment where you are trying to avoid/outrun Necromorphes while confined to a straight jacket all the way up to the games thrilling conclusion. If you liked the first Dead Space then playing this game is a no brainer.
More_Badass said:Easily one of the best sci-fi horror games to grace the medium. An oppressively atmospheric location, slow-burn horror thick with haunting moments and creeping dread. And a fascinating story that adds to the horror with its themes and implications.
14. Outlast & Siren: Blood Curse (TIE)
KDC720 said:A haunted house ride through and through, but it's a damn good one.
Jucksalbe said:It finally made the Siren series playable for me. I couldn't never get into the original games, just because of their weirdness, but I could play through this remake. It has some really scare scenes that stick with you for long after you finish it and a really, really weird ending.
15. Fatal Frame
WITHE1982 said:Something about Japanese horror just scares the hell out of me. PZ perfectly marries psychological horror with some fantastic jump scares.
16.Rule of Rose & The Evil Within (TIE)
gforguava said:Rule of Rose is a fantastic horror experience, sure its gameplay is pretty lackluster, but since when has that stopped a game(particularly a horror one) from being good? The game is actually not that dissimilar to Silent Hill 2(and is superior to it, in my opinion), being a psychological horror story wrapped in the skin of a supernatural one.
Fancy Clown said:This is basically a "Mikami's greatest hits" in this darker, creepier, harder, and more methodical successor to Resident Evil 4. Most of what RE4 got right make this game great too, with excellent pacing, encounter variety, level design, and bosses. The art direction and atmosphere rival that of Bloodborne too. It would be been even better if some of the rough edges were more polished, and if it had a more entertaining story, but it's one of the generations finest games and an excellent horror experience, and a criminally underrated game.
17. Forbidden Siren
Taruanto said:Siren is kind of a weird game. It's hard as hell, to the point it felt like the developers forgot they were making a videogame and it should be fun. Progression is obscure and borderline impossible. Sub-objectives don't get saved, forcing you to restart a level. Ironically, the brutal game difficulty ends up enhancing the experience. The three days of Hanuda village are a nightmarish experience filled with desperation and without hope because how hard everything is.
18. Condemned & Resident Evil 3 & Corpse Party & Bioshock (TIE)
Cajun said:An incredibly unique psychological horror for gaming. I'd say it has the best set piece scares in the entire medium, on top of a brilliant combat system. Melee combat in first person is no easy creation, let alone nailing it like Condemned did. Most games which feature it are borderline unplayable as far as I'm concerned, but it's inclusion in condemned heightens tension in moment to moment gameplay in-between both psychological and jumpscare set-pieces. I simply had to set the controller down in Bart's Department Store, and once again before entering the farmhouse basement. Up there with the scariest games I've ever played.
Stallion Dan said:Criminally underrated. By far the best entry in the RE series. It took RE2 and fixed all it's flaws, RE2 while good gave too much ammo vs the enemies in the game, RE3 fixed it by adding more enemies so you never got moments rest and resources had to actually be used against them, the Tyrant for all it's good was slow and could be avoided easy, and leaving the room ended his threat, so RE3 gave us Nemesis who was fast, ran at you, would use a Rocket launcher on you and most of all, would stalk you through entire areas, leaving the room was no lnger safe.
cj_iwakura said:Few games accomplish so much with so little. With just sprites, amazing binaural audio, and one of the most terrifying settings imaginable, they don't come more disturbing than this game.
tav7623 said:This game is a terrifyingly amazing first person shooter set in the creepy as f*** setting of Rapture, if you love horror & first person shooters then this game is right up your alley so would you kindly go check it out.
19. .S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl & Dino Crisis &
Five Nights at Freddy's & Eternal Darkness (TIE)
Berto said:The atmosphere is king, and the underground labs are stuff of nightmares.
Spieler Eins said:All the enemies are really strong, actually making your standard pistol a complete redundancy. They will stalk you through several rooms and the areas don't stay cleared. Plus, because this game still has an open map structure, puzzle solving and exploring becomes much more stressful (in a good way) than linear corridors like The Evil Within.
Ricitor said:Yes, it is a game based on Jump Scares but that does not mean they are not effective. There is a tension every time you turn on that light to the right or left. The moment you realise the Animatronics are not there and you go into a panic to find them. The game does its job despite being simple. Hate on the success all you want, but it does something right.
Cajunj said:While gimmicky, the sanity system was groundbreaking and completely fit the themes the game was working with. I was disappointed with myself when I wasn't representing Lovecraft in my list, so here.
20. Clock Tower & Resident Evil (Original) [TIE]
gforguava said:The original Clock Tower sits comfortably at the top for its purity as a horror experience, it is a horror game and only a horror game. No concessions are made to give the player more power, or to make the game more 'fun', or to do anything that isn't in service of it being a horror game.
Cipher Peon said:Of course, horror isn't purely about scares or psychological tension, at least to me anyway. There's an innate magic over the non frightening attempting to scare you in kitschy fashion, which is why Halloween is still magical even though I'm no longer a child. There's still something heartwarming and lovable about paper ghosts and jack o lanterns with smiley faces on them, and to me this adorable "fun" that horror provides is masterfully captured by Resident Evil. Resident Evil isn't scary. At all. It's less scary than Luigi's Mansion, of all things. But it's some of the most fun you can possibly have in a game, exploring one of my favorite settings of all time, and solving fun puzzles and enjoying dumb dialogue from characters that are better seen as planks of wood than humans. It's dumb and lovable, and the game's attempts at scaring are so adorable that it makes the game ooze with charm and instantly recommendable to anyone.
I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream 5 Until Dawn 5 ZombiU 5 White Day 4 Silent Hill 4 4 Fatal Frame 3 4 Parasite Eve 4 Scratches 4 F.E.A.R. 4 Siren 2 4 Alan Wake 4 Killer7 3 System Shock 2 3 Hellnight / Dark Messiah 3 Phenomeno 3 Pathologic 3 Inside 3 Stasis 3 F.E.A.R. 2 3 Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth 3 Resident Evil: Code Veronica 3 Doom 3 3 Oxenfree 3 DayZ 3 Fatal Frame 4 3 Eternal Darkness 3 The Witch House 3 Chaos;Head 2 Martian Gothic: Unification 2 Anatomy (Kitty Horrorshow) 2 Limbo 2 Alien VS Predator 1999 2 Fragile Dreams 2 Demon's Souls 2 The Thing 2 Manhunt 2 LSD 2 Snatcher 2 Resident Evil 6 2 Ib 2 Slender: The Eight Pages 2 Yume Nikki 2 Five Nights at Freddy's 4 2 The Last of Us 2 Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 A Chair in A Room 2 Silent Hill Homecoming 1 Song of Saya 1 Luigi's Mansion 1 Penumbra: Overture 1 Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 1 Darkness Within 2 1 Penumbra: Black Plague 1 Imscared 1 Evil Dead: Regeneration 1 Onimusha Warlords 1 Clock Tower 3 1 Parasite Eve 2 1 Echo Night 1 Penumbra: Overture 1 Fatal Frame V 1 Sunless Sea 1 Maniac Mansion 1 The House of the Dead 1 Castlevania 1 RE Revelations 2 1 Lone Survivor 1 Doom 1 Resident Evil 5 1 Metro 2033 1 Five Nights at Freddy's 3 1 Misao 1 Mad Father 1 The Vanishing of Ethan Carter 1 Cursed Mountain 1
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