The horror genre is uniquely suited to video games, thanks to the inherent interactivity that the medium delivers. It’s one thing to see something scary in a movie; its another to feel like you’ve experienced it first hand. Scary games have had a bit of a renaissance in the last decade or so, thanks to titles like Dead Space and Outlast that put a renewed emphasis on creating scares and tension, after the genre had started to go in a more action-oriented direction with titles like Resident Evil 4. As graphic technology continues to improve, so too does the potential for evermore terrifying gaming experiences. There are a number of games that will scare the pants off you, but if you’re looking for the best, must-play horror gaming experiences, these 15 titles are essential.
15. Resident Evil
In truth, Resident Evil is probably the least scary game on this list, but it still deserves recognition because of its importance to the horror game genre. Originally released in 1996, Capcom’s Resident Evil pretty much wrote the blueprint on 3D horror game design. Set in the fictional town of Raccoon City in the aftermath of a viral outbreak that turns the majority of the populace into zombies, the game puts players in control of an elite task force officer stranded in a creepy mansion. The original game has had some significant revisions over the years, most notably a 2003 remake on the GameCube that modernized the game’s graphics (an upgraded edition of that game was released earlier this year on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC). The amazing thing is that Resident Evil still holds up, thanks to the claustrophobic design of the game’s setting and the creative enemy types that lurk in the Spencer Mansion hallways. There are scarier games out there, but Resident Evil is where it all started.