Kinker Korner’s Top 68 Horror Games #16-1 nsfw

This is it… time for the final part of the list, the terrifying conclusion. Let’s see what makes it then shall we?.

 

 

16. Wolfenstein: The New Order-2014

“Wake up….you’re dead”. The Wolfenstein series has always been the black sheep of the fps family despite being considered the pioneer of the genre. Games have come and gone with cult followings but they’ve often failed to break through the glass ceiling and join the likes of Doom. When Bethesda came on board as publisher they got the grade A promotion and hype that the game deserved. Set in an alternative history in which the Nazis won ww2, series protagonist BJ Blazkowicz awakens from a coma in a vastly different 60s than we know about. What follows is an incredible , white knuckle ride of old school fps fun. I expected this to be good but in no way was I prepared for how awesome it ended up being.

 

 

 

15. F.E.A.R 2:Project Origin-2009

My buddy Rick always gives me heat for my love of F.E.A.R, not that he doesn’t think it’s a good series but he can’t understand my undying love for the first two games. In all honesty it was FEAR that got me back into fps games after years of being completely apathetic about them. There’s something about them, the atmosphere, the love of Japanese horror, horror  in general and of course Alma, one of my favourite antagonists in gaming. The poor wee girl who was experimented on as a child is all grown up and she is pissed off….oh and she has supernatural abilities. This second game is far more action orientated (I’m saying that a lot about sequels, go figure) but still has an awesome, dreamlike atmosphere.

 

14..I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream-1995

I was late to the PC world, we couldn’t really afford one but when we eventually did manage and I was able to emulate some games I had missed out on this was an early one for me. A game based on my favourite short story from one of my favourite writers, Harlan Ellison?. Count me in!. The point and click dystopian nightmare is hilariously narrated by Ellison himself hamming it up as much as he can. A sentient super computer has wiped out human life but for five people who he keeps alive and tortures.At the time we join the story it has somehow kept them alive for it’s pleasure for 109 years. It’s an incredibly disturbing story and it it adapts to a game surprisingly well.

 

13.Fatal Frame/Project Zero-2001

Bang in the middle of the excellent J-Horror revival, the little horror game that could sprung onto the scene. In my opinion Project Zero (Fatal Frame in America, Zero in Japan) is…scare for scare, the most terrifying game series ever made. This is all subjective though, like all of the list and I personally get completely lost in these games and find them pant shittingly terrifying. You use the camera obscura, a supernatural camera that defeats evil spirits when you let them get close enough and take pictures. Think about that….you don’t run away, you don’t shoot things, you stand and wait for a vengeful ghost to get nose to nose with you . It brutally tense in the best possible way.

 

12.Resident Evil 4-2005

Sacrilege I hear you shout!. I know I know most lists have this waaay up at the top of horror game lists and I clearly love it or it wouldn’t be nearly this high but the games that follow it just  had a bigger impact on me. It’s a brilliant game that redefined survival horror with the over the shoulder camera angle and the emphasis on action.Some may say that’s a terrible thing as games took this action approach and wiped out all of the horror but Resi 4 can’t be blamed for other games’ flaws. It struck a great balance between intense horror and white knuckle action with fan favourite protagonist Leon Kennedy from the second game being hired by the president to rescue his daughter. The opening level in the Spanish village is one of the greatest intros to a game ever.

 

11.Silent Hill-1999

History has a funny way of revising things. The first Silent Hill game is now considered an absolute classic and a masterpiece of psychological story telling. Deeply disturbing in it’s story and enemy design drawing on the character’s psyche to create their worst fears and demons. At the time though,although it was pretty well received mostly….some review outlets were pretty lukewarm on it….a lot of them actually. I was a subscriber to the UK’s Play magazine and they liked it but were disappointed in it, expecting it to be the next Resident Evil. The two series are vastly different in their approach to horror with Resi going for B movie action and Silent Hill taking the psychological route. A masterful game that still stays with me to this day.

 

10.F.E.A.R-2005

Despite the clunky acronym (First Encounter Assault Recon) I have a huge affinity for this series. I’ve covered the things I love about this series in the F.E.A.R 2 entry so I’m not going to go over old ground. What I will say is that whereas the second game was the blockbuster sequel with mechs and explosions everywhere, the original was the unexpected triumph that came out of nowhere and brought real scares to the first person shooter genre. Unbelievably tense for ti’s time. The A,I of the enemies was astonishing for it’s time too.

 

9.Project Zero/Fatal Frame 3:The Tormented-2005

The third game in the Project Zero series s largely considered the worst of the original trilogy but I prefer it to the original. Obviously it’s not as innovative as the first and isn’t as well balanced as the second but it has some fantastic scares. The gameplay is split between daytime in the real wold and a dreamscape at night time where the terror begins. The plot focuses on a young woman traumatized by the death of her fiance caused by her out of control driving who is seeing visions of him in pictures he takes and is being haunted to spirits in her dreams. A nerve shredding experience.

 

8.Sanitarum-1998

An incredible and disturbing isometric point and click adventure that may have messed with my head more than any game ever. Your character is seen as an adult man one minute, a little girl running through a terrifying carnival the next and then some kind of god the next. Religious iconography and a dreamlike plot had me guessing what was real for my character and what was indeed a dream. You supposedly awake from a coma at the start of the game so the seeds are planted early on that some or all of this may be from within the coma. One of those games that came and went with little fanfare and I never see it talked about today so please check it out, if you’re a horror fan you won’t regret it.

 

7.P.T-2014

Oh Hideo Kojima you card, what will you get up to next?. P.T was one of the greatest things to happen for horror fans in the games industry in years. One day in 2014 a demo appeared on the ps4 store for free with no information about what it was. Word of mouth (or fingers as it was quickly spread through social media) started alerting people to this insanely terrifying game and nobody could figure out what the hell was going on. Slowly but surely (actually much quicker than Kojima himself suspected) gamers started figuring out pieces of the puzzle and through social media people were helping each other with the incredibly esoteric parts of the game. When someone finally managed to figure out the final puzzle it was revealed to be a trailer for….. A NEW SILENT HILL GAME MADE BY KOJIMA, GUILLERMO DEL TORO AND JUNJI ITO!!. It was also to star Norman Reedus which had people freaking out. You may have noticed the past tense used there….well Konami had a huge falling out with the infinitely likeable Kojima and they parted company in a less than amicable way. Pretty much the whole world took Kojima’s side and Konami went from being one of the greatest games companies ever to making pachinko machines. The game was canned and one of the most exciting and innovated things to happen in gaming for years died. People’s already wilting faith in Konami died with it. It’s a free playable teaser and it’s this high on the list….says it all.

 

6.Resident Evil Remake-2002

An astounding achievement for it’s time and bizarrely a Nintendo Gamecube exclusive. I was always desperate to play this but had to wait for the HD remaster to come out on ps4 a couple of years back. As a massive fan of the original Resi on ps1 (more on that soon) just walking into the Spencer mansion in all it’s remade from the ground up beauty brought a tear to me eye. Playing it obsessively as a kid and then years later in wonderful HD was just a wonderful thing for a nostalgia whore like myself. As well as just upgraded graphics there are also additions to the plot like the terrifying Crimson Head zombies and the tragic tale of the Trevor family in particular poor Lisa.

 

5.The Walking Dead: Seasons 1 And 2

 

Although somewhat problematic in their lack of variation in the supposed branching storylines, Telltale Games….games are nearly always brilliantly plotted with emotional story telling and difficult choices. This was never more clear than in their brilliant Walking Dead series. The first season saw you play as Lee Everett, a supposed criminal on his way to prison when all hell breaks loose as the zombie apocalypse begins. After the police officer driving him crashes and dies, Lee escapes and stumbles across a young girl, Clementine whose babysitter has succumbed to a zombie attack. Lee takes her under his wing and so begins an epic journey where they meet and lose friends along the way. Oh and let’s not forget one of the biggest testicle kicks at the end of any game ever….so many tears. Then in season two we play as Clementine who is alone and having to harden up and survive until she meets a new group, but who can she trust? That’s up to you and you will have to live with the consequences of your choices.I’ve never been so determined to protect a game character than I was Clementine.

 

4 (Tied). Resident Evil 2-1998

A lot of people say 2 and 4 are the best in the Resi series and they always bring up perfectly valid points. I specifically remember picking this up when I was 14. I had football training in the morning and I knew I was going to Woolies after training with dad to pick the game up and it was all I could think about. In fact, it was all I could think about for months and I read a huge preview article in Play magazine during the buildup over and over again pouring over the screenshots and making up my own plotlines and stories about what they meant. I was an imaginative kid!. When I did finally get it, that classic intro blew me away and it never stopped blowing me away all the way through. It introduced us to Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield who are now fan favourites

 

4 (Tied). Resident Evil-1996

Ahh that classic Bill Sienkiewicz box art. Ok let’s get this out of the way, the live action intro and outro are hilariously bad, the voice acting is legendarily poor (insert Jill sandwich joke here) but hey Barry Burton saves everything eh?. That ginger tit makes everything awesome. That aside, when I first played this with my buddy Ewan we had never played anything even close to the quality of this that took it’s horror seriously. It genuinely felt like we were playing our own special horror movie. The dogs crashing through the window is the first genuine jump scare I ever got from a game. Trying for weeks to get into the attic and finally getting there with my buddy Rick only to be confronted with the giant snake where I dropped the controller in fear. These things will always stay with me and I’ll always be chasing that high of the first time I felt such fear from a game. Shinkji Mikami’s masterpiece will always be one of my favourite games, nothing will change that. This is where Capcom brought us the popular protagonists Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine.

 

 

 

3.Project Zero/Fatal Frame 2:Crimson Butterfly-2003

The second game in the series is the most celebrated and highly praised with good reason. Different things scare different people and in all honesty the third game had the best actual scares for me but Project Zero 2 is an absolute masterclass in building tension and solid horror pacing and storytelling. An almost perfect game when it comes to sheer atmosphere and terrifying situations. It’s also a perfect timestamp of the height of the J-Horror revival before long haired wee girls became a passe joke. I can’t praise this beautifully grim game enough.

 

 

2.The Last Of Us-2013

My pal Lesley popped round to mine when I was playing the intro for my second playthrough of the game and she is not a gamer at all but wanted to see what was going on. She ended up in tears after five minutes. Such is the strength of this absolute masterpiece and I’m not going to add anything new to the mountains of praise this game has received since it’s release. The acting is the best in any game ever and the chemistry between actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson is breath taking. The game was even seen to be changing lives as a video went viral of a girl filming herself playing it and discovering that she was gay, coming out on camera. This video was shown to Ashley Johnson and had her in floods of tears. It was a cultural phenomenon and a testament to the power of a well told and interactive game, it’s true art. Every emotion is ticked off here, it’s terrifying at times, beautiful bittersweet, tragically gut wrenching and drives you to fist clenching anger as you try to survive this post apocalyptic nightmare. Developers Naughty Dog show their versatility between epics like this and the brilliant Uncharted series to the fun and whimsical Crash Bandicoot. A truly beautiful experience but not number one? Hmm the top spot must go to a very special game then……

 

1.Silent Hill 2-2001

So here it is, my favourite horror game of all time. Nothing too out of the ordinary but there’s a reason it’s considered such a legendary game. It’s absolute epitome of psychological storytelling in games as protagonist James Sunderland battles monsters that represent parts of his broken psyche. James receives a letter from his seemingly dead wife asking him to come and meet her in Silent Hill, what follows is the most beautifully depressing, melancholic and tragic story I’ve ever played through. The twist at the end is one of the biggest gut punches in gaming and when you finish playing it leaves you feeling hollow…empty….just broken inside and that’s a hell of a powerful thing. It’s by no means an enjoyable game so if you’re looking for a fun experience then look elsewhere. This is a horrifying look into the human condition, depression, death and the fragility of the mind. It’s perfect, even the clunky combat doesn’t detract because you’re an ordinary guy, you’re not a marine or super soldier. You’re a man mourning the loss of his wife and it exploits that perfectly putting you into the shoes of James as he moves through the dreamlike town of Silent Hill, meeting others who have been drawn to the town for their own reasons. Everyone is broken in Silent Hill and when you’re done playing you’ll be broken too.

 

 

Well that was quite the journey through all types of horror throughout the years. I hope you enjoyed it and of course this is just my opinion and it has no effect on your favourites. Let me know your thoughts as always @swing_kinker and hit me up with any list ideas you want me to do. Ok that’s it for now , see you soon. Cho xx

 

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