Horror games have been scaring gamers for the past 50 years. Fans are currently looking forward to remakes of beloved classic titles and new entries in beloved horror franchises. With so many options, you can help but wonder: what are the scariest video games of all time?
A recent study by Datslots uses survey data from Ranker to reveal the answers. With 27,000 people voting in the poll, here are the top ten responses:
The PlayStation 1 title takes first place with over 4,000 votes.
The survival horror features a protagonist who searches for his missing daughter in Silent Hill. The game is well-received by critics and fans and has sold over two million copies.
In second place, with 3,500 votes, is the 2008 sci-fi horror shooter Dead Space. The game saw a remake this year with new graphics and gameplay elements.
Protagonist Isaac Clarke must fight through the unspeakable horrors known as Necromorphs. Dead Space’s thrilling gameplay is propelled by an intriguing story that will keep players on the edge of their seats.
In third place, with just over 3,100 votes, is Capcom’s Resident Evil.
The debut Resident Evil game introduces major characters such as Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, and Albert Wesker.
Silent Hill 2
While many argue Silent Hill 2 is one of the best video games ever made, it’s fourth place according to voters on the scariest video game of all time poll.
The 2001 PlayStation 2 title brings James Sunderland to the titular town in search of his wife. As you can imagine, nothing goes according to plan.
The 2013 survival horror game Outlast comes in fifth place with 2,700 votes.
Its success has led to the birth of the Outlast franchise, with its most recent entry, Outlast Trials, currently in development.
Dead Space 2
The sequel to Dead Space is in sixth place on the list of scariest video games.
We continue to follow Isaac Clarke’s adventures as he battles against the Necromporphs and more sci-fi horror action.
Resident Evil 4
A remake for the seventh scariest video game is currently in development, set to release in March 2023.
Resident Evil 4 brought the franchise to new heights when it was released on Nintendo GameCube in 2005. It features more of an action-oriented approach compared to the slower-paced gameplay of past Resident Evil games.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
This first-person survival horror game isn’t afraid to scare the pants off its fans.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent was released on PC in 2010. It is beloved by fans and critics alike and helped kickstart a rise in horror games from independent game developers.
Resident Evil 2
This is the third time Resident Evil appears on the list of scariest video games.
The 1998 game introduces Leon S. Kennedy as a protagonist. He picks a very bad day to start his job as a Racoon City police officer. The zombie outbreak overtakes the city, and players must fight to survive.
Silent Hill 4: The Room
The fourth entry in the Silent Hill series rounds out the top ten scariest games list.
While the game continued to see favorable reviews, the gameplay feels different from past titles. Because of this, fans have mixed opinions on the game, but one thing that persists is the frightening moments and the horrifying plot.
Analyzing the Results
“Horror video games are popular all over the world,” said a spokesperson for the study. “They provide a thrill and a chance for escapism for the player. We often get emotionally invested in the games we play, so for many survival horror games, we deeply empathize with the characters and wish for them to live. We also get a sense of achievement after we finish the game and survive whatever terrifying scenarios we face in the virtual world.”