Great classic horror games that everyone should play at least once

In the modern age, players are spoiled by the sheer volume of horror games available to them. The indie gaming scene has exploded, giving gamers access to a near-endless supply of horror adventures to jump into at any time. But quantity doesn’t always mean quality, and there are plenty of horror releases that aren’t “spectacular.”

Some seriously scary and incredibly exciting horror games have been released for every generation of consoles, and developers continue to gain access to new and exciting tools to increase the horror over time. But the past has seen its fair share of beautifully crafted horror experiences that many “new-age” players have missed. Here’s a look at some of the best horror games that all horror fans must play at least once.

1. Silent Hill 2 (PS2)

The PlayStation and PlayStation 2 have seen their fair share of great horror survival titles, with many players pointing to the Resident Evil series as the best of the bunch. But there are some horror fans who missed out on Silent Hill, a franchise that took off around the same time. At its core, Silent Hill was very much like Resident Evil, with players attempting to survive a horror-ridden world, collecting weapons and stockpiling blank ammunition and supplies while solving puzzles and battling terrifying monsters.

Considered by many to be one of the best Silent Hill games of all time, Silent Hill 2 sets itself apart from other survival horror games by creating a foggy game world that is seriously terrifying. Great sound design, grotesque monsters, and a pretty compelling story make Silent Hill 2 a must-play release.

2. Parasite Eve (PS1)

Although Parasite Eve feels like a title that belongs in the same vein as Resident Evil and Silent Hill, it’s actually a game more akin to Final Fantasy and turn-based RPGs. What made Parasite Eve unique was that players could move freely when fighting enemies, but their attacks were made by targeting specific enemies and then auto-attacking. You could even use abilities and items via menus like you would in a traditional RPG setting.

Beneath the unique, if somewhat confusing, combat, Parasite Eve is a pretty chilling but terrifying horror experience. It’s not nearly as outlandish as some of the other titles on this list, but it has a unique premise and was a very different overall adventure for its time, earning it a special place among other horror classics.

3. Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES)

A blast from the past, Zombies Ate My Neighbors isn’t particularly scary, especially compared to the titles on this list, but it’s an absolute must-try. Gamers who get their hands on this top-down shoot ’em up will definitely see the horror influences, as the pixelated, arcade-style SNES game is packed with homages to horror’s past. There are Frankenstein-esque creations, giant bugs, and of course, zombies aplenty.

While Zombies Ate My Neighbors can be a bit difficult for the uninitiated, it’s definitely loads of fun to play and players should have a blast trying to conquer all 48 stages of this horror-filled rampage.

4. Condemned: Criminal Origins (Xbox)

Players who prefer to experience their horror a little more “up close and personal” might want to check out Condemned: Criminal Origins. This title was originally developed for the Xbox 360 but was later ported to PC via Steam thanks to the backing of a cult following who adored the game when it was first released. The adoration is not misplaced, as Condemned is a genuinely riveting and entertaining horror title that has had more than a few tense moments throughout its run.

Players take control of a forensic detective tasked with uncovering clues using some unique and intuitive (for its time) tools. What follows is nothing short of a stunning and terrifying first-person survival game that definitely deserves a place in a must-play collection.

5. Dead Space (PS3/Xbox 360)

Those looking for something truly terrifying will definitely want to pick up Dead Space. This sci-fi horror release is perhaps one of the most nerve-wracking experiences ever created, with some truly terrifying moments and expertly crafted locations teeming with hordes of grotesque monsters.

Isaac Clarke has become a horror icon over the years thanks to his adventures through the Dead Space franchise as well as his line of engineer-based sci-fi weapons. Dead Space is the kind of game that can really get under your skin, and it has more than its fair share of heart-rate-raising moments.

6. Alan Wake (Xbox 360)

Although fairly new compared to some of the other releases on this list, Alan Wake is still “classic” by today’s standards. It’s absolutely an adventure that every horror fan should do as well. The title follows the misadventures of a troubled writer as he tries to overcome some very personal demons and write his next best-selling horror adventure.

Unfortunately, things get a little too real for Alan Wake and players must fight their way through a series of deadly locations, armed with a powerful flashlight and an array of weapons to protect themselves from the evil that lurks in each area. It’s a great survival horror release that often gets overlooked. Great classic horror games that everyone should play at least once

Lindsay Lowe

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