The Scariest Video Games of All Time Video Games
Ultimate List
4,727 votes 33,989 views more info

The Scariest Video Games of All Time

List Criteria: Not best overall games, but the video games that are the most terrifying. (Games only.)

List of the most frightening video games ever, ranked by hardcore survival horror fans and casual gamers alike. Unlike the Ultimate List of the Best Survival Horror Games of all time, which attempts to rank the horror genre's overall BEST games, this list is about defining the most terrifying or unsettling gaming experiences. So even if a game perhaps wasn't your favorite in terms of the characters or the controls, if it made you jump out of your seat in shock, perhaps it might still qualify.

In the early days of gaming, "scary" games tended to refer to platformers and action games inspired by horror literature or films. The games themselves, however, were rarely scary, and mainly just used a 'horror' setting for personality or flavor. (Consider the early "Castlevania" adventures, which essentially replicated a "Mario"-type experience but in a world full of classic movie monsters.) There were exceptions to this rule - 1982's "Haunted House" included many elements recognizable from later horror games - but it was really not until the late '80s and early '90s that truly frightening games were starting to get released.

So what are athe scariest video games of all time?

Over time, particularly with the release of influential horror titles like "Resident Evil" and "Silent Hill," the genre became more defined, and currently nearly all games inspired by horror movies that intend to make the player jump are classified as "survival horror." These games include elements usually identified with action games - including combat, puzzle-solving, navigating mazes and so on - but manipulate these elements to make gameplay more intense and increase the player's vulnerability. This can include limiting the player's ammunition or ability to fight, manipulating game physics to make actions less predictable, obscuring enemies and makign the environment darker and, of course, using loud noises and unexpected turnabouts to provide 'scares.'

The games listed here are the most effective at creating a chilling environment to manipulate the players emotions, and elicit fear. Vote up the games that you won't play in a dark room alone, and if one of your favorites isn't listed, re-rank the list yourself and add whatever you like.
  • 9 ReRanks
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
The List
Comment
Embed
Options
rerank list
  1. 1
    Up 161
    Down 78

    most listed 2008

    open
  2. 2
    Up 245
    Down 32

    ranked low on reranks 1999

    open
  3. 3
    Up 129
    Down 83

    2011

    open
  4. 4
    Up 122
    Down 43

    2004

    open
  5. 5
    Up 74
    Down 43

    2002

    open
  6. 6
    Up 46
    Down 39

    1998

    open
  7. 7
    Up 58
    Down 66

    2003

    open
  8. 8
    Up 95
    Down 59

    2005

    open
  9. 9
    Up 130
    Down 28

    ranked low on reranks 1996

    open
  10. 10
    Up 97
    Down 72

    2007

    open
  11. 11
    Up 89
    Down 47

    2004

    open
  12. 12
    Up 96
    Down 4

    ranked low on reranks 2001

    open
  13. 13
    Up 33
    Down 38

    2001

    open
  14. 14
    Up 81
    Down 30

    2004

    open
  15. 15
    Up 51
    Down 29

    1999

    open
  16. 16
    Up 45
    Down 39

    2008

    open
  17. 17
    Up 58
    Down 38

    2007

    open
  18. 18
    Up 24
    Down 32

    1993

    open
  19. 19
    Up 28
    Down 39

    2002

    open
  20. 20
    Up 55
    Down 18

    open
  21. 21
    Up 36
    Down 70

    2009

    open
  22. 22
    Up 47
    Down 36

    2002

    open
  23. 23
    Up 37
    Down 34

    1994

    open
  24. 24
    Up 43
    Down 38

    1993

    open
  25. 25
    Up 26
    Down 27

    1996

    open
  26. 26
    Up 37
    Down 29

    open
  27. 27
    Up 25
    Down 24

    2008

    open
  28. 28
    Up 11
    Down 31

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1998

    open
  29. 29
    Up 37
    Down 22

    added by midnightq2 Slender: the Eight Pages

    open
  30. 30
    Up 30
    Down 15

    added by SaifurRehman 2009

    open
  31. 31
    Up 32
    Down 19

    added by beastmodeonthebears Slender

    open
  32. 32
    Up 21
    Down 30

    1996

    open
  33. 33
    Up 28
    Down 28

    1995

    open
  34. 34
    Up 8
    Down 28

    1990

    open
  35. 35
    Up 30
    Down 28

    2003

    open
  36. 36
    Up 12
    Down 29

    open
  37. 37
    Up 17
    Down 46

    2008

    open
  38. 38
    Up 18
    Down 41

    2001

    open
  39. 39
    Up 18
    Down 27

    added by wiabux 2008

    open
  40. 40
    Up 16
    Down 27

    1995

    open
  41. 41
    Up 38
    Down 51

    2010

    open
  42. 42
    Up 33
    Down 8

    open
  43. 43
    Up 33
    Down 11

    2005

    open
  44. 44
    Up 9
    Down 40

    1988

    open
  45. 45
    Up 12
    Down 48

    2008

    open
  46. 46
    Up 14
    Down 32

    2007

    open
  47. 47
    Up 13
    Down 35

    2002

    open
  48. 48
    Up 24
    Down 13

    added by MissMarionette 2008

    open
  49. 49
    Up 9
    Down 51

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    open
  50. 50
    Up 20
    Down 11

    added by PeteBoyle 2013

    open
57 +

Something missing? Add it!

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists