The Scariest Video Games of All Time Video Games
Ultimate List
9  reranks 3,705 votes 490 voters 26,339 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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 9 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    Up 126
    Down 59

    most listed
    Dead Space

    Oct 14 2008 More
    92
  2. 2
    Up 105
    Down 60
    Jan 25 2011 More
    91
  3. 3
    Up 196
    Down 28

    ranked low on reranks
    Silent Hill

    Jan 01 1999 More
    90
  4. 4
    Up 105
    Down 33
    Nov 01 2004 More
    89
  5. 5
    Up 62
    Down 34
    Jan 01 2002 More
    81
  6. 6
    Up 39
    Down 29
    Jan 01 1998 More
    76
  7. 7
    Up 54
    Down 55
    Nov 18 2003 More
    75
  8. 8
    Up 74
    Down 43
    Jan 11 2005 More
    75
  9. 9
    Up 82
    Down 53
    Aug 21 2007 More
    74
  10. 10
    Up 72
    Down 37
    Aug 03 2004 More
    72
  11. 11
    Up 102
    Down 23

    ranked low on reranks
    Resident Evil

    Mar 22 1996 More
    72
  12. 12
    Up 29
    Down 32
    Jan 01 2001 More
    60
  13. 13
    Up 36
    Down 29
    Mar 11 2008 More
    58
  14. 14
    Up 41
    Down 22
    Aug 11 1999 More
    58
  15. 15
    Up 64
    Down 24
    Sep 08 2004 More
    58
  16. 16
    Up 50
    Down 30
    Nov 06 2007 More
    58
  17. 17
    Up 33
    Down 47
    Mar 05 2009 More
    55
  18. 18
    Up 21
    Down 28
    Jan 01 1993 More
    55
  19. 19
    Up 27
    Down 31
    Jan 01 2002 More
    55
  20. 20
    Up 31
    Down 29
    Oct 10 1994 More
    51
  21. 21
    Up 37
    Down 32
    Nov 12 2002 More
    50
  22. 22
    Up 32
    Down 12
    50
  23. 23
    Up 24
    Down 19
    Jul 31 2008 More
    49
  24. 24
    Up 36
    Down 31
    Dec 10 1993 More
    48
  25. 25
    Up 23
    Down 23
    Jan 01 1996 More
    48
  26. 26
    Up 11
    Down 25

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Hellnight

    Jun 11 1998 More
    47
  27. 27
    Up 30
    Down 25
    47
  28. 28
    Up 26
    Down 13
    No image

    Slender: the Eight Pages

    47
    added by: midnightq2
  29. 29
    Up 54
    Down 2

    ranked low on reranks
    Silent Hill 2

    Dec 21 2001 More
    46
  30. 30
    Up 19
    Down 8
    Feb 10 2009 More
    46
    added by: SaifurRehman
  31. 31
    Up 18
    Down 25
    Nov 30 1996 More
    45
  32. 32
    Up 25
    Down 24
    May 16 1995 More
    45
  33. 33
    Up 25
    Down 22
    Mar 18 2003 More
    44
  34. 34
    Up 18
    Down 12

    Slender

    44
    added by: beastmodeonthebears
  35. 35
    Up 8
    Down 21
    Jan 01 1990 More
    44
  36. 36
    Up 12
    Down 22
    41
  37. 37
    Up 16
    Down 36
    Jun 24 2008 More
    40
  38. 38
    Up 16
    Down 32
    Mar 30 2001 More
    40
  39. 39
    Up 11
    Down 14
    Nov 17 2008 More
    40
    added by: wiabux
  40. 40
    Up 15
    Down 20
    Jan 01 1995 More
    39
  41. 41
    Up 29
    Down 39
    Feb 09 2010 More
    38
  42. 42
    Up 9
    Down 30
    Jan 01 1988 More
    37
  43. 43
    Up 21
    Down 4

    ranked low on reranks
    Fatal Frame

    36
  44. 44
    Up 12
    Down 36
    Mar 11 2008 More
    36
  45. 45
    Up 19
    Down 4
    Nov 15 2005 More
    35
  46. 46
    Up 12
    Down 23
    Oct 20 2002 More
    35
  47. 47
    Up 12
    Down 23
    Nov 13 2007 More
    34
  48. 48
    Up 9
    Down 39
    33
  49. 49
    Up 14
    Down 7
    Feb 12 2008 More
    32
    added by: MissMarionette
  50. 50
    Up 11
    Down 74

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Call of Duty: World at War

    Nov 11 2008 More
    27
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