The Scariest Video Games of All Time Video Games

The Scariest Video Games of All Time

13k votes 1.5k voters 56k views 106 items tags f p @

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 Photo: user uploaded image
  • 20 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 564
    - 100

    most listed
    1999

    ;
  2. 2
    + 351
    - 49


    2001

    ;
  3. 3
    + 423
    - 176
    Dead Space is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Video Games of All Time


    Dead Space 2008

  4. 4
    + 390
    - 108


    1996

    ;
  5. 5
    + 282
    - 130
    ;
  6. 6
    + 219
    - 81

    the people's #1

    ;
  7. 7
    + 280
    - 168


    2011

    ;
  8. 8
    + 253
    - 165


    2005

    ;
  9. 9
    + 191
    - 87


    2004

    ;
  10. 10
    + 148
    - 117

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    2002

    ;
  11. 11
    + 203
    - 187


    2007

    ;
  12. 12
    + 147
    - 65


    ;
  13. 13
    + 195
    - 121

    ranked low on reranks
    2004

    ;
  14. 14
    + 119
    - 90

    added by midnightq2
    Jun 26 2012

    ;
  15. 15
    + 143
    - 102


    2002

    ;
  16. 16
    + 137
    - 81


    2007

    ;
  17. 17
    + 80
    - 21

    added by mperry0765173
    2003

    ;
  18. 18
    + 80
    - 28

    added by mperry0765173
    2013

    ;
  19. 19
    + 100
    - 45

    added by lostshadow
    2014

    ;
  20. 20
    + 137
    - 81

    added by PeteBoyle
    2013

    ;
  21. 21
    + 117
    - 138

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    2003

    ;
  22. 22
    + 85
    - 25
    Resident Evil 2 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Video Games of All Time

    added by mperry0765173
    Resident Evil 2 1998

  23. 23
    + 101
    - 57


    Nov 15 2005

    ;
  24. 24
    + 79
    - 105

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jan 01 1998

    ;
  25. 25
    + 112
    - 103


    1993

    ;
  26. 26
    + 58
    - 18

    added by mperry0765173
    Sep 22 1999

    ;
  27. 27
    + 90
    - 56

    added by SaifurRehman
    2009

    ;
  28. 28
    + 88
    - 88


    2008

    ;
  29. 29
    + 99
    - 79


    1999

    ;
  30. 30
    + 43
    - 13

    added by ColtNorr

    ;
  31. 31
    + 81
    - 92


    1994

    ;
  32. 32
    + 96
    - 159

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    2009

    ;
  33. 33
    + 65
    - 96

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    2001

    ;
  34. 34
    + 61
    - 43

    added by TrunksTesudo
    2005

    ;
  35. 35
    + 84
    - 74
    No image

    added by viogoulding
    Five Night at Freddys

  36. 36
    + 83
    - 74
    Slender is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Scariest Video Games of All Time

    added by beastmodeonthebears
    Slender

  37. 37
    + 51
    - 21

    added by vijaymohanp
    2005

    ;
  38. 38
    + 68
    - 57

    added by MissMarionette
    2008

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  39. 39
    + 65
    - 71


    Jul 31 2008

    ;
  40. 40
    + 60
    - 69


    2003

    ;
  41. 41
    + 43
    - 72

    ranked high on reranks
    1996

    ;
  42. 42
    + 63
    - 74


    ;
  43. 43
    + 42
    - 88

    often listed
    2002

    ;
  44. 44
    + 19
    - 8
    Alan Wake is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Scariest Video Games of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by shaurya-kapoor
    Alan Wake 2010

  45. 45
    + 38
    - 81

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1993

    ;
  46. 46
    + 67
    - 85

    added by wiabux
    2008

    ;
  47. 47
    + 28
    - 40

    added by Staypuffmarsh
    2012

    ;
  48. 48
    + 80
    - 105
    BioShock 2 is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Scariest Video Games of All Time


    BioShock 2 2010

  49. 49
    + 9
    - 5
    Until Dawn Video Game is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Scariest Video Games of All Time

    added by shaurya-kapoor

    ;
  50. 50
    + 30
    - 70
    ;
107 +

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