Button Mash
205 voters

These Horrifying Video Games Were Designed Specifically To Mess With Your Head

Updated June 22, 2017 681 votes 205 voters 16.2k views15 items

List RulesVote up the games that screwed with your mind.

Have you ever found yourself playing a game that sets itself up as one thing, then out of nowhere, it mentally throws you out a window? Unlike horror video games that make you want to sh*t your pants, games that mess with your mind will have you second-guessing your sanity. These are the kinds of trippy games with insane plot twists, crazy dialogue, or unexpected perspectives. 

This list exposes just how many of those types of mindf*ck games there are. They range from puzzle games to FPS to platformers. From wild surprises to subverting your expectations, these titles will definitely have you spinning in circles. Vote for whichever one has thrown you for the biggest loop. 

Photo:
  • What appears to be a run-of-the-mill military shooter narrative flips the switch entirely after your character, the protagonist, orders a white phosphorous strike on a group of terrorists. While this would be a non-issue in other games across the genre, Spec Ops forces you to go downhill and peruse the aftermath of your actions. Spoiler: you didn't kill terrorists. Turns out your character's been suffering from a dissociative identity disorder and just burned a whole shelter's worth of civilians - children included - to death.

    More Spec Ops: The Line 

    #436 of 617 Sony PlayStation 3 Games: List of PS3 Console Games#733 of 1,377 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans#71 of 177 The Best Video Games Of The 2010s, Ranked

    Amazon buy button
  • Eternal Darkness Tricks You Into Thinking Your TV Is Broken
    Photo: Nintendo

    Why's the save menu not letting you save? Why's the volume on your monitor spontaneously going down? Why is your game becoming sentient?! These are just a few of the plethora of mindf*cks nestled into Eternal Darkness, an action-adventure horror title that plays its genre like a match of fourth-dimensional chess. Neither before nor since has a game come along that utilizes meta-scares as well as this one.

    Amazon buy button
  • 3
    47
    11

    Undertale Dupes You Into Thinking It Is A Standard RPG

    Undertale Dupes You Into Thinking It Is A Standard RPG
    Photo: Steam

    A game that subverts its entire genre is bound to twist some minds, which is what Undertale is known for doing. As an RPG that allows you to show mercy to your opponents, this is a game that doesn't play by the rules and uses its quixotic ideals to bewilder and subsequently mold players into pacifistic optimists. Not a bad moral for a game that's aiming to hack your psyche.

    Amazon buy button
  • 4
    41
    8

    Papers, Please Has You Unwittingly Violate Human Rights

    Papers, Please Has You Unwittingly Violate Human Rights
    Photo: Softonic

    Can you imagine being a visa officer, making or breaking the futures of immigrants with nothing more than a fancy stamp, inkwell, and some paper? Imagine how mindf*cked people who work that job must be, knowing so much rests on their shoulders. That's the world Papers Please thrusts you into, where you have to veto people in order to feed your family, forcing you to choose between your own children and the huddled masses who want a better tomorrow.

    Amazon buy button