Ranked: Best and Worst Horror Videogames

  • Publish Date: October 25, 2010
  • Comments: ↓ 121 user comments

Worst horror games for any platform

Next, let's look at the games that put the horrible in horror (or something like that) -- the lowest-scoring horror games in our database. As it turns out, videogames based on horror films are no different than most games based on other types of movies: they tend to be low quality releases, and though several such horror movie adaptations are on the list below, many more narrowly missed inclusion. The list also includes some poorly-executed originals and some sub-par sequels to better games.

Remember, when a game has been released on multiple platforms, we have averaged the scores together and denoted such scores with an asterisk.

The Worst-Reviewed Horror Videogames

(tie) 1. Vampire Rain 34* (Ignition/AQ, 2008)

Released for:
xbox Xbox 360 38
playstation PlayStation 3 30

"Watching a B-movie can be cheesy good fun. Playing and paying money for one ... that's a nightmare."

-- Official Xbox Magazine

The PS3 version boasts the somewhat longer title "Vampire Rain: Altered Species," but it's the same lousy stealth action game on both platforms.

(tie) 1. Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler's Green 34* (Groove Games, 2005)

Released for:
pc PC 36
xbox Xbox 32

"Land of the Dead fails to deliver even the most garden-variety of zombie-killing thrills, due to its inept combat, awful visuals, and cripplingly stupid artificial intelligence."

-- GameSpot

While George A. Romero's movies are deservedly acclaimed by horror fans, the same can't be said about many of the games based on those movies. Designed as a prequel to the film Land of the Dead, Fiddler's Green did offer both single-player and multiplayer modes, though most critics felt that the proper number of players should be zero.

3. Shellshock 2: Blood Trails 35* (Eidos Interactive, 2009)

Released for:
pc PC 40
playstation PlayStation 3 35
xbox Xbox 360 30

"Shellshock 2: Blood Trails is the answer to the question that no one was asking. What if there were zombies in the Vietnam War?"

-- Cheat Code Central

While the first Shellshock was a conventional (though mediocre) third-person shooter set during the Vietnam War, this sequel decided to make things more "interesting" by adding zombies. And by "interesting," we mean "idiotic."

4. Escape from Bug Island 37 (Eidos Interactive, 2007)

Released for:
wii Wii 37

"Escape from Bug Island is a dismal reminder of the low points of survival horror's past."

-- GameSpot

You'll want to make a quick escape from this Wii-exclusive survival horror title, which critics found repetitive and boring despite (or perhaps because of) the presence of giant insects.

5. Dead Space Ignition 38* (Electronic Arts, 2010)

Released for:
xbox Xbox 360 39
playstation PlayStation 3 36

"Ignition's narrative is as static as it is boring and Hollywood-horror generic."

-- Cheat Code Central

While the original Dead Space just missed the cut for our list of best-reviewed horror games, this downloadable "interquel" (which takes place before the events of next year's Dead Space 2) is a hybrid of puzzle game and interactive comic that comes up short on both counts with its tedious hacking mini-games, lousy story, and poor graphics.

6. Painkiller: Resurrection 38 (DreamCatcher Interactive, 2009)

Released for:
pc PC 38

"A host of problems ensure this is one of the worst games of 2009. "

-- IGN

The 2004 first-person "horror shooter" Painkiller should never have been resurrected for this stand-alone expansion, which critics found amateurish and buggy.

(tie) 7. Resident Evil: Survivor 39 (Capcom, 2000)

Released for:
playstation PlayStation 39

"The scariest thing about this game is how awful it is."

-- GamePro

Like any series, Resident Evil has had its share of ups and downs, though its nadir came with this 2000 title, a tedious first-person zombie shooter with little to recommend it.

(tie) 7. Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad 39 (D3, 2009)

Released for:
xbox Xbox 360 39

"Cleavers and cleavage, sadly, aren't enough."

-- G4 TV

While it seems like any game subtitled "Bikini Samurai Squad" would be a critical and commercial smash, this horrific hack-n-slash title offers little other than mindless button-mashing and skimpy outfits.

(tie) 7. Ju-on: The Grudge 39 (Xseed, 2009)

Released for:
wii Wii 39

"It'll scare you a couple times, but they're just cheap scares that even the lowest budget B movie would be embarrassed to have to resort to."

-- Kombo

The Japanese horror film scared audiences enough to spawn both an American remake (and its sequel) and this videogame adaptation, exclusive to the Wii. Designed as an episodic "haunted house simulator," the game offered players little to do and even less time to do it in.

10. Evil Dead: Hail to the King 47* (THQ, 2000)

Released for:
playstation PlayStation 51
dreamcast Dreamcast 49
pc PC 40

"A waste of an excellent license and a great opportunity."

-- Daily Radar

One of four games based on Sam Raimi's Evil Dead movie series, Hail to the King is set eight years after the events in Army of Darkness. But the game suffered mightily in comparison to Resident Evil, with critics finding Evil Dead's gameplay and controls inadequate, though the title did a decent job at capturing the atmosphere of the films.

What do you think?

What are your favorite and least favorite horror games? What is the scariest moment you've ever encountered in a game? Let us know in the discussion section below.

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (121)

  • Ali  

    Very poor researched done by site ............... ;(

  • samdam  

    Bishock? lol..how is that even remotely scary when you have so many powers and opver-powered weapons to use, most of the game is a piece of cake on normal mode. Left 4 dead? lol 4 castlevania games? seriously?

    Some really scary games you missed:
    Amnesia: Dark descent
    Clive barkers undying
    System shock 2
    any good silent hill game
    dead space
    Cold fear

    hell even FEAR is more horror than half those games on the list

  • Hamed  

    what a thoroughly **** article. Plants Vs. Zombies? Seriously? Metacritic is has been going downhill fast since the cosmetic change.

  • bm23  

    I agree with you guys, many of the games here are not horror video games. IMO, one of the best and truest game would be Fatal Frame.

  • GameBeaten  

    Here, let me help you out:

    Bioshock - Has frightning moments, but I harly think it could be considered a Horror game.
    Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - Platformer, sidescroller, action.
    Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem - It might fit on here.
    Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow - Platformer, sidescroller, action.
    Castlevania: Circle of the Moon - Platformer, sidescroller, action.
    Planescape: Torment - Seems to fit here. I'm not sure though
    Resident Evil - Good choice, but the Gamecube version really gives off the greatest feeling of "survival horror" the series has ever known.
    Resident Evil 4 - Sure the game is fun as hell, but this is also when the series became more of an action series. There was hardly anything about it that was survival horror. In it's defense though, all elements of horror died in Resident Evil 5.
    Demon's Souls - Not a horror game. More like fantasy adventure with great difficulty.
    Left 4 Dead - Action.
    Left 4 Dead 2 - Action.
    The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery - I wouldn't know, I haven't even heard of it.
    Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - platformer, sidescroller, action.

  • ??? ????  

    people how do you ignore silent hill !!! this game freaking out its very scary

  • Drakan  

    Seriously. While Bioshock was creepy, it's not a Horror game.
    Second, where the ffff is Fatal Frame or Silent Hill? Silent Hill 3 actually made me fear both mirrors and mannequins, for God's sake! Zombies are great and all, nothing I like more than a zombie film or two, but come on. Give me some good old atmosphere and not knowing what the crap the enemies are.
    And plants vs zombies? Seriously? Really? I mean, really? /facepalm.jpg

  • block  

    I would have though that metacritic could work out what a horror game is... It's a bit of a joke of a choice there, 1/2 of those cant be classified as horror for one, and some of the BEST horror games have been missed out completely, as many people above have mentioned this list desperately NEEDS to be sorted out:
    -Bioshock-although maybe one scary bit with plastered spider-splicers, NOT a horror game..
    -Castlevania-good joke..
    -L4D-is not horror, just because there are zombies doesn't make it in the least bit scary

    I'm not sure about some of them, as I haven't played a lot of them, but I'd strongly dispute RE series, and dead space is more shocks than true horror, but thats more my opinion really.

    -AMNESIA: THE DARK DESCENT!!! -Blows the proverbial fish out of the water on this one.. I loled when i saw it wasn't here, then checked the date of the article...
    -System shock-epic of a game-better than 90% of these in terms of fear factor
    -Silent hill series-another HORROR game,
    These are mostly games that are not FPSs with "horrific" enemies that die within seconds of seeing them, which is the complete opposite of amnesia especially, where if you see an enemy, you will probably be dead within seconds...

  • Szechuan Steve  

    Ahh...I knew I would have a good laugh through this one. Internet, you did not disappoint.

  • diego84  

    bioshock, castlevania, plants & zombies & l4d ?


    this web is LOL.

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