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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
Image

"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
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"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
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"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)

  • rice303  

    WTF that list is werid and where the HELL is DOOM 3 and DS games

  • rice303  

    Why did'nt they put DS games down because Dementium 2 is probably the BEST horror game on a handheld as for consoles Xbox 360 and PS3 Bioshock and for PS2 half-life and resident evil 4.

  • gamefriek  

    I have to say that this list is a bit off. To begin with, why are they using critic scores and not user scores? The critics aren't right all the time. For the PS2, I would have put The Suffering, an exciting and indeed very scary game, one of the best on the PS2 under the "survival horror" genre based on USER reviews for it.

  • thor  

    the best horor game is Echo Night. Great atmosphere in this ''ghost game''.I want sequel!

  • Sexbad  

    I'm not one to berate others' opinions, which is why I don't care what horror games you put at the top of the list. However, I'm very concerned at the number of games on this list that distinctly aren't horror. Saying that since a game contains zombies it must be horror is like like saying that since a game takes place in the Middle East, it MUST be a modern-day combat shooter like Call of Duty 4.

    BioShock, Left 4 Dead, and Plants Vs. Zombies are all distinctly not horror games. The first two are shooters and the third is a 2D tower defense game.

  • maxwell97  

    @Eid: Thank you, finally, an intelligent post. To pretty much everybody else: THE AUTHOR DIDN'T PICK THE GAMES ON THE LIST, PEOPLE. You know why Amnesia isn't there? Because it got an average score of 85. Condemned? 81. So maybe take it easy and inform yourselves a little before you post - it might make your comments less moronic.

  • Ian  

    Such a crap article. Sorry person who wrote it, but your top 10 is laughable at best.

    PLANTS VS ZOMBIES!!??!??! Only reason it has a decent score is b/c kids like the writer of this story play it a ton and its simple enough for their pea sized brains to comprehend. 'Nuf said!

  • Eid  

    everyone seems to be missing the fact that these are the highest RATED horror-themed games. just because it isnt your favorite, or that you dont have an understanding that horror doesnt mean "scary" doesnt mean this list isnt valid

  • Conjurer  

    This is okay...personally I believe that out of the wii, SHSM should be above RE4 And Dead space...neither of those are scary nor good wii games...where as silent hill shattered memories is actually meant for the wii, the graphics and controls and game play are amazing for a silent hill games, but that's just me.

  • Jill  

    Is this a joke? It's not a funny one. Half these aren't even horror games.

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