Ranked: Best and Worst Horror Videogames

  • Publish Date: October 25, 2010
  • Comments: ↓ 123 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 (123)

  • conditionals  

    "The spookiest title ever released on the GameCube" doesn't do Eternal Darkness justice.

  • Dan  

    Are you serious!! Most of these games aren't even real horror games! Bioshock isn't a horror game.. Left for dead is not a horror game... Why is Condemned not on this list?? Ask anyone who has played Condemned and they will tell you that it made them jump and scared the crap out of them. The author of this needs to do his homework!

  • EDfromRED  

    System Shock 2 for the PC would be tops on my list of pants-peeing scary games. The utterly evil alien hive-mind and AI entities you contend with, made the player feel like they faced insurmountable odds . Playing that game, you always felt you were at risk of dieing every minute...and you usually were.

  • Guido  

    Agreed everybody. I read this in opes of finding a game I might not have known about, and instead found myself questioning what I knew. I woudl say that Silent Hill should be on here for sure, I dont care which one you pick. The Penumbra series also deserves a note. I would also like to place the Fatal Frame series on here, and although technically misguided at times, Clock Tower messed me up for a few days.

  • Connor  

    Yeah, Amnesia just came out. That demo is scarier than any game on that list. I would also call RE4 just more of a third person action game and while Plants Vs. Zombies is awesome, that game is not a horror game by any stretch of the imagination. I can rally behind Demon Souls though. While I have never played it, the atmosphere and the difficulty can scare the poop out of people.

  • Z3r0  

    Bioshock as number 1, is that scary? cmon! what about SH3 or even SH1? or even the old alone in the dark series (not alone in the dark inferno, that just crap), and resident evil isnt so much for scares or chills...

    Cmon guys, play at least the games and not read the counter part of the box!

  • Kirby  

    Agree with you entirely Jordan. RE4 was my first memorable survival-horror game. Both Condemned games scared the bejesus out of me (especially the school mission in the first game... gave me nightmares). But Dead Space easily tops my personal list of horror; best atmosphere ever in a horror game.

  • Eganil  

    Once again, I follow a link to an "article" on Metacritic hoping it will bring me informative details about something I wouldn't already know everything about and once again I am sorely disappointed. Just like every other top 10 you guys put out there, one has to wonder what are your selective criterias beyond the Metascore and if the "reviewer " even knows what he/she's talking about or has done a bit of research prior to writing the article. What about Call Of Cthulu: Dark Corners of the Earth? What about Cold Fear? Where is Silent Hill 2? And what are the Castlevania titles doing here! They're good games but have nothing to do with Horror!
    when will Metacritic stop writing articles that haven't been researched or documented? Or , if you insist on doing so, when will you hire REAL writers?

  • Pattysin  

    Is this a joke? Half of these games aren't even horror. Bioshock can hardly be counted as horror. Castlevania has never been a horror genre. Left 4 Dead has zombies but isn't presented as a horror at all (this last one may be debatable). Please get someone who actually plays games to make a list instead of searching for random metacritic scores for games that contain the word "horror" in the review.

  • Matty  

    I would say favorites RE2 or the RE1 remake for the game cube, as the only thing horrifying in RE1 for PS1 was the voice acting. Least favorite probably Alone in the Dark Inferno.

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