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
Image

"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
Image

"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)

  • JJ  

    Castlevania? Horror?

    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

  • Aly  

    Also a lot of you should go back and reread the intro. It pretty much addresses what everyone is **** about, particularly this last sentence "And we’re not just talking about "survival horror," the most prevalent form of videogame horror that involves battling against a large group of much more powerful — and typically supernatural — enemies in a terrifying environment. Indeed, other staples of the horror genre, from haunted houses and zombies to werewolves and vampires, have haunted numerous games over the years, while even some of the darker fantasy releases have demonstrated the gore, supernatural terror, and and pervasive feeling of dread more closely associated with horror."

  • Aly  

    A lot of horror IS campy, and horror as a genre isn't necessarily synonymous with scary. Scary is relative. There are plenty of games, books and movies that are in the horror genre that I don't find particularly scary, but they are still considered horror. I doubt anybody alive today and over a certain age would find Nosferatu scary but it's still a horror movie. Conversely, a lot of books and movies I find scary aren't horror at all. You may as well go to Netflix and Gamefly next and rip apart their classification systems.

  • Da Man  

    This is poorly, poorly written. Whoever did this needs to go and do some research. Okay, Resident Evil 1 was good, but RE 2 was so much better. And all the castlevania games? I think not! L4D wasn't scary, and don't even get me started on the fact that Silent Hill isn't on the list. It beats dead space by far. Idiots.

  • LichiGo  

    no F.E.A.R??and why is Aria Of Sorrow even on this list?!!

  • JDB4RDR  

    This is a good list, Dead Space had to be on there. I'm also glad to see Resident Evil 4 here as well, because it is a masterpiece of survival horror. Imagine being in Leons position, NOT NICE.

  • TopNotch playa  

    Have any of yous eva thought that they wrote this just to see yall all wild out and go crazy , just to see ya heads explode @ this joke of an artical , guys c'mon yo its obviously a joke , we shouldn't be haten on this piece we should be sayin good job, that was a good joke lmao it made me laugh , plants vs zombies & bioshock ,how could anybody even feed this lmao moment with anger . We don't get mad @ jokes ...we laugh @ um . Good 1 guys .

  • horrible  

    horrible list. since when Castlevania is horror ? Demon's Souls is also horror ?

  • Adam  

    Yes, this is an absolutely horrible piece of work. No Silent Hill games and really no mention of any real horror titles. I'd seriously consider not trusting ANY reviews by Metacritic if this is the kind of thing they produce. It seems like the internet has brought the level of quality down for a lot of things in general.

    I just recently played the Silent Hill 4 demo, having played all the way through SH 2 and much of the first. Barely into this game, there is a moment that totally unnerved me: I came back out of a portal from the famous room that the title is named for and into a subway restroom, and see a white, corpse-like mannequin with bloody forearms sitting in the open stall as the scene pops up. It is hard to explain in writing, but there's no darkness, a totally lit environment, yet seeing this image was very disturbing to me and I just froze and stared at it a moment. What also ended up being horrifying, is that the figure appears to be an image of the character you have as a companion in this part of the game and who ends up dying soon after. Silent Hill not being on here IS a complete joke!

    Really, the horror part of this is the (non)research and production of this article. Having all the Castlevanias on this list, though rightly deserving praise as quality games, is absolutely amazing. Commercialism knows no bounds.

  • Liviu  

    I'm an avid horror games players. I can tell you in all honesty that Amnesia is a masterpiece of the genre.

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