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)

  • Alexander  

    The only thing horrific in this article is the writing. A completely apalling synopsis. To think someone is actually getting paid to write garbage like this. Hang your heads in shame metacritic, and go get some real jobs that better suit you like changing tires or pumping gas.......

  • Alexander  

    Castlevania games are in the horror genre, I think not. Game boy!?!? Someone needs to reevaluate the video game genres on this website, seriously lame list.....

  • Simon  

    I never follow links to this site expecting to see articles that are well-written at all, mostly I'm just here to laugh at their foolishness and point out exactly why they're wrong about things. While I haven't played most of the games on the list of worst horror games, the one I did play, RE Survivor, I do agree was a bad game so they get some points for that call. However, the list of best games is lacking something. First of all, just because a game might contain a horror related element doesn't make it a horror game; it has to at least made a solid attempt at being scary. So, no, Plants vs. Zombies is not a horror game because bright colors and cartoony graphics don't scare people (mostly). I can imagine that some Twilight fan out there that's never seen a hardcore vampire before might get freaked out by a Castlevania game, but that series was never intended to be survival horror. The survival bit could apply though if you're talking about older entries like Dracula X Chronicles, however. The lack of Dead Space and anything from the Fatal Frame series is a big mistake, because those are some of the only games that are still scary long after playing through them one or two times. Once again Metacritic, you give me a stupid article for me to laugh hysterically at. LMFAO! Losers...

  • batmanmcl  

    How could they leave out 'The Suffering", probably the one of the best ever!!!! Incredible story, creepy sound effects, and tons of gore made this one a classic. The random voices throughout the game made you want to play with the lights on. I don't know how this (or the sequel) are not mentioned here

  • Bing  

    CastleVania has not been, and never will be, a horror series. The only horrific thing about it is the gameplay in the 3D titles. Zing!

  • Evan  

    A few people have brought this up, but where the hell is Condemned? That was hands down one of - if the the - scariest games ever made. But instead there's a GAMEBOY game on there, and Resident Evil 4. Why don't you just go ahead and put Guitar Hero on that list? It's about as mortifying as half the games on there

  • David  

    This was one of the worst Metacritic articles, and the site is usually bad at them as it is. Please never, ever write for any website, ever again. You have no idea what you are doing.

  • James  

    Silent. Hill. 2. Best ever. No contest.

  • Steve-O  

    Obviously once again it's a non-gamer writing a 'best of gaming' list.

    System Shock/System Shock 2
    Doom III
    ...and many others should have made this list instead of 75% of the trip mentioned here.

  • Funkymonk  

    Any top 10 list of scariest games simply has to include Dead Space and Silent Hill. Personally, i also thought Resident Evil 3 on PS1 is a bit underrated. It scared me back in the day anyway.
    I'd just like to back up what most other coments have said that half of these games arn't horror games, the most laughable thing is having 4 Castlevania games in the top 10, wtf! This is an astonishingly lazy and poorly researched article written by someone who clearly knows nothing about computer games. Sort it out Metacritic before you become a laughing stock.

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