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)

  • Dylan  

    Um, Fatal Frame, please? ... And the usual obvious metascore not reflecting the highest quality or most enjoyable games, but that's nothing new. That most of the "worst" are essentially unknown titles is proof the writer did a generic search and nothing more.

    Awful article by someone that obviously has no clue about what they had to work with. Blindly used games with a "horror" genre tag and failed to realize that a game with "scary" parts doesn't make it a horror game.

  • Jonathan  

    While i would say, that someone not very familiar with video games could rate Demon's Souls as Horror instead of Action-RPG, it doesnt justify it being on a Metacritic list for Horror games. People allready said it all, half of this is rubbish.

    Why put Plants vs. Zombies on the list, and not a classic game like I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream ? Why Bioshock and not System Shock ? It makes no sense and i could go on and on with the factual errors of this list.

    In my opinion the scariest games i have ever played are Silent Hill 2-3, Eternal Darkness, Amnesia, and System Shock. I know it's allmost a cliché to put Silent Hill 2 on (Because on every god damn list like this, Silent Hill 2 comes and beat the crap out of all the other games) but the atmosphere and story in this game are geniuinely frightening and disgusting. Like Silent Hill, Amnesia is on of the few few games, that i actually are not having fun with, but are geniunely scared and disgusted while playing. See that is real horror games. Not crap like PvZ, Bioshock and Left 4 Dead.

  • Daniel  

    Bioshock is scary?

    Maybe... if you were born yesterday

    Go play SS2 and grow a pair

  • Brabbit  

    lol, this list sucks !!!
    plant vs zombies??
    left 4 dead??


  • Assemblent  

    Silent Hill 2 isn't here???? Ahahaha. And Bioshock is?? Are you guys on drugs? Oh, and if you want to mention the oldies, UFO enemy unknown should be on this list.

  • Dominic Rupert  

    Cmon, while I agree that half these games aren't even close to horror (WTF is plants vs. Zombies doing on here?) bioshock might not be specifically horror, but it did have quite a few scares. You can't tell me you didn't jump at the part you pick up telekinesis. Plus the atmosphere was spooky and when you delve into the history of rapture, you find a tragic and sad tale of objectivism gone wrong.

  • Half  

    I always considered Half-Life 2 a Horror game as there were some really scary & creepy moments through out. That's my Pick.

  • Eman  

    Dead space is the scariest game I've ever played. although back in the day it was RE2. but yeah this article is an absolute joke. how is there not one silent hill game on here. they were pretty scary too, scarier than plants vs zombies anyway.

  • Matt g  

    why the heck are the castlevania games on here? Absolutely nothing in the games is meant to be scary.
    and Plants vs Zombies is a cutesy tower defense game.

    Eternal Darkness was IMO the best horror game I have ever played, so its good to see that here. But the lack of Dead Space is extremely disappointing

  • shane t.  

    Almost none of the games on this list are horror. System Shock 2 should be listed 10 times on this list of top 10, nothing current or old comes close to that game.

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