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)

  • gnosis13  

    How the hell is Castlevania a horror series? It isn't, it is hack-and-slash. Nothing scary about it.

  • Jeez  

    This is the first time I have ever had a moan about a "best of" list, but this really is beyond a joke. This article would be better off named "The sham that is Metacritic's categorisation and ranking system".

  • Vinnie  

    Seriously -- to echo what everyone else has said, the majority of these games are NOT horror -- AT ALL. Plants vs Zombies - it's a freakin' tower defense game. Bioshock - great game, NOT horror. And saying any Castlevania is a horror game is like saying "Twilight" is a horror movie. It's games like the Silent Hills, Fatal Frames, Condemned, The Suffering - those are actual scary games and deserve to be called horror games. This non-researched article is just a joke.

  • Sean Renaud  

    I have to agree with the author of this article here, Plants vs. Zombies scared the pants off of me. Here I was, expecting a nice defense game, then BOOM! A horde of zombies come after you! And there is such little time before they cross the lawn and get you! It's probably one of the scariest games I've played.

    /sarcasm

  • garan  

    Silent Hill is easily the best horror series ever. Silent Hill 2 is easily the best horror game ever. Neither is listed, while a FPS/action game like Bioshock, that is not at all horror, tops the list. Total fail.

    Symphony of the Night, at least, is a great game with typical Halloween window dressing, but is really just an action/RPG with no scary parts. No scares means not horror.

  • CR  

    How could you leave off ALAN WAKE?! It's easily one of the best horror games this year, the atmosphere in that game is unmatched!

  • Owlman  

    The hotel sequence in Vampire Bloodlines is the scariest video experience I have ever had...or can imagine.

  • Jim  

    Your a retard Jason

  • Jim  

    I never heard of Amnesia, just saw a gameplay preview on their website. Jesus I need to play this, not sure if ive ever seen anything this terrifying ever, and I didnt even have my handson the controller. I got more quality information out of the user comments section than from the article itself. Unreal. If you havn't had the bejesus scared out of you yet check this out.
    http://www.amnesiagame.com/#main

  • Palladiamorsdeus  

    Just going to toss in there with the people saying that this list is poorly done. Obviously whoever made it hasn't even played most of these games. I am a huge fan of Symphony of the night, but it is NOT a horror game. There was no sign of Silent Hill, Clive Barkers Jericho, System Shock, Rule of Rose...I could probably name a few more. This list is just rubbish.

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