Horror in video games is like peanut butter and chocolate: a mix made in Heaven…or in this case, Hell! Sadly horror in games today are dime a dozen, with some great and some we should forget about (I’m looking at you Ju-On: The Grudge)!
Video game horror was fairly young in the ’80s and really didn’t see a massive boom until the ’90s. So let’s journey back in time where finding horror in games was so unique that it gave us a blueprint to bring a new world of horror for players to experience. Here are the Top 5 Horror games from the ’90s.
#5: Galerians – Playstation (99):
This underrated horror gem follows Rion, who discovers he has psychic powers but also has amnesia! In the process of learning his identity, he discovers that he is humanity’s last hope for survival against the genetically enhanced humans. This was a horror game that involved two types of horror: telekinesis, and multi-discs! The ability to use your power against any goon to melt their bodies and brains was pleasing to this very young horror fan. As for the multi-disc aspect, the game would tell you to switch discs to finish. This caused great anxiety not knowing if the disc would play at all!
#4: Dino Crisis – Playstation (99):
Dino Crisis takes place on a fictional location known as Ibis Island in the futuristic year of… 2009. You and your team go in to investigate a research facility, but during the recon mission, a “Dino Crisis” erupts! Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? But after the Jurassic Park films were being released, fans were hoping to find a game that involved the same premise, just more terrifying. Luckily Capcom thought of the same thing and made a game that literally made me mess my pants.
#3: Clock Tower – Playstation (96):
A variety of characters attempt to survive the return of Scissorman and uncover the mystery of his seemingly immortal state. The scenarios encountered and endings vary widely based upon the player’s actions. The anxiety from running and hiding away to make sure the Scissorman wouldn’t kill you was too real! Plus, the point and click gameplay just added to the fear. Your character would just slowly jog to their hiding place, forcing you to watch in terror. Believe me when I say that it still haunts my nightmares.
#2: Resident Evil – Playstation (96):
You play either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, members of an elite task force known as S.T.A.R.S., as they investigate the outskirts of Raccoon City following the disappearance of their team members. They soon become trapped in a mansion infested with zombies and other monsters. The player, having selected to play as Chris or Jill at the start of the game, must explore the mansion to uncover its secrets. First off, zombies were creatures that were downright terrifying! Seeing them shamble towards you while only having a limited amount of ammo and a knife to defend yourself would make your heart pop right out of your chest. Then when zombie dogs, killer birds, plant creatures, and hybrid killing machines were added to the mix, we will just say it was a bad day for the player.
#1: Silent Hill – Playstation (99):
Harry Mason is on the search for his missing adopted daughter after a car accident in the mysterious town of Silent Hill. Harry soon stumbles upon a cult conducting a ritual to revive a deity it worships and discovers his daughter’s true origin. What could I say that hasn’t been said about Silent Hill? It’s scary, original, plus a huge mindf#ck. But why is it my top? This game is what really pushed true horror games in ways that were never expected! I’ve never played a game where I was too afraid to finish. I didn’t reach that satisfying feeling of completing such a horror until 6 years later! Now that’s a horror game!