Top 5 Games That Scared Me The Most

Just like the thrill of a haunted house, video games immerse you in its world. This can range from a town covered in fog so thick you can barely see a foot ahead to dark narrow corridors in a ominous mansion with a murderer barreling his way at you. No matter the setting, a good scare may be brief but can stick with you forever. So what better way to celebrate Halloween than to look at the five times I nearly had to reach for a change of pants. Here are the top five games that gave the me scare I won’t forget.

5. Doom 3 (Xbox)

Doom may seem like an odd entry to some. While originally having players unload copious amounts of bullets into demon spawns, Doom 3 stepped into the world of horror games in 2004. The game originally released for PC and ported to the Xbox in 2005. Six years later, the Xbox 360 received a remastered version that included the expansion Resurrection of Evil and a second single player expansion called The Lost Mission. I wouldn’t call this the scariest game I ever played, but the reason it made the list is because of where and when I played this for the first time.

My best friend and I frequently visited his grandmother’s house around the game’s Xbox port. She lived on a farm in the outskirts of town with no lights lining the street. This meant when the sunset, it would get pitch black outside. Despite being around 15 or 16 at the time, we decided at midnight it would be a great idea to play this game. Our thoughts didn’t change even with us hearing some eerie noises as it got closer to time. As soon as it hit midnight we powered on the game and quickly regretted it.

Prior to starting the game, my friend decided it would be helpful for him to put two chairs between him and the TV, you know because reasons. I, on the other hand, sat on the couch eating some chips while he played. The night can be summed up with this. After one jump scare, my best friend proceeded to scream and take on the role of a tap dancer as he wanted to run but knew he needed to finish the level. While I on the other hand, gripped the bag of chips so hard I’m sure my knuckles turned white and repeatedly yelled “KILL IT!” For this reason alone, Doom 3 makes the list.

4. Slender: The Eight Pages (PC)

Oh Slender Man. How I despise you even though its due to my own mistakes. Here is a recap for those that didn’t pay attention to what was popular on the internet in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Slender Man is a fictional supernatural character that originated from a internet meme created by a user named Eric Knudsen and turned into a horror legend. Here is a photo of what he looks like. The story of Slender Man features him stalking, abducting or traumatizing people, particularly children. This sparked the character to be featured in a number of stories, literature, and even video games. The first game centered around the creepy figure was Slender: The Eight Pages.

This free-to-play indie title released in June 2012. The game plays in first-person and tasks you with collecting eight notes scattered across a forest as Slender Man stalks you. The difficulty and intensity of Slender Man capturing you increases as you find notes and time passes. When the unknown time limit runs out or you stare at him too long, he will grab you. This turns you around to see his white face with no facial features followed up with static and a loud noise. The game is scary enough due to the game’s sound, but college Jeremy wanted to up the ante.

Friends and I decided it would be best to play this game at night, again. We also made sure to turn off the lights and wear noise canceling headphones. It got less scary the more you played as you knew what was coming, but those first couple times definitely made me question why I ever thought it was a good idea.

3. PT (PS4)

How I wish Konami never canceled you. PT, which stands for playable teaser, released for free on the PlayStation 4 on August 12, 2014. Developed by Kojima Productions, the game served as an interactive teaser for the game Silent Hills, the planned next entry in the Silent Hill series (another terribly scary series at that).

PT played from a first-person perspective where you controlled an unnamed person who woke up in a haunted house. The game plays in loops where the player must solve cryptic puzzles and be exposed to frightening events. The house would undergo noticeable changes for each successful loop. After completing all the loops, the player would be shown a teaser trailer for the upcoming release of Silent Hills. However, that never ended up happening. Konami canceled Silent Hills amidst the very public and messy rift that developed between the company and director Hideo Kojima, ultimately leading to his departure. I played through the teaser, so you don’t have to. You can find some of my scares in this video I posted back in 2015.

For the record, you can’t play this exact version anymore if you don’t already own it. Following the cancellation of Silent Hills, Konami removed it from the PS Store. Only those who had previously claimed the game still have access to it. So you either need to watch a playthrough online, know someone who has it, or find a suitable fan created remake to experience it yourself.

2. Resident Evil 2 (PS1)

As time moves on. technology advances and so does the creativity and immersion games can share with players. That doesn’t mean it will ever top the experience a child has playing a horror game. That’s why my top two date back to my childhood and early days of gaming. Let’s start with Resident Evil 2. RE 2 is a survival horror game developed and published by Capcom for the PlayStation in 1998. The player controls either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield depending on the disc you put in. They must escape Raccoon City after its residents are transformed into zombies by a virus, taking place two months after the prequel Resident Evil.

I played this game way before I should have. This is not a fault of my parents because they didn’t know and I kept telling them how much I loved the game. In face, I actually did love this game. The story, the graphics, the gameplay all felt amazing. It wasn’t until I’d try to sleep at night when I would become terrified. I’m not afraid to admit it, but I had to share a bed with my sister frequently because I would wake up from these nightmares.

My parents got so frustrated by this, they eventually took the game away. That was probably a good thing. As I got older, I ended up beating the game. Would you know it, I didn’t get nightmares from it when I got older too! Talk about improvement. Still this game is near and dear to my heart, even if that means the nightmares are there too.

1. Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within (PS1)

Those who follow the social channels for Press Start, and why wouldn’t you, already knew this would be the top spot. I posted earlier in the week asking what games scared our readers and shared the cover of this gem with it. Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within is a horror adventure game that released for the PlayStation in 1998. The story follows 17-year-old Alyssa Hale who suffers from multiple personality disorder with an alter ego named Mr. Bates. The player guides Alyssa through various environments, alternating between her normal and twisted personality, to uncover the secrets of her and her family’s past.

I also played this game way before I should have. This time it was because of my older cousin who owned it. By today’s standards, this game is bad. It uses a point and click movement which plays slow, the voice acting is rough and the graphics are well bad. However back in 1998, aside from the movement everything was great. I will never forget opening one door to find a creepy girl laughing and having to fight her off. I cannot count how many times I had to turn the game off for being too scared. It took a long time for me to finally beat this game.

While critics panned Clock Tower II, it received a cult following. If you want to check the game out, I’d recommend just watching a playthrough on YouTube. While this game will never be ranked highly for best horror games, I love it and it takes the top spot on this list.

There you have it. Five games that scared me so bad I nearly hoped I still wore diapers. Let us know what games would make your list and what horror game you might be diving into on Halloween.

Jeremy Culver is the founder and owner of Press Start. He's been playing games since as long as he can remember with his favorite series being Final Fantasy. You can send him news tips by emailing

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