We all know you can’t beat a good scare. The thrill of adrenaline pumping rapidly around your veins, the feeling of sweat starting to form at your brow and, of course, the sweet relief that sweeps through you as you realise that you’ve survived your horrors. Whilst the film world is known for pumping out brilliant and terrifying horror releases over the years, one area that has been consistently harder to master has been the world of horror-focused video games.
Despite being worth more than the film and music worlds combined, video games have been notoriously underrepresented when it comes to good releases for the horror genre in particular. However, when they do get it right, the results can be memorable, impactful and utterly, utterly terrifying.
Here are our top four horror games ever released that have been based on famous movies.
Saw: The Video Game (2009)
Saw is a series that continues to divide the world. Edgy and taking the word ‘gruesome’ to new heights, one thing that even the most ardent of critics have to give props to the series is the fact that it is so, so memorable.
The official Saw video game, released in 2009, captures the gritty realism of the franchise and unleashes the biggest fear every Saw fan has contemplated at least once whilst watching the films: What would happen if you were caught in one of Jigsaw’s ‘games’?
Featuring Detective Tapp, Danny Glover’s character from the very first game, and featuring the voice of Tobin Bell as Jigsaw, the game stands out for its intricate balance between the gore of the franchise and intense moments of real-time decision making that alters the world around the player.
A Nightmare On Elm Street (1989)
Freddy Kreuger is one of horror’s most treasured antagonists. From his trademark jumper and fedora to the dreaded finger-knives he uses to kill his victims, Robert Englund’s character has stalked our dreams and terrified us ever since the first film’s release in 1984.
1989 saw the release of two Nightmare video games, however the NES version easily remains the most memorable and enjoyable to play. Heavily influenced by the third Nightmare film, Dream Warriors in 1987, this game stands out mainly for its 1-4 player set up which was way ahead of the curve at the time.
Assuming various dream powers to help defeat the fedora-wearing foe, the game heavily utilises strategy and planning to help fend off Freddy, whilst simultaneously dodging the terrifying prospect of being picked off one by one.
Friday The 13th (2017)
The best game ever set in the universe of Jason Voorhees and Camp Crystal Lake, Friday the 13th is a multiplayer-heavy survival horror game that completely changes the genre with how much depth and strategy it can brag about possessing.
Set in the 1980s and the height of Jason-fever, players can take control of either a set of camp counsellors, whose task is to either survive the night or escape the camp, or the main man of Jason Voorhees himself, whose task is to naturally kill all the counsellors on the map. The game features multiple strategies and endings, plenty of unlockable and customisable rewards as well as sticking religiously to the source material from the Friday series.
Friday’s multiplayer system gives it the potential for future growth and competitive gaming on platforms such as Unikrn, as well as offering one of the most challenging, rewarding and fun designs around in the gaming world at the moment.
Alien: Isolation (2014)
One of the most terrifying games ever released for a series known for one of the scariest premises ever conceived, Alien: Isolation is an absolute must-play for horror fans out there and encapsulates everything great about Ridley Scott’s first Alien film.
Famously featuring an Alien AI that is almost 99% unpredictable, the replayability value of this game alone would be enough to secure its spot on this list. In fact, the game builds on this fantastic feature with a stunning sound score, chilling art designs and that Alien-specific feeling of paranoia and claustrophobia.
The idea of skulking around a spaceship whilst a largely unseen Xenomorph stalks you from afar is a winning formula as is, however this game is dark, chilling and possesses a level of terror that no game in the genre has ever hit before which is why it tops our list.