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6 Great Classic Horror Games Everyone Should Play At Least Once

May 22, 2022

In the modern age, players are spoiled by the sheer amount of horror games available at their fingertips. The Indie gaming scene has exploded, giving gamers access to a near endless amount of horror-theme adventures that they can dive into at a moment’s notice. But quantity doesn’t always mean quality, and there are many horror releases that fall short of being “spectacular.”

There have been some seriously frightening, and incredibly exciting, horror games released for each generation of consoles, and developers continue to gain access to new and exciting tools that allow them to amp up the scares as time goes on. But the past has seen its fair share of beautifully crafted horror experiences, many of which “new age players” missed out on. Here’s a look at some of the best horror games that all horror fans need to play at least once.

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1. Silent Hill 2 (PS2)

The PlayStation and PlayStation 2 saw their fair share of great horror-survival titles, with many players pointing towards the Resident Evil series as the best of the bunch. But there are quite a few horror fans that missed out on Silent Hill, a franchise that established its footing around the same time. At its core, Silent Hill was very much like Resident Evil, with players attempting to survive a horror-stricken world, picking up weapons and hoarding scare ammunition and supplies as they solved puzzles and battled horrific monsters.

Silent Hill 2, considered by many to be one of the best Silent Hill games ever made, set itself apart from other survival horror games by crafting a fog-laden game world that was seriously terrifying. Great sound design, grotesque monsters, and a rather gripping story make Silent Hill 2 a must-play release.

2. Parasite Eve (PS1)

Although Parasite Eve feels like a title that belongs in the same vein as Resident Evil and Silent Hill, it’s actually a game that’s more akin to Final Fantasy and turn-based RPGs. What made Parasite Eve unique is that players were free to move around when battling against enemies, but their attacks would come by targeting specific enemies and then auto-attacking. They were even free to use skills and items via menus, as one might do in a traditional RPG setting.

Underneath the unique, albeit somewhat confusing combat, Parasite Eve is a rather chill yet chilling horror experience. It’s not nearly as hair-raising as some of the other titles on this list, but it has a unique premise and was a very different overall adventure during its time, earning it a special place among other horror classics.

3. Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES)

A blast from the past, Zombies Ate My Neighbors isn’t particularly scary, especially compared to the titles on this list, but it’s absolutely a must-play. Gamers that get their hands on this top-down shoot-’em-up will definitely see the horror influences, as the pixelated arcade-style SNES game is filled with homages to horror’s past. There are Frankenstein-esque creations, giant bugs, and, of course, a slew of zombies.

Although Zombies Ate My Neighbors can be a bit difficult to the uninitiated, it’s definitely a ton of fun to play and gamers should have a blast trying to conquer all 48 stages of the horror-filled romp.

4. Condemned: Criminal Origins (Xbox)

Players that prefer their horror to be a bit more “up close and personal” may want to check out Condemned: Criminal Origins. This title was originally created for the Xbox 360 but was later ported to PC via Steam, thanks to the outpouring of support from a cult following that adored the game when it was first released. The adoration isn’t misplaced, as Condemned is a truly engaging and entertaining horror title that had more than a few tense moments sprinkled throughout its runtime.

Players will take control of a forensics detective, tasked with discovering clues via some unique and intuitive (for their time) tools. What follows is nothing short of a mind-bending and terrifying first-personal survival game that definitely deserves a spot in a collection of must-plays.

5. Dead Space (PS3/Xbox 360)

Those that are looking for something that’s truly terrifying will definitely want to pick up Dead Space. This Sci-Fi Horror release is perhaps one of the most unnerving experiences ever created, with some truly horrifying moments and expertly crafted locations that are overflowing with hordes of grotesque monsters.

Isaac Clarke has become a Horror icon over the years thanks to his adventures through the Dead Space franchise, as well as his array of engineering-based Sci-Fi weapons. Dead Space is the type of game that can really get under a player’s skin and it has more than a fair share of heart-rate-raising moments.

6. Alan Wake (Xbox 360)

Although Alan Wake was fairly recent compared to some of the other releases on this list, it’s still “classic” by today’s standards. It’s absolutely an adventure that every horror fan should take too. The title follows the misadventure of a plagued writer as he attempts to overcome some very personal demons and write his next best-selling horror adventure.

Unfortunately, things become a bit too real for Alan Wake and players must make their way through a series of deadly locations, armed with a powerful flashlight and an array of weapons to help protect themselves from the evils that lurk in each area. It’s a great survival horror release and one that’s often overlooked.

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