Get ready to scream at our top ten scariest video game moments!
Video game moments can make us feel a whole array of emotions. We’ll focus on the times they frightened us so badly they nearly put them off gaming for life – well, maybe these video game moments didn’t go that far, but you get the point.
To qualify for this list the following video game moments need only happen within the confines a video game. Whether they’re parodied from elsewhere, or fully original to gaming, it doesn’t matter. If they occurred in a game and made us turn pale, these video game moments are good to go.
Video Game Moments: TGN’s Ten Scariest
10. Killer Croc’s Lair (Batman: Arkham Origins)
In the first entry of their epic superhero saga, Rocksteady accomplished with scary video game moments what we feel was a very underappreciated task – they made you feel fear while playing as one of the most badass characters in fictional history. Despite being Batman, the sense of dread we felt as we slowly walked through Croc’s Lair was immense.
We tried our absolute best not to disturb the surface of the water, giving our position to the snarling toothy beast that swam around inches below our feet. Culminating in a pulse-pounding chase scene and an amazing climax that saw Croc plummeting through the ground we blew up underneath him.
We applaud Rocksteady for managing to create one of the more palpably tense and scary video game moments in a series of caped beat ‘em ups – even if it did take a few retries on our part.
9. Being Found (Slender)
It started as a joke on a few message boards before turning into a story told via hushed whispers, then ultimately became the subject of its own nerve-wracking video game. Slenderman is testament to the power of the internet. His game, Slender, however, is not testament to our fortitude with its scary video game moments.
The fearful squeaks and shrill shrieks we let out as we saw his lanky frame stalking us in the distance were as numerous as they were embarrassing, and they only intensified as he rapidly homed in on us. Hitting its horrifying crescendo as he finally tracked us down and his grim figure looming over us. We still haven’t managed to find all those pages either.
8. The Brothers (The Void)
The Void is an underrated horror gem created by an equally underrated developer in Ice Pick Lodge. The game’s setting—the Titular Void—is a grey, misty landscape residing between life and death and overseen by the ominous Family, and ripe for scary video game moments.
The fear factor comes from their dawning realization that you are not a natural part of their world. So they make a jarring shift from passive overlords to terrifying predators. The scariest part of the game was the arrival of each one of them. We could only watch in horror as their varied daunting frames skulked, rolled and crawled into view.
The truly fearful aspect being that each design was impressively unique. So even if the last didn’t scare you, you were about to get something wildly different and just as unnerving with the next. For us, it’s safe to say they all put us on edge. Shout out to the creeping monstrosity Mantid, who shall be forever etched into our dreams in a very disturbing way.
7. Mannequin Room (Condemned: Criminal Origins)
Mannequins are oddly scary. Literally faceless, devoid of life, yet they can have such an unsettling presence as they blindly peer at you. We found one particular sequence in Condemned: Criminal Origins that summarizes this despairing feeling perfectly.
As we walked slowly through the rooms, the game toyed with our subconscious masterfully by moving these immobile mannequins as if they had minds of their own. We jumped at every noise. They couldn’t really be moving, they’re just mannequins after all, aren’t they?
The only relief we got from these scary video game moments came as we pumped a few shotgun shells into one of their faces. What? He was looking at us funny.
6. Dog Jumps Through Window (Resident Evil)
Resident Evil has earned its acclaim by being masterful at dishing out scary video game moments in a diverse myriad of ways. Probably one of the more underrated ways that always managed to catch us off-guard was the use of locked camera angles in the early games to make the character feel helpless.
Their sinister intent with these claustrophobic cameras is best displayed during the infamous scary video game moments in which, as you creep quietly throughout the halls of an area, a dog bursts through a window just past where your viewpoint is locked into position. The initial fright that this gave us was enough on its own.
As we ran for our lives in sheer terror, another dog bursts through another window positioned deviously near where the camera was fixed. One of the more notoriously scary video game moments in a very scary franchise. This item has given us a lifelong fear of dogs, and—to a lesser extent—windows.
5. Meeting Pyramid Head (Silent Hill 2)
We don’t feel the need to explain what it is that makes Pyramid Head scary. As a great hulking mass of bloodied flesh, toting a giant sword alongside his iconic headwear, it’s pretty obvious. Though, if you truly needed one example, we’d point you towards his unsettling introductory scene.
As we made our way carefully throughout Silent Hill 2, we were treated to our first sighting of Pyramid Head, and what was he doing? Raping a pair of mannequins. Our character hid away from the fiend as he sniffed around for our scent in one of the most tense scenes we’ve ever experienced. He only revealed himself to unload a clip into Pyramid Head as we pleaded for him to stop.
We were fully sure it would merely agitate the monster and provoke him to cut us into ribbons. Surprisingly, it actually managed to fend him off. Still though, if you ever find yourself cornered by a giant sword wielding, pyramid-headed, mass-murdering, mannequin lover; we’d suggest you just leave the gun in your holster.
4. Ghost Over The Shoulder (Fatal Frame)
Fatal Frame is masterful at toying with the player. It kept us on edge throughout, by teasing us with minor scary video game moments. Constantly reminding us we were helpless. Every now and then it took advantage of our weakness and sent our already frail, teetering minds over the edge with one big scare.
At one stage in the game during a seemingly meaningless scene, we were caught completely unaware by one of the game’s specters, Miyako Sudo. Appearing out of thin air right behind us, she peered over our shoulders with a somewhat disturbing blank gaze. We’re not gonna say we let out the shrill cry of a schoolgirl, but we totally let out the shrill cry of a schoolgirl.
3. Every Jumpscare (Five Nights At Freddy’s)
Surging in popularity in recent years, we personally believe that Five Nights At Freddy’s will be seen as one of this generation’s grisly greats. We’ll never forget the time we sat down for our first play session of Five Nights—before its renown had rocketed—we weren’t sure what to expect.
We carefully attempted to grasp the fundamentals of the game, checking on every door, assuring we were monitoring every camera, and then? A horrifying animatronic face covered our entire screen, grinning a gnarly grin and nearly forcing us to tab out.
Since then, Five Nights At Freddy’s has dished out many, many scary video game moments. They always manage to catch us off-guard, never becoming routine or formulaic. Mastering of the art of scary video game moments is why we hold Five Nights At Freddy’s in such high acclaim and give it all the fear it deserves.
2. SHODAN (System Shock 2)
Picture this: you awake on a ship that is almost entirely devoid of life, save for you, a horde of infected crew members, and one lone survivor trying to guide you to her. Obviously you set off to meet her. Two heads are better than one, right? After fighting through the infected and fending off the psychological attacks of The Many…you reach her.
You find something that chills you to the bone – a corpse. So who was talking to you? It’s then that SHODAN appears, surrounding you on all sides with her likeness, bellowing at you in mechanical tones as the woman whose voice she used to deceive you, lays dead inches ahead of you. Two heads may be better than one, but next time, if we know the other head is a giant scary AI, we think we’ll pass.
1. Water Chase (Amnesia: The Dark Descent)
The Amnesia games toyed with us in many ways. The masterful implementation of a sanity meter. Strategic disarming and leaving us with no way to defend ourselves. What we liked most of all, was making us play a deadly, deadly game of “the floor is lava.”
Infamous amongst it’s broad fan base, the water scene pits you against a series of areas filled ankle-high in water, and invisible monsters that only attack you, should you drop into it. The tension we felt as we carefully, tactfully hopped from box to box, doing everything in our power to avoid disturbing the water’s tranquil surface was one of the most indescribable scary video game moments of our time.
We knew there were unspeakable horrors just waiting to claw our eyes out if we so much as dipped a toe in the water. We’re not sure if we should be thankful we couldn’t see them or not.
– – – – – – – -
Everyone has something that makes them afraid – killer clowns, giant monsters, rabid dogs, or something as simple as darkness. So what we stated on this scary video game moments list may not apply to you – but something has to. So why not share those scary video game moments you experienced with us and the other readers in the comments below?
Thanks for reading, and be sure to tune into TGN Youtube channel for more awesome gaming content.