October is horror month! Every year, around this time, I celebrate my favorite genre and holiday by playing as many survival horror games as I possibly can. This year I will be putting up an article a day for the whole month of October on survival horror. I thought that today would be a good day to put up my personal top ten list and I would love to see your favorites as well in the comments below.
This game holds the bottom spot on my list because despite the fact that many parts of it are outdated, strange, or outright broken, it still has a classic charm that hits just right. This strange mix of Twin Peaks with classic survival horror games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill showcased the best of the genre while also showing how awkward the early years were.
This PlayStation 2/Xbox first person shooter had all the best parts of survival horror wrapped in a crazy steampunk-western setting. It is a great FPS, a great horror game, and one of the few good western games. Despite some really over-the-top sexualization of female characters and weak voice acting, it is genuinely fun. It also explored steampunk themes before they hit the mainstream.
8. Doom 3
This game is super dark, both tonally and visually. It had some of the best scares in the genre, classic FPS combat and some of the coolest collectables ever. This was the first time a Doom game gave us a deep look at the lore of this demon-filled hellscape. The original and the HD remake are both worth checking out.
This is considered by many to be the best Resident Evil game or even the best survival horror game ever. Unfortunately I didn’t play it until 2013, so the controls were extremely dated and it was really hard to adjust. Even so, it was an incredible experience. The campaign was long, the enemies were interesting and it has a new game plus mode.
6. Dead Space 2
Overall, Dead Space 2 was a better game than Dead Space, but it ranks lower on my list because it sacrificed some of the scariness for better pacing and more action. It is still both amazing and terrifying, and ranks as one of the best games of last generation. If you can find a limited edition for PS3 you’ll also get Dead Space: Extraction, a great rail-shooter originally released for Wii.
5. Alan Wake
Alan Wake was what Remedy went off to make after Max Payne. An amazing amount of care went into crafting the world and lore in this game. There is even a tie in series that can still be downloaded on Xbox 360 called Bright Falls. Great gameplay, great story and some truly freaky enemies.
This game is unfortunately rare and obscure because of when it released. It came out in 2006 after the original Xbox was all but done and most people had moved on the the 360. It is backwards compatible and is a great example of what 6th generation hardware could do when pushed to its limits. Amazing source material aside, the mix of survival horror, managing sanity, and investigation makes for a strange but potent mix that just works.
Even people who hate survival horror games have heard of this one. This game found a myriad of ways to mess with you in real life: making it look like your TV was broken, telling you to reset your system, and messing with the volume all while messing with you in-game as well. For years I heard rumors that this game was so scary it literally drove people insane.
While the first game established the genre as we know it today, the second part refined it into something better. For years this was the standard all other survival horror games tried to live up to and very few have come anywhere close. If you are only going to play one Resident Evil game, it should be this one.
1. Dead Space
This is it, the scariest game of all time and my personal favorite. Early in the seventh generation he genre limped along, waiting to see who would raise the bar, and then along came Visceral with this gem. Not only does it demonstrate every aspect of survival horror perfectly, it also pioneered new ways of immersing players to make things even more intense. My love of sci-fi horror stems from playing this game. This game was actually so scary the developers toned down the sequel because hardly anyone could play it for more than half an hour at a time. Turn down the lights, put on some headphones and get ready to change your shorts.
Mike Bertrand is MONG’s foremost expert on survival horror games and will be happily dropping knowledge bombs on your faces all month. Tweets.