23/01/2022

๐Ÿ”ช๐Ÿฉธ Top 10 Video Game Horror Franchises | By Transvaal ๐Ÿ”ช๐Ÿฉธ

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10-Gabriel Knight

Two of the Gabriel Knight games are amazing, the 2nd one, in particular, is a beloved childhood memory (yes my parents didn’t seem to care about age ratings), I remember very fondly going through The Beast Within with my older brother and being obsessed with the word Schattenjaeger. Impressed with the FMV, it was a good time. What stops this series from getting any higher is the third game… it’s pretty much spent wandering around a very sunny French village, ostensibly hunting vampires and listening to a bored Tim Curry get sassed by a snooty French waiter. It is not as engaging as the previous entries.

9- Chzo Mythos

Speaking of a series that tails off, I present you with my 9th entry. 5 Days a Stranger is brilliant and it’s brilliant because it's simple, a well-designed, well-thought-out game that packs a big punch with a tight story. Then 7 Days A sceptic is released, which still maintains a lot of charm of the original, Trilby's Notes is next which adds some complexity to its lore but still is very digestible, then came 6 Days a Sacrifice, which thought, ‘sod simplicity, let's make everything really tedious and convoluted’. I know I'm possibly the worst person for this game, as I have a real disinterest in Lovecraftian supernatural horror, so this entry spawns into something I'm never going to like. For people who enjoy that type of story, it may very well be up your street, but even with my dislike of the last game in the series, I still think it’s a great set of games, and they are free, so the price is definitely right.

8-Telltales: the Walking Dead

When I made my original list, I didn’t consider this, but when I looked through a list of horror games, I noticed this series and thought, ‘yeah, these are definitely going on’. I might be Telltale's biggest fan - I can't verify that - but I loved pretty much every game they released, if someone asked me their best series The Walking Dead would be my answer. I love games that give you moral quandaries, I find them fascinating. One of the best parts for me was the percentage given at the end of the chapters, allowing you to see where you lined up with other people's decisions, getting an impression of everyone's moral compass. I think the first series is astonishing, it was a breath of fresh air that had some of the most likeable characters, Lee and Clem’s relationship is one of the most endearing relationships in all of gaming. Even with massive character shifts, I think most entries in the series still offered great worldbuilding and the last series was a very fitting end.

7-The Dark Pictures Anthology

This series is still only three games in, and so when it comes to its conclusion, it could well jump up a few spots. Having just finished House of Ashes, my love for the series has risen, I thought it was the best game so far and had the tightest story with the most interesting cast. Now with the next game being related to the HH Holmes murder hotel, it looks very interesting indeed, I'm very excited for the next instalment. In a wider sense, I think the games are perfect Halloween fodder, great paced stories, that every year I fire up with my brother and we have a fantastic time holding our breath while we hold our breath, those QTE’s have had us more than once!

6-The Amnesia Series

I think with a lot of similar lists, the Amnesia series would be higher, but I didn’t play them until very recently and though I think they are great games, they have become a bit of a victim of circumstance. If I had played them at the time, I could imagine how different a horror game it would have felt but because I played them so late, there have been so many imitators of its style, I'm kind of slightly numb to it. In saying all that, it still doesn't take away from its wonderfully tense atmosphere and the great sense of helplessness that permeates throughout the game. I do think the first game is the best, I like the sequels, but I do think they lose a slight edge.

5-Dead Space

A game that has been stagnant for so long but this year we heard that it’s rising from its grave and giving us a remake, I would have preferred a sequel, but I will take what I can get. The 1st Dead space felt like a massive step in the horror genre, though it didn’t really innovate too much looking back, it was a massive release and created a huge buzz. The gameplay with slicing the different necromorphs was exhilarating and created many a tense situation. Whilst the 1st game is a good idea done well, the 2nd game improves on the first in nearly every way, its story has interesting themes and I feel the game intensifies what was so great about the first. Now the 3rd isn't very good, it’s repetitive, has an idiotic story and the side missions robbed me of my very precious time on this planet. It’s lucky that the first two are so good which earn them this spot, fingers are crossed for the remake.

4-Clock Tower

I ended up playing the Clock Tower games backwards, starting with the 3rd and I have a special place in my heart for that game, I remember all the bosses very well, I really loved The Corroder - a man chasing after you, spraying acid…it makes you hammer the run button rather aggressively. I must admit that when I played this as a fifteen-year-old, the fact that the main villain was named Dick really tickled me, ‘you enter Dick’s room’ and ‘pick up Dick’s key’ - it never got old. The first two games are very early examples of survival horror games as we come to know them now, they are both still scary and the Scissor Man chasing you with that music is still terrifying. I also give it bonus points for inspiring Haunting Ground, which is fantastic, so a big bonus point for Clock Tower.

3-Project Zero/Fatal Frame

These games are creepy and out of all the games on this list - even the next two entries - these are the games that have scared me the most, ghosts appearing out of nowhere is terrifying and you think with the frequency they appear it would dampen the effect, but nope, every bloody time - it scared me. This series has a tremendous atmosphere, the creepy Japanese villages are always a terrifying backdrop, and the Camera Obscura is one of the most memorable weapons in the horror genre. The series has a definite style that runs throughout. Though I think Crimson Butterfly is the peak, the following games are still at a good level and can usually guarantee some frightening moments.

2-Silent Hill

It was always going to be a debate between which of the big series would take the top spot, Silent Hill is a very worthy second and - without spoiling further lists - one of the first four games in the series, I consider to be the best horror game of all time. Yes, I know most people will guess but still if Silent Hills had been made (the game by Kojima and Del Toro), then I truly think it may have taken the top spot but what stops it now is the basic fact that the games simply tailed off in quality. Homecoming and Downpour are games I enjoy but are clearly a dip in the series and don’t stack up when compared to the initial 1-4. Enough as to why it's not number 1 and more why it’s number 2 on this list. This series brought more of a focus on psychological horror to the genre than any game before it, and in my opinion, has never been surpassed. Themes of pain, loss, guilt and even sexual repression - it explored things I'm not sure other games have explored since. The fog-drenched town of Silent Hill, a place where your darkest fears are realised, where your warped mind is torn open and its horrors brought to life. Silent Hill is a series not trying to get you with jump scares, it's trying to scare you by showing you the darkest depths of the human mind.

1-Resident Evil

The franchise that arguably started it all! Now, there are other, earlier examples of survival horror, but this game moved the horror genre into the mainstream. It was the first time a horror game exploded; it truly changed the game. In saying all that, the reason it's number one to me is that it has constantly reinvented itself, though some may see that as a negative, times change and Resident Evil has managed to change with it, the 4th game which leans more into action and campiness, it was a breath of fresh air, as much as I like tank controls and Raccoon City, it needed a change, and the 4th game brought a great new twist to the franchise. By the 6th game, the formula had become tired again and was too action-oriented and had strayed too far from the original game, so Capcom made the 7th entry in the main series a first-person title and set the game back to a more traditional horror setting, change was needed, and change was made. Resident Evil celebrated 25 years last year and did so with a fantastic 8th game that to me, encompassed a great amalgamation of the entire series, this franchise started a wonderful era of horror and 25 years later it still remains at the forefront of the genre and for that  -it’s number 1 on my list...

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