If you want to find out exactly how and why each game landed where they did or why they missed the cut, check out Behind The List at the end of this article or grab the podcast here. This is our list, let us know what yours looks like down in the comments.
F.E.A.R. took one of the cheapest mechanics of a horror game which is the "BOO! I GOTCHA" jump scares and turned it on its head by giving you these moments at the exact perfect time so you could never predict it. You would get into a battle, bullets flying everywhere, bodies racking up, victory is yours as you start admiring your nail gun art on the walls and as you catch your breathe, that little nasty creepy girl jumps out and starts melting the walls. It was the first and seemingly only game that ever scared Chad but we are pretty sure it also had to do with his dad creeping downstairs while he was playing it and scaring the crap out of him.
In Condemned it's all about the atmosphere. They actually created an atmosphere that is so thick it nearly chokes you. With barely enough items to survive you were always questioning whether you should run ahead and risk quick death or fight back against the bums that laughed at you from the shadows with their nail filled boards. You never knew where your next attacker was going to come from and you almost never could feel safe. You could turn round and you could be face to face with a gang of crazy hobo's wanting to smash your head in, 'how did he manage to sneak up on me?', and how come I only have a metal bar or 2x4 to protect myself in this insane world. You felt like you were actually going insane and barely clawing to keep yourself alive, it was a game built around making every situation scary because you didn't have that easy mode rocket launcher in your back pocket.
Dead Space did for derelict mining ships in space what Resident Evil did for mansions in the woods, it made them scary as hell. Playing the role of Isaac Clarke you make your way around of the Ishimura, a broke down mining vessel. As you run around trying to get it up and running you have to deal with all sorts of creatures that will haunt your dreams for months. While a necromorph that jumps out of a dark hallway is scary, nothing made Jason more terrified than when you had to step outside of the ship. Making your way from one oxygen deprived section of the ship was terrifying in a way no other game has yet to replicate. The sound design as you as you gasp for breath is second to none. There have been two sequels to this game, but sadly none have been able to replicate the terror this first installment gave us.
Jason played this game for 10 mins and quit, i'm not saying he's the toughest dude around but he has played almost every scary game ever made so it has some pretty heavy weight when he says it was to scary to continue. Those of us that managed to push forward into this thriller were met by some beautifully crafted jump scares, like a torso swinging through a doorway at you and eyes flickering at you in the darkness. Your only tool is your camcorder that has nightvision to help guide your way, otherwise you are navigating enemies and darkness with only the ability to run, jump, hide and run some more! The tension that this game built by limiting what you were able to do was adrenaline pumping, every move you made meant something more, every hiding spot and every door you passed by that was open one moment and slammed closed the next meant something. If you can make it through the first 10 minutes and want to be scared you will undoubtedly be torn to shreds by this games ability to jump scare you into your momma's arms.
Enter one of the worlds most prominent scariest enemies; Pyramid Head made it's debut by making kids wet the bed while slowly creeping towards them seemingly unstoppable, you knew when it approached it wasn't going to end well for you. Even as the game evoked some of the atmospheric elements that made the original such a masterpiece it stands on its own with some of the best visuals and a soundtrack from it's era that really had us afraid for our lives.
Resident Evil might not be the scariest game of all time but it set the tone for the future and made little Jason and Chad scared for weeks. So it makes the list for for one major reason, that damn dog jumping out of the window. It was the first time that we can ever remember a game legitimately scaring us. Sure, we were scared when Jaws was about to take our last life back on the NES, but this was different. This was jump out of your seat, scream kind of terror and it was freaking awesome. Getting that scare showed us that video games could and were becoming more like movies, which meant we had to try and downplay the scares to our parents to get these scary games in our hands. We know the dog is kind of cliche, but come on, admit it, you jumped more for that dog than you did the crows or zombies during your first play through.
A god demon-thing is possessing a child in one of the scariest games Amy has every played, if you really want to scare her you need to step out of the physical world of zombies and into the supernatural world where she is her weakest. Silent Hill is hands down the teams scariest foray into horror games and leading the way into our top slot with so many scary moments like the controller beating as if it were a heart, that we were getting sweaty just talking about it. From the inexplicable sobbing of an unseen child in a blood-stained school hall to the loud rattling of an invisible "something" underneath the floorboards that you're standing on, it really never became predictable as you ventured through the fog hoping, praying that what you couldn't see wasn't going to kill you.