It takes a lot to make a truly scary horror game. The setting needs to be right, the enemy variation needs to be on point, the pacing needs to be carefully considered and above all else, there needs to be that one particular enemy that stands out from the crowd. What would Outlast be without Chris Walker? What would The Evil Within be without The Keeper? What would Condemned be without Leland Vanhorn? Exactly. With that in mind, we’ve listed our top five picks and believe me, it wasn’t a very easy list to come up with.
Hands down, Pyramid Head was an easy choice to come to. This terrifying entity first made an appearance in Silent Hill 2 as one of the primary antagonists and has since been referenced many times as being the scariest enemy in any given survival horror game to date. Sporting a large metallic pyramid helmet and a the iconic Great Knife, this muscular, disturbing monster is a force to be reckoned with. Hopefully Konami remaster Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 at some point, but in a much better way than that of the 360 HD Collection.
Often considered to be Resident Evil’s Pyramid Head, Nemesis is another gigantic monster that’s referred to often whenever the talk of this topic is up for debate. Nemesis was introduced in Resident Evil 3 and would stalk Jill Valentine throughout the entirety of the game, periodically appearing at any given time. His large stature as well as his grotesque appearance made for some very unsettling and tense encounters. Safe to say, Nemesis easily outmatched Trench-coat/Mr. X from Resident Evil 3’s immediate predecessor.
Yes, Miyako has made the cut. Miyako Sudo was one of the hostile spirits in Fatal Frame II (also known as Project Zero II). In life, Miyako was killed by the ghost of her lover and now haunts the Osaka House uttering one single word, “why”, as she eerily ponders the events of her death. When encountered, Miyako will often rage towards the player, both confused and angry. Of all the spirits across Fatal Frame, Fatal Frame II and Fatal Frame III, Miyako Sudo stood out as the scariest for me. That, and she caught me off-guard every damn time.
Now, when I say Xenomorph, I’m talking about the Xenomorph from Alien Isolation, not the Xenomorphs from the rest of the crappy Alien games prior to that. Alien Isolation’s excellent blend of stealth and horror ultimately made for some truly ‘edge of your seat’ moments from start to finish. So much so that this game in particular stands as one of the finest survival horror games this gen. I know, it’s hardly stiff competition, but still, the creepy unsettling theme, location and mechanics, made for one hell of a terrifying experience.
Resident Evil may have had its ups and downs over the last ten years, but if we take a trip back to the classics, the series had so much going for it. Take, for example, Resident Evil 4’s Regenerators. Capable of near-instantaneous regeneration, players knew they were in trouble when they heard the haunting gurgling noises that these monsters make. What made Regenerators particularly scary wasn’t just their tall mutated and disturbing design, but their ability to absorb large amounts of damage before eventually biting the dust.
Do you agree with this list? Perhaps you’ve played more survival horror games than us and have some better suggestions? Would you like to see a remaster of any of the classics listed here? – This is the gen of remasters after all. Sound off in the comments below to make yourselves heard.