Some people don't know the true meaning of "horror". Some people think that when the big monster pops out you can outgun it, or outrun it. But unless you have a PHD is space engineering, that is rarely the case, and even then your chances are few at best.
Rules: Only 1 game per franchise, Alien: Isolation is excluded since I haven't played it yet.
1. PENUMBRA: OVERTURE
The original creation by the makers of Amnesia, Penumbra: Overture was merciless at best. The game certainly wasn't intended for casual audiences and while at some cases the player felt frustrated, it lacked the certainty that later games would give us: "It's ok, you'll have a fair fighting chance." Penumbra was the very definition of "claustrophobia".
2. DOOM 3: BFG EDITION
Few things can compare to walking with around 5% health, seeing a health pack in a dark, semi-lit corner and saying "Oh god, I know it's a trap, but I have no choice, do I?" Doom was brutal, long-lasting and you loved it for that. And it's even better when it's all in 3d.
3. DEAD SPACE 1
While I find the third game to be the overall best in the series due to the beautiful environments and the fun gameplay, as far as horror goes the first is still the undisputed champion. Isaac Clark needs to survive the necromorph-infested USG Ishimura before everything goes to hell.
4. JU-ON: THE GRUDGE (Wii exclusive)
One of the few reasons to buy a Nintendo console (yeah, start booing), Ju-On delivered plenty of Kayako and Toshio at their best.
5. NOSFERATU: WRATH OF MALACHI
Now here's one people haven't heard of. Inspired by the cult 80s movies, this little first-person gem didn't get nearly as much spotlight as it deserved. Trapped in a medieval castle, the protagonist must rescue as many of his family members as he can, while midnight draws ever closer, when Dracula awakens. Totally worth your time, it has recently been rereleased on Steam, so now's your chance to check it out.
6. HALF-LIFE 2: ABOUT A GAZILLION MODS
You may say it's not fair to include mods for a game rather than the original game itself, but there have been so many brilliant creations that it would really be a shame not to list a few: Fast Defect, Underhell, Flesh and of course, the masterpiece that messes with your head: Nightmare House 2!
7. WHITE DAY: A LABYRINTH NAMED SCHOOL
Released by Korean (Asians, masters of horror, go figure) developers back in 2001, this relatively unknown beauty is in definite need of a remake. A young teen follows a girl he likes to his high school one shady night, and terror soon follows.
Proudly taking Fatal Frame's place, this Indonesian beauty had players both adoring the female lead's incredibly cute hair and "dreading" to take another step. As ghosts linger everywhere, the player is h(a)unted by spectral visions that can only be intercepted by using your smart-phone's first person camera flashlight. But that's obviously what the game wants you to do now, isn't it? A gem that really flew under the radar for no reason, get it from Steam today! Interestingly, one of the few horror games with an almost open-world approach.
Few introductions are needed here. Outlast became a horror phenomenon, a first person masterpiece having the player moving in dark claustrophobic environments equipped only with his camera, the game played a lot with the "night vision" perspective, reminding us that we shouldn't have drank so much water before our gaming session today.
10. THE VOID
Now here's another one you had no idea existed, and my personal favorite of all time. The Void is... Everything and nothing. Calling it "a piece of art" is hardly doing the game justice, but honestly words fail me here. If Outlast from before was "hell", then The Void is... "Nothingness".
Honorable Mention: CALL OF CTHULHU, DARK CORNERS OF THE EARTH:
Lovecraft at his finest, until a new game comes along to bear the heavy Legacy of grandpa Cthulhu, this fun and deadly first-person trip to Innsmouth will hold the gold trophy.
Do you have any games you think should be in this list? Share in the comments below!