Whatever your view is regarding the jump scare, the fact of the matter is, they work. If you're sitting there reading this in total disagreement to the above then, my friends, you haven't experienced the right ones. Below are a list of jump scares that will leave your heart pounding and your head spinning.
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7. Dead Space
Ok, so Dead Space is literally full of jump scares. It's predicated around them. But I forgot just how scary this game was until it became available on backwards compatibility earlier this month. Situated at number 7 on our list because there really is no specific jump scare that springs to mind – the use of shadows, sound effects and those bloody vents is masterful.
If I had to narrow it down (and I do), I would recount the moment when you come across the poor soul repeatedly banging his head against the wall, or when you stumble upon some poor bugger dead in his office who suddenly starts to convulse. This is swiftly followed by the creature responsible for his death smashing out of a vent – all in all, a great horror experience.
6. Outlast – Hanging Corpse
Outlast plays on the most basic of horror concepts: simplicity. Armed with just your wits and a video camera, it's one of the true greats in terms of minimalist horror.
Outlast gets you right at the beginning with this jump scare. Seeing as it's relatively early on when the game decides to junk punch you in the face, you're still coming to grips with the controls and exactly wtf is going around you. You're just there opening one of the first doors you come across in the game, when a corpse suddenly swings at you with the mightiest of instrumental effects accompanying your pathetic scream. Number 6 in the video below.
Quite the compilation of horrificness right there, right?!
5. F.E.A.R. - The Ladder
F.E.A.R. was awesome. I'd never before seen or experienced a game like it – a first person shooter slash paranormal horror? OK!
In F.E.A.R. you're stalked by the ghost of a little girl. She looms around every corner and makes sure you're constantly on edge. There are a few great moments peppered throughout this game but by far the most unexpected is when you turn to climb down that ladder.
You turn, place yourself on its rungs, look up and BAM! She’s right there, turning a mundane action into a smear inducing ordeal.
Loved this game! Plenty of expletive evoking moments for sure!
4. Batman: Arkham Knight - Man Bat
Not a horror game, but boy did this moment scare the batmerang out of me. As part of the Batman: Arkham Knight narrative you are made aware of a situation that is brewing regarding a crazy scientist and a Man Bat type creature in Gotham - turns out that it's all in the same.
Once this becomes apparent to our caped crusader a rather scary moment is triggered within the game. You are tasked with heading to a rooftop – when you get there, you are met with the Man Bat. It shrieks and lunges for you as you clamber onto the roof.
Talk about unexpected. Batman scared by the Man Bat – Doh!
3. Resident Evil – Window Dogs
It doesn’t really get any better than Resident Evil. I would like to say that RE is the original zombie horror, it's not, but for me this is definitely where my love of horror gaming really stems from.
Again, the original relied on simplicity, it was all very eerie. The atmosphere, the lack of ammo, the never before seen monsters and those scary ass, stair climbing cutscenes!
Resident Evil as a series is full of horror but as far as jump scares go, one iconic moment leaps to mind. In the original game there is a scene where zombie dogs bust through the boarded up windows of a hallway and try to grab you. This honestly scared the living daylights out of me.
This scene is replicated in Resident Evil 2 when arms, instead of dogs, break through the windows.
2. P.T. - Look behind you
Quite possibly the greatest horror game that never was, Hideo Kojima’s highly anticipated Silent Hills title starring The Walking Dead legend Norman Reedus, exploded onto the horror scene with an inspired ‘playable teaser’.
The teaser, P.T., accrued instant acclaim as one of the scariest games ever conceived. The short play through allowed players to explore a house in which a gruesome multiple homicide had taken place. Inside, players were able to find clues, messages and scary ass ghosts.
The game is freaky enough as it is but when you hear someone say ‘look behind you,’ followed by, ‘I said, look behind you,’ it kind of makes you wanna lose your shit! Just watch.
1. The Evil Within – Blood Monster
The Evil Within is a great horror, stuffed from top to bottom with gross encounters and super spooky characters. There is one moment though that I really did not enjoy – maybe because of the scream or the fact that this monster just comes at you all deformed and stuff.
The scene involves you walking into a room where a pool of blood resides on the floor. After approaching, this hideous being erupts out of it screaming bloody murder. That moment horrified me – it was wrong on so many levels. *Shudders*