I am not great when it comes to horror. Still, I love thrillers and horror movies. When it comes to gaming, I enjoy psychological thrillers and survival games. Across my years of gaming, I have loved some games for the way they keep you on edge. The following list contains some of my top-5 nerve-wracking games. The inclusion of a title here doesn’t entirely mean it is a spooky game. But, it should be a game that makes your tension levels go through the roof, due to horror, surprise or by how shocking the scene is.
This game was my first Quantic Dream experience. The narrative in Heavy Rain was something that caught me off-guard. The story of a loving father trying to desperately recover his son from the captivity of a serial killer is thrilling enough in itself. The dialogue and cinematographic scenes of the game keep you invested through the game.
The magic of Heavy Rain, just like with other Quantic Dream titles, is the decision making. Every decision and action turned into substantial consequences that I would have to deal with. Grief and death are permeable in every decision. Saying that the final moments of Heavy Rain are nerve-wracking is an understatement.
The Resident Evil franchise is a synonym of tense gameplay. Every aspect from the camera to the gruesome and gory scenery is designed to be nerve nerve-wracking. From all the entries, the one I remember the most for its stressful mechanics is Resident Evil 3. Having Mr. X in RE2 following you around is one thing. But Nemesis popping out of nowhere in such unexpected times is the worst amount of fear I had experienced in a game to that date.
The levels of stress that you get in Resident Evil 3 were groundbreaking for that time. The story was fascinating. Even though you were scared to death, it was an addictive experience. Hopefully, we will see a remaster to the level of polish that Resident Evil 2 had.
Gruesome falls short of describing Dead Space. This nerve-wracking game elevated survival horror. After games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil, it was hard to surpass the quality level set by these titles. Dead Space was a fresh spin on sci-fi horror. Isaac Clarke and the Ishimura are names that are still engraved in my mind to this day. The madness that is seen and experienced through Dead Space is something otherworldly at that time.
The story of a man looking for his wife, mixed with the occult and a space setting can’t go wrong. Isaac is not a police officer like Leon; he is a mere engineer doing his best to remain sane in a hostile environment filled with wickedness and despair. This is one of those games you need to play at least once!
It is hard to make a list of thrilling games or overall top 10 games ever without mentioning Bioshock. This game is an achievement in almost every sense of the word. Graphically speaking, it was a masterpiece. Its setting is one of the most memorable ones in gaming history. The underwater city of Rapture and its multitude of dystopian connotations remain in your thoughts for a long time after completing the game.
Not only is it gory and shocking. It also challenges topics from faith to politics in a way that few games can. Bioshock delivers the perfect setting for a nightmare drenched in psychological and narcissistical insanity. It is crazy, yet it never dwells in the ridiculous. To top it off, it has one of the best plot twists I have experienced in a game to this date.
This is my favorite PS3 game after Journey. The Last of Us is art. It gives you a postapocalyptic world. But, not without first providing you a glimpse of what the world was like for one of the protagonists. The game shows you the true colors of humanity in the most viscerally and mercilessly way possible. It is a tense journey with a grey overtone of hopelessness.
The Last of Us makes you enjoy the little things, those details you regularly take for granted. It truly is an insight into the human condition and psyche. The script is always profound and hits the right tones to make you feel every bit of stress and sorrow. This game is a technical and narrative achievement in gaming history. It is undoubtedly a nerve-wracking masterpiece that every gamer should experience.
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