There are so many good survival horror games out there that I had to divide the “Top 10: Survival Horror Games” article into two. Take into account that the games on the list aren’t in any special order and while some of them are definitely better than others, you’ll have a terrific time with all of them. By the way, don’t forget to check out the first part of this feature.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (GameCube)
If you like survival horror, you probably heard about Eternal Darkness, a revolutionary GameCube game that changed the way in which we think about the genre. Haunted mansion? Check. Third-person perspective? Check. Sanity Effects? Check. Although tracking down a copy of the game and buying a GameCube just to play this game’s definitely a hassle, it’s totally worth it. Also, a spiritual successor called Shadow of the Eternals is in the works, so you might want to check that out when it comes out.
Renowned author Clive Barker was consulted during the development of Undying, a psychological horror game that’s fondly remembered by most of the people who had the chance to try it. The game takes place in the early 1900s where you assume the role of an Irishman called Patrick Galloway as he investigates some paranormal events that are taking place in his friend’s mansion. The combat is entertaining, since you can combine magical abilities with traditional gunplay and there are also role-playing elements and light puzzle-solving.
System Shock was the spiritual successor to BioShock and it shows in every single aspect. Not only has System Shock influenced the survival horror genre, but several others, but since this list focuses on the former, let’s talk about that. In the game, you’re a soldier trying to stop a genetic infection that affected everyone on the ship. One of the most memorable parts about System Shock 2 is the encounter with homicidal AI Shodan, but there are multiple reasons to play the game.
DayZ (PC, PlayStation 4)
As of this article, DayZ is still an unfinished product and while it’s hard to say what the complete version of the game might be, DayZ still deserves a spot on this list. DayZ is an open world zombie game where players can explore 225 km of a soviet state known as Chernarus. A virus has turned most of the city’s population into zombies and you need to scavenge for food, weapons, water and shelter. But interestingly, there’s something out there more scary than zombies: other humans.
Alone in the Dark (PC, 3DO, FM Towns, Mac, iOS)
Although latest entries in the series weren’t up to the standards, people shouldn’t forget that the original Alone in the Dark was critically acclaimed for having multiple viewpoints, a great atmosphere and references to renowned horror authors like Lovecraft. Set in Louisiana in 1920, Alone in the Dark encourages you to find the exit to the mansion solving puzzles and eluding (or fighting) enemies like ghosts and specters.
Siren (PlayStation 2)
Known as Forbidden Siren in other territories, this game revolves around different characters who have special abilities that allows them to hear or see who other nearby characters feel, but one of the best aspects is that the game features a sort of Butterfly Effect, so the actions you perform in one chapter affects the one next. Objectives involve escaping an environment, locating items or defeating enemies.
For the uninitiated, Penumbra is an episodic series of survival horror games that preceded the Amnesia series. Its horror style is quite unique, but what felt revolutionary back in the day was the fact that players could interact with the environments and items in a tactile and physical way. Luckily, this particular aspect made it to Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (PC)
Set in an alternate reality where a second disaster takes place at the Chernobyl power plant, STALKER is an unconventional first-person shooter and horror game. The narrative is non-linear and you can interact with pretty much any NPC, but there’s also role-playing elements and science fiction.
Fatal Frame (PlayStation 2, Xbox)
In Fatal Frame, players control Miku Hinasaki through four chapters, since she’s looking for her missing brother. Miku’s only weapon is the Camera Obscura, an old camera that not only can photograph ghosts, but also exorcising them. As you capture most ghosts, you earn abilities, Spirit Points and so on.