The Xbox 360 has a massive collection of games from all different genres, but if you were wondering about some of the scariest games the system has to offer, keep reading. Survival horror isn’t a niche genre as it used to be, but modern classics are few and far between, so if you were thinking about getting some of the best horror games you can find on the 360, here’s a list with some of my favorites.
10. Alone in the Dark
Alone in the Dark, the fifth entry in the series, isn’t without some technical flaws, but this can be a satisfying horror adventure. The PlayStation 3 version of the game was received more favorably thanks to improved controls for both movements and driving and for including some different levels from all the other versions.
9. Silent Hill: Homecoming
It’s hard to describe the Silent Hill series without bringing the word disturbing at some point and Homecoming, despite being developed by a Western company, certainly has that quality. Atmospheric music, improved voice acting, upgraded visuals are some of the trademarks of this new entry, but the story received a mixed reception for not being particularly original.
8. Dead Rising
Dead Rising centers around photojournalist Frank West who finds himself trapped in a mall in a zombie-infested city in Colorado. To defend from the undead, Frank needs to explore the mall and use any available objects as a weapon. Depending on the decisions you make along the way (you can rescue survivors, and complete several quests,) you’ll get different endings. This sandbox game is definitely more lighthearted that some of the other entries on this list, but it’s hard not to feel horror when you’re surrounded by a horde of zombies.
7. Deadly Premonition
There’s no doubt in my mind that if Deadly Premonition was a film, it would be a B-movie. Known as one of the most polarizing games ever made, this free-roaming title puts you in the shoes of a FBI agent who travels to a rural town near Washington to investigate the murder of an 18-year old woman. There’s one of two options: you’ll either love or hate this budget title, but you’ll be playing something original and unique regardless.
This third-person survival horror title revolves around a fictional special forces team known as F.E.A.R that is called to contain a supernatural apparition that possesses extreme force and appears in the form of a little girl. The unique plot, exhilarating levels and freakish characters make F.E.A.R easy to recommend. The game came out on both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, but the former had downgraded graphics and long loading times, so I’d stay away from it.
5. Condemned: Criminal Origins
The Condemned series is not for everyone (the game places emphasis on melee combat instead f gunplay, there’s gathering evidence and the storyline can be slow at times.) That said, the game captures the brutality of some of the best horror movies ever made (the developers have often cited Seven, The Silence of the Lambs and Twin Peaks as inspirations.) There’s a sequel that expands on some of the elements from Criminal Origins, such as the multiplayer and environmental kills.
Resident Evil 5 is one of the most polarizing entries in the series, especially since the game steered towards action instead of horror. Personally, I appreciated this change of direction since the fast-paced nature of Resident Evil 5 made the story easy to follow and the third-person shooter mechanics felt modern while retaining some of the classic Resident Evil feel (you still couldn’t run and shoot.) To be clear, this is one of the least survival horror games on this list, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had in RE5 especially if you have a friend to play with.
3. Alan Wake
Alan Wake is a best-selling thriller novelist who travels to the small town of Bright Falls, Washington to start working on his next novel, but suddenly, his wife mysteriously disappears. In terms of structure, Alan Wake borrows a lot of from television (from shows like Twin Peaks and The Twilight Zone,) since the game’s divided into six different episodes that have several plot twists and cliffhangers. This is an atmospheric, visually appealing, chilling and innovative survival horror game that all fans of the genre should check out at some point.
2. Left 4 Dead 2
As far as cooperative-focused horror games, no game comes even close to what Valve achieved with Left 4 Dead. And its sequel improved pretty much every elements from its predecessor: there are new survivors, Infected, campaign, weapons, and a procedurally generated mode known as AI Director 2.0. This is a replayable and eminently entertaining zombie game that you can’t miss if you want to play cooperatively with friends or strangers.
1. Dead Space
Dead Space must be one of the most inspired horror games ever made because what this game achieves in terms of atmosphere, story, enemy design and gameplay is rare. Some of its parts can be familiar, but when it all comes together, Dead Space becomes a memorable and nail-biting horror experience that you want to stop playing but can’t.