7 most terrifying Xbox games ever
We all love a good scare, right? Here are ten essential games to get you in a terror frenzy. The colour of your underwear will never be the same again.
As it stands, Dead Space is the closest a videogame has come to recreating the butt-clenching tension found in Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece, Alien. Visceral Games isolated poor Isaac Clarke on the USG Ishimura, tasking him with getting the derelict mining vessel space-worthy again. It doesn’t go to plan, leaving the player to create makeshift weaponry in the darkness to fight back a vicious bunch of mutant monsters. Dead Space has a great blend of action and pure scares, ensuring it’s edge of the seat from start to finish. Oh, and don’t go near the vents. Like, ever. It will mess you up something rotten.
Left 4 Dead
Never have we been so afraid of the power artificial intelligence can wield in a digital space. The Director, the AI system that controlled all of Left 4 Dead’s enemy waves and encounters was relentless in its attempts to ruin your evening of quiet, co-operative fun. The placement of a Witch in a tight street, the impossible crowds that would appear in moments of peril and who can forget the horde of zombies that would appear if your (soon to be ex) buddy went off into the woods alone. Left 4 Dead is the rare example of a game forging horror incidentally, as apposed to purposefully.
Manhunt is a horrible, nasty piece of work from Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar Games. It went one step further in casting you as the villain of a game, pushing you through a number of terrifyingly gruesome encounters as a savage killer. Being rewarded for discovering new, disgusting ways to murder folks in the underbelly of Carcer City caused its fair share of controversy back in the day, but it’s actually a great stealth game in its own right. Its dark nihilistic tone, not to mention fixation on violence, all comes together to create a strangely compelling psychological horror game. Not one for the squeamish.
Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly – Director’s Cut
There are many people out there that consider the Fatal Frame series to be amongst the scariest ever created, and we find it hard to disagree. Crimson Butterfly abandons you in a village disconnected from the world, full of evil spectres you can’t see with regular sight. You’ll hear them creeping behind you, lurking in the shadows – it’s bloody terrifying, and the only way to damage the ghosts is by capturing their image with an old camera filled with low-grade film.
Condemned: Criminal Origins
The launch of the Xbox 360 was terrifying enough, what with the risk of the red ring of death looming over every Xbox gamer, but Condemned: Criminal Origins quickly made us wish we were staring at that E74 error screen over Monolith’s terrifying depiction of Metro city. Condemned is without a doubt the most consistently frightening game on the Xbox 360. Its ultra-violent combat, terrific sound design and dedication to throwing you into some of gaming’s most harrowing situations has left a lasting impression.
If Monolith weren’t already content with making us afraid to go out into the city at night thanks to Condemned, the studio had to go and make us afraid of little girls too. There’s a very good chance we spent more time staring at the pause screen – desperately trying to catch our breath and stop our hands from shaking – than we did actually playing the damn thing. A brief appearance from Alma – the very creepy dead girl at the centre of F.E.A.R.’s ghostly conspiracy – was almost always accompanied by moments of extreme violence or the echoes of giggling laughter. It was unnerving… we are forever mentally disturbed.
It’s the Creepers. The hissing bastards that stalk any adventurer foolish enough to head out into the darkness of Minecraft’s procedurally-generated worlds. Minecraft’s success might be unprecedented, but so is its ability to summon a deep fear in your gut. Head out on a quest for resources on a tougher difficulty, you’re an altercation away from losing days of progress. Build a monument to your own creativity, and one misplaced Creeper can ruin the whole thing, exploding an entrance for everything nasty to get in. Minecraft might be a game for everybody to enjoy, but it’ll quickly break the weak of will.
Get the latest on the next round of horror masters on Xbox like Alien Isolation, The Evil Within and more in each issue of X-ONE.