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The Top Ten Scariest PC Games

Happy All Hallows’ Eve, everyone! As a fan of all things creepy, it’s time for my favorite holiday: Halloween. What better time could there be, then, to count down the top ten scariest PC games? None, I say, so let’s do just that!

The Top Ten Scariest PC Games

10) SOMA

The first of the Frictional Games’ titles on this list also happens to be their most recent. Now, before you get angry about SOMA being as high up on the list as it is, I’d like to redirect you to the title of this list. Yes, this isn’t necessarily about the BEST horror games; it’s about the SCARIEST horror games, and SOMA is certainly frightening, with its monsters providing plenty of tension and scares throughout. The story is also stellar, showing that Frictional Games has applied subtlety to the delivery of its philosophical messages (a lesson that had yet to be learned when they released Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs). The atmosphere of the game is also done rather well. All in all, if you’re only looking for scares on PC, you’ll likely have more luck with a title further down on this list, but if you’re looking for scares paired with a truly good game, you certainly won’t be disappointed by SOMA.

9) Saya no Uta – The Song of Saya

While I’m not typically a fan of visual novels, every once in a while, one will skip onto my radar. This was the case with Doki Doki Literature Club, and this is the case with The Song of Saya. It can often be difficult for a visual novel to evoke the same kind of reactions of disturbance and general displeasure that other horror games can. The lesser degree of control over the protagonist, combined with the lack of immersion that comes with story being delivered through text, can often pull the player out of an experience to enough of a degree that even the more intense moments don’t pack much of a punch. Not so with The Song of Saya. The visuals are positively grotesque and even sickening, and they combine with an unnerving soundtrack to create an effectively upsetting experience. Even those aren’t what make the game so disturbing, though. If you want to truly understand why it’s on this top ten, and believe me when I say you probably don’t, consider giving The Song of Saya a try. A word of warning though: this game is not for everyone, not even all fans of horror. Tread carefully.

8) Five Nights at Freddy’s 4

In making this list, I was reluctant to include a FNAF game. This is partially because of my personal distaste for the gameplay of the series (even though I love the underlying story), but it’s also that, despite their name, I’m reluctant to consider jumpscares scary. I prefer to consider them startling, which is decidedly not the same thing. After some consideration, though, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can unreservedly call FNAF 4 scary. Really scary. Though it largely does away with the series’ uncanny animatronic origins in favor of toothy mechanical nightmares, it’s not just shark-esque dentistry that makes FNAF 4 nightmare fuel. It’s that the player is playing from the perspective of a young boy stuck in his room. Remember hearing things as a kid and just knowing that the silhouette on the back of your chair was waiting for you to close your eyes? If so, welcome to a world where you were right. If not, welcome to a world of paranoia and eyes held wide in the darkness.

7) Slender: The Eight Pages

Don’t tell me you forgot. Though the Slender name has been corrupted and played out by innumerable copycats, it’s important to acknowledge that there’s a reason it garnered so much attention. The concept is simple: find and collect eight pages from the night-filled forest, and do so quickly. The escalation of the suspense and terror as the player struggles more and more to find notes before the Slender Man appears is brilliantly simple. The Slender Man doesn’t scare people on his own. It’s the dread. It’s the feeling that you haven’t found a page recently, and that he’s coming. It’s not knowing when you’ll turn a corner, when you’ll flick on your flashlight, and see him staring at you. Slender: The Eight Pages takes the elements of terror and boils them down to their purest forms, and it’s damned scary.

6) Resident Evil VII: Biohazard

After years without a Resident Evil widely considered to be scary (even the well-loved RE4 is rarely considered to be a truly scary game), Capcom has come back with a vengeance. The setting is really key to RE7’s effectiveness: a home. Taking something familiar, something that’s ordinarily considered a source of comfort, and corrupting that is a dream for fans of the uncanny. Combine that with the exaggerated manifestation of the somewhat unspoken fear of ignorant backwoods hillbillies, and you’ve got a game that’s chilling from the description alone. Unfortunately, the scariest way to experience the game is virtually reality, which isn’t available on PC. Nonetheless, RE7 is scary, fresh, and worth a play if you’re looking for a good scare.