Top 10 Most Frightening Video Games

See also: Top Ten Creepiest Ghosts Hidden in Video Games.

As I recently pointed out, horrifying ghosts await you within even the most family-friendly of adventures. Well, the good news is that there are games that don't even try to be family-friendly and they too have terrible things just itching to ruin your mind! Oh wait, did I say good news? Because that's so very, very the opposite of good news. Just in case your sleep is too restful at the moment, here are the games you'll want to track down to up the adrenaline in your blood and the urine content of your pantaloons.

10: BioShock: The game as a whole becomes not very scary and simply scary good pretty fast, but man, that medical level is a real heart-stopper. Between the ghosts that wail about failed plastic surgery and that disappearing insane surgeon scene above, you could make a horror movie based on this stage alone without ever going into the rest of the story.

9. Resident Evil: Even though the opening scene is a crime against cinema itself, and the voice acting has you actively rooting for the zombies, the first Resident Evil more or less invented good horror gaming. It had a wonderful knack for scary timing, such as the first time Cerberuses crash through windows after you, the damned mutant shark and the all-encompassing horror of the Hunters' shrieks.

8. Doom II: Doom had some pretty gruesome imagery, but the sequel upped the ante considerably with plenty of corpses displayed after what was obviously some brutal torture. Even that pales in comparison to the dark secret hidden in the game. Creator John Romero secreted his possessed severed head behind the final boss in the game, and included a demonic chant that when played backwards says, "To win the game, you must kill me, John Romero." Use a no clip cheat and you can actually go behind the boss to the room where Romero's head is and chainsaw it to death as it screams.

7. Friday the 13th: Though it was graphically tame compared to the rest of the list, you have to remember that Friday the 13th had something that no other entry here load times. There wasn't a whir of disc drives or an autosave that tipped you off something horrible was about to happen. Jason randomly appeared anywhere and everywhere at a moment's notice. Even when you knew he was in a particular cabin, you didn't know which room, and the fight started without warning.

6. Dead Space: No scene sums up just how incredibly unsettling the Dead Space series is like the infamous Head Banger in the Imaging Diagnostics hallway in Chapter 2 of the first game. There's no sound, then a meaty, rhythmic banging is heard. You turn the corner and a partially reanimated man is weakly but methodically trying to crack his own skull open on the wall in front of him, eventually succeeding. A closer look at his injuries reveals he may have been at this for hours.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner