October is Halloween season, which means it’s the best time to watch some scary movies or play some of the best horror games around. When it comes to the latter, horror has become a genre that has spawned some of the best and biggest video games around. For the next few weeks of October, we’ll be doing a weekly series of blogs for the best horror games of each decade.
For our first edition, let’s take a look at the best horror games of 1990s, the decade when the genre established a couple of franchises that would define it in the next few years.
5. Doom (1993)
While the game is the iconic FPS that helped push the genre to massive success (creating one of the games I love), Doom implements horror elements pretty well too. With hordes of demons taking over a research facility on Mars, it is up to you to take down the forces of hell one bullet at a time.
While the game’s pace is more action-packed than the others on this list, there are some moments that will make you feel uneasy and tense, as there are a lot of dark corners with demons lurking around, and pursuing you from any angle. However, having guns and lots of ammo will surely give you an advantage and take the battle to Hell itself.
4. Dino Crisis
Shinji Mikami is one of the most famous gaming figures when it comes to survival horror games, creating franchises such as Resident Evil (more on that later). Another game he helped make was 1999’s Dino Crisis, which followed the formula of the RE series, but this time it has dinosaurs instead of zombies.
While the shift to dinosaurs might be a weird thing at first, you begin to realize that you wished that you were dealing with slow walking zombies in the first place. The dinosaurs are quick and relentless, making hiding or escaping from them even more difficult. Combine that with a creepy atmosphere and you have one of the best horror games of the decade.
3. Clock Tower
One of the more underrated horror games of its time, Clock Tower is a game that will offer you the right amount of scares and tension throughout your entire playthrough. What makes it even scarier is that there is no way to harm the game’s main enemy, and you can only hide from it.
The constant presence of the game’s main villain and the unsettling atmosphere of the house you’re in makes this one of the best horror games out there.
2. Silent Hill
Arguably one of the scariest games of the 90s, Silent Hill provided a scary experience that still holds up well until now. Set in a titular town that has since become an iconic gaming location, Silent Hill creates an atmosphere that keeps you on your toes and will constantly creep you out. It’s also impressive, considering the hardware limitations of that time.
The first game’s success helped create a franchise that offered a selection of impressive sequels that offered more scares and a deeper look at the haunted wonders of Silent Hill. But the first game is still one of the franchise’s most impressive, even after two decades.
1. Resident Evil 2
When it comes to survival horror, Resident Evil stands tall as the most successful, with a franchise that has spawned more than a dozen games. However, this would not be the case if the early titles in the series weren’t as successful as they were back in the day.
And when it comes to those early titles, Resident Evil 2 stands out as the franchise’s best at the time. Incredibly playable, even with the excellent remake out, the sequel refines the old-school RE formula and creates a compelling and exciting horror experience from start to finish.
Having two different story paths also adds to the fun, as you might want to jump back into Raccoon City just to do it all again. While Resident Evil helped establish the genre, Resident Evil 2 turned it into one of the biggest genres in gaming.
Horror games have come a long way from what they once were, but this all started during the 90s, when the technology improved, providing more immersive experiences that just ramped up the scare factor.
Now with this decade wrapped up, stay tuned for our best horror games of the 2000s!
About the Author
A former teacher and guitarist, Jude (Twitter, Instagram) is currently a writer that covers video games and is one of the co-hosts of The Geeky Juans. Apart from hosting the podcast, you can also catch him streaming at Dude It’s Jude on Facebook.