It’s the second edition of our best horror games blog series. Last time around, we covered the best horror games of 1990s. This time, we’ll be talking about the best horror games during the first decade of the 21st century.
This decade has seen gaming tech improve, allowing developers to create more immersive and intense horror experiences for gamers on every platform. Let’s take a look at the horror games that defined the decade.
5. Left 4 Dead 2
A game that has stood the test of time, Left 4 Dead 2 is still popular to this day, with large numbers of players hopping in and out with their friends constantly.
This is a testament to the quality and fun-factor that the game has to offer. While you are free to blast hordes of zombies at will, there are moments where the game becomes intense, with fights devolving into horrific scrambles to escape each level.
Despite the release of its spiritual successor Back 4 Blood, Left 4 Dead 2 is still a fun experience to be played with friends.
4. Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly
The Fatal Frame series was arguably one of the scariest horror franchises at the time, with players only having the Camera Obscura to fend off various spirits of the dead. Top that with a haunted and eerie atmosphere and would make you want to leave the lights on while sleeping.
The sequel improved upon the mechanics of the first game, creating a smoother and more immersive experience that would keep you wary before entering a room or house. With the re-release of one of the most recent games happening earlier in 2021, only time will tell when a new installment to the series will be announced.
When it comes to the best and most immersive gaming experiences of the 2000s, Bioshock is one of the games that stands tall. Playing this more than a decade later, it still holds up. The deteriorating underwater setting remains as unsettling and claustrophobic as ever, and its enemies, including the infamous Big Daddies, are still a force to be reckoned with.
Couple that with great environmental and narrative storytelling, and you have one of the best horror gaming settings around, rivaling even the likes of Silent Hill and Raccoon City. Now, would you kindly get yourself a copy of this classic?
2. Dead Space
EA is not as prolific compared to other developers when it comes to horror games. However, they struck gold with Dead Space, a sci-fi survival horror game set in a space station where things have gone south.
The game’s visual design helped create a setting that will keep you on your toes throughout, while giving you an arsenal of tools and weapons to help you fight back and survive as long as you can. Even after more than a decade, the Plasma Cutter is still one of the best weapons in gaming.
1. Resident Evil 4
Among all of the horror games during the 2000s, very few come close to the impact and legacy of Resident Evil 4. A huge shift in the classic RE formula, the game features a new over-the-shoulder perspective, a different kind of viral threat, and classic characters you know and love from the franchise.
What makes this game great is the fine balance between action and horror segments, with the game constantly throwing new enemies at you, making for some amazing set-pieces where you escape in the skin of your teeth. This new formula not only helped dictate where the next games of the franchise would move towards, but it also influenced how third-person games can be done in the next decade.
The 2000s was an amazing decade of innovation in gaming, giving us some of the all-time best games year after year. These horror games keep the scares up for gamers everywhere, and are great stuff to play during the spooky Halloween season. With this decade wrapped up, we will move to the final part of this blog series and enter the 2010s next.
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.