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The scariest video games ever made

Estimated reading time — 3 minutes

Derren Brown fans might remember his series Trick of the Mind, in which he designed a video game to pull a specific trick on a volunteer with the help of his friends. The game Derren Brown designed put the man into a hypnotic trance and he was wheeled into an abandoned building with the same layout as the game and woken up.

Discovering himself experiencing a real-life zombie attack, the man fought off the zombies with a paintball gun while running around the building trying to find a way out. The nightmarish nature of the game means that it is probably for the best that this experience was a terrifying one-off.

This intense experience did foreshadow the popularity of immersive technology, albeit in a nightmarishly terrifying manner, and this is becoming more and more popular among game designers. Some of the most terrifying games make use of the high-quality sound, crystal-clear graphics, and incredible animation that gamers have now come to expect.

Some of the world’s most popular games tap into our love of being scared, and fans cannot get enough of the adrenaline rush you get when you take on some of the most ghoulish monsters. Video gaming providers are using horror themes for inspiration for their games and the casino industry is no exception with the best online slot providers utilising the horror themed for their slot games – some of the greatest titles being ‘Halloween’ and ‘Blood Suckers’.

There are many games that have become known for being scary, so which ones top the charts when it comes to making players’ blood run cold?


Known as one of the most terrifying games around, Outlast follows the misfortunes of a journalist that is investigating Mount Massive Asylum, a psychiatric hospital in the proverbial middle of nowhere. Having snuck in to learn the truth about reports of horrifying experiments being conducted on the inmates, the player must navigate the game from the perspective of the reporter.

One of the things that makes this game so effective is the first-person perspective, but while this is normal in games where the character has a gun, Outlast is chillingly different. The player has no weapons, no health bar and no ‘attack’ – they must survive their ordeal by staying out of sight, hiding from the violent attentions of the inmates and if they are caught, outrunning their foes is their only chance.

The violence is graphic and the plot includes several interludes with characters that meet extremely unpleasant fates. The content is strictly for adults and only those with strong constitutions at that.

Five Nights at Freddies

Known online as FNaF, this hugely popular franchise began in 2014 when the first instalment of this nightmarish adventure series was released and the eerie simplicity of the retro graphics took the gaming world by storm. Since then, there have been another seven games with the most recent being released in 2021 to huge critical acclaim.


Fans were enthralled to have yet another location to explore in the form of a shopping mall packed with almost familiar brands. The player takes the character of Gregory, a young boy who is trapped in the mall trying to overcome the enemy animatronic toys that can be found all over the mall.

Players have to solve the mystery of why these machines have been instructed to hunt them down, keep out of sight of the security guard, and try and escape from the mall unharmed. On the way, there are plenty of creepy scares to keep horror gaming fans transfixed.


The modern legend of the Slender Man has spread like wildfire in the age of viral content. The uncanny figure, looming large with the long arms that might otherwise be comical, has become internationally familiar based on an internet meme created in 2009.


A true horror of the modern age, this folk-tale makes for the kind of sinister gaming experience that you’d expect from the meme that terrified millions. The disturbing silhouette of the Slender Man is enough to give most people the willies, and this game involves playing a character that is trying to escape his clutches.

It’s a gripping first-person adventure in which the player has to find their way through a dark wood, looking for notes that will help them escape from the Slender Man. Fans of the Slender Man will recognise his disturbing silhouette as they find their way around the forest while trying to evade capture.

There are plenty of other games that have earned a reputation for their contribution to the horror genre with many becoming hugely popular franchises with new games released every couple of years. These include:

  • Resident Evil
  • Silent Hill
  • Dead Space
  • Outlast
  • Clock Tower
  • Fatal Frame
  • BioShock
  • The Walking Dead

These games are among the most popular in the world, with millions of fans enjoying the creepy settings, well-thought-out characters, and intriguing plot lines. From jump scares to psychological tricks, there is plenty to appeal to horror fans in these games.

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