5. Resident Evil 4 — Capcom (GameCube, PlayStation 2)
If you were to pinpoint where the Resident Evil series veered away from horror into the action genre, Resident Evil 4 would be it. That’s not to discredit its creepiness though, because, unlike Resident Evil 5 and 6, co-op is not an option. The sense of danger and loneliness is high, and when no one has got your back, there are moments where anxiety kicks into full gear. This undeniably great game of 2005 still holds up very well today. If Resident Evil never returns to horror genre, they should at least revisit a lot of what made this title so great.
4. Alan Wake — Microsoft Game Studios (Xbox 360, PC)
Not just a horror game, a psychological horror game. Alan Wake follows the life of a famed novelist of the same name and his time at a town called Bright Falls – a fitting name for what’s to come. Encountering mysterious people, fighting off shadow figures, and distortion of physics all make up what makes Alan Wake a quite disturbing game. You find yourself questioning if you actually saw something or if it was just your mind playing tricks on you. The right amount of creepy topped off by a really strong narrative not only make Alan Wake a great single-player experience, but also engage those around you who are watching.
3. The Walking Dead — Telltale Games (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
The talk of the town lately has been Walking Dead, but instead of banking off what has already been working for the comics and television series, Telltale takes an entirely new direction. The episodic series of games follows history teacher Lee Everett as you help make tough choices in the post-apocalyptic world. Seeing how your choices affect the outcomes really make you ponder every move. Also, there are some quick decision making moments that will certainly get your blood pumping.
2. Dead Space 2 — EA (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
Not very many games set out to do something and execute so well in every aspect. Great storytelling, the creepiest of the creepiest enemies and stunning atmosphere make Dead Space 2 the whole horror package. Dead Space 2 took what the original did and sets up the upcoming third game in a magnificent way. Not playing Dead Space 2 again would be a disservice to not only the sake of this list, but to prepare for the big release early next year.
1. Resident Evil — Capcom (GameCube, original on PlayStation)
So nice it appears on this list twice. The Resident Evil series was at one time the ambassador for horror video games, and the original is to thank. The original Resident Evil has been re-released multiple upon multiple of times, but the GameCube version is easily the best version. Most noticeable were the completely new graphics made from scratch. Director Shinji Mikami even said that this version is “70% different from the original,” and that 70% was for the better. If more developers took the time and care with their remakes like with Resident Evil, the negative connotations attached to the word ‘remake’ would be nonexistent.