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10 Terrifying 90s Video Games That Are Still Scary Today


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Video games are not what they used to be. Graphics have come a long way, and the variety in games is constantly expanding. Despite the variety, though, a lot of fans like to go back to the older days for nostalgia. Today, the 90s are quite nostalgic for a lot of gamers. In fact, many companies have picked up on that and have been dishing out many remasters and remakes of 90s shows, movies, and video games.

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The horror genre of video games is one such group that is getting many remasters and remakes. Not only that, but some 90s horror games have inspired the film industry in terms of what sells. Looking back on these games, it is not surprising that they were so influential. Many still hold up as scary, even with the aged graphics.

9 Silent Hill (1999)

silent hill

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The first Silent Hill game came out in the late 90s and spawned a legendary quadrilogy of games. A lot of good horror games are one-hit wonders, but Silent Hill is one of the few that is a different story. They kept dealing out good games for a while, with Silent Hill 2 getting the best reviews of all. All the games after the fourth title, however, is where the series started to get more negative criticism.

The original game still stands as scary, and it’s no wonder when it was considered one of the best horror games of its time. It even got two movie adaptations that were both pretty faithful to the lore of the games.

8 Resident Evil (1996)

resident evil

Resident Evil stands next to Silent Hill as a big-name horror franchise. The first Resident Evil title came out in 1996 and has accumulated many other game titles since then. In fact, many critics call Resident Evil one of the most influential video games of all time. It also was one of the first action games to get an M for Mature rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

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Zombie fans can partly thank Resident Evil, as it was one of the titles that lead the charge of the renewed interest in zombie stories that lead to movies like Zombieland and 28 Weeks Later. Like Silent Hill, it also got movie adaptations.

7 Resident Evil 2 (1998)

resident evil 2 leon

Coming out just two years after the first game, Resident Evil 2 was deemed to be better than its predecessor in every way. For its time, the graphics were top-notch and were largely improved. The game was so loved that it got a gorgeous remake in 2019.

Of course the game is still scary, as its atmosphere makes the player always feel on-guard. Few rooms in the game truly feel safe.

6 Dino Crisis (1999)

t-rex and woman

90s horror games fans are still waiting on a remake or remaster for this beloved survival horror game. This game was quite similar to Resident Evil, and it was made by the same company. Just imagine Resident Evil and replace all the zombies with dinosaurs. Of course, many compare the game to Jurassic Park due to its mixture of horror and paleontology.

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While many say it is not as scary as Resident Evil, it is still a 90s horror game that stands the test of time.

I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream (1995)

i have no mouth and i must scream

Even point-and-click adventure games could be scary. I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream certainly proved that point. The computer game is actually based on a science fiction short story of the same title from the 60s. The game is set in a dystopia where only five humans are alive and are being tortured by an A.I. that has eliminated the rest of humanity. The game follows various characters and has a total of seven different endings depending on players’ choices.

5 Phantasmagoria (1995)

Phantasmagoria

Another scary point-and-click adventure, Phantasmagoria may seem very bizarre to players who never experienced live-action actors in a game before. This game was made at a time where interactive movie games were a peaking trend.

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As for the plot, it has a lot of similar vibes to The Shining. The story follows a mystery novelist and her husband as they just purchased a remote mansion that used to belong to a famous magician. What could possibly go wrong?

4 Parasite Eve (1998)

parasite eve

Viewed more as a role-playing game with survival horror elements rather than a stand-alone horror title, Parasite Eve is a game by Square Enix. It is actually made as a sequel to a science fiction horror novel of the same title. It was also Square Enix’s first M-rated game. The game was popular enough to get two sequels.

Despite now being known as a horror game, the plot is straight out of what one would expect from the horror genre. Players see humans spontaneously combust at the very beginning, and it was made at a time where Japanese horror was trending, with stories like The Ring and The Grudge getting a lot of attention.

3 Alone In The Dark (1992)

alone in the dark monster

This game is a bit of a breakthrough, as it is considered to be the first-ever 3D survival horror game. It is essentially the great grandfather of survival horror video games and most definitely influenced other major titles like Resident Evil and Silent Hill.

Players get to take on the role of a man or woman stuck in a haunted mansion and try to escape while fighting, avoiding, or outsmarting various supernatural monsters. The game was popular enough that it got its own series and inspired two live-action movies of the same name.

2 Sanitarium (1998)

sanatarium

Another point-and-click game, Sanitarium is a game where the player takes the role of a patient in an asylum after a car accident. The patient has no memory of who they are or what is going on, but both reality and otherworldly places and beings combine into a well crafted psychological horror story.

The player is on a mission to find out the reason the main protagonist is institutionalized and goes through a lot of creepy experiences to find the truth.

1 System Shock 2 (1999)

system shock 2

The story of this game takes place in the year 2114. The player has the role of a soldier trapped on a starship while a genetic infection occurs on the ship. The game has its fair share of body horror with its infected crew members and the isolated atmosphere of the starship gives a frequent sense of claustrophobia.

In terms of reviews, this game got a nine out of 10 or four out of five across nearly all critical publications.

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Updated: November 26, 2020 — 7:30 pm

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