The 13 Worst Horror Video Games

October 31, 2008

Hey boys and girls, it’s a boy and a girl here.  Reverend Danger of Spike and the (in)famous Raychul Moore of the (in)famous Gamegirl.com.  It’s Halloween and we got scared, so we’re here to hold each other’s hands through this list of the 13 worst horror video games of all time.

13. Resident Evil Outbreak 1 

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Resident Evil. Online. Sounds like a great idea, right? Sure…but the problem was the developers didn’t put any effort into it. Outbreak’s controls were bad and hardly responsive, making the game more of a battle to play than a satisfying experience. The story was boring, the graphics were lacking, and the gameplay was dull. It's safe to say this game is one of the worst Resident Evils to date.

12. Jurassic Park Jurassic Park was the first Sega video game of all time to carry a maturity rating (GA for general audiences), dissapointingly for a game that’s about velociraptors ripping you to shreds.  The selling point of the game was that you were able to play alternately as a raptor or as Dr. Grant, hunting yourself in a very meta sort of way.  The raptors had a ninja kick ability which turned out to be the opposite of how cool it sounds, but when this game truly fell apart was in The Canyon level – a desert level that is not in the book or the movie – which was near unbeatable. 

11. Nightmare Before Christmas Fans of the movie will be sorely disappointed in this bastardization of the Tim Burton classic in a variety of key ways.  The idea that Jack Skellington (a dark-but-goodhearted misfit in the tradition of Tim Burton protagonists) would wield a green flame whip and battle his way across the terrorscape of the movie is laughable, but not like a dark comedy should be.  Even worse, the game play is awkward in battles, especially regarding camera angles. Even non fans of the film will hate this game, no matter what.

10. Resident Evil Outbreak: File 2 You would think this series could only get better with the low standards the first Outbreak set. Nope. Resident Evil Outbreak 2 was everything you disliked from the first one, just worse. The storyline was clichéd and even more lackluster, and the gameplay would put players to sleep. This game was another perfect example of a great concept gone bad.

9. Fester’s Quest

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Take a mediocre horror/comedy movie, focus on the worst character from it, and give him his own video game.  We would’ve loved to have been in the boardroom when this golden egg was laid.  F.Q. is an old school, top-view, 3rd person adventure shooting game that just failed in almost every regard.  Poor controls, poor graphics, an implausible story line, and – oh, did we mention it’s about Fester? 

8. Silent Hill 4: The Room Easily the worst game in the great Silent Hill series, Silent Hill 4: The Room disappointed survival-horror fans all around the world. The idea of being trapped in your apartment was scary, and played off of the claustrophobic in all of us, but the concept was poorly delivered. You played through hours of wandering around the same rooms of your tiny apartment over and over, looking for something new. On occasion, when you would find yourself out of the apartment on occasion, the atmosphere was neither scary, nor thrilling.

7. Jaws: Unleashed 

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Eating people is always a recipe for fun, that’s just a fact of horror as a genre.  But Jaws: Unleashed took what seemed like a foolproof framework and puked it up with bad camera work, unwieldy underwater swimming, and more glitches than most users were willing to swallow.  Playstation Magazine offered a deep sea trench level rating of 1.5 out of 5.  If sharks could frown, surely Jaws would be.  Perhaps it’s most terrible accolade though was when it was voted the second worst game ever played at GameSpot.

6. Obscure 2: the Aftermath  Obscure 2 was like one of those awful teenage horror films that people go to on a first date. The game tried so hard to be frightening, but only cames off as cheesy and laughable. The first Obscure was one of the first horror games to incorporate true co-op play. Unlike the original, however, Obscure 2’s co-op mode was frustrating and clunky. You would find yourself battling the camera and controls more than you would the monsters.

5. Resident Evil: Dead Aim Alternately titled in the ever-crazier country of Japan as Gun Survivor 4: BioHazard: Heroes Never Die, Resident Evil: Dead Aim was a throwaway installment of this very much hit and miss series. Where this game really falters though, is in its odd perspective.  It’s a sort of zombified version of first and third person shooters: first when shooting, third when running.  And like a real zombie, it's rotten & stinky and will degrade your brain. 

4. Okage: Shadow King

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Okage was a silly little RPG with a silly premise (your sister was attacked by a ghost, causing her to only speak Pig Latin). The game’s story was hard to follow as it wandered all over the place, and the repetitive gameplay failed in the shadow of genre greats like Final Fantasy. Okage would have made a great kids’ adventure game, but it failed at being a cutesy-scary RPG. 

3. Zombie vs. Ambulance 

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Ambulances are usually a good thing for video games. In the Grand Theft Auto series you can steal them and run people over, or go on medical missions - zombies…get the f%*k outta here.  That’s video game gold, you say.  Well, you are wrong.  In Zombies vs. Ambulance, your ambulance is slow and sounds like a KitchenAid mixer.  The zombies are weak and all offer the same, stock audio “ughhhh,” as you run them down. The graphics are way below par for PS2, and frankly, we’d rather play Carmaggedon  

2. Echo Night 2: Beyond 

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Echo Night 2: Beyond is a horror game for people against violence where you play a newlywed on a honeymoon to the moon. Wait, it gets better. Your ship crashed before landing, and you get separated from your lovely bride, leaving you alone in an abandoned research station. You get no weapons, and your only means of surviving this ghost-ridden base is by running away and keeping a close eye on your heart monitor -- get too scared, and you die of a heart attack. What’s the fun in that?

1. Friday the 13th

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The most disappointing title on the list, the Friday the 13th video game was pregnant with possibilities. Instead of Jason lacerating the womb and spilling forth the demonspawn that was meant to terrorize children and young adults through their pixilated screen, he made a sandwich and took a nap.  It was exactly that disappointing.  Instead of killing sex-crazed teenagers, Jason kills little kids.  But the worst part is, instead of being Jason, you’re a camp counselor trying to save the kids from being killed.  It’s all wrong!  Horribly, horribly wrong!

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