With Halloween looming just around the corner, it’s time to look back on the large roster of games and discover what are the scariest game locations. While there are plenty of video games with terrifying levels, we are going to be looking at locations as a whole. The place that you are stuck in throughout your digital journey that always manage to make us tense and uneasy. With setting being one of the most important aspects of the horror genre, it’s important to pay our respects to these lands of the dead. This is the top five scariest gaming locations.
5) Rapture–Bioshock Series
There is a terrifying beauty about the underwater city of Rapture. A city built by millionaire Andrew Ryan, this scariest game location is from the smash hit Bioshock. From your first steps out of the bathysphere, there is an unnerving sense that something terrible has occurred here. From the massive art deco statues that loom over you, to the happy go lucky music seeping down the hall; Rapture oozes personality. In many ways the city is a character itself, constantly creaking and moaning under the weight of the sea. Populated by drug-fueled, deformed psychopaths called Splicers; these crazed people will wander the halls aimlessly in search of you. Coupled with the imposing Big Daddies and the haunting lullabies from the Little Sisters, Rapture is not a comfortable trip under the sea.
4) The House–P.T.
While P.T. was a playable teaser, there is no mistaking how unsettling this experience was. Lasting shorter than an hour, (depending on how fast you solved that puzzle) its slow burn and lack of traditional scares pushed it to greatness. It’s constant repetition of sending you through the same hallways again and again seemed like an odd choice at first, but it works perfectly for P.T. Every time you awake at that main door, you know that you’ll have to do it all again and brave the new frights waiting for you. Coupled with a deformed baby in a sink and the surreal of the eye hallway, P.T. was full of memorable moments. It’s a crying shame Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hill got canceled, but this home will always live on in our nightmares.
3) Brennenburg Castle–Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Not all gaming locations need to be unique for them to be scary, sometimes a simple classic works wonders. Amnesia: The Dark Descent‘s Brennenburg Castle is Gothic horror in the most classic of senses. Twisting halls, grand rooms, dark basements, and empty dungeons help bring this castle to life. Yet it’s not just these traditional designs that give Brennenburg Castle, but the psychological terrors it instills int he player. It takes a long time before anything actually tries to kill you, but the emptiness of it all makes you feel as if you’re being watched at every turn. Add a dash of cenobite horrors stalking down the hallways and you have one of the scariest game locations.
2) USG Ishimura–Dead Space
This was a hard choice for the number two spot as Dead Space 2’s the Sprawl is also incredibly frightening in its own right, but the claustrophobic nature of the derelict space ship is too much to ignore. Infested with the warped, undead crew members now called Necromorphs, these terrors are not be taken lightly. The Ishimura feels like a floating graveyard of twisting, hulking metal that never offers a single sense of solace. With the nightmarish inhabitants able to transverse through vents and pipes, no place ever feels truly safe. At any moment, the dead could come clamoring out at lighting speed, eager to add you to the pile of corpses. Sounds throughout the Ishimura haunt you, as the shrieks and cries of the Necromorphs ring out from around you. The culmination of these visual horrors and the fantastic sound design makes pushes it to the second spot of scariest game locations in recent memory.
1) Silent Hill–Silent Hill Series
Could there be any other? While Resident Evil‘s Spencer Mansion is scary and the newcomer to the block Five Nights at Freddy’s has mastered the jump scare their locations are not nearly as iconic. The town of Silent Hill is the physical embodiment of pain, sin, and terror. It’s not just a building filled with monsters out to kill you, but a living thing itself. With every newcomer to the town having their greatest terrors dragged up from the depths of their minds, the experiences are far more personal. Everyone who enters this town must face their demons one way or another, offering no hope for those lost on its foggy streets. Familiar locations become macabre masterpieces, as it warps what we know into something far more devious. The fogged town leaves little room for the player to see, making every lingering shadow in the distance a muscle tensing experience. Some games may have better stories and characters, but Silent Hill reigns supreme as the scariest game location.
- Mount Massive Asylum–Outlast
- Citadel Station–System Shock 2
What did you think? Is there any terrifying game locations we missed? Who do you think is number one? Sound off below!
A recent graduate of Arcadia University, Collin MacGregor is a freelance video editor and writer. He covers video games, television, and film for The Nerd Stash. Collin currently is the head film/television reviewer for the site.