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The 10 Greatest Horror Games Of This Generation!

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After the PlayStation 4 arrives on November 15th and the Xbox One the week after that, this generation will officially be considered last-generation. Both Microsoft and Sony have vowed to continue supporting their respective consoles for the next couple years, so they’re far from dead, they’re just being replaced by something shinier and more “all-in-one”.

The future is looking especially bright for the horror genre, with games like Dead Rising 3 just around the corner and The Evil Within and Dying Light both coming next year. Before we get too engulfed in the excitement that a new console generation inspires, I’d like to take a look at some of the horror games that defined this console generation.

Check out my list of the ten greatest horror games of this generation, after the jump!

All of the games on this list are out, but there are still plenty left to look forward to. Here are five upcoming indie horror games you should have on your radar!

The house of Half-Life surprised the world when they announced they’d be publishing Left 4 Dead, a cooperative horror title inspired by 28 Days Later. The idea of a multiplayer centric infected — not zombie — survival game where teamwork is key to survival drew many of us in, but it was the addictive multiplayer, clever level design and innovative AI Director, which dynamically alters the game based on how well you’re performing, that kept many of us engaged long after.

Possibly my favorite horror game of this generation (easily in the top three) is Dead Space, a sci-fi horror game set in the bloodied halls of the USG Ishimura. It’s “strategic dismemberment,” my favorite video game term, and innovative UI that placed the HUD (health, ammo counter, etc.) on the player character went on to inspire the interface design in a bevy of games that followed.

I’ll never forget the first time I walked its halls, waiting for some twisted mockery of a human to burst forth from one of the planet cracker’s many vents.

Thanks for the nightmares, Visceral.

Alan Wake has become a bit of a cult hit for many gamers, with its odd story and Twin Peaks vibes. It’s an unnerving game that was essentially built around the mechanic of light and dark. You blast away the darkness with your flashlight — your only friend in this game — to fight your way through possessed monsters that used to be human.

American Nightmare was a worthy follow-up, but we’re all still waiting on that Alan Wake 2, Remedy!

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  • dmarins

    JERICHO!!!

  • Blood-Sicles

    It’s a shame that Shadows of the Damned didn’t do well (especially with everyone bitching about nothing new in horror). I’ll admit I was worried about it being “too crazy,” but I still shelled out $60 for it just to support an original horror IP. Best $60 I’ve spent. That game is 10 kinds of amazing. Still have my fingers crossed for a sequel.

  • Chelsea

    *primal roar* Where’s Amnesia!? Is it discounted as a horror game because you can’t fight back?

    • Adam Dodd

      Nope! I’ll be following up this list with another that’s dedicated entirely to indie horror games. You can be guaranteed that game will make the list!

      • Chelsea

        Faith in humanity restored. (:

  • Pav

    This is Adam’s list of The 10 Greatest Horror Games Of This Generation and it’s his opinion. Everyone of us has some favourite list, right?

    • Pav

      I wouldn’t say that Alan Wake has Twin Peaks vibes. It has John Carpenter’s “In the Mouth of Madness” vibes in my opinion.

    • Adam Dodd

      The developer has said Twin Peaks was a source of inspiration for them while working on Deadly Premonition. When it was first shown (back when it was called Rainy Woods), it was even more Twin Peak-y. They actually scaled back the references a bit.

      And no, my opinion is ALL that matters! ;)

      • CouldaGoneMad

        Yeah, you can definitely see the Twin Peaks vibes in both Deadly Premonition and Alan Wake. Lamp lady, pot lady, log lady…just an example :3

        • Pav

          I see Twin Peaks only in Deadly Premonition. And i love both.

          • CouldaGoneMad

            The lamp lady from Alan Wake is a very clear nod to Twin Peaks. It’s not as obvious as in DP, but the inspiration is there. DP just captures the quirky tone of TP far more than the more serious AW does.

      • Pav

        Yes, master!:D

  • Nicholas Blondsey

    Treyarch has done a masterful job on the Call of Duty:Zombies games. I just wish they would do a stand alone game for it so I don’t have to buy Call of Duty anymore.

  • StayPuft

    No Siren Blood Curse? :( That was one of the only true, old school survival horror games on this gen. Good list over all tho, nice to see Condemned get some well deserved recognition.

  • wildgator25

    Adam, you just got linked over at n4g.com! Awesome write up I must say!

  • Milk

    Personally I’d add DayZ. I know it’s not really a horror game but at night when you’re walking around and zombies start chasing you it can be extremely stressful and scary. I’ve probably cried like a bitch playing DayZ more than any other game.

    I’d say l4d2 was better than l4d1 but that’s personal opinion.

    Also Amnesia should be in this list.

    I did not feel Alan Wake and I haven’t even heard of or played Shadows of the Damned. I should check it out. I agree with the rest of the list. Nj.

  • Fro$ty

    Ive played all of these except shadows of the damned. Everything ive heard about it makes it sound real disappointing, and Grasshoppers’ recent game that came out, Killer is Dead, looked like garbage. Anyone actually played SotD and liked it?