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In honour of the month of October and Halloween bearing down upon us, we take a look at the top 20 scariest games of all time, the games that leave you cowering behind your joypad, a gibbering wreck, sitting in a puddle of your own urine, sobbing uncontrollably to make it stop, make it stop..

15. Treasure Island Dizzy

608955-treasure_island_dizzy_coverart_largeOh sure, it may look like a cute cartoon caper of an Egg wearing boxing gloves searching for lost treasure, and sure, you’re thinking ‘oh look he’s being ironic by including a game about a cute cartoon egg in a horror games countdown, how fucking hilarious‘, but delve deeper beneath that outer gloss of cutesy cartoony japery and you’ll see that Treasure Island Dizzy was a game so sadistic it would make the creators of Manhunt hang their fucking heads in shame for even thinking up such weak ass shit as stabbing someone to death with a screwdriver can compare to the horror of trying to complete Treasure Island Dizzy with only ONE FUCKING LIFE.

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Yeah, that’s right. Much like in real life, once you broke that Egg, there was no repairing it. Subsequently, noone ever finished Treasure Island Dizzy. To this day, *not one single person on this earth has actually seen the end credits, which are rumoured to be full of 8-bit hardcore pornography, inserted cleverly by the Oliver Twins as an easter egg, which they knew noone would ever find, as the game is fucking impossible to complete.

The end credits of Treasure Island Dizzy
The end credits of Treasure Island Dizzy

*may or may not be true

14. Prince of Persia

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Another entry that may seem surprising in a greatest horror games of all time compilation, but is nonetheless entirely justified. Prince of Persia sees you, Prince, taking a break from writing songs about raspberry berets and suchlike to bust out of a castle dungeon and rescue a Princess who is being held as a fuck toy by the evil Jaffar. In between the Prince and his fuck doll are all manner of sword fodder henchmen. But midway through your quest to implant your boner in the Princess,  you come up against..

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THE WALKING UN-DEAD

In a genuinely “i’m 10 years old at home alone and this is actually freaking me the fuck out” moment, a pile of bones much like the many hundreds of piles of bones you’ve seen so far springs to life and challenges you to a duel. A duel you cant win because the skeleton CANT BE FUCKING KILLED…except by pushing it over the edge. But until you figured that out, the unkillable skeleton in the dungeon was a truly horrifying experience.

13. S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow of Chernobyl

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R is one of the most genuinely terrifying gaming experiences of all time. And not just because the yellow bastard from sin city is on the cover:

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R takes place in the post apocalyptic world of Chernobyl, Ukraine, and sees you, a rookie stalker, scouring the deserted wasteland for loot, artifacts, and mutated badgers for food or whatever people eat in post apocalyptic wastelands. A shit your pants scary premise alright, but on your travels of radioactive underground laboratories, you come across this:

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The Bloodsucker. The Bloodsucker exists for two reasons only. One, to hang out in underground lairs being a fucking invisible asshole and two, sucking fucking blood. Oh and if being an invisible bloosucking radioactive cannibal wasn’t bad enough, its also impervious to gunfire while it’s invisible. Which is about 80% of the time. If you look up the word ‘fucking bastard’ in the dictionary, there’s a picture of the bloodsucker.

12. Shadowman

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Shadow Man was released on N64, PS1 & Dreamcast in 1998. Sadly for Playstation owners, the only thing terrifying about Shadowman was how fucking awful a conversion it was. For N64 owners, or anyone unlucky enough to own a Dreamcast, they were in for a sprawling voodoo themed platformer with a genuinely disturbing storyline involving serial killers, beelzebub himself, and black people.

Sadly, time has not been kind to Shadow man. It looks like regurgitated anus for one, and the voice acting is of a standard you’d expect from an episode of The Bill.

Yet there’s still alot of room in our hearts for Shadowman. The story, while appallingly acted, is engaging, the atmosphere is intense, and the audio is downright fucking unnerving at times. Or maybe it’s just because there were so few decent games on the N64 that people latch on to any game that could claim to be marginally less shit than Superman 64 and claim it was a classic. Yeah, thats probably it.

11. Condemned: Criminal Origins

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Condemned is a videogame where a policeman beats the living fuck out of homeless people in order to stop  a killer. That’s pretty much the underlying message of Condemned. Beating societys most at risk people to death = crime prevention. These poor derelicts have been at the bottom of the societal ladder most of their adult lives, shitting in take away bags and drinking petrol from a shoe. Then along comes Johnny Law to further ruin their day of huffing paint and masturbating in public by beating their faces off.

Hobos: violent
Hobos: violent

So yeah, ha ha ha, he beats up hobos, big laugh, the end.

Except, for one thing. One level of Condemned that i cant even to bring myself to joke about. The abandoned shopping mall level. The mall is dark, dingy, and generally filthy. Somewhere, a warped tape is looping not-so-jaunty anymore Christmas tunes. You see a room of bare faceless mannequins. did one of them just move? No, course not. You turn to leave. The mannequins are behind you, blocking your path. SHIIIIIIIIII- you turn to run, to flee, anywhere those god damn mannequins arent. But the mannequins are already in front of you. The wapred Christmas tunes play on, and you cry yourself to sleep for a fortnight.

10. DOOM 3

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Doom 3 is terrifying for all of about 60 minutes. Namely because after 60 minutes of playing doom 3 there’s a significant chance that one of several illusion shattering things happened:

  • You realized anytime you pick up a new weapon monsters were going to spawn all around you
  • You realized that anytime you enter a room monsters were going to spawn behind you and jump out on you like it was some huge unexpected surprise
  • You realized that the gameplay wasn’t going to change at all and 6 hours from now you would still be shooting the same damn enemies on the same damn martian base and gave up
  • You realized that Half Life 2 had just been released the same month as Doom 3 and went and played that instead

But, those first terrifying 60 minutes were a sight to behold. In 2004, terror had never looked so fucking amazing.

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Playing Doom 3 with a set of heaphones on and in a darkened room was as close to actually getting your ass to Mars and shooting demons as any of us, except for Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnston, will ever experience.

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