4. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
The best game among the Legacy of Kain series. Soul Reaver is the story of Raziel, the right-hand vampire of Kain who was cast out, disfigured, and murdered by his emperor out of jealousy over his newly formed vampire wings. Returned as a spectral creature by an Elder God Monster (inspired by the C’thulu Lovecraft mythos), Raziel becomes quite literally a badass ghost vampire, though one with an oddly good moral compass, who mostly just wants his revenge against Kain. What’s unique about Soul Reaver’s gameplay was that Raziel could shift between the material and spectral planes, making for brilliant puzzle-solving and level designs, as every zone could be looked at in two separate ways. Combat was likewise gruesomely brutal, and the story was one of the greatest takes on existential philosophy for a video game. A brilliant tale about immortals trying their best to challenge destiny in the hopes of finding, somewhere in the smoldering ruins left in their action’s wake, an authentic freewill.
3. Resident Evil
The horror game that started it all. Resident Evil was the first to show modern gaming platforms of that era that it was possible to make a popular horror video game. With a focus on item management, exploration, and puzzle-solving, the original Resident Evil set the tone for survival horror as a genre. As Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, two members of the elite S.T.A.R.S. special forces led by Albert Wesker, had to investigate the missing persons disappearances at the Arklay Mountains Mansion just outside Raccoon City. As I’m sure we all know, horror ensues, as Chris, Jill, and Barry’s investigation of Umbrella’s secrets sees them overcome zombies, traps, and giant monsters. The Mansion’s horrors that begin to eliminate the S.T.A.R.S. team one-by-one along with the series antagonist, whom I’m sure you all know…
2. System Shock 2
It’s body horror the videogame! In a cyberpunk reality, a soldier is tasked with stopping a horrific body-mutation virus by horrifyingly augmenting his own body to be more machine. What’s great about System Shock is that no one wins. Everything is body augmentation horror. And you’re stuck in space, all alone, with only the last game’s AI antagonist (who, no, you should not trust) as a friend. From the makers of Bioshock came System Shock 2. A well thought out game that blended FPS mechanics with RPG elements (eat that Overwatch). The game featured unlockable skills and traits such as hacking and psionic abilities that could greatly aid your character’s chance of survival, albeit at the cost of more-and-more of your own humanity. With a creepy atmosphere and memorable story, System Shock 2 is considered one of the best of the horror genre and really plays with the narrative capabilities of points-of-view in gaming, just like its Bioshock series.