Even amongst horror game fans, there are some truly jaw-dropping and spine-chilling moments that have, at times, made us doubt our commitment to the genre and to our sanity. Whether we're talking old-fashioned jump scares or unpleasant realizations that shook us to our very core, there's something a little bit deadly about all of the entrants on our list of the top 5 scariest moments in gaming.
Scariest Moments in Gaming - P.T.'s Talking Baby
This one was an easy pick for us and for anyone acquainted with P.T., the reason why we have this heading up our list is incredibly obvious. Everyone remembers the first time they saw the bathroom. The grimy walls, the open toilet. The scuffs on the tiles on the floor. The disembodied voice beckoning to you until you stepped just that tiny bit closer and peered into the sink only to find some cursed facsimile of a fetus with a gaping maw for a mouth, chatting about your alcoholism and your life choices all as it wiggled pathetically in viscera. Absolutely horrifying.
Scariest Moments in Gaming - Outlast's Cannibal Brothers
Outlast has you rocking around in an asylum, and pretty much every foe that you encounter while you've got your Steadycam propped on your shoulder is some degree of utterly screwed. However, there's something even scarier than being set upon by insane hordes: when said hordes experience moments of chilling lucidity and you find out that their waking thoughts aren't gibberish. No, they're thinking about slowly dismembering you and peeling your organs out of your body for consumption. At least, the cannibalistic brothers in Outlast have that going for them.
Scariest Moments in Gaming - The Surge's Non-Sedated Surgery
We wouldn't call The Surge a horror game, but if anyone here has ever gotten so much as a tooth pulled without a pain-killer of some kind, then you'll know why we've got this on the list. In The Surge, the protagonist enters a facility imbued with the hope that their body will be enhanced by high-tech surgery. Unfortunately, the machine malfunctions, and you're treated to a cinematic focusing on your dawning horror when you realize that you're not sedated at all and that the highly-invasive operation is going to continue anyway. We're talking grafts, baring bone, the whole shebang. All while fully conscious. Yikes.
Scariest Moments in Gaming - Dead Space 2's Needle
This is a little in the same vein as The Surge, but instead of the distance of an in-game cinematic, you're in the driver's seat here. Dead Space 2 is scary in its own right, taking after its predecessor in a gory romp through outer space replete with the literal horrors of the flesh and sanity-doubting terrors. However, while the camera gradually cuts to black in our earlier example, you as the player are given the task of sticking a needle into the protagonist's eye in a scene where you can literally hear, and feel, your heart racing. Isaac's eye is twitching, he's panting, and his panic is incredibly clear but if you want to continue on, you're forced to do the deed (and messing it up has gruesome consequences).
Scariest Moments in Gaming - Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Mia's Attack
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has plenty of hallmark horror moments, ranging from jump scares when things smash through walls to the unsettling notion of amputation, but one that definitely sticks out in our memory is when the protagonist's wife attacks him. "But Mia attacks Ethan constantly throughout the game," you might say. Yes, but when we mention Mia's attack, surely one springs to mind. We're talking a horror movie hallmark here for the trope of a possessed female character: crab-walking up the stairs, a stuttering and inexplicable darkness hiding her actions until she finally hurls herself upon you with an inhuman noise, appearance warped into a mask that makes you panic.
There you have it! Some of the scariest moments in gaming by our estimation, though it was hard to narrow down a few, especially considering the list of the 10 best retro horror games that we put out recently. If you're after more Halloween content on Prima, stay tuned! We're going to bring you a little something scary for every day of the month.