10 of the Best Horror Games from the 1990s | Game RantIan CheesemanGame Rant – Feed

The 90s were great for horror games. Not only did the decade birth the survival horror genre, but it was also the decade that saw a lot of creativity thanks to games not costing millions to make. Another great thing about the decade that benefited horror games at the time was a lack of hand holding and tutorials. Rather than showing you where to go or what to do, you are left to traverse an unknown world and figure things out on your own.

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To look back to the decade that popularized the genre, here are the 10 best horror games that came out in the 1990s.

10 I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream is a point and click adventure computer game that is based on a short story by Harlan Ellison of the same name. The game centers around 5 of the last humans alive on earth who are being controlled by AM, a sentient computer who has a vengeful hatred for humanity. AM wiped out the entire human race aside from the 5 aforementioned humans whom he tortures for 109 years, keeping them alive by manipulating their brains and affecting their sense of time.

9 Blood

At the height of the original Doom’s release, a flood of interesting first-person shooters were born, affectionately called “Doom-clones.” Blood was one of these supposed Doom-clones as it takes the first-person action established by Doom and throws it into a somehow ever darker setting than hell. Throughout the game you will run into zombies, fanatic cultists, and other demons that you must blow into tiny pieces. You are given a very unique set of weapons with many that have yet to be used in other shooters – most interesting of which is a voodoo doll that when stabbed will kill the enemy in front of you.

8 Clock Tower

Clock Tower is a Japanese exclusive Super Nintendo game and is a very interesting twist on the point and click genre. You play as a young girl who has just been adopted by a rich family. However, when you arrive at the mansion, mysterious murders start to occur.

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You must explore the mansion to both find out what happened to the others and find a way out. Instead of directly controlling the young girl, you use the shoulder buttons to send her either to the right or left and use a cursor on the screen to have her inspect different parts of the environment.

7 D

In the same vein as Myst, D is a walking simulator that has you exploring a large, old castle. Unlike Myst, the entire game is presented in CGI. Each movement made by your character plays out in a pre-rendered movie, making the entire experience feel like an interactive movie though there are some puzzles thrown in every now and then. The game is set on a time-limit. You must complete the game within the allotted time or you will die, giving the experience a lot more tension in the process.

6 The House of the Dead 2

The House of the Dead 2 is a lightgun game that has you taking out zombies and other monsters while also saving the poor inhabitants of whatever area you are in. The voice acting in the game is absolutely horrible but it almost feels like a choice made by the developers as a way to catch the essence of an old B-rated horror movie. The House of the Dead 2 was originally released in arcades before being brought home to the Sega Dreamcast and later to the Nintendo Wii and PC.

5 Parasite Eve

After the release of Final Fantasy 7, Squaresoft had financial and creative freedom to try something new and Parasite Eve was part of this experimental phase. Parasite Eve is based on a Japanese novel of the same name and was inspired by the Resident Evil series.

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While the game looks like a traditional 90s survival horror game, it also incorporates elements found in Final Fantasy. When in a battle you can run around freely but when you want to attack an enemy time freezes and you must pick the action you wish to do, similar to the combat found in Final Fantasy XII. 

4 System Shock 2

System Shock 2 is a first-person shooter with a heavy emphasis on role-playing elements. You can develop your character in a variety of ways including being proficient with guns, hacking, or sneaking around. The System Shock series went on to inspire the BioShock series which is evident in the audio logs you find, the unique, claustrophobic environment you’re in, and the open-ended gameplay. The story centers around a space station that you mysteriously wake up on which has been overrun by mutant-humans while the space station itself is being controlled by a rogue A.I.

3 Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark is the precursor to the Resident Evil series and in turn, a precursor to survival horror games in general. The game is set in a large mansion with pre-rendered backgrounds, fixed camera angles, and tank controls so it’s safe to say that Capcom was more than inspired by Alone in the Dark. 

The story takes a lot of inspiration from the works of both Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. There are many eldritch horrors that make an appearance late in the game that looked as if they came right out of a Lovecraft short story.

2 Silent Hill

While Silent Hill was obviously heavily inspired by Resident Evil, it manages to do something all its own by focusing much more on psychological horrors rather than physical ones. The town of Silent Hill is supposed to be representative of Harry Mason’s mind with all of the monsters that you fight supposed to represent parts of his broken psyche.

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Combat takes a back seat in Silent Hill, with the game instead focusing around exploration and puzzle solving. You search through Silent Hill attempting to find your daughter, a journey that ends up taking you to the darkest and most horrifying parts of the town.

1 Resident Evil

Resident Evil is the game that first established the title of survival horror. The horror of course coming from the zombies you encounter and the survival aspect coming from the managing and searching of resources.

Resident Evil takes place in a large mansion filled with puzzles. The game has a semi-open feel as you will be staying in this one mansion for the entire game, returning to old rooms, and unlocking new ones. By the time you reach the credits, you feel as if you have an intimate relationship with the mansion as if it were the main character of the game.

NEXT: The 10 Hardest Horror Games Ever Made, Ranked

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