Anurag loves playing video games. His guides and listicles revolve around popular iOS, Android, PC, and console games.
Like classic horror movies, old horror game titles tend to get scarier when played after a long time. They are creepy and can get really scary if played after dark - with your headphones on.
For PlayStation’s second generation of consoles, there are some great horror titles that are as scary as any J-horror movie. Many of offer unique gameplay features and a very good storyline, and the scare factor is just amazing. Here’s a rundown of some of the scariest PS2 horror games:
1. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly
Whether it's movie-making or video games, nobody can beat the Japanese in uniqueness in plot and a distinct art style. The Fatal Frame series is the prime example. The series adds elements from reality ghost-hunting shows to its gameplay, making it a more immersive experience.
Crimson Butterfly's unique capture-to-kill-ghosts gameplay feature really makes you feel panicky for a moment. You will have access to an ancient-looking camera and some ghost-hunting film roles. When you encounter a scary apparition, snap a pic to capture the ghost’s photo. A perfect capture drains the attack powers of the ghost, thanks to special film rolls inserted into the camera.
But capturing ghosts on your “Camera Obscura” is not easy, as the ghosts are swift, clever and downright scary. These frightening apparitions will remind you of scary J-horror movies (think of Ringu and The Grudge). The ghost artwork is actually inspired by Japanese myths and legends, where grotesque and scary apparitions were a part of the folklore.
The game is scary and has a dark theme. There are plenty of jaw-dropping moments, including sudden ghost appearances and traps. Every moment experienced in this game will make your skin crawl. A must-buy game, if you are fond of serious survival horror.
If you love teen horror movies, then you will love this game. The game revolves around 4 teenage students. To investigate strange occurrences in Leafmore High, they set out on their search for a lost friend. They end up inside their school fighting for survival against strange tentacle creatures and other frightening monsters. The game has many twists and turns, plenty of puzzles and focuses on team-work.
If you are really looking for a good co-op gameplay moment, then there’s no other game better than ObsCure. The game allows you to complete missions with your friend. Puzzle-solving and combat requires cooperation between school going teenagers. Like Resident Evil, the game lets you combine items to create complex weapons and/or items.
The game has plenty of scary moments and gorgeous and attractive girls to interact with. All in all, ObsCure is an interesting title with great co-op play.
Siren is a perfect example of a good survival horror game. Set in the remote rural town of Hanuda, the game lets you step into the shoes of a boy who struggles for survival in a haunted town. The ghost town’s inhabitants have turned into zombies and it’s up to you to help him get out of this mess.
The game has a unique stealth-based system called “sightjack”, where a player can initiate an out-of-the-body experience and possess the minds of zombies and humans. This helps him find a route, get hints and look for interesting items.
Combat is heavily de-emphasized, but you can attack a zombie in stealth mode. The game graphics are excellent, with facial animations are based on camera captures of human facial expressions. The dark atmosphere, together with a perfect survival-horror setting and innovative gameplay mechanics makes Siren one of the best horror games on the PS2.
4. Haunting Ground
Haunting Ground (HG) is a creepy survival horror game that ensures real thrills and chills, all inside a haunted castle. The game has plenty of scary places to explore and many frightening ghosts to encounter.
HG revolves around the scary adventures of Fiona Belli, who’s trapped inside an abandoned castle, her only companion is a dog named Hewie, who behaves exactly like a real-life dog, and this really makes things a bit messy as well as interesting. He will sniff out dangerous traps for you and warn against an impending danger, probably a scary apparition. But your pet can sometimes go a bit wayward and you will need to control him to avoid getting lost.
Being a true blue survival horror game, Haunting Ground does not focus of combat. The frail kicks and punches of Fiona won’t ward off ghosts, but hiding behind curtains, under beds or drawing ghosts toward traps. When there’s a danger approaching, either the dog or a special music will warn you, giving you some time to find an escape route from that area. The game is short and can be really scary if played on higher difficulty level. Try it.
5. Clock Tower 3
The first two games of the Clock Tower series, though quite scary, were mere point-and-click 2D adventure titles. The third game not only has revamped visuals and gameplay, but also has some extremely frightening moments.
Clock Tower 3, with its intense cinematic cut-scenes, looks more like a J-horror movie then a video game. And if it’s not the gameplay, it is the storyline and cinematic scenes that qualifies it to be one of the creepiest PlayStation 2 horror games of all time.
I have noticed that most J-horror games have a female protagonist. This does not make the game least interesting, but does add some variation to it. The game's female lead is a British teenager who wants to return home, but is warned by her mother in not doing so. All of a sudden, she gets stalked by a scary hammer man and in order to escape his wrath, she has to find a hiding place. Here, you will need to escort her to safety and find a way to get rid of hammer man. The entity sometimes appears from nowhere, giving you those scary moments.
Apart from the hammer-wielding madman, there are other scary entities you will encounter as the game progresses. All are equally frightening. The game also has some grisly scenes, which are truly horrific for a game like Clock Tower.
While combat is heavily de-emphasized as you look for hiding places, there are certain elements with which you can get rid of monsters temporary. But the real fear lies in boss modes. Overall, CT 3 is a game to look forward to and is one of the best PlayStation 2 horror games of all time.
All Boxshots, Courtesy of their respective game developers/game publishers
NekoLoko from Florida on March 28, 2015:
siren and fatal frame are very scary and well done. The creatures in siren are um interesting. Can you find some horror games for the wii?
theguywithnousername on July 13, 2014:
I can't believe that you missed the Silent Hill series. :-(
Will English on March 19, 2013:
good choices but...where is Silent Hill 2 or 4? lol. Sorry I couldn't resist.
Anurag Ghosh (author) on December 06, 2012:
Yep! :-) Mio is one brave girl!
Chace from Charlotte, NC on December 06, 2012:
I was just playing Crimson Butterfly last week and I had to keep the lights on. :( it definitely is scarier but at least Mio can fight back and doesn't freak out and run into walls!
Anurag Ghosh (author) on December 05, 2012:
@NornsMercy Haunting Ground's scary, but Fatal Frame has to be the scariest of them all.
Chace from Charlotte, NC on December 05, 2012:
I've never seen anyone else who has played Haunting Ground. I'm a big wuss when it comes to scary video games (although I LOVE them), and that one still gives me the creeps to think about.