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When it comes to slasher games, there are two basic schools of thought: they're the best video games in the history of video games, or, for lack of a better term, they absolutely stink on ice (sorry for the first grade vernacular). In reality, there is not much of an in-between, mostly because of the, uhh, gruesome nature of the content. You either like them or you don't.
Regardless of your stance on slasher games (or "hack and slash" games, as some like to call them), there's no denying the adrenaline rush you get from playing these sadistic games when you're home all by your lonesome. The best slasher games out there are certainly up for debate, but I have my own little list of titles, ranging from iconic, to thrilling, to just plain horrifying. They are games I rarely play with the lights on but after concocting this list, that may or may not have to change (depending on how much weed I smoke prior).
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Gold Edition by Capcom
The first game of this list comes courtesy of one of the most iconic horror video game series of all time—the Resident Evil series.
The latest iteration, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, was released in early 2017, but it has quickly catapulted itself amongst the fan favorites. While obviously not as well-received as some of the originals, it still deserves a spot on both this list, and your own personal collection of slasher games.
Left 4 Dead by Valve
Although Left 4 Dead doesn't have quite the extensive universe of the Resident Evil franchise, it's made a lasting impact on the video game world, nonetheless. Playing this game is literally like being in a horror movie, so if you weren't afraid of flesh-eating zombies before, you best believe you will be after playing a couple hours of this Xbox 360 classic. Its sequel, Left 4 Dead 2, didn't get quite the reception of the original, but the reviews were generally positive, and it still remains a fan favorite amongst slasher game fans everywhere.
Overkill's The Walking Dead by 505 Games
Fans of The Walking Dead TV series might be in for a bit of a disappointment, as this game is based primarily on the comics, with less of a focus on the pre-existing AMC series. However, that's actually the game's true purpose—exploring different avenues of the Walking Dead franchise that the television series hasn't. Additionally, the four playable characters in Overkill's take are video-game exclusive, as no character from the show even makes an appearance. But the adult-oriented game is certainly worth a try for slasher game fans, because, to be quite blunt, how could you go wrong with a game that involves killing a seemingly endless amount of re-animated corpses? Trick question: you can't.
Outlast Trinity by Warner Home Video
Here we have a three-for-one special: Outlast Trinity, which contains all three entries from the Outlast franchise. There are a few components that make the Outlast games truly terrifying. First off, the abandoned mental facility aesthetic is perfect for a somewhat grounded approach to an otherwise unrealistic premise. Once you add in the limited first person view and the overall lack of weaponry, you'll find yourself in a situation that would be less than ideal in real life. Luckily, this isn't freaking real life.
Clock Tower 3 by Capcom
Clock Tower is another classic horror/slasher title that has withstood the test of time (Nailed the joke). Obviously, I'd love to include all three versions, but the game's second sequel, Clock Tower 3, is the most accessible for purchase. It also happens to be (arguably) the scariest.
But let's start with the basic premise of all of the Clock Tower games. As opposed to a traditional game in the slasher genre, you're not actually fighting your opponent. Instead, you're hiding from a giant freak called Scissorman, who murderers his prey with a giant pair of (you guessed it!) scissors. In other words, in this survival horror game, you're basically playing the role of Laurie Strode hiding from Michael Myers.
But what really separates Clock Tower 3 from the previous iterations is something called the "Panic Meter." Basically, when your character encounters an enemy or gets scared in general, the Panic Meter is raised. This makes it more difficult to navigate, as the screen begins to shake and your character begins to stumble and fall—just like in real horror films. This gives the user arguably the most grounded-in-reality experience, and one that they in all likelihood, would love to avoid altogether. Other than on a TV screen, of course.
Resident Evil Origins Collection by Capcom
Much like the previous three-for-one extravaganza we had earlier, we have another bang-for-your-buck video game. Only this game literally contains the two most iconic horror games of all time—Resident Evil Zero and Resident Evil.
The Resident Evil (or Biohazard in Japan) franchise spans almost two decades, yet the original is still regarded as the best amongst hardcore fans. Its prequel, Resident Evil Zero, didn't receive nearly the praise as the first, but is retroactively considered an integral part of the franchise, as it helps set the story for the Resident Evil universe.
This two-for-one origin game is available for both PS4 and Xbox One with enhanced graphics, giving it a much more modern feel than the originals.
Until Dawn by Sony
Another title in the horror/survival genre, Until Dawn is based around a group of eight friends that are trapped together in a remote cabin in the mountains. It turns out, the friends aren't alone, and they are pitted against both an unknown entity, and fear itself.
The game has a vintage horror movie feel, and the presence of a mysterious stalking figure makes it a slasher game at its very core. It's Playstation exclusive, so if you don't have a PS4, you might want to go grab one if you're looking for a quick shot of adrenaline.
Dead by Daylight by 505 Games
Dead by Daylight is the newest title on this list (it was released in 2017 for Xbox and PS4), but that doesn't stop it from being amongst the best—not to mention scariest.
The game is groundbreaking in its own right, as it is only available to play in a one versus four setup, with one player playing as the "killer" and the other four as survivors. Either side you find yourself on is thrilling in its own right—you're either pitted against four other players, or you're fending off a psychopathic murderer with super strength/supernatural being. Another perk: one of the seven playable "slashers" includes Halloween's own Michael Myers—the original slasher.
Friday The 13th: The Game by Gun Media
Friday the 13th is arguably the most well-known slasher film of all time, so naturally the game based on the iconic horror movie deserves a spot on this list.
For the first time ever, Friday the 13th fans get to play as the storied franchise's titular character, Jason Voorhees. There are different iterations of Voorhees from different films to choose from, each with different skill sets. Additionally, there is a 1 vs 7 multiplayer mode where you can choose to play as Jason, or as a camp counselor fending off the maniacal villain. So if you're looking for a video game that closely mirrors a pre-existing slasher movie, this might be your best bet.
A Nightmare on Elm Street by LJN Limited
Obvioiusly, we can't NOT include this vintage slasher video game from 1989—A Nightmare on Elm Street the video game. This game isn't, err, the best out there (what can you expect form a prehistoric NES game?), but its rareness alone makes it sort of a polarizing game in its own right.
The premise of this game is a bit strange. Basically, you go on a Mario-esque side scrolling adventure to collect the bones of legendary horror icon Freddy Krueger. Once you collect all the bones in the house, you're pitted against a "Freddy" boss, who you have to defeat and kill. Again, for new-age gamers, this isn't necessarily the most riveting slasher game, but its nostalgia factor certainly ranks it amongst the best slasher games you can get in 2018.