As with most good media out there, video games have had their share of captivating horror titles to offer throughout the years. Arguably one of the most critical aspects of a good horror game lies in its ability to craft frightening foes that haunt players long after their first playthrough. The following is a list of the scariest video game enemies ever — most of which are practically guaranteed to keep you up at night this Halloween.
Scariest Video Game Enemies – Pyramid Head (Silent Hill 2)
While many enemies in the Silent Hill franchise seek to harm the player, Pyramid Head serves a much more profound purpose, at least in Silent Hill 2. James, the protagonist, must come to terms with the life he’s lived throughout the course of the game, and the enemy pops up occasionally just to remind him of that. There at times where Pyramid Head stands there and stares, merely acting as a mirror for James and the player to look into. Sometimes, the greatest horrors of us all lie within.
Scariest Video Game Enemies – The Witch (Left 4 Dead)
Witches are known for being one of the most powerful foes fans can encounter in the Left 4 Dead series. Capable of downing players with a single swipe of their claws, Witches are easily triggered should a player decide to shoot a round their way or flash a light on them. Their faint cries make users aware that they have to be careful. Should anyone make the wrong move, a Witch will belt out a deafening wail and run to her unfortunate next victim immediately, leaving very little chance that anyone will escape alive.
Scariest Video Game Enemies – The Regenerators (Resident Evil 4)
As their name implies, the Regenerators in Resident Evil 4 are nearly impossible to kill without first finding the weak spots hidden inside their bodies. What makes them such a threat is that they persistently lumber toward Leon despite every bullet to the face, heart, or other vital body part. Their heavy breathing noise only adds to their creepy persona as it reverberates through the walls and follows the player everywhere. And, of course, Leon almost always encounters these things in tight, claustrophobic areas. Fun.
Scariest Video Game Enemies – SCP-173 (SCP Containment Breach)
If SCP-173 from SCP Containment Breach isn’t the exact definition of the term “nightmare fuel,” then I don’t know what is. Otherwise known as Peanut, this specially designated “secure, contain, protect” specimen is the main antagonist of the game for good reason. Made up of concrete and rubber, SCP-173 is capable of traveling faster than a blink of an eye. Should anyone decide to look away from it, it will travel to that person and snap his or her neck in an instant.
Players are forced to look at the damn thing without moving their cursor in any other direction, slowly backing away lest they have to spend an eternity staring at the face of death. SCP Containment Breach is chock full of frightening experiments on the loose, though SCP-173 does take the cake for being most scary. Congratulations on the distinction, I guess.
Scariest Video Game Enemies – Xenomorphs (Alien: Isolation)
Few Alien games — or movies, to be honest — really capture the essence of the franchise like Alien: Isolation does. Set in Ridley Scott’s film universe, players take control of Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda, as she tracks down the whereabouts of her long lost mother aboard an abandoned ship overrun with Xenomorphs. The stars of the show are the grotesque, spindly creatures themselves, as a single Xenomorph poses enough of a threat to send players running from locker to locker just to make it down a hallway. Indeed, these enemies are smart enough to open up closets, look under tables, and even climb into vents to find players.
The removal of an automatic save feature adds even more to the tension and has players desperately try to seek out the faint beep of a console in the distance. If the presence of the Xenomorphs alone doesn’t scare you, wait until you have to sneak into their nest.
Scariest Video Game Enemies – Nemesis (Resident Evil 3)
The Resident Evil franchise is known for enemies that just don’t want to die, and Nemesis from Resident Evil 3 is no different. From the game’s onset, this hulking juggernaut follows Jill Valentine nearly everywhere she goes. Its only desire is to decimate her alongside every other member of STARS. Nemesis is incredibly intelligent too, capable of crashing through walls knowing that the player would be hiding just around the corner. It also carries a rocket launcher and occasionally uses it make Jill’s life even more miserable. What would we ever do without you, buddy?
Scariest Video Game Enemies – Dead Hand (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
Dead Hand is the scariest enemy ever introduced in the Legend of Zelda franchise so far, let alone any game Nintendo has made since its inception. Found at the Bottom of the Well in Kakariko Village and in the graveyard in Ocarina of Time, this slithering zombie-like blob has bloodied hands spring up from the ground around it to grab Link. Once ensnared, it strolls up to take a nice chomp out of the player’s health.
The scariest part of this creature is the fact that very little is known about it. Fans have assumed that Dead Hand is aligned with Ganondorf in some way, though Nintendo has never really offered any backstory as to why this creature is so menacing and dark. It appears that the company decided it better to leave it to our imaginations.
With the spookiest time of the year finally upon us, our favorite video game enemies are yearning for us to visit them in-game once more. Though they’ll undoubtedly be even more horrific foes to encounter in the future, the ones on this list are enough to keep us awake long into the night, desperately waiting for the sun to come up and life to resume as normal again. If you wet the bed, don’t come complain about it to us.