There are many notable feature films – and franchises – based on horror video games. Titles like Silent Hill and Resident Evil immediately come to mind.
As it turns out, however, there have been many games based on horror films as well. As with their source material, critics have typically not been too kind to these titles. However, if you ask us, all of these games have provided a lot of fun for horror fans and deserve to have some credit.
Now let’s go ahead and take a look at the ten best video games adapted from horror movies!
Saw II: Flesh and Blood (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Prior to last year’s reboot with Jigsaw, the Saw franchise had a fantastic run by releasing a new film for seven straight years. With this kind of popularity, it’s not shocking a video game adaption would be made. However, it seems many horror fans are still unaware that there was not just one, but two Saw video games.
From Konami, the first game was released for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC in 2009. Players controlled the character of Detective David Tapp, who was portrayed by Danny Glover in the original film. The sequel, Saw II: Flesh and Blood, was released the following year, with players now assuming control of Michael Tapp – David’s son.
For this list, Flesh and Blood is included over its predecessor because many of the issues from the first game were fixed. This included a much-needed upgrade to the clunky combat system. However, reviews and sales fared worse than the first game, and no more Saw games were ever produced.
Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler’s Green (PC, Xbox)
Like the previous entry, Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler’s Green was heavily panned upon its release. Admittedly, by the time it was released for the Xbox and PC in 2005, the graphics left a lot to be desired compared to other games. Perhaps there wasn’t a lot of depth to it either, but for gamers just looking to mindlessly shoot zombies in George Romero’s zombie universe, this game does its job.
Considered canon with the film, the plot of the game serves as a prequel. Players assume the role of Jack, a farmer whose farm is overtaken by hordes of the undead. After learning about a safe haven located in the city – Fiddler’s Green – you’re tasked with fighting your way there.
Jaws: Unleashed (PC, PS2, Xbox)
Back in the NES days, there was a Nintendo game released based on the 1975 shark movie Jaws. But the Jaws game that truly shines so much more is the one released in 2006 from Appaloosa Interactive. Titled Jaws: Unleashed, this time players would actually get to take control of the giant shark itself!
Though it carries an incredibly simplistic premise, Jaws: Unleashed is surprisingly quite fun. You basically get to swim around in an open world ocean, devouring every sea creature – and human – that gets in your path.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES)
The year 1989 saw the release of two separate video games based on A Nightmare on Elm Street. But the Commodore 64 version certainly paled when compared to the one released on the NES. Heavily inspired by The Dream Warriors, this 1 to 4 player game let players assume various dream powers as they worked together to put a stop to Freddy’s nightmares.
This was one of the very few NES game to utilize the 4-player adapter. If you’ve never gotten the chance to play this LJN classic with three friends, you definitely missed out. Having Freddy pick off you and your friends one by one was just as fun as it was terrifying, and we say this underrated classic was ahead of its time.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (SNES/Genesis)
Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 film Bram Stoker’s Dracula saw video game adaptations released on many different consoles. The best version, however, is the 16-bit game adapted for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis consoles, which are practically identical.
This fun side-scrolling game lets player control Jonathan Harker – the character played by Keanu Reeves in the film. It plays pretty similarly to the Castlevania games, and I’ve probably spent just as much time on this game as I have those.
The Thing (PC, PS2, Xbox)
One of the legendary John Carpenter’s most beloved horror films is 1982’s The Thing. Set in an Antarctic research base, the freaky film told the story of a parasitic alien that takes control of the host humans it overtakes. The researchers begin to learn they cannot even trust each other as nobody knows which one is actually the “Thing.”
In 2002, Carpenter endorsed a video game adaptation for The Thing developed by Computer Artworks. The game serves as a direct sequel to the movie, taking place shortly after the end of the film with a U.S. Special Forces team sent to investigate what happened. Players have the ability of alternating between various characters, and a “trust” system dictates whether they’ll listen to each other. Characters can also be “infected” with the Thing as well – so always be careful!
Friday the 13th (NES)
Sure, there’s a newer video game based on the Friday the 13th franchise, which we’ll be getting to pretty soon. But let us never forget the 8-bit adaptation which came first all the way back in 1989. From LJN, game lets players alternate between six different camp counselors as they attempt to prevent Jason from killing the camp’s children, their fellow counselors, and themselves.
Certainly, this game had some flaws, which included a very confusing map system. However, it could be the scariest game ever released for the NES. Even in a purple suit, Jason can be pretty freaky when he pops up on the screen from out of nowhere. And don’t even get me started on that horrifying cabin music…
Alien: Isolation (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
Over the years, the Alien franchise has had many official video game adaptations. But it’s not hard to pick the very best one of them all. That would be Alien: Isolation, a survival horror game which favors evasion over combat. Players spend most of their time trying to progress while staying quiet, knowing that making a sound could bring about deadly consequences.
What’s most interesting about Isolation is that players aren’t taking on an endless sea of Xenomorphs with unlimited ammo. A different kind of Alien game, only one Xenomorph is what players need to worry about. But we’re not playing as an armed-to-the-teeth mercenary here – the best shot for survival is staying out of the alien’s path, and it makes for some very tense moments.
Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick (PS2, Xbox)
It was a big deal when Evil Dead: Hail to the King was released for the Sega Dreamcast back in 2000. With Bruce Campbell reprising his role as Ash Williams, the game seemed to be the closest we’d ever get to seeing another Evil Dead sequel at the time. As the game was well-received by fans, a follow-up called A Fistful of Boomstick would arrive on consoles three years later.
Improving upon Hail to the King, A Fistful of Boomstick is the prime Evil Dead video game. The hack-and-slash gameplay serves its purpose well, and Campbell kills it as always as the voice of Ash. Perhaps the best feature of all is the addition of a “one-liner button” which lets players belt out a signature Ash one-liner whenever they choose.
Friday the 13th: The Game (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
It’s pretty easy to give the top spot on this list to Gun Media and Illfonic’s Friday the 13th: The Game. Released just a year ago, the asymmetrical multiplayer game lets gamers play as either Jason Voorhees or one of seven camp counselors. As Jason, the goal is to obviously slaughter all of the teenagers at the campground, while counselors are tasked with just trying to survive the night.
This is the video game every Friday the 13th fan had been waiting for. It not only features nearly every Jason from the separate films as playable killers, many iconic locations are included as maps as well. The level of detail placed into designing these maps lets players really feel like they’re in Camp Crystal Lake. Simply put, every fan of the franchise needs to play this game.
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