1. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
The year is 1839 and you play as Daniel, an amnesiac who wakes in Brennenburg Castle with a letter, from himself, stating he deliberately wiped his own memory and instructing himself to murder Alexander, the Baron of the castle. Daniel only remembers three things: his name, where he lives and that something is hunting him. There is no combat mechanic, so you are forced to hide, and to run. As Daniel spends more time in the dark hiding from monsters, he gradually descends into insanity, seeing and hearing things that aren’t there.
The scariest games frighten us through a combination of atmosphere, narrative and plain shock factor. These ten had us reaching for a new pair of pants on a regular basis.
Fear is an odd thing. We're hard-wired to avoid it at all costs, but there is very little in life that gives us the same rush of adrenaline as absolute terror. Games that utilise fear for this very reason are a very careful balancing act - and the horror factor only works if you care about the narrative.
The ten games before you are not just about simple shocks. They range wildly from mind-messing psychological thrillers to post-apocalyptic horror, but they all have one thing in common - they'll scare the living cheesy corn-based snacks off you.