While an intriguing story can make a game more terrifying, it doesn't have to. Video games can rely on their enemy variety and frightening jump scares. Although jump scare games deserve a place in the industry, a video game with compelling storytelling is incomparable. Games like The Last of Us, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, and Amnesia: The Dark Descent wouldn't exist if it weren't for the games of the '90s. Horror games purposely place you inauspicious situations. Horror games today could learn from the realism of '90s horror games. These are the 10 best stories in '90s horror video games, ranked.
Silverload released for both PlayStation and MS-DOS in 1995. As a '90s game, Silverload follows the pattern of many games of its time by incorporating a genuinely interesting story. Falling back on rich storytelling and an intriguing premise are reasons to play Silverload.
In Silverload, the game quickly dives into a story where a wagon caravan is attacked by a pack of werewolves. The werewolves take the owner's son, and it is the job of you, a cowboy, to help save the child from a town that is host to an abundance of supernatural creatures.
9 Alone In The Dark
What was initially an MS-DOS game received a re-release on mobile iOS. Alone In The Dark is the first survival horror game to ever be created. It's not surprising that the game received critical acclaim. Later releases in the genre were inspired by Alone In The Dark. As a result of considerable demand for Alone In The Dark, sequels were made.
Not even developer Infogrames could have predicted how impactful their game would be. In Alone In The Dark, you against your better judgment, decide to explore a creepy old house. Ghostly wails fill the hallways. You choose to carry on, even though you are alone in the dark.
8 Call Of Cthulhu: Shadow Of The Comet
From the developer of games such as Alone In The Dark, Drakkhen, and Time Gate: Knight's Chase comes Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet; a point & click cryptic adventure game. As a scientist trying to piece together what happened in a small New England village, there are puzzling mysteries to solve. Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet becomes more chilling as the story progresses. Uncovering the secrets behind the Ancients in a dark, dreary forest proves to be a daunting task. Why are the townspeople so secretive and what is going on in this town?
"I try in vain to slumber, my reveries gripped by violent terror. My only salvation, the shock of awakening." Written by Roberta Williams, a professional video game writer who has much experience in the biz, Phantasmagoria has one of the best stories of the '90s. The'90s saw the release of many titles that paved the way for much more detailed games. '90s games can be basic graphically, so they often rely on good storytelling. Phantasmagoria was one of the first games to utilize full-motion video technology. It's an interactive story that is creepy, to say the least.
6 Parasite Eve
Game mechanics weren't its best suit, but Parasite Eve seemed to be ahead of most games of the time. Parasite Eve is a PlayStation exclusive that is based on a Japanese book which later became a film. Because of the positive reception for Parasite Eve, sequels were made.
In Parasite Eve, you start the game as an NYPD rookie who attends an opera at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Everyone in the audience except Aya Brea (protagonist) and an actress on stage spontaneously combusts. Throughout the game, Aya tries to stop the actress, who has transformed into a monster and named herself "Eve."
5 Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
It's not the most impactful entry in the Resident Evil series, but in the '90s, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis told a gripping tale and was one of the most exciting horror games of the era. Critics responded positively to Resident Evil 3: Nemesis with website IGN giving the game a 9.4/10 rating.
The story of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis takes place 24 hours before Resident Evil 2. You play as Jill Valentine, a counterterrorism agent in Raccoon City. There's already been a remake for Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2, so where is the remake for Resident Evil 3: Nemesis? Fans of the series are hoping for a Resident Evil 3 remake in the works.
In the bizarre world of Sanitarium, you play as a person who after a car crash, wakes up in a mental asylum as an amnesiac. You don't know what happened, and it is up to you to solve a series of puzzles to find out where you are and progress in the game.
For the most part, Sanitarium received positive reviews and has one of the best stories from a '90s video game. When Sanitarium was released in 1998, it won an award for Adventure Game of the Year. It's a point and click game that is worth playing.
3 Resident Evil
Released in 1996, Resident Evil is the first game to release in the highly-acclaimed Resident Evil game series. Although it was not the first survival horror game, it raised the bar for the genre. Being able to choose between Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, which is a choice that influences the outcomes of the game, gives Resident Evil good replay value.
The story takes place in Racoon City, where a team of police officers is sent to investigate a creepy, old mansion. The story you uncover grows deeper as you progress. As the game that laid the foundation for sequels and prequels, Resident Evil is possibly the most impactful horror game in video game history.
2 Resident Evil 2
Interestingly enough, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis takes place around the events of Resident Evil 2, occurring before and after its story. Many of the Resident Evil series' recurring characters appear in Resident Evil 2. Figures such as Leon S. Kennedy, Claire Redfield, and Chris Redfield are major characters in the game.
In respect to plot, Resident Evil 2 is very interesting. Recently, a Resident Evil 2 remake was made that has recaptured the essence of Raccoon City. The remake does a phenomenal job of incorporating new elements while keeping the same captivating story. With the removal of loading screens between locations, Resident Evil 2 remake is a masterpiece, yet it couldn't exist without the 1998 release of Resident Evil 2.
1 Silent Hill
Released in 1999, Silent Hill is a game by developer Konami that has captured the imagination of its players. A wide variety of creepy enemies and plot turns is why Silent Hill is the horror video game of the '90s with the most interesting story.
In 2012, a Silent Hill remaster was created as part of the Silent Hill HD Collection. Unfortunately, the fog that gave the town of Silent Hill its mysterious ambiance was mostly removed as part of a graphical improvement. Silent Hill proves that the original can be better than its remaster.