The fall is the perfect time to scare yourself silly by adding these classic PS2 horror games to your collection. If you’re brave enough! (Evil laughter)
It is my favorite time of year. The weather’s finally cooling down, the breeze brings that dead-leaf smell. People are decorating their homes with bloody demons and gut-strewn corpses, skeletons and giant man-eating spiders. It’s fantastic! And it’s a fantastic time to settle in as the sun sets earlier in the day and intentionally make yourself pee your pants with some classic horror games on the PS2.
I’ve listed just a few. Of course there are classics like Silent Hill and Resident Evil that you should play too, but I opted instead to list out some of the slightly less popular PS2 offerings. I said slightly less, as in: these are still popular games. They just haven’t been beaten to death to quite the extent of other, more popular horror franchises.
Anyway, if you haven’t tried these, you really should consider tracking down a copy, making some popcorn, and getting that bedpan ready. Because these games are not for the squeamish.
Check ’em out!
From the creator of Silent Hill (which you should also be playing), Siren brings heavy elements of stealth and strategy into the genre. Alongside that, players have access to a really unique “sight-jacking” ability that lets you see through the eyes of the cursed enemies that inhabit the world.
While fans of Silent Hill should feel right at home in the foggy, gloomy world of Siren (or Forbidden Siren outside of the U.S.), the development team brings plenty of new tricks to try. That being said, the litany of new gameplay elements comes at the cost of a rather steep learning curve, forcing players to git gud or die.
All told, the Siren series brings enough freshness to the survival horror genre that it definitely warrants a playthrough. And sure, it might be difficult, but that just makes the tension more visceral and the payout of victory even more satisfying.
The Thing is fantastic, and like the John Carpenter film from 1982, it is widely loved by fans. And unlike way too many movie tie-ins, The Thing actually elevates the franchise and expands the universe in a way that fans actually approve of. In fact, John Carpenter himself endorses this game and the story it tells is accepted as canon. That’s almost unheard of in video game movie tie-ins.
The game takes place right where the movie leaves off, following Captain Blake, who was sent to investigate what happened at the outpost in The Thing. What he finds is what you’d expect. A scene of chaos and gore.
There are plenty of NPCs throughout the game and they could turn into a Thing at any moment. The game does a great job of ratcheting up tensions to match the feel of the film, telling a deep tale of paranoia and fear. Gameplay-wise, The Thing straddles the line between survival horror and all-out action. There are plenty of enemies and bosses and weapons though, and you’ll always have to be on your toes. I won’t spoil anything here, but you should definitely get this game if you liked the movie.
The best part of The Thing is that it currently lists for a very reasonable price. Go check it out on eBay. It’s currently valued very cheap for how good this game actually is.
Outside Tokyo, in a super-creepy forest, Himuro Mansion waits full of secrets. Miku, a young girl, must enter the mansion to discover what’s become of her brother who disappeared exploring Himuro Mansion and uncover the grisly rituals that have occurred there. Like… strangling rituals. Yeesh.
Fatal Frame introduces the camera-as-a-weapon mechanic that would later be hinted at in games like Outlast. But no game has done it like Fatal Frame, in which ghost combat is conducted through the lens of an old-timey camera. By taking pictures at the perfect time, you deal damage to them until the battle ends and you’ve captured them completely.
Along with great gameplay and excellent, gruesome ambiance, Fatal Frame has a deep and twisting plot with two possible endings in the PS2 version. This one seems likely to go up in value, so now may be the best time to pick up your copy on eBay.
Rockstar Games has never pulled punches when it comes to graphic violence. And the Manhunt series is no exception. Manhunt 2 seems to take it to a whole new level, though. In addition to portraying scene after scene of grisly murder, blood and guts, the whole thing takes place in a filthy asylum where everything has gone to hell.
The hero must use stealth tactics to avoid combat, or take out his opponents using whatever he can find. That includes hacksaws, pliers, golf balls, shards of broken glass, or if you’re able to locate them, powerful firearms. But the odds are always stacked against you and you have to use the environment to your advantage and carefully strategize your every move.
The story unfolds as so many do… with the protagonist waking up with little or no memory of who he is how he got here. The action unfolds quickly as asylum patients have chosen that exact moment to revolt and attempt a mass escape. You must follow the lead of one of your fellow patients and do whatever it takes to get free. And I mean, like… whatever it takes.
This is a fun romp with really decent graphics and great stealth. If you’re into survival horror, and especially if you liked Manhunt, you will enjoy this one. Grab it on eBay.