Pull off your best Thriller dance moves and get ready to tackle the best PS1 horror games of all time!
Where as Nintendo’s consoles have always been pretty happy and family friendly, Sony are no strangers to a frighteningly fantastic game. Blood, guts, and gore remain firm fixtures on the PS1, and this mighty machine brought some of the best survival horror games of all time to the table.
We’ve already covered the best PS2 horror games of all time, but which are the best PS1 horror games of all time, I hear our readers ask?
It’s a tough call to make, but I’ve compiled a list of 15 of the greatest scarefests on the console for you to cower behind the sofa with.
Come with us as we enter the misty church yard and pull back the coffin lid… ARRRGGGGGHHHHH!
Chaos Break kickstarts this list of the best PS1 horror games of all time. For some reason, there doesn’t seem to be anything as freaky as a bloodshot eye in the horror world…
… well, maybe some sort of mutant worm like the pic below or the freak at Number 13!
Chaos Break is styled as a survival-horror brawler title with that creepy Half-Life abandoned facility feel. Players control two characters tasked with discovering the cause of a colleagues disappearance…
Turns out that the facility is now home to tonnes of freaky parasitic aliens… it was never going to be something simple and easy to organise was it!
As well as aliens, mutated scientists and robots all try to kill the player at pretty much every turn. Your job is to collect data while destroying hordes of enemies, taking objects from dead bodies in order to survive.
If you’re looking for a horrifyingly brilliant game, then this is a good place to start!
Echo Night is the first game in the popular Echo Night series. We covered the last title in the series, Echo Night: Beyond, over in our list of PS2 horror games, but the carnage started right here on the PS1 back in 1998.
Seeing the world through the characters eyes always makes horror games seem scarier, and it certainly does the trick here!
Kind of like the Port Keys in Harry Potter, certain objects will transport players into different parts of the past.
The aim of the game is to complete tasks that banish spirits and collect the astral pieces they leave behind
Mysterious stones that posses anyone who touches them, ghoulish ghosts, and multiple endings depending on how you perform during the game. If there was a recipe for a horror game, then that would probably be it!
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis takes the 13th spot in this list of the best PS1 horror games of all time!
I’m two titles in and couldn’t wait any longer before talking about Resident Evil. These games always gave me the willies as a kid, and now that zombies are pretty much the scariest things on TV or film, the Resident Evil back catalogue has become even more famous and sought after.
The Wight Walkers might have given Westeros hell, but The Nemesis could have torn him limb from limb. This guy makes Pyramidhead look like a cuddly toy, for crying out loud!
Yes folks, Resident Evil 3 has enough blood and guts for everyone. It’s one of the most action-packed survival horror games going and sees players mashing the fire button in a bid to survive all manner of sticky situations.
The Nemesis periodically appears to just run after you and often tries to eat you alive. The brute is mammoth and never fails to send you spiralling into fits of panic whenever he’s around.
Choices players make affect which ending they see (we love games where we can change the way we play and see different outcomes), and everything apart from the overall length is perfect. The game should be longer, but I guess we can’t have everything in life!
If some of the creatures in Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare decided to start hanging around in my house, then I think I’d just pack a bag of biscuits and move immediately!
Like many of the best PS1 horror games, players can choose from one of two characters. Carnby is a gun-toting brawler that shoots first and asks questions never, where as Aline is more of a brainbox. She uses her noggin to solve puzzles and her wits to stay alive.
Sorry Aline; I know which tactic I’d take when lumped with reptilian monsters that have crawled from the centre of the earth! Gimme one of those guns!
The creatures of darkness from the World of Darkness don’t particularly like light. I guess there isn’t a lot of it where they come from, so it’s pretty understandable…
Use flashlights, light switches, and modified weapons fused with magnesium and phosphorus to destroy demons and pick out secrets hidden in the shadows. The fact that 3D shadows appear on 2D objects is also very impressive too!
Despite being an offshoot from the main Alone in the Dark series, this is one of my favourite horror titles on the console. If I could just stop my brain from being so jumpy, then I might be able to tackle Aline’s puzzles without wetting myself…
Koudelka takes the 11th spot in this list of the best PS1 horror games of all time. It’s an SNK classic and a must have for both horror fans and RPG fans.
Wait, did I just say RPG?
Koudelka is unlike many of the horror games on this list in the fact that it incorporates elements of exploration as well as scaring yourself shi… I mean, being scary.
Battles are all made in the tradition RPG turn-based style, with the players either attacking or taking a beating from brutal monsters.
And, weirdly, this game is set in Wales, UK! It’s not an American town or Japanese city, but the rainy country of Wales, which isn’t that far from where I live! The developers even spent time there, assumedly to find out how scary it really is…
Join Koudelka Issant and her companions as she travels through a haunted monastery, uncovering dark mysteries and past secrets that should have stayed hidden…
… if I could have included a sound effect to scare you at this point, then I totally would have done.
Dino Crisis is up next in this list of the best PS1 horror games of all time! It’s the story we all wanted Jurrassic Park to be and features blood-thirsty dinos who are out to kill.
Sounds like a job for some naive scientists to tackle; am I right?
With a series of levels that span the usual creepy criteria such as abandoned laboratories and quiet jungle tracks, Dino Crisis is one of the most tense survival horror titles on the console.
Anf with over 4 million sales under its belt, it’s also one of the most successful.
It’s 2009, so don’t worry, the events of this game were definitely fictional and never happened… at least, not that we know of. Get ready for a secret weapons programme, running blindly into the fae of danger, and Dinosaurs that love chomping down on humans
In truth, it’s more of a ‘panic horror’, which is actually what Capcom chose to brand it as. And you see that little yellow sticker on the case above? ‘From the creators of the Resident Evil series’.
What more of en excuse do you need to try this out?
Work through puzzles, scream everytime a smart-ass dinosaur comes running, and uncover the mysteries of the island without being eaten.
Sticking with the survival horror theme, the next title on our list of the best PS1 horror games of all time Hellnight.
It’s a little-known subterranean horror title that deservers way more credit than it originally received, and hopefully, after this article drops, it might finally get it!
A symbiote mauls a research assistant and turns him into a zombie. Said zombie flees to the subway and kills pretty much everyone in sight. We’re talking cops, passengers, anyone with a pulse.
The main character is on the run from an evil cult who want to kill him. He’s accompanied on his journey through this game by some of the most unlikely characters ever.
As well as the teenage schoolgirl that decides to tag along for the ride, players can recuit a serial killer, a Russian soldier, a cop, and a journalist.
That’s either the start of a really weird joke or the best dinner party of all time.
Save an underground community and destroy a killer zombie, all while not attacking it at all. If the zombie, the only enemy in the game, kills a character, then they’re dead forever. It’s tense, it’s touch, and it’s hella scary.
Fear Effect takes the 8th spot in this list of the best PS1 horror games of all time!
Like many other survival horror games such as the Resident Evil series and the Silent Hill canon, Fear Effect marries terrifying killing action with the kind of puzzles you might find in a Zelda game.
Speaking of Zelda games (I really enjoy these tenuous links), Fear Effect is also one of the first Cel Shaded titles on any console too. Imagine Wind Waker on acid, and you get the idea.
This game came on a whopping four discs; that’s how much effort went into the FMV scenes and the quirky yet iconic look. The characters are super bad ass in this game too, each having the ability to shoot two guns at different targets while running.
It’s like Magnum P.I or something!
This is when things start to get a little weird. A paper doll turned into a human who is the daughter of a gangster goes missing, and three mercenaries try to kidnap her but end up battling ghouls and demons instead.
Expect lots of monsters, bombs, monsters, guns, and a few more monsters thrown in for good measure. It’s odd, but it’s a great game!
Mizzurna Falls is a Japanese title that’s well worth grabbing a Japanese system online for. It never received a Western release, but it’s still one of the greatest horror games ever made.
Imagine, if you will, having to comb through the entire United States for one missing person. Now imagine that you’re playing on the world’s first-ever open world title, and it’s HUGE.
That’s Mizzurna Falls in a nutshell, and it’s a worthy entry in our list!
With one girl attacked and another one missing, the player has seven days to solve the mystery of why all this crazy stuff is going down.
In a very loose sense, it has the same kind of time-fuelled panic as Majora’s Mask. The countdown of days is unalterable, but this does create an opportunity for playing the game again and again and doing things differently every time.
The game has seasons and the vast number of NPCs all have a story to tell and a routine to follow. It’s like the best-ever interactive murder mystery and one of my favourite PS1 titles of all time.
Up next is Clock Tower: The First Fear, one of the best PS1 horror games that I actually first played on the SNES. Unlike other first-person horrors or third person games where you’re behind the camera, this is a point and click horror title.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that that’s lame or boring; this game has a freaky-factor of 11!
Players follow a character called Jennifer as she tries to escape the evil foster house she’s living in and the super-creepy Scissorman.
And no, he isn’t partial to giving free and fashionable haircuts.
Like every good horror game, Clock Tower has a series of eight different endings that people can unlock. It feels being in the directors seat for a horror film, guiding the main character towards freedom or mortal peril with every decision.
In the same vain as hellnight, players can’t directly attack Scissorman. Hiding is the key to surviving, though Jennifer panics whenever he’s around (wouldn’t you?) which makes it way harder to escape.
Get killed, and it’s game over sunshine. Also, we won’t be responsible for any harrowing Scissorman nightmares caused by playing this game.
Just an ordinary, average, everyday dude trying to find his daughter in the weirdest village alive. Silent Hill is one of the weirdest pschological horrors you’ll ever play and kickstarted one of the most sucessful PlayStation series of all time.
Harry Mason uncovers a weird-ass cult in his home town, all hell literally breaks loose, both in real life and in Harry’s mind.
What I love about this game is the fact that Harry has zero training or any special abilities. He’s a little out of shape, can’t run far, has the worst aim with firearms, and is generally way out of his depth.
The best way to figure out how much health Harry has left is by using a DualShock controller and feeling his heartbeat. Yeah, Konami know how to draw you into their weird minds alright.
Enemies are heard through a handheld radio, a little like when things start going AWOL in Stranger Things when demons are lurking around.
Listen, if you’re a fan of horror games, then the chances are you already own this game. If you’ve never played it, then just know that this game is considered one of the most pioneering titles in the survival horror genre.
In other words, it’s a big deal!
If you don’t like survival horror titles, then you probably shouldn’t be reading this list in all honesty. If, however, you’re a huge fan and have soaked up every game in this list so far, then Galerians will be right up your gore-filled street.
Players take a dude called Rion on a freaky adventure after he develops psychic powers. That could be stressful enough on its own, but he’s also lost all of his memories and finds out he’s the only one who can save earth from attack by a race of genetically modified humans
I reckon I’d just stick with the amnesia and have a quiet life!
Galerians has a lot of similarities to the next title in our list of the best PS1 horror games of all time. It also boasts some pretty unique gameplay mechanics that set it apart from the competition and make it a great game for any collection.
For starters, combat isn’t something you want to really get mixed up with. There are no guns; Rion just uses his psychic powers to knock back enemies, but each offensive attack uses a vial of a drug.
Unlike games where players pick up items or upgrade after killing an enemy, Galerians is all about conserving supplies and using them when you absolutely have to. Be smart, and you’ll come out on top.
Expect clues to solve, items to find to progress to new areas, and lots of freaky stuff to run away from.
Resident Evil 2 is one of the most famous horror games of all time. It’s got ‘evil’ in the title, for crying out loud, so you know it’s gonna be gory!
This is the ultimate zombie series, a game that people all over the globe can’t play with the lights off. It’s also one of the most heralded survival horror titles of all time, and while it might not be as intense as the Walking Dead, it was pretty shocking when it first came out!
Resident Evil 2 take place two months after the ending of the first title. By solving puzzles and blasting zombies into the dust, players must flee Racoon City while keeping all their limbs.
In mechanics, graphics, and gameplay, Resident Evil 2 is very similar to the first title in the series, albeit with a different storyline. There are more puzzles to solve which keeps your brain ticking over, which is ironic considering the mindless demons you’re trying to run away from.
I often reference this title as having one of the best dual-character storylines in it as well. If you like ’cause and effect’ plotls and lots of flesh-eating zombies, then this is a game you should be playing right now.
Parasite Eve II takes the penultimate spot in this list of the best PS1 horror games of all time! It expands on the success of the first Parasite Eve game and, for me, perfects the gory formula.
The ‘gormula’, if you will…
And, you can play Bring Me The Horizon on full blast while playing it and really get into the monster-gunning mood!
This game has some of the biggest and weirdest creatures I’ve ever seen. Honestly, I reckon the guys over at Square should see a psychiatrist if this is the stuff that comes out of their brains!
Parasite Eve II is a survival horror RPG like its predecessor, though this game feels more free and allows characters to do more. There are less constraints, no random battles, and Aya can kill enemies from anywhere on the screen rather than having to get up close and personal.
Not content with one scary adventure, Aya gets caught up in a second Neo-Mitochondrial outbreak. Unfortunately, it’s nothing to do with cool Star Wars force abilities; we’re talking killed creatures and grotesque bad-guys at every turn!
And finally, Nightmare Creatures II takes the top spot in this list of the best PS1 horror games of all time!
A bonafide Konami horror-fest with music by Rob Zombie himself; it was always going to be Number 1!
You can tell from the image above that this is going to be one messed up game! Adam Crowley, the evil occultist from the first Nightmare Creatures games is trying to destroy a bunch of monster hunters with some freaky monsters he’s created.
I guess that could happen when your occupation is ‘monster hunter’…
The game storyline is super bizarre. Escape zombies in crypts, fall down a chute and land in a biplane, uncover ancient cults, and fight a big-ass demon on top of the Eiffel Tower.
Nightmare Creatures II wins the top spot for it’s sheer craziness alone, but it’s also a cracking game to play through. I’ll admit that this is a bit of a controversial choice that may get a lot of hate in the Facebook comments, but I’m sticking by it.
Pull off epic fatalities, slay undead cretins, and rock out to Rob Zombie. What more could a horror fan possibly want?
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.