There’s a reason I’m dressed like Dracula as I write this article; we’re about to check out the best PS2 horror games of all time!
I will say now, some of the stuff below is pretty gruesome. Reader beware (cue evil laughter).
While the PS2 is known for housing Final Fantasy, Jak and Daxter, and other friendly faces, it also had a darker side. This console had some seriously spooky and bone-chilling horror titles in its collection, with many being banned and falling into the ‘rare collectibles’ category.
For some people, there’s nothing better than closing the curtains and sticking on a super scary game to scare themselves silly. But, which are the best PS2 horror games to set your pulse racing?
We’ve delved into Sony’s crypt to pull out 10 of the most frightening and gory tales on the console.
Check them out below!
Please Note – Some readers may find the subject matter covered below disturbing. Retro Dodo doesn’t associate itself with any of the stories or topics in the following titles.
Echo Night: Beyond kicks off our gruesome scarefest of the best PS2 horror games of all time!
It follows the story of Richard Osmand (not to be confused with Richard Osman of Pointless fame). He’s off to the moon for his honeymoon, as you do, but his spaceship crash-lands before the fancy moon resort he’s supposed to be meeting his wife at.
That’s bad planning, if you ask me!
Gamers control Richard through an abandoned space station. He’s wearing a spacesuit with a flashlight, but that’s the only thing that Richard can use through the journey.
And ghosts are trying to kill him at every turn… I should probably mention that bit…
Unlike Resident Evil where you can pump enemies full of lead, Richard can’t physically attack the ghosts he comes across. Cowardice is the aim to staying alive; run away before your heart hits heart attack level, or you die. Simple as that!
Find items to cleanse phantom spirits, try to stay alive, and just hope your Mrs decides to go ahead with the honeymoon and doesn’t fly back to earth!
Up next is The Thing, a title with an uninspiring name but some of the most gruesome scenes I’ve ever come across.
It wouldn’t make this list of the best PS2 horror games without them!
This third-person horror-survival comes from the genius minds over at Konami. If you liked the film, then the games acts as a sequel and sees Special Forces soldier Captain Blake exploring a facility where some weird stuff is going down.
Players control Captain Blake as he battles insanely scary demon monsters called Scuttlers and Walkers, as well as gruesome bosses at various intervals.
Wield everything from pistols to flamethrowers and pick up health and adrenaline injections.
Any adventure where people need adrenaline to enter rooms just shouldn’t exist. Thank god it’s only a video game, eh!
With over one-million sales under it’s belt, The Thing was an unprecedented success. If you can keep your eyes open long enough without shrieking, then its one that certainly deserves a look!
Looking a little like a zombified version of the Master Hand from Smash Bros, Obscure II drops in at Number 8 on our list.
PlayStation fans will no doubt know all about the first Obscure title. This is a sequel to that original adventure (no kidding) and follows the same characters in a new adventure where university students become infected by plant spores.
It’s like M.Night Shyamalan’s ‘The Happening’ with gruesome mutated monsters that want to eat your flesh!
Sharon, Stanley, and Kenny return for more gory madness. Expect meat hooks, undead cretins being run over, and a whole lot of jumpy dark corners to navigate through.
The game didn’t go down very well with critics, though it’s garnered a loyal cult following over the years who enjoy being scared shi… I mean… scared out of their wits.
If you’re a PS2 fan, then I can probably assume correctly that you know all about the Resident Evil series including Resident Evil 4. You might not have played them, but I bet you know what they are!
For the small minority of people who don’t know what on earth I’m talking about, a brutal virus turns all the people in Racoon City into mindless zombies. Insane flesh-eating enemies, scary levels, and a constant feeling that you’re about to die come as standard.
Resident Evil 4 was only ever meant to have a GameCube release. After being ported to multiple consoles, however, it went on to sell a mind-boggling 10 million copies and become one of the best PS2 games on the console!
This zombie-slaying title boasts a new over-the-shoulder gun view which makes battling enemies so much cooler, drawing you into the action and getting that heart racing. Unlike the other R.E titles, it’s less about surviving and more about pumping everything full of bullets.
While the zombies in the original games were pretty mindless, the villagers in this infested town have the brains to work together in order to take you down. They can run, throw explosives, and wield lots of blunt instruments.
They’ll do anything to eat you and your cool leather jacket, and they won’t even cook you first!
Pyramid head still gives me the creeps, which is why Silent Hill 2 takes the 6th spot in this list of the best PS2 horror games of all time.
Anyone looking for a seriously mind-bending psychological horror should click the button above and grab a copy right away. It’s another Konami title, which makes me worry about their sanity as well as the main character’s.
Players take James Sunderland through a whole host of weird and… I was going to say wonderful, but they’re quite frankly harrowing scenarios. After finding a letter from his dead wife, he has to try and find her while avoiding being chopped to pieces by the weird butcher-thing below!
This game may leave you wondering what’s real and what isn’t, but that’s the sign of a truly classic story. Konami certainly created a perfect concoction of taboo subjects, psychotic metaphors, and other spooky symbolism for gamers to sink their teeth into.
For example, there’s an alternate ending where the main villain is a dog. And, to add extra confusion, the letter James finds from his wife slowly disappears as though he made the whole thing up.
Wait… did he?
Fans of Hellblade or films like Donnie Darko and Memento will be all over this game like a dangerous flesh-eating rash!
Because of its graphic content and its short length compared to other games of the time, it faded into the background and is now a rare collectors item. Still, the story is a gruesome one, and fans of bloodthirsty horrors will be chomping at the bit for it!
Kuon comes from the same minds that concocted the Dark Souls series. Bet that grabbed your attention, didn’t it?
This survival/horror game revolves around spooky stories that are imbedded in the foundations of Japanese culture. Gamers take two bad-ass characters through a haunted mansion, but don’t expect Luigi to rock up with a vacuum to save the day.
Each character has a role to play and a storyline to fulfil. Spoiler alert – each storyline is filled with blood and guts.
It’s sad really; if Kuon had come out today, I bet it would have been an instant hit. People seem to be more bloodthirsty when it comes to games these days; that much is clear from the finishing moves in Mortal Kombat. If you can get hold of a copy, then it’s definitely worth adding into your collection.
Just don’t blame us if you can’t sleep afterwards, alright?
Speaking of bad-ass characters, the two girls in Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly seem to be completely at ease amongst spirits and otherworldly presences. I don’t think I could stand a minute in that place!
Acting as a sequel to the first Fatal Frame game, Crimson Butterfly doesn’t strictly follow on from the plot of the first instalment. It’s probably a good job, as so many people never finished the original game because it was too scary.
That’s 100% true!
Gamers take twins Maya and Mio Amakura through a weird and creepy, barren village. The only inhabitants are paranormal spirits, and things start to get real when they inhabit Mayu’s body and try to sacrifice the sisters.
How can two people go up against ghosts and win, I hear you ask? Well, using a cool camera that can exorcise ghosts, the sisters must stay alive while finding out everything they can about the terrifying village they’re trapped in.
Ghosts, death, horror, death, more ghosts, and creepy-ass stuff everywhere. Yep, it’s a perfect title for the Number 4 spot in this list.
I’m gonna go have a lie down with a cuddly toy and rock myself to sleep before I carry on.
Just check out how cool that game cover is! Rule of Rose isn’t just one of the best PS2 horror games because my girlfriend’s called Rose and sets a lot of rules. It’s a psychological horror like Silent Hill and covers some pretty dark stuff that some people might find a little too intense.
Still, after all the games in this list, you should be pretty well prepared for it!
This game follows the ‘misunderstood and mysterious nature’ of young girls, which isn’t exactly a clear indication of what’s going on in this title. It covers child sexuality and cruelty, burying children underground, and all sorts of horrible things.
No wonder it was banned!
Look, those topics are quite harrowing, no one is saying otherwise, but the game isn’t anywhere near as brutal as some of the stuff on TV today. Still, it was banned and shelved in lots of countries when it first came out, which is why it’s now another rare PS2 game that people want to check out for themselves.
Morbid curiosity makes people try this game; it’s up to you to see how bad it really is.
One things for sure, it’s certainly a horror title and has become one of the most intriguing titles in the PS2 back catalogue. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
Still with us? Good, because it’s time for another Silent Hill title! Silent Hill: Origins is the fifth game in the series, an origins story before the first game for the PS1, and originally released on the PSP.
Right, now you know all about the history, let’s on to the gory stuff.
Players take Travis Grady around the same town that features in the other Silent Hill games. Seriously, I would have moved out of there by now!
Travis is trying to find a girl he rescued from a fire, but on the way, memories he tried to hide deep down as a child come to the surface. It’s as much about solving the puzzle of the mind as it as solving in-game puzzles.
Oh, and there’s lots of bashing gruesome enemies too.
Wielding a knife and a flashlight, Travis must face all of his fears, whether real or imaginary. It’s one heck of a weird game, though you need to keep your wits about you at all times or face instant death.
Travis’ radio crackles when enemies are near; that noise still gives me the willies! Actions have consequences in both the real and ‘other world’ too, so make sure to remember what you’ve done and explore everywhere… if you dare.
As always, there is a good, a bad, and a joke ending to uncover. I would say there’s an ugly ending as well, but it’s all pretty nasty stuff from start to finish!
Last but not least, The Suffering takes the top spot as the most brutal title in this list of the best PS2 horror games.
This survival shooter horror title is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen in my life. Surreal Software certainly lived up to their name with this game, and it’s one that you won’t forget in a hurry.
Players follow a death-row Prisoner called Torque. He’s been imprisoned after murdering his ex-wife and kids but can’t remember committing the crime. An earthquake reveals a supernatural enemy to defeat, and Torque must battle his own demons along the way.
In true Silent Hill form, there are three endings to uncover, each with a different version as to how Torque’s family were killed.
The Suffering combines survival horror elements with the kind of action you might associate with a Metal Gear Solid title. It’s different to many of the other horror games in this list which is what sets it apart in my eyes. Its still scary as hell, and it boasts a cool morality engine that defines how the game plays out.
With some of the creepiest characters in any game and NPCs that can turn pretty hostile towards Torque depending on your actions, The Suffering is a game that you’ll really enjoy…
… providing you liked the other 9 games above it, that is.