Video games have been around for as long as we can remember. Japan was among the first countries to capture the world’s attention with its addictive yet entertaining inventions. Although there were multiple congenial consoles, the gaming industry witnessed a fascinating advancement in the ’90s when PlayStation 1 was brought to life.
PlayStation 1 was the first video game that Sony Computer Entertainment developed and released first in Japan in 1994. It became popular around Europe in 1995 and reached its peak in 2005. By then, there were tons of video games for different age groups. However, PS1 became famous for hosting some of the most horror games in the gaming industry.
Those horror games were catered to teenagers and older generations, containing lots of violence, obscene language, and brutal scenes. Multiple horror games have succeeded significantly, turning into franchises and being adapted into great movies. Moreover, many survived for years, making a considerable return on the PlayStation’s newest consoles.
Let’s take a nostalgic stroll down memory lane of the most famous horror games of PS1:
1. “Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare” (2001)
Thanks to Infogrames Developers, the ’90s generation could play one of the best survival horror games of all time, Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare. The game was catered to teenagers and adults, given its quite violent events with several dark twists and turns that were deemed inappropriate for young children.
The first game dropped in 2001, where gamers controlled an investigator with a daring soul, searching through a haunted house with evil spirits and undead creatures. The game was well-received that it was adapted into the movie of the same name that was released in 2005, starring Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Frank C. Turner, and Matthew Walker.
2. Silent Hill (1999)
Silent Hill was another horror game released in 1999 for the original PlayStation. The game’s storyline perceived the gamers’ admiration, becoming a franchise with several parts released later. Again, this game wasn’t intended for young players, not only for being a horror game, but it also tackled some mature, incomprehensible themes for children.
Silent Hill became even more popular when it was adapted into a series of films based on the original story published by Konami. Interestingly, the video game series was inspired by a real-life story in Centralia town in Pennsylvania, depicted in the game as the fictional town of Silent Hill.
3. Resident Evil (1996)
Resident Evil was among the most popular horror games that dealt with paranormal and undead creatures. The original game was created by Capcom and dropped in Japan in 1999 under the name Biohazard. Apparently, the concept of the apocalypse has always been appealing to different generations, which was a factor that aided in the success of the game.
Although not all horror games were adapted into horror movies, Resident Evil was lucky enough to receive this recognition and be published to a broader group of people. The franchise became quite significant that it continued having more sequels released for even newer consoles of the PlayStation, including 3,4, and 5.
4. Echo Night (1998)
Echo Nights was among the horror games released in the ’90s for PS1, entertaining a wide array of gamers with its spine-chilling story. FromSoftware developed the game and featured 3D character models and objects. It focuses on the main character, Richard Osmond, whom the player controls, going through paranormal adventures to solve mysteries. Echo Nights is a Japanese game that was one of the most popular horror games.
However, it wasn’t among those games that turned into movies on the big screen. The storyline was still quite catchy, following a young man searching for his missing father. You keep getting hints throughout the game through finding objects and solving mysteries of hanging spirits who faced gruesome death. Your goal is to help these spirits find peace by completing their unfinished business, but beware—the journey may be more terrifying than you ever imagined!
5. Nightmare Creatures (1997)
All survival horror games have different levels, allowing the players to choose the difficulty to tailor their gaming experience to their skill level. However, Nightmare Creatures is a different story. Even its “easy” level is not to be taken lightly. Like other horror games released on PlayStation, it’s not fit for children, given its gruesome scenes and mature story.
Nightmare Creatures is even a title sufficient to induce fear. It gained popularity among adventurer players in no time after its release in 1997. In 2000, Kalisto Entertainment, the developer, released a new sequel. Upon its success, a recent version was developed and published for mobile phones in 2003.
6. Chaos Break (2000)
If you’ve been rummaging through old horror games, look no further than the famous 2000 Chaos Break. You should set your sight on this game to get the most spine-chilling gaming experience. It will keep the players on their toes, no matter how skilful they are.
This classic PlayStation game is a sequel to the ’98 arcade game Chaos Heat. However, this part was set to be more advanced with newfangled weapons. The game is suitable for players keen on keeping zombies at bay. So, fret no more; take hold of your guns and be ready to face your darkest fears.
7. Dracula: The Resurrection (1999)
The Romanian city of Transylvania is where the legend of Dracula was birthed, thanks to the vast imagination of Bram Stoker. This legendary tale has inspired many, and different adaptations come to pass, including one of the most famous PlayStation horror games of all time, Dracula: The Resurrection.
This spine-chilling game was released in 1999, and several sequels followed the game’s massive success. It intrigued gamers from around the world; thus, the developers and publishers thought they ought to keep the adventure alive for as long as possible. Get hold of this game and unravel the secrets hidden within the corners of Transylvania.
8. Parasite Eve (1998)
Now is when it’s essential to bring to light the essence of horror games, the infamous Parasite Eve. Not only is it a storyline with intimidating creatures and killing missions, but it’s also a biological horror story narrating things you never knew existed. The game was first released in 1998 for PlayStation and got a sequel one year later.
Moreover, the players got too interested in the mysteries and the puzzling cases of mutating animals, the combustion of masses, and the hazards imposed on all planets. It’s based on a Japanese novel written by Hideaki Sena’s unfathomed imagination. Parasite Eve is a fascinating venture into the unknown, and saving the world from menacing threats is your only mission.
9. Evil Dead: Hail to the King (2000)
Heavy Iron Studios blessed their player with their all-time horror game, Evil Dead: Hail to the King. They developed this classic masterpiece and stories with intricate mysteries and ravelled riddles. It’s one of the favourite horror games published by the renowned THQ. Despite the different titles, this 2000 video game was released as a sequel to the Army of Darkness, released in 1992.
Undead hoards rising from their graves is an example of all the obscurity you will encounter throughout your gaming experience. You’ll have to shoot them dead and escape a fatal destiny over and over again until you get to a safe haven. The game has different parts released under “Evil Dead”, with varying storylines for gamers to enjoy.
10. Hellnight (1998)
It’s apparent that most developers and publishers were keen to flood the ’90s generation with a plethora of unforgettable horror games. Gladly, many of them stand still to this very day, having a new version for newer consoles or getting movie adaptations. One of the striking horror games of the ’90s was the Japanese Hellnight, known in Japan as Dark Messiah.
The game has an intriguing storyline intended to leave players sitting on the edge of their seats, tackling cult rituals and monsters from different realms. Although the game was released in 1998 in Europe, it was already known in Japan in the early ’90s. It didn’t get the attention it deserved despite being quite popular among hardcore players
11. Mizzurna Falls (1998)
Mizzurna Falls is a fictional town in North America near the Rocky Mountains. Just because it’s a fictional town doesn’t mean pleasant things from the fairylands come to pass around here. It’s a place where people vanish into thin air, and deep layers of secrets are to be unfolded. This intimidating plot is the story of one of the PlayStation’s most infamous horror games.
It was yet another survival game that was released in the ’90s, promising that generation a plethora of games that will live on for years to come. Your objective in the game is to use the protagonist, Matthew, to explore the spooky town of Mizzurna Falls in an attempt to find his friends. Throughout your venture through the dark town, dark secrets surface causing more tension in the atmosphere, but you shouldn’t back down just yet.
12. Galerians (1999)
In the 90s, Japanese game developers made an unforgettable mark on the gaming world with their plethora of horror games. Thanks to these efforts, the gaming world was rocked by favourites like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. One horror game that deserves mention is “Galerians” – a game that tells the story of Rion Steiner, a young man with extraordinary psychic powers.
The protagonist suffers from amnesia, which is challenging since he has forgotten his identity and purpose. The horror of the storyline lies in the possibility of the extinction of humans and the dominance of the Galerians, genetically mutated beings. Such a story was quite advanced and ahead of its time, predicting the intimidating progress of artificial intelligence and threatening the existence of the human race.
13. OverBlood (1996)
The line where sci-fi and horror meets is one where surreal things happen. OverBlood is a 1996 horror game developed by Riverhillsoft and published by Electronic Arts. The game takes place within indoor environments, but don’t let this fool you into believing it confines you to boring and limited events. It’s a place of a puzzling ambience and great mysteries.
The player controls Raz Karcy, the protagonist who finds himself put to sleep and awakens somewhere in the future, unaware of who he is or what brings him here. Although this game was somewhat of a famous horror game then, it didn’t stand a chance among its more famous counterparts.
14. Koudelka (1999)
The gothic ambience is the essence of horror and dismay, and that’s what you’ll find in Koudelka. The latter is one of the ’90s famous horror games with mind-bending twists and intriguing mysteries. Thanks to its well-known developer, Sacnoth, it came into being and was published by Atari SA and SNK Corporation.
Koudelka presented a riveting story about three main characters unearthing the untold tales of Nemeton Monastery. A sequel came under the name of Shadow Hearts, turning into a three-game series following the story of Yuri Hyuga, a human with superpowers that enable him to ward off evil magic and the dominance of machinations.
15. Dino Crisis (1999)
It would be a shame to miss Dino Crisis when we speak of famous horror games. It’s one more survival game you will enjoy exploring the thrilling as you navigate each bone-chilling twist and turn. The story delves into science, discovering the nature of dinosaurs and their insatiable appetite for human flesh.
Initially released in 1999, the story was set far ahead of its time, taking place in 2009 and predicting the near future. Thanks to Capcom, the brilliant developer behind the game, the ’90s generation could explore a brand-new gaming experience while roaming alongside an enormous T-rex. Don’t miss out on this rousing adventure that has stood the test of time.
So, if you’re a fan of heart-pumping suspense and horror, try these classic horror games – just be prepared to face your fears! Despite being quite old with less advanced graphics, they’re the kind of stories that would have you checking under your bed before being tucked in through the night.