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10 Best PS1 Style Horror Games

Welcome to the world of PS1 Horror
paratopic-2
Image via Arbitrary Metric

Konami recently announced the revival of the Silent Hill franchise. With a clear promise to provide the players with excellent in-game graphics (seen in the Silent Hill 2 remake trailer), we can expect future AAA developers to release horror games with incredibly realistic graphics with each release. But with horror games, we do not always need beautiful and hyper-realistic graphics to feel scared.

In fact, some of the best horror games use the retro, PS1-era style to pay homage to the classics. Such as: Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Dino Crisis, and Clock Tower. The PS1 horror style acts similarly to that of Anime. It is an unlimited, unique art form that creates standalone worlds filled with distortion, uncanniness, and surrealism. Here are our Top 10 Best PS1 Style Horror Games.

Deadly Night

Deadly-Night
Image via Cubyte Games
A night to remember

Are you a fan of the 80s slasher horror subgenre? Try Deadly Night. Created by Cubyte Games and published by Torture Star Video, Deadly Night is an intense and disturbing ride from start to finish, from the interactions with the crude and grotesque motel manager to finding yourself trapped and trying to escape from a deranged serial killer. Explore, gather resources, hide and escape your killer’s grasps. As he patrols the house you must find ways of avoiding him. Hide in closets, cupboards and under the bed. Hold your breath for he is coming.

Can you outsmart the killer? Can you get through this deadly night?

Bloodwash

blood-wash
Image via Black Eyed Priest, Henry Hoare
You're going to die tonight

Continuing on with the Slasher theme, Bloodwash is next on the list. You play as Sara who is annoyed with her boyfriend because he has not done the laundry yet. In a town with a serial killer on the loose, Sara braves going to the laundromat in the dead of night (as most would do in a situation like this, laundry is top priority after all). Explore the laundromat and the surrounding area, converse with other characters and learn more about the infamous, Womb Ripper. A great installment in the PS1 slasher subgenre, Bloodwash will pull at your curiosity and worry you as you learn of the Womb Ripper’s story.

The Womb Ripper targets women, and you can probably guess what happens when he catches them. Can Sara survive the night?

Murder House

murder-house
Image via Puppet Combo
Want to sit on the bunny's lap?

The third and final slasher inspired horror is Murder House. Developed by Puppet Combo who are legends in the making of PS1 style horror games. If you are looking for more PS1 style horror games that are not on this list, then look no further than Puppet Combo’s collection. Their games are typically challenging slasher horrors where you must escape the grasps of the killer. In this installment, Murder House follows Emma, an employee working for a news crew. The team is reporting on a man named Anthony Smith, said to be the Easter Ripper.

When you arrive the house is locked and the estate agent who was meant to let you in is nowhere to be seen. This game has great dialogue with memorable characters. The atmosphere is intense. Murder House uses a third-person POV with fixed camera angles, reminiscent of the original Silent Hill. As the crew are slowly picked off one by one, how will you fare in this slasher?

Paratopic

paratopic
Image via Arbitrary Metric
The David Lynch of PS1 Horror

Brace yourself for the trippy world of Paratopic. This installment is a bizarre and surreal piece of art which follows multiple character POVs. The narrative shown to us is in short segments, woven together for us to piece into a coherent and probable storyline. It is the most artsy horror game on this list and may leave you baffled in its complexity. The stories surround a character named The Smuggler who we play as in segments throughout the game. The smuggled items: video tapes. The tapes appear to have some kind of strange inexplainable and addictive power to them.

Paratopic is a one-of-a-kind experience for Horror fans. It is a must play if you are a fan of the PS1 style subgenre. The jarring narrative, with abrupt cuts, shifting us to another POV resembles film segments. Maybe our characters are part of the video tapes themselves.
Dive into the surrealism.

The Closing Shift

the-closing-shift
Image via Chilla’s Art
Retail sucks

Chilla’s Art, a great indie developer obsessed with putting female employees in terrible retail situations. The Closing Shift is a fantastic horror game, a slow burner with one of the best indie horror climaxes to ever be seen. You play as a female employee working the night shift. Your main objective is to serve customers their coffee and buss tables. Hidden amongst this very exciting gameplay is a layer of paranoia. Someone is nearby, watching you. You hear talks of someone creepy hanging around outside Chilla’s Coffee.

The Closing Shift is a chilling horror game on being stalked. As the night goes on so too does his hunger to see you.

Iron Lung

iron-lung
Image via David Szymanski
What's that on the monitor?

The Quiet Rapture, the destroyer of stars and planets. Humanity has survived on space stations. Running out of resources they search barren moons for any means to live another day. Iron Lung has you play as a convict placed inside a submarine that has been welded shut. Your job is simple, search for anomalies deep within the moon’s blood ocean. Complete your task and you will be free.

Iron Lung is a game filled with dread from start to finish. Let your curiosity take over as you navigate through the blood ocean. It is claustrophobic as you play inside a tiny space, moving the submarine left, right, forward and back to reach your destination. Find the anomalies, find hope. Maybe there’s something down here that can save us all from damnation.

The Moon Has Faded Away

the-moon-has-faded-away
Image via BlueBird Games
I can still hear their screams

The Moon Has Faded Away is an anxiety inducing short horror game. The story follows Alex, a teenage boy who has just moved house with his family. Settle into your new apartment by visiting the neighbours and hanging out with your sister. The neighbours are weird but when are they not? You settle in for the night, but something wakes you. It’s your mother. She is at your bedroom window, frantically checking it is locked. But she says nothing to you. She just simply stares out into the darkness.

Something has happened. The news will not stop talking about it. Your mother does not want to talk about it. It’s getting harder to stay calm now. Your mother’s gone. Your sister’s scared. There’s screaming outside. Lock the doors. Turn off the lights. Stay inside. Hide under your covers and hope it’ll all be over soon.

MOTHERED

mothered
Image via ENIGMA STUDIO
ERROR::: CODE_RED

ENIGMA STUDIO’s MOTHERED is a bizarre, uncanny valley horror game where you play as LIANA, a young girl who has undergone major surgery and is returning home to her mother. This installment’s concept is reminiscent of Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s Goodnight Mommy. Once you return home and find your mother something is wrong with her. She appears similar to that of a robot or a mannequin. Her movements still, her face unmoving and her skin like porcelain. What happened to mother?

Explore your surroundings in this eerie first-person horror and try to make sense of the world before you. Find out what happened to your mother. Find out what happened in your surgery.

NIGHTSLINK

nightslink
Image via Noiseminded
Eyes fixed onto phone screens

Noiseminded’s NIGHTSLINK is a short horror game about delivering cassette tapes to your eager customers. The world of NIGHTSLINK is post-apocalyptic. The streets emptied; you sit in a windowless room with a single door, there is a cassette recorder on the table in front of you. Record. Deliver the tapes to the people living in the apartments. Repeat.

NIGHTSLINK, similarly to Paratopic, indulges in this idea of humanity being addicted to media. In both installments, the NPCs we deliver tapes to are addicted to our products, itching to have the next dose. But what is on these tapes? Enjoy this short, atmospheric horror game completed by the graininess, sharp edges of the PS1 style.

Letters to a Friend

letters-to-a-friend
Image via Christoph Frey
What I saw I cannot explain

Christoph Frey’s Letters to a Friend is a 1910’s silent short horror game. The game starts with a letter written by a friend, it tells of a past encounter that the writer had experienced. Letters to a Friend is the recounter of this experience. You are at St. Marten waiting for a train. In the silence of the night, in complete isolation, you notice a pitch-black figure walk past. The art style of this game is similar to that of a graphite drawing, its high contrast, hard-to-see imagery accompanied by the silence of the game makes for an anxiety-inducing horror experience. You can barely make out your surroundings and as the letter reads on, describing the scenes you are about to experience, you cannot help but want the letter to end.

The letter will tell you where to go and what will happen, so it is a very straightforward game. Explore the station, follow the letter and wait for your train. What’s the worst that can happen?

Related: 7 Best Horror Games on Itch.io

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