The art of the jump-scare is to lull players into an occasional false sense of security, only to rain down on them a moment of sheer terror to wet some pants in the process. It has happened to the best of us, waltzing around in a game collecting resources and exploring rooms when suddenly a face extends from the darkness and your controller or mouse goes flying across the room in an instance of shear, unbridled panic, or if you're playing with it right up against your face out of fear, ending up with a thumb-stick wedged up one of your nostrils and a mild concussion. Or perhaps they only seem to dominate your senses when you are cuddled up with your partner on a rainy night or when you decidedly want to show off to your friends at how good you are at a given game, only to have them screaming along with you, or just laugh up a storm right at you. Jump-scares generally lose all of their impact once you've experienced them for the first time, but some will invariably freak you out again for a second time when you dig out a game of old. Sometimes you can sense that one is about to spring upon you, but that never seems to stop the impact it delivers when you are finally greeted by such a thing. Jump-scares have generally been reserved for games associated with dark themes or relenting horror (oh boy do they work best) but they do occasionally find their way into games that aren't always about scaring the crap out of you too. So let us proceed to the list of some of the greatest and frightening jump-scares in the history of video games. Try not to cack your pants before we get to the number one spot, but please ensure you have a change of underwear at the ready; call it a challenge. Any other jump-scares that had you dangling from the light on your ceiling? Humour us in the comments section below!
16. Batman: Arkham City - Scarecrow Thug
The elusive Scarecrow was nowhere to be seen within the ravaged walls of Arkham City, but there was an inconspicuous ship moored at the old Gotham Dock's that you could climb aboard. Upon entering a locked hatch with his Cryptographic Sequencer, Batman begins to walk through a darkened corridor with only ultraviolet lighting and a motionless body slumped in a chair at the end. Getting within inches of the assumed deceased, Batman goes to zoom in with his cowl technology and is interrupted as the body suddenly springs to life in a shaken panic and finally draws its last breath - it's a pretty safe bet that even the Dark Knight himself soiled his own bat-briefs at this point.
Ardent gaming enthusiast who lusts for a taste of working in the industry. Fighting game bruiser who would play professionally if he could learn to block just that little bit more. Bartender on the side and used to be a freelance Makeup Artist. Enthralls everywhere he goes.