10 Video Game Levels That Gave You Anxiety

Get Sonic's drowning music *out of our heads*.

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2K Games

Anxiety can manifest in many ways, from the fear brought on by enclosed spaces, to the uncomfortable feeling of large, open crowds. Far be it from us to clinically tell you what's inducing or not, but in gaming terms, there's have been plenty of levels that hit the spot.

Being forced to hide in small spaces and hold your breath or have your throat torn out will do it. Or being chased by a relentless machine that can and will instantly kill you. Put simply: video games feature no shortage of anxiety-producing situations.

But it's not exclusive to something else causing that anxiety. It can be something the protagonist has to do to themselves, by themselves, that makes gamers sweat. Perhaps it's pushing a character, who many have come to revere over the years, through the absolute worst situation a body can endure that will cause a massive feeling of discomfort.

Whatever the context or game, here are just ten examples of anxiety-inducing moments that will have gamers on the edge of their seats, hiding behind the sofa or running for the hills. Don't say you weren't warned, and apologies if you'd put these to the back of your mind.

10. Metal Gear Solid 4 - Microwave Corridor

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Konami's Metal Gear Solid 4 is one of wonderment, insane action and even wackier plot threads. It can twist and turn one minute, confuse the next, before wowing players with some insane robot-on-robot carnage the next. Seriously, that Rex vs. Ray showdown at Shadow Moses is a corker to behold.

Anxious moments aren't few and far between in this series, but still, when it comes to guiding the frankly battered Old Solid Snake through a microwave-emitting corridor in the game's final act, we weren't ready.

Yet unlike the torture sequences, this moment drags on for what feels like forever.

At first, it just seems like an arduous slog. Snake is old and dying, because nanomachines and whatnot, but he's still on his feet. Interspersed are scenes of his teammates battling, which alone makes it an anxious feat.

But the further he gets, the more the emitters take their toll on Snake. Soon he's resigned to literally crawling like a snake, as players frantically hammer the triangle button in a digital attempt to spur him on.

It's tense, it's stressful, and it feels like it's going on forever.


Player of games, watcher of films. Has a bad habit of buying remastered titles. Reviews games and delivers sub-par content in his spare time. Found at @GregatonBomb on Twitter/Instagram.