15 Best Horror Video Games Of The 2000s

The brightest jewels from the greatest era in gaming.

Horror will always remain fascinating, in the sense that the formula is so deceptively straightforward: just scare people senseless - how hard could that possibly be? Turn the lights down, toss in some zombies/demons/ghosts/pig-men (you really don't want to know where your food comes from sometimes) and voila! You've got yourself a bonafide Horror Classic. Except it isn't that easy, is it? You can't strip the genre down to the bare essentials and throw them into a cauldron for the perfect brew. No, it's the marriage between atmosphere and pace that really gives horror its legs. At the end of the day, monsters and madman are mere props that when used improperly, can sabotage the entire experience and reduce a menagerie of terror into a glorified house of horrors. Some games manage to strike that delicate balance, while others cross-pollinate to spectacular results; some are scarier than others, some are bloodier and some are just more fun. There's no genre with broader variations than horror, and there's no better showcase than the last decade.

15. Doom 3

Doom 3's flashlight-or-gun mechanics were silly beyond reason, but the tradeoff had the intended effect of making you plan your every move, as the clarity provided by a source of illumination was weighed against the likelihood of being caught off guard without a means of defence. Yes, you could try bashing heads in with a flashlight, but sooner or later your luck would run out, at which point you'd probably regret not dying in a more heroic fashion. On a purely logical level, the flashlight/gun swap didn't work at all (as if that needed to be said) but without it Doom 3 falls apart as a horror experience as the game leans far too heavily on jump scares to truly be effective. Still, there's plenty to love about Doom 3; the atmosphere and graphics were phenomenal for the time, the enemy design was brilliant and firing a BFG at a horde of demons was never anything short of a spectacle.

Carlos Jimenez hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.