It's very easy to look across the current video game landscape and feel a little jaded.
With every game adopting the same microtransaction riddled practices, or boasting a "live service" model that basically turns what was once enjoyment and escapism into pure busywork, there's an insinuation that things are becoming more and more homogenous to the point where our brains will likely rot through lack of exposure to anything daring or new.
However before you say goodbye to those little grey cells, why not pop in the following games because each contains more than a few moments of stimulating, shocking or downright weird scenarios that will knock your senses into overdrive and then some.
In fact, we'd wager that a couple of these might actually go so far as to break your brain entirely, leaving all other video games looking like watery gruel by comparison.
8. The Haunted Houses - Returnal
If we're being honest, the majority of Returnal's moment-to-moment gameplay could count as a point that "blew your mind" as with all of the time manipulation, obtuse and disjointed narrative, and the fact that the general sci-fi setting is just so enthrallingly surreal, you might feel your brain leak out of your ear from time to time.
And that's to say nothing of that fake-out ending. Nor the real ending. Nor the real real ending. Help! I'm falling into the void!
Yet for me, the pinnacle of parietal lobe pan frying came in the form of the numerous haunted house segments in which our protagonist Selene visits a familiar family homestead and offers up small insights of her life, as well as past traumas to the player.
Yet it's the fact that these moments are drenched in a thick layer of horror that makes them stand out so jarringly against the main gameplay, as here you're put on edge from the second you enter and come your exit, will be a bundle of nerves.
From sounds and scrapes from unseen figures to jump scare flashbacks (and even some flash-forwards) you'll question why you ever set foot in one of these horrible abodes let alone four more to uncover hidden items. Making matters worse is then trying to collect yourself once more to head back out into the punishing run and gun combat as the tonal shift is like a cinder block to the back of the head.