There are some video game enemies that are a cakewalk, like the Draugers in Skyrim and the Moblins in Zelda. Not scary in the slightest, right?
Well, unfortunately, that’s not what we’re talking about today. Instead of being a ‘cakewalk,’ these baddies make us cry ourselves to sleep when they eventually kill us. Whether it be because of childhood trauma, simple jump scares, creepy design and behavior, or all of the above, these guys make all of our gaming experiences miserable.
But enough exposition, let’s bring back those traumatic gaming sessions with the top 10 Scariest Video Game Enemies!
#10 – SCP 173 – SCP Containment Breach
Awwww, how can this thing hurt you? It doesn’t make creepy sounds and it looks like it wants to give you a hug! There’s no way this is one of the scariest video game enemies, right? Right?
Well, SCP-173 follows one of the enemy designs that is guaranteed to cause some scares, which is the ‘don’t look away’ kind of enemies. SCP-173 won’t move unless you are not looking at him. If he gets to you, he’ll be a kind friend and snap your neck.
What makes him really terrifying is the game mechanic of blinking, which makes you…well, blink. The goal of this enemy is to keep your eyes on him, which is kind of hard when you have to shut your eyes for an entire second. This allows him to clear a good 6-7 feet, making him appear right in front of your face.
I wonder if his arms ever get tired, just holding them out like that?
#9 – Slenderman – Slender
Being the game that really pushed the indie horror game scene and inspired countless rip offs, Slender had a great premise that blended right into the legendary “creepy pasta.” But Slenderman can’t be that terrifying, right? He doesn’t have a face or necessarily make creepy noises.
Well, turns out that Slenderman has one of the most effective ways of being a terrifying adversary. Much like SCP 173, he’s one of those enemies who will remain completely still until you look away. But Slenderman has a twist. As you look at Slenderman, you start to see static, which will get more and more intense until you get gameover’d. You essentially can’t look away, because he’ll get you, and you can’t look at him, because then your character goes insane.
This creates some moments of pure terror such as looking behind you and finding him right there accompanied by the slamming of a drum.
Ah, poor Slenderman. You used to be scary, but then you became a household name.
#8 – Freddy Fazbear – Five Nights at Freddy’s
Freddy Fazbear isn’t exactly the most intimidating of video game enemies, but he’s quite effective at bringing people to brown town.
In Five Nights at Freddy’s, every animatronic has its own quirk to jump scare you, but the most jarring one belongs to the titular character himself. Basically, most of the animatronics will kill you because you failed to close the doors in time. Simple, and at least gives you rules to play by. Freddy ignores all of these rules, seemingly able to materialize out of thin air into the office. Once inside, he’ll wait. If you take too long to do anything, he kills you. Shut the doors to save yourself? He’ll kill you.
With logical thinking, if you have both doors closed, you should be safe. But because of Fazbear, you don’t even feel safe doing that. It also doesn’t help that he has a creepy laugh when moving from room to room, building this atmosphere of unease until he pops out at you.
Thanks, Freddy, for the complimentary heart attack.
#7 – The Piano – Super Mario 64
Time to dig up repressed memories. Yay.
You’re probably thinking, what’s so scary about a piano with teeth, especially in a Mario game? Imagine being a kid, playing Super Mario 64 for the first time. You play through Boo’s Manor, and you come across an innocent looking piano. Because the piano looked cool, you walk up towards it…and BAM! First jump scare ever for a kid.
This scare was cheap and unfair, seeing as it was unsuspecting, ESPECIALLY in a game meant for kids. Who would expect the piano to suddenly start trying to kill you? I mean, it’s not the creepiness or even the one of the scariest video game enemies. However, the way it affected my childhood, and the fact that nobody suspects it the first time, makes it an unforgettable and pretty terrifying enemy.
Excuse me, while I go cry in a corner.
#6 – Eddie Gluskin – Outlast: Whistleblower
There are a lot of horrifying characters in Outlast, such as Chris Walker, Dr. Trager, the Walrider, even the twins. But none of them actually tried to make you into a woman to fill their own sick, twisted fantasy.
Meet Eddie Gluskin, better known as the Groom, a minor antagonist in the Outlast DLC, Whistleblower. He was already an insane man, but was driven even more mad through the Morphogenic Engine, causing him to develop a need to ‘make a wife.’
There are many reasons why Eddie is a frightening foe to deal with, but most of it has to do with atmosphere. Writing on the walls, mutilated bodies, wedding dresses everywhere contribute to your pure fear of this man. At first, it isn’t so bad, since he walks while you can run away. But later on, you fall down an elevator shaft and injure your leg, vastly slowing your escape down. If that were enough, he eventually catches you hiding in a locker, and traps you in it. You’re then forced to watch as he mutilates other men, trying to turn them into women, worthy of being his wife.
It also doesn’t help that as the chase is going on, he keeps trying to seduce you…until you run away from him enough times. Then he starts losing his mind and spitting insults at you.
#5 – Clickers – The Last of Us
One could argue that the Bloaters are more terrifying than these things, but I would disagree.
The Clickers can’t see anything, but their hearing is unparalleled. Because of this, they use echo-location to try to find their prey, resulting in them clicking their mouths (hence, the name Clickers). The reason these things are creepy is simply because of that clicking sound. I mean, one clicker isn’t bad. But when you’re surrounded by a horde of these baddies, it’s a symphony of haunting noises.
Also, one little noise lets them know of your presence and location, and also they kill you in one hit. Accidentally walking too fast in a section filled with these things will basically result in your inevitable demise.
Ah, who could forget the feeling of walking too fast behind one of these bad boys, and right before you’re going to kill them, it turns around and bites you? My hands are still shaking from that.
#4 – Redeads – Legend of Zelda: Windwaker
Even more childhood trauma. Double yay.
I know a lot of people find the redeads in Ocarina of Time MUCH scarier then this one, and this doesn’t even look scary. But I kid you not, I almost couldn’t complete Windwaker BECAUSE of this enemy.
Redeads will stand completely still, until you come too close to them. Suddenly, they’ll jump awake and scream at you, causing Link to be petrified with fear. They’re not terribly hard to kill, and they don’t do that much damage, but every time you step too close, you have to go through this paralysis. As a kid, I was scared of this scream much more than the surprise. I remember shuddering in fear as every single Redead screamed at me. It was awful. And nothing sucked worse when you would take too long trying to hit it, because your sense of depth perception sucks and you miss an entire sword combo, and it would do it again.
All of these problems were solved when I got the mirror shield, which allowed me to kill them with light.
#3 – Pyramid Head- Silent Hill 2
How to make a first impression as one of the scariest video game enemies of all time? Open with a scene of said enemy raping mannequins. I guarantee nobody would forget that.
To some people, me being included, Pyramid Head is not all that scary. However, to a lot of people, it is basically Terror’s incarnate. Pyramid Head is a living, breathing representation of the fear of powerlessness. It comes and goes as it wishes, and it seems to know where you are at all times. I can appreciate why it’s terrifying, and why so many people are scared of it.
I’ve heard Pyramid Head compared to a ‘Jason Voorhees’ type of enemy, slow, but always going to get you. And they would be right! Pyramid Head exists only to torment James Sunderland, which it does by brutally murdering the reincarnation of his wife over, and over again.
Plus mannequin rape. Can’t forget the mannequin rape.
#2 – Nemesis – Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
You’re playing a game with stiff controls, which makes walking a challenge sometimes. All of a sudden, a gigantic, bulletproof, undead juggernaut with a rocket launcher starts sprinting at you. Tell me you wouldn’t be scared.
Nemesis is all of the above, basically being a weaponized version of the ultimate bio weapon. It is designed with one goal: Hunt down all of the S.T.A.R.S. (basically a special task force) in Racoon City. One of the main reasons why Nemesis is so intimidating is because of how stiff the controls are in the game. It’s hard to turn, making running kind of difficult. Most of the enemies in the game are slow, which is okay given that the controls are stiff. Now, imagine Nemesis running at you, not caring about anything you throw at it. Unless you’re great at moving, Nemesis will probably get you.
What makes this worse is the fact that he can appear at anytime. Nemesis is essentially hunting you, and will randomly appear in a section to try to kill you. The only warning you really get is his catchphrase of ‘STARS…’ and his special stalking music. There are only a few safe rooms, those being rooms with save points in them. Probably doesn’t help that he has the ability to sometimes kill you in one hit.
He’s not scary in the sense of haunting your nightmares, unless you have a fear of being hunted. Nemesis is scary because it essentially turns into a game of cat and mouse, except with a rocket launcher.
#1 – The Xenomorph – Alien Isolation
I knew the Xenomorph was going to be on the list, but its position kept moving. But after a while, I decided that when you really think about it, the Xenomorph is one of the scariest video game enemies to deal with.
The Xenomorph is basically a better done Nemesis that you can’t kill, and is guaranteed to one shot you. The entire game, you live in perpetual fear of making too much noise, which attracts this beast. When it hears you, it sprints at you faster than you can run, making escape impossible. It essentially the perfect type of enemy that hunts you, which are always the ones that cause the most anxiety.
But my reasoning for making this the scariest video game enemy of all time is the fact that most of its jump scares are completely natural. If I can remember right, there are only about 3 scripted jump scares with the Xenomorph, two of which happen at the end. The rest of the scares happen because of poorly timed moments when you open a door, or because you accidentally made too much noise. What this creates is the ability to have a jump scare at anytime, making it less likely that you’re able to choreograph the scares.
There were a lot more video game enemies I could have talked about, like Alma from FEAR 2 or Lisa from PT: Silent Hills. However, I haven’t played those games, so I wouldn’t know.
But I had fun making this list. If you enjoyed it as much as I did, leave a like and consider dropping a comment below telling me what your scariest video game enemies are. But until next time, this has been the Anime Analyst. Zachary, out.
SCP-Containment Breach was designed by Joonas Rikkonen.
Slender is published by Parsec Productions.
Five Nights at Freddy’s is designed by Scott Cawthon.
Super Mario 64 and the Legend of Zelda: Windwaker is published by Nintendo.
Outlast is published by Red Barrels Studio.
The Last of Us was developed by Naughty Dog.
Silent Hill 2 is published by Konami.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is published by Capcom.
Alien: Isolation is developed by Creative Assembly.
Unime owns none of these things. Developers, please don’t sue us.