We’ve decided that it’s the perfect time to compile a list of the best PS2 horror games, but we also decided we wanted to go a bit retro with it. The nights are getting darker, the air is getting colder. The urge to watch ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas’ and ‘Hocus Pocus’ is getting stronger.
This can only mean one thing … It’s spooky season! What better way to celebrate this Halloween season than to play a horror game?
There are some great games on the PS2 but in my opinion, some of the best games ever made on the platform are in the horror genre. It’s one that conjures up images of classics such as Resident Evil and controversial games like Manhunt.
Some of the games on the list you may not have heard of, and some are certified classics. So, if you need inspiration for a game to play this Halloween or whenever you’re feeling like you need a fright this list will come in handy.
Kick back grab your drinks and snacks and read on below to see our thoughts on the best PS2 horror games that you should be playing this sinister season and beyond. And, once you’ve done with these, be sure to check out the best horror games on the PS1.
Best PS2 Horror Games
First up on our list is one that’s up there as one of my personal favourite games of all time. It’s on this list for good reason. The Suffering captures the disturbing and terrifying nature of the horror genre perfectly. If you don’t have it, you should certainly consider buying it.
The Suffering has you play as Torque, a prisoner in a maximum security prison. If that wasn’t bad enough the prison has become overrun by supernatural monsters that Torque must fight his way through to escape. Whilst you’re fighting these monsters you have an insanity meter that fills up and when it’s full Torque can transform into a big creature that lets you easily tear through enemies.
I won’t spoil more of the plot but the entire backstory is really interesting and it’s a fairly unique take on a horror game in terms of the story.
This game definitely earns its spot on this list, it keeps the player on the edge of their seat with brilliantly designed monsters and world design. You also have the ability to play in third person or first person depending on preference. The game has three different endings depending on the player’s actions throughout the game, so you can try to get them all.
Silent Hill 2
Next up, a certified classic. What franchise comes to mind when you think of horror games? Probably either Resident Evil or Silent Hill right? So obviously I had to include Silent Hill 2 on this list. The original Silent hill made our list of the best horror games on the PS1.
Silent Hill 2 puts you in the shoes of James Sunderland as he travels to the town of Silent Hill following a message from his wife who died three years prior. The plot revolves around you looking for your wife, while doing so you run into other people who you interact with and learn their stories. Eventually you will run into the recognizable monster Pyramid Head bringing a new layer of horror to the game as you deal with this immortal being.
This game fits perfectly on this list because instead of just being a regular horror game it also adds a layer of psychological horror as well. It’s a bit of a shame the games were so good to be honest as it only makes the films look even more terrible. Although, saying that I did enjoy the second one.
Resident Evil 4
So if Silent Hill got its place on here then obviously Resident Evil deserves to be here too. So what better entry in the franchise than Resident Evil 4. I’ve thrown this term around a few times in the article but Resident Evil 4 deserves it, it’s a classic PS2 horror game, it’s certainly up there as one of the best.
You take control of Leon S. Kennedy as he is sent on a mission to retrieve the U.S president’s daughter Ashley. She was kidnapped by a cult and taken to an unnamed town in Spain, giving us our setting for the game. The enemies in this game are villagers but they’re being controlled by a parasite that infiltrates their minds, adding a layer of guilt for having to kill these innocent people who have no control.
Everyone I’ve ever talked to about it loved it, and we all seem to have the most prominent memory, the chainsaw villager. That particular part of the game is one of the most horrifying gaming experiences, especially if you’re playing it when you’re younger than the age limit on the game!
This is a great game to revisit this Halloween season.
Rockstar games are best known for Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption but back in 2003 they released a stealth/horror game called Manhunt. This is a brutal blood sport game and one shrouded in controversy.
Manhunt centers around James Earl Cash, a death row inmate who was supposed to be given the lethal injection, however he was just sedated. When he wakes up he is contacted by an earpiece from someone who refers to themselves as The Director. After this Cash is told that he must kill people sent to kill him and if he does he’ll earn his freedom. The game follows this quest for freedom.
Manhunt is very controversial, in fact upon it’s release there were calls for it to be banned after two young teenagers were involved in an incident involving a hammer! The games extremely brutal gameplay was blamed but Rockstar defended themselves by re-iterating that the game should only be played by adults due to it’s mature rating.
It’s brutality and overall scary environment merge well to form an utterly one of a kind game in the genre. It deserves it’s place on this list.
Who doesn’t love a survival horror game and what makes one even better? That’s right, a dog! Here is where Haunting Ground stands up.
Haunting Ground follows Fiona Belli and her doggy companion Hewie. The pair must attempt to escape the castle that Fiona found herself in after waking up from a car crash. Fiona possesses an alchemic element called Azoth, which is why she was taken. You control Fiona as she travels through the castle, occasionally giving commands to Hewie to make him search for items, sniff out suspicious areas, or even attack enemies.
The puzzle adventure style horror isn’t anything new but that, combined with the overall look and feel of the game makes it’s a must play. It’s a great horror game and following the story of Fiona is captivating, earning it its place on this list. The dog makes it that much better too!
It’s also really quite expensive, it didn’t sell very many units upon it’s launch so they’re quite scarce these days. I wouldn’t say it’s a rare game but certainly one that’s become quite sought after. You can snap up a copy from either Amazon or your local entertainment exchange store.
Echo Night: Beyond
FromSoftware clearly knows what they’re doing when it comes to horror games, if you didn’t know they created the Dark Souls series. So it just makes sense that they have other great horror games under their belt.
Echo Night: Beyond sends players to the moon as Richard Osmond (no not the British author and comedian). Richard and his new wife Claudia are off on their honeymoon (quite literally) to a resort on the moon when their shuttle crashes because of supernatural forces, leaving almost no survivors.
The rest of the game has you searching for Claudia whilst trying to free the souls of the dead passengers of the shuttle. The game is first person and doesn’t give you any means to fight the ghosts so you can only run from them before your heart rate gets too fast and you die from a heart attack.
There’s a lot to love about this game and its story but not being able to fight back against enemies is what really cements its place on this list, that helplessness really does add several points to the horror scare scale.
Siren is a survival horror stealth game that has players dropped into the town of Hanuda that is being punished by their God Datatsushi for not completing a human sacrifice to appease them.
The game has you playing as 10 different survivors in 10 different locations who each have an objective to complete. The events you play through aren’t in chronological order but mostly deal with each survivor trying to escape Hanuda. A lot of the enemies are really tough so stealth is highly encouraged whilst exploring the levels.
Most horror games on the Playstation 2 can be completed within a day or two. Siren however, cannot be tackled so easily. Which is a relief for gamers who fork out their hard earned cash for only a couple hours of gameplay. And, PS2 games didn’t have any additional content in the form of DLC’s to fall back on.
Siren offers originality and a fantastic storyline which although doesn’t quite reach up to the lofty heights set by Silent Hill it’s really compelling nonetheless. I really like the subtle use of stealth in this game. The stealth mechanics remind me of the way in which it works in Manhunt, listed above.
This game is a great example of horror in gaming and has some genuinely terrifying moments where I had to step away from the game for a few hours to bring myself back to reality. Siren definitely deserves a spot on this list.
Clock Tower 3
Having played the first clock tower but not the second (you can skip it to be honest) I didn’t make that same mistake, I made sure I played the third installment because it’s brilliant. Now, it’s called Clock Tower 3 but it’s actually the fourth game in the series.
This 3rd installment was first released in 2002 to a mixed reception. Overall, the game was strongly praised, with many critics focusing on the spooky, dark cinematic style. They also had good things to say about the script and story line. But, the actual gameplay could have been a lot better.
The story of Clock Tower 3 is set in London, it follows Alyssa Hamilton who has been living at a boarding school for the last three years. Her mum sent her there after her grandfather disappeared.
The game begins with Alyssa receiving a letter from her mother telling her to go into hiding until after her fifteenth birthday. And that’s all of the plot I’ll give away. Hopefully that plot snippet has peaked your interest because it is really worth playing and it’s well worth it’s place on this list.
The Thing is one of The Best PS2 Horror Games
The Thing is 19 years old (as of Sept 2021) and it’s just as good today as it was back then. It’s strange to think at just how much improvement there was from PS1 to the PS2. It’s literally like night and day. The Thing utilised pretty much all of the PS2’s gaming performance.
It wasn’t the prettiest looking game but what it lacked in graphics, it made up for in overall gameplay experience. It was a sheer joy to play. It was quite scary too!
The plot goes something like this, whilst investigating a remote outpost, your team discover a small spacecraft made by the Blair-Thing and a tape recorder with a message from R.J. MacReady, describing how nobody trusts anybody anymore. They then find information detailing how the base has been infiltrated by an aliens that are capable of changing their appearance to match the physical appearance of any living organism it comes across.
The game was a success in terms of unit sales, it sold over one million units worldwide across all gaming systems and got given a great critical reception. A second game in the form of a direct sequel was planned and it was rumoured to be in early stages of it’s development cycle. It was a big shame that it was cancelled due to the parent company going bust in 2003.
Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly
Fatal Frame II is set in Japan, in the fictional yet life-life Minakami region. I love a game based in Japan and I particularly like JRPG’s!
The game feels bigger than the original in a metaphoric sense and in terms of how much gameplay is available to you. It’s also far scarier than the original. Crimson Butterfly does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s really only bettered by Silent hill in terms of pure survival horror game. It’s one of the best.
The game starts with twin sisters Mio and Mayu out and about enjoying the natural scenery in their village. One of the sisters is still reminiscing about the time she received a life changing injury when the sisters were much younger. The injury occurred after a devastating accident that left her leg permanently scarred and slightly limp. As the pair remember back to that day, Mayu becomes fascinated with a crimson butterfly
Following this butterfly they come across a strange looking tablet with a carving of double figures, the scenery suddenly shifts to a nighttime landscape with Mio and Mayu standing alone in the peaks of the Forest Mountains. Overlooking an abandoned village with nowhere else to go, the pair must descend into the creepy township to figure out what has happened to them.
In a few words, it’s scary as hell! Make sure you check it out if you’re not familiar with the series.
Rule Of Rose
You won’t find this game for less than £250 these days, which pains me because I wish I’d have kept my copy now. It’s a super rare PS2 game and it’s up there as one of the most expensive games. The visuals, the music and the storyline are all incredible. It’s honestly one of the best games I’ve ever played and not just in the horror genre, it’s one of the best PS2 games, period. I can’t think of a game to directly compare it to but take my word for it, it’s fantastic.
The gameplay does leave a little bit to be desired though. It’s obtuse in the way the beginning of the game plays out and it can be frustrating at times, which brings on what’s often described as rage quitting. There’s rage quitting and there’s Rule of Rose rage quitting. There were multiple times I had to put the controller down to take a long break because of how annoying the battle sequences can be.
If you can find it in a thrift store or on Ebay or can afford the extortionate asking price I definitely recommend it.
More Gaming Content
So that was our list of the best PS2 horror games just in time for halloween. Let us know if we missed your favourite and be sure to check out our gaming page for more lists like this.
The Amazon links in this article are affiliate links. This means that if you go onto buy something from Amazon after clicking on them we may get a small commission. It won’t cost you anything extra but it helps us pay towards the running costs of the blog. It allows us to bring you great content! Thank you so much for your support.
CodeWithMike is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.co.uk.
CodeWithMike is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com