Licensed games were getting a lot of reviews for their shoddy production value and rushed development cycles, but that doesn’t mean they were. all wrong. Sometimes passionate developers and the clever use of beloved IP addresses can be enough to overcome limited budgets and impossible deadlines, resulting in many hidden gems, even in the less popular versions in the industry. Game.
That’s why we’ve decided to compile this list by ranking 10 of the best licensed horror games, because there’s a lot of fun to be had with some of these interactive adaptations of our favorite horror franchises. They might not all be masterpieces, but I think they are all worth revisiting for one reason or another, despite their licensed origins.
Naturally, we’ll be skipping the licensed character DLC for games like Mortal combat and Death by the light of day, and we will also limit our selection to one game per horror franchise. Either way, don’t forget to share your own favorites with us in the comments below.
Now on the list!
10. Raging Jaws
No matter how much I love the game, Appaloosa Interactive’s Jaws unleashed is by no means a 10/10. The visuals are confusing and the controls can be confusing, but where do you go find another game where you can casually chew up beach goers on your way to battle a giant Kraken?
As RGT had a steroid-infused baby with Ecco the dolphin, Jaws unleashed may have more in common with the film’s increasingly ridiculous sequels, but there’s a lot of fun lurking in the mysterious waters surrounding Amity Island. There’s nothing quite like sneaking up on unsuspecting swimmers for a midnight snack, especially when that iconic John Williams score kicks in.
9. Parasite Eve
While there was a Parasite watch film in 1997, SquareSoft’s 1998 game is actually a sequel to Hideaki Sena’s original novel, once again pitting humanity against an ancient, mitochondria-based entity as monsters rampage across New York City.
Blend of survival horror thrills with turn-based RPG elements, Parasite watch is a unique take on biological weapons and mutations, and one of the most notable titles of the PS1 era. While there has been a sequel and a possible spin-off on PSP, this is a series that I would love to see return in the near future!
8. Evil Regeneration
There have been several evil Dead games over the years, from a traditional survival horror title on the original Playstation to the next Left for dead-inspired Evil Dead: The Game, but so far I have to say that the years 2005 Regeneration of Undead is my favorite of the bunch.
With once again the ever-lovable Bruce Campbell as our favorite badass to kill the Deadites (and Ted Raimi as his little half-Deadite companion Sam), the Cranky Pants Games version of the evil Dead franchise is a surprisingly fun hack ‘n’ slash with a wicked sense of humor.
Due to the standalone nature of the franchise’s pitfalls and locations, I never would have expected an interactive adaptation of Seen work as well as movies. Of course, I was denied by the underrated Zombie Studios Seen. Working as a companion piece to the then-current mythology of the original films, this 2009 title puts players in the shoes of the series’ favorite detective David Tapp as he walks through a mortal insane asylum.
The controls can be clunky and the graphics aren’t that impressive, but there’s a lot of love for the source material here (James Wan and Leigh Whannell were both brought in to help with the story and the pitfalls), and there is nothing quite like the looming threat of gruesome death to make you want to solve puzzles as quickly as possible. If you can handle the proper gore, I would recommend this one to any fan of the movies or Survival Horror in general.
6. Blair Witch
Having already conceived the mind-blowing Layers of fear series, it’s no surprise that Bloober Team is the one to take on this adaptation of one of the most iconic horror films. It’s not the first game to recreate the Black Hills Forest, but it’s certainly the most faithful to the look and feel of movies, with a working in-game camcorder and a rich history.
Witch Blair has its issues, both in storytelling and gameplay, but once you hit the final hours of the game and step into a familiar cabin, you’ll understand why Bloober was the perfect studio to bring the world of The Blair Witch Project live.
5. The Walking Dead by Telltale
Telltale Games is no more than a sad memory, but they have left an admirable legacy of adventure titles that have helped reinvigorate the genre. My favorite of them (and perhaps the most infamous) is their unique take on Robert Kirkman The walking dead. Adapting the world and atmosphere of the comic book rather than a particular story, Telltale’s first season of The walking dead remains one of the best examples of emotionally driven interactive storytelling, and I feel like every player should try it at least once.
This iteration of The walking dead may be slower than some gamers are used to, but the excellent storytelling proves that it is possible to create a truly thrilling game without resorting to over-the-top action or silly gimmicks.
4. The thing
A criminally underrated gem, this 2002 classic somehow manages to play all the best elements of the classic Carpenter movie while also serving as an action-packed sequel (with a surprise cameo towards the end of the experience).
Never knowing if your companions are friends or foes and constantly having to manage resources with unique team skills, this paranoid adventure is one of the best horror titles of the sixth generation of consoles and a letter from the crowd. love to one of the best horror movies of all time.
3. King Kong by Peter Jackson: the official game of the movie
that of Peter Jackson King Kong maybe a monster movie, but despite the director’s pedigree, it’s definitely not a horror movie. The video game tied to the film, however, is as far removed from a summer blockbuster as it gets. Putting players in the vulnerable skin of an unfortunate screenwriter trapped on a pristine island where nearly all life forms are there for you, the game excels at making players aware that they are not welcome on Skull Island.
There are a few fun segments where you play as Kong himself, but the general lack of a HUD, limited ammo, and terrifying monster designs make for a truly horrific experience, especially when you’re being chased by impossible dinosaurs. kill. Even if you’re not a fan of the movie, I highly recommend you check this one out if you’re up for a terrifying first-person adventure in dinosaur infested jungles.
2. Friday the 13th
Crowdfunded in 2016, Illfonic’s Friday 13 is a passion project made by fans for Fans. While the end product is just as crazy as the low budget scary movies it tries to emulate, I know I really enjoyed my time with this interactive love letter to Jason Voorhees.
When it works, the game manages to successfully condense the best parts of a Slasher movie into a single online match, making it a rewarding and addicting experience. While it’s a shame the infamous lawsuit kept us from seeing any exciting new updates / DLCs, there’s still a lot to enjoy in this rare instance of an online title that has left us wanting more.
1. Extraterrestrial isolation
I don’t think any other licensed horror title has ever captured the spirit of its source material like Creative Assembly. Alien isolation. Borrowing the original film’s premise of a “haunted house in space” and turning it into an interactive merry-go-round, Insulation remains a shining example of what passionate developers can do when given the time and resources.
I’ll never forget how I wandered the eerie corridors of Sevastopol, dreading my next encounter with the titular Xenomorph and becoming more and more paranoid each time I saw a leak trickle down from the ceiling. Whether you’re a fan of the franchise or not, I think every horror fan should experience this nonstop adventure at least once.