Top 10 Scariest Soundtracks in Gaming
VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Script written by Alex Slade
Play with the lights on...and maybe with the sound off? Welcome to http://WatchMojo.com and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Scariest Video Game Soundtracks.
Special thanks to our user “mac121mr0” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest
Top 10 Scariest Video Games Soundtracks
When you hear these tracks, hiding in a locker somewhere isn’t such a bad idea. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Scariest Video Games Soundtracks.
For this list, we’re looking at the in-game music that creates a sense of dread and despair, or rattles you to the core, adding to the immersion of these great horror titles.
#10: “Fatal Frame” (2002)
Very minimalist in design, the slow build of the soundtrack works in its favor, as the constant ambience lingers at the back of our minds, leaving players in an uneasy state of dread. With the Camera Obscura as the only weapon, ghosts can linger around without players knowing until they look through the lens. The music can also reflect the anguish the ghosts faced at the time of their death, and their anger towards living. The game and music draw inspiration from popular Japanese horror and spirit films. The chilling music—combined with the frightening gameplay—has cemented the franchise as one of the iconic survival horror series, alongside Resident Evil and Silent Hill.
#9: “Outlast” (2013)
A creepy setting such as a derelict insane asylum deserves an equally creepy soundtrack. Rather unsettling, it really replicates the feeling of not knowing who to trust. The game is full of freaky inmates: some are docile, while others are hostile. Though, when you hear one of the tracks playing, it’s best not to take any chances, and run the other way. A lot of the tracks also have a revolting feeling to them, as if you’ve just seen something disgusting—which you most likely will have—while others create an intense panic, are fast-paced and violin oriented as you run for your life from a psychopath.
#8: “BioShock” (2007)
The gameplay and music, coupled with the 60s era conjure up one frighteningly beautiful and cinematic game. The environment and story are more twisted than horrific, and the music serves that scene beautifully. Employing rhythms and instruments from the time, and combining it with ominous tones, the soundtrack definitely sends chills down our spines and creates a constant sense of unease and paranoia. Though you’re constantly on edge, some of the tracks utilize a slow pace and are even quite beautiful… that is until it changes and a splicer tries to kill you.
#7: “Amnesia: The Dark Descent” (2010)
Moody, dark and mysterious ambience at its perfection, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is the perfect ‘crap your pants’ material. The soundtrack alone gets you picturing things that aren’t really there, flooding every inch of your body with fear and paranoia, as the constant drone of the tracks pierce your mind. The game was right to measure the protagonist’s sanity. It plays us as much as we play it. The tone of the music fits the castle so well, and the monsters are as horrible as we imagine. Scary monsters and music that oozes foreboding go hand in hand.
#6: “Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem” (2002)
We touched on measuring sanity in the previous entry, but this particular entry takes the cake on that account. The soundtrack messes with your mind psychologically, as does the game itself. The music has traces of vaguely identifiable sounds you can’t quite make out, as well as creepy whispering. Every track has a different feel to it, based on the location from the game you’re in, which proves to be one atmospheric and immersive experience. Not only creepy but also well composed, some tracks have a flare for the theatrics, but not in a cheesy way, which only adds to the excitement—and horror—of the game.
#5: “Clock Tower” (1995)
Another entry on the list with a varied soundtrack regarding rhythm and instruments, it still doesn’t change the fact that every song is equally unsettling. When the iconic scissorman theme plays, you know you aren’t safe, and have to hightail it out of there. The adrenaline rush of being defenseless and chased by a man with giant scissors is supported by the fast-pace of the song. While some tracks evoke fear, others evoke a sense of mystery… And no one can argue that the ghosts of deceased children singing to you isn’t creepy.
#4: “American Mcgee’s Alice” (2000)
A game that takes a beloved and innocent fairytale and spins it with a psychological horror twist deserves a twisted soundtrack, and it succeeds on that account. The soundtrack takes innocent and childlike sounds and twists them into something dark, manic, and sinister – much like the rest of the game. Although the tracks are scary, they also have a sadness to them. After enduring a traumatic incident, Alice loses her grip on reality, and Wonderland is a reflection of the turmoil going on in Alice’s head, and the music captures that despair perfectly.
#3: “Dark Souls III” (2016)
Dark Souls III is a game filled with themes of misery, despair, and hopelessness. The soundtrack portrays that in a way that frightens us, as the very thought of those issues can leave us terrified. Each track melds epicness, terror, and sadness, which toys with the player’s emotions. They don’t quite know how to feel, but know only to survive. Certain tracks, like Dancer of the Boreal Valley, really gets our hands sweating. The way the boss moves, and her footsteps adding a layer of ominous sounds to the already terrifying track gets our hearts racing.
#2: “Resident Evil” [Remake] (2002)
The zombie genre has become oversaturated, and as a result, has lost a lot of the fear factor it once induced on audiences and players worldwide. Although if you were to come back to this game, it’d still put you on edge and have you trembling, and it owes that a lot to the menacing soundtrack. Right from the get-go, it induces dread and hopelessness, and lets players know that they’re trapped. The music relies on creating a slow building panic, rather than high pitched and loud noises to make you jump. This has you being scared throughout the whole game, and makes you want to leave a room as fast you’ve entered it.
#1: “Silent Hill 2” (2001)
This soundtrack is eerie and mysterious while remaining ominously spooky, which differs from Akira Yamaoka’s work in later games like Silent Hill: Homecoming, which focused more on dark and disturbing sounds. The soundtrack to Silent Hill 2 is a perfect example of how music can take you to places in your head, and that reflects heavily on the story of the game, as everything in Silent Hill has to do with the James’ mind. Most tracks have a sense of discovering something awful, which blends terror and sadness beautifully. After playing through and listening to the music, in your restless dreams, you’ll hear the Silent Hill 2 Soundtrack.