While many of the most recognizable fictional monsters originated in movies and novels, video games have also introduced plenty of terrifying monsters as well. Sometimes these video game monsters come in packs, swarming and overwhelming the player. And other times these monsters are individuals, stalking and tormenting players throughout the game.
Over the years, video games have featured countless monsters of various shapes and sizes. However, out of all the monsters seen in video games so far, we think these 10 are the most terrifying.
10 Clickers (The Last of Us)
In the post-apocalyptic world of The Last of Us, most of humanity has been wiped out by a fungus called Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis, which warps its host into a zombie-like creature. Inspired by a real world fungus of the same name that essentially turns ants into zombies, Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis is terrifying in and of itself, but what it warps human beings into in Naughty Dog's hit game is even freakier.
In The Last of Us, humans infected with Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis undergo a horrific transformation, eventually becoming Clickers. Clickers are recognizable by their misshapen skulls, which look like growing fungi, as well as the eerie clicking sound that earned them their namesake.
9 Dead Hand (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
Dead Hand is not only one of the scariest monsters in any Zelda game, but it is also one of the most disturbing creatures in video gaming, period. Link encounters Dead Hand in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, where it serves as the mini-boss for the Shadow Temple, which is beneath the haunted graveyard behind Kakariko Village. With unnaturally pale skin, a massive jaw, disembodied hands, and bloodstains all over its body, Dead Hand is a creature that will keep gamers up at night.
8 Gatherers (Amnesia: The Dark Descent)
The Gatherers are ugly, misshapen creatures that roam the dark halls of Brennenburg Castle. These disgusting beasts growl at protagonist Daniel as he explores the castle in Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and the mere sight of them significantly drains his sanity. What makes the Gatherers even creepier is that much of their origin is a mystery. However, those that take the time to read all the notes in Amnesia will find evidence that the creatures were previously human soldiers made into these abominations by the evil Alexander of Brennenburg.
7 Necromorphs (Dead Space)
Many video games encourage players to go for headshots to take down their foes as quickly as possible. Dead Space, on the other hand, requires players to dismember its dangerous Necromorph creatures limb by limb. Necromorphs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from tentacled, suicidal toddlers to larger beasts with scythe-like appendages. Ex-Visceral Games developer Zach Wilson claims that the Dead Space games were too scary to sell all that well, and it's safe to say that the deadly Necromorphs played a significant role in upping the franchise's scare factor.
6 Nemesis (Resident Evil 3: Nemesis)
The Resident Evil franchise has no shortage of terrible monsters that players encounter, but arguably the most terrifying monster in the whole series is Nemesis from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Nemesis is similar to the Tyrant monster encountered at the end of the first Resident Evil, except he hunts Jill Valentine throughout the entirety of Resident Evil 3, with a tendency to burst through walls when players least expect it. Making Nemesis even scarier is the fact that he carries around a rocket launcher and knows enough speech to mumble "S.T.A.R.S." under his breath, indicating a bit more intelligence than the typical Resident Evil baddie.
5 Pyramid Head (Silent Hill 2)
Few creatures in the Silent Hill franchise are so efficient at striking fear in the heart of players as Pyramid Head. Representing main character James Sunderland's guilt over his wife's death, Pyramid Head is, as his name suggests, a hulking monstrosity with a sizable pyramid on its head. Pyramid Head is easily the most popular creature from the Silent Hill franchise, appearing in multiple installments of the series in varying capacities.
4 Regenerators (Resident Evil 4)
It's true that Resident Evil 4 is more of an action game than a pure horror title, but that doesn't mean it's without any scares. Out of all the monsters Leon S. Kennedy encounters in the often re-released game, the Regenerators may very well be the most terrifying. Virtually invincible without an infrared scope, the Regenerators have a tendency to make players waste precious ammo. Later on in the game, players encounter an even creepier form of the monsters called Iron Maidens, which have extremely sharp spikes protruding from their bodies.
3 The Witch (Left 4 Dead)
Left 4 Dead players know all too well just how terrifying The Witch can be. Whenever her sobs are heard, players have to work together to discover her location and avoid startling her. Anyone unlucky enough to startle her will likely end up dead, as she chases after players with blind range and slashes at them with immense strength and speed.
2 Twin Victim (Silent Hill 4: The Room)
Siblings Billy and Miriam Locane were victims of serial killer Walter Sullivan, who slaughtered both of them with an axe. Billy was slain with a single blow, but Miriam was dismembered by Walter before he removed both of their hearts. The tormented souls of Billy and Miriam are reborn in Silent Hill 4: The Room as the monster known as Twin Victim. Second only to Pyramid Head in terms of creepy Silent Hill monstrosities, Twin Victim chases after protagonist Henry Townshend by walking on its nightmarish arms, staring at him with the expressionless faces of conjoined infants.
1 Xenomorph (Alien: Isolation)
Xenomorphs first appeared in Ridley Scott's excellent Alien film, but arguably the scariest and most intimidating take on the creature can be found in Alien: Isolation. The xenomorph in Alien: Isolation is basically invincible, with players helpless against the beast as it mercilessly hunts down hero Amanda Ripley. Combine its incredible power with its dynamic AI that allows the xenomorph to appear randomly throughout the game, and it's easy to see why the creature is considered one of the most terrifying monsters in gaming history.
All the creatures on this list are capable of terrifying gamers, but there are many other freaky monstrosities out there. Even scarier monsters are sure to be dreamed up by video game developers, and it will be interesting to see if any are terrifying enough to give the beasts listed here a run for their money.
Which video game monster do you find most terrifying? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.