The Scariest Video Game Monsters

VOICE OVER: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
Welcome to MojoPlays! For this video we're looking at the most spine-chilling monsters to ever hit gaming – make sure you don't turn out the lights.
Welcome to MojoPlays! For this video we’re looking at the most spine-chilling monsters to ever hit gaming – make sure you don’t turn out the lights.

Dead Hand

“The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (1998)

Few of Link’s foes have been as grisly as Dead Hand, a corpse-looking enemy found at the bottom of the well in Kakariko Village and in the Shadow Temple. Pale grey and covered in blood, he’d be scary enough even without the added body-horror of his half-a-dozen disembodied hands attacking you from beneath the ground. The boss encounter is made worse by having to get up close and personal with Dead Hand as he towers over Link. And the fact that the only way to get him to emerge from underground is to get grabbed by one of disembodied hands, eesh, now I need a shower.

The Flood

“Halo” series (2001-)

Just in case anyone thought the Covenant were the greatest threat in the “Halo” universe, there’s also the Flood to contend with, a race of alien parasites capable of infecting any of the world’s intelligent species – enemies and friends alike. Reanimated corpses are one thing, but make them genuinely clever and formidable and they become all-the-more frightening. Not just to players but also to all the in-game characters who fear them above all else. While players can sometimes expect them in newer releases, the surprise reveal of these infected, tentacled monsters in the first game changed everything.


“Alien: Isolation” (2014)

It’s been gracing the silver screen since 1979, but the xenomorph’s most successful gaming outing came with 2014’s “Alien: Isolation.” Amanda Ripley is trapped on the derelict Sevastopol space station, stalked through its narrow hallways by this most iconic of apex predators – the so-called “perfect organism.” If its nightmarish design wasn’t enough to scare you, it also boasts an incredibly advanced enemy AI, its behavior changing as the game continues to give the illusion that it’s learning from the player. Often, you might not even know the alien is nearby until it’s too late; they even mix up the brutal death animations to keep things interesting.


“Minecraft” (2009)

It’s strange that something so frightening should come out of an open-world crafting game, and even stranger that this is because of one coding slip-up from the game’s creator. But when Notch put in the wrong measurements while trying to make a pig, he made the tall, eerie creepers, who stalk the player and blow themselves up with little-to-no warning. It’s ironic that something bright green should be so effective at stalking and ambushing the player, but they definitely manage it, detonating themselves and killing not just you, but also your in-game structures.

The Animatronics

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” series (2014-)

Real-life animatronics already have something freaky about them, but putting them into a horror game was a masterstroke. Becoming the new night security guard somewhere might not be the most original plot initially, but the game builds atmosphere unlike many others. With the player trapped in the security office, only able to defend themselves by locking the doors and watching for Freddy and his pals on the grainy, CCTV feed, waiting for these characters to do something can get intense. On top of them jumping out from behind corners or popping up in front of the cameras, there’s also the realization that the suits are inhabited by the souls of a string of murdered children – though you have to dig through a heap of complex lore and minigames to reach that epiphany.


“Half-Life” series (1998-2004)

These crawling parasites will leap to attack you if you’re not too careful, but on their own one doesn’t pose too much of a threat. It’s what they do to their victims which makes them truly grotesque, burrowing into their brains with a hidden beak and taking control of their entire nervous system, turning them into equally dangerous zombies. The fact they look like big, lumps of flesh with legs doesn’t help much, either. There’s also extra-fast headcrabs and black, poisonous ones. Of course it’s even more terrifying when you consider that the victim is still fully aware of their fate; screaming in excruciating pain unable to hear/see or move at their own free will.


“Fatal Frame” series (2002-)

Any ghost in the “Fatal Frame” games will always be pretty scary, thanks to the gameplay design forcing you to look directly at them so that you can pacify them with the Camera Obscura. But few are as terrifying as Kusabi, the tormented spirit of Seijiro Makabe sacrificed to delay the Repentance. He was brutally murdered during a cutting ritual, involving all of his bones being slowly broken by ropes, so it’s no wonder he’s so angry. One touch from this specter will kill the player stone-dead, so you’ll need to run away from him until you’re forced into an almost impossible fight, where you need to consistently get Fatal Frames to hurt him at all.

Mr. X

“Resident Evil 2” [Remake] (2019)

If you were to take The T-800 Terminator; sundried his skin and pop him in a trench coat, you’d probably get something similar to Mr.X. Just like said Terminator, trying to shoot him will merely stagger or stun him momentarily, but he will always be hunting you, stalking you, and will be drawn to your presence by the slightest noise you make. Not to mention his theme song may as well be the audio manifestation of anxiety itself, as soon as that starts playing, RUN! HIDE! Cower in fear in a corner of the police station as you prey his stomping footsteps go right past you.

Pyramid Head

“Silent Hill” series (1999-2014)

While he didn’t appear in the series until “Silent Hill 2,” and then stayed more-or-less dormant until “Silent Hill: Homecoming” years later, Pyramid Head quickly became the stuff of nightmares. This is thanks in part to the fact he literally is the stuff of nightmares, as a manifestation of James Sunderland’s guilt over murdering his wife Mary. Pyramid Head is the reason “Silent Hill 2” is just so damn disturbing, and his appearance in the 2006 film adaptation didn’t hold back, either. Designed to look like an executioner from the town’s dark past, he’s also impossible to kill until the final, notoriously difficult boss fight. Seeing him dragging his knife through the hallways leaves players with only one option: running as fast as they can.


“Dead Space” series (2008-13)

The Marker is a strange, alien device, worshipped and feared in equal parts. The Unitologists believe it will be the salvation of mankind, but actually, it drives people to madness and converts them into necromorphs en masse. But they’re more than just space zombies; while standard slashers won’t pose much of a threat to Isaac, the variations get more and more twisted as the games go on. There’s also the Pack, aggressive child-necromorphs; Crawlers, exploding, deformed babies; and Stalkers, which look more like birds than people and only show up in the games’ darkest and trickiest locations. Even veteran “Dead Space” players will still get caught out by them attacking out of nowhere.