During the early 2000s, the horror genre was one of the most talked about genres in the industry. It was in that era that gamers witnessed some of the best horror games to land on the original Xbox. Thanks to a varied selection of titles to go through, the console prospered. However, tragically, it lacked any horror-exclusive titles to confront the PS2’s scary library of horrors.
Nevertheless, the console has without a doubt many excellent horror games you should look at. Granted, these titles will easily awaken the terrified kid in you. Full of frights and spooks, flesh-eating creatures and claustrophobic journeys, the Original Xbox has what will quench the thirst of every horror fan.
It is never too late to sink your entire time into the console with its vast library of games. Thanks to emulation, players can now play all of their favourite games on PC.
Table of Contents
- 1 Disney's The Haunted Mansion
- 2 The Suffering / The Suffering: Ties That Bind
- 3 Manhunt
- 4 Fatal Frame / Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly
- 5 Doom 3
- 6 Silent Hill 2 / Silent Hill 4: The Room
- 7 The Thing
- 8 Call of Cthulhu®: Dark Corners of the Earth
- 9 Obscure
- 10 Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick / Evil Dead: Regeneration
Disney’s The Haunted Mansion is an enjoyable horror game that probably flew under your radar. And you’re not to blame as the game’s look may be deceiving. In this licensed Disney title, Players take on the role of Ezekiel Holloway and his quest to become a successful author. His passion leads him to stumble upon a newspaper about a job as a caretaker at a mansion. Unaware of what life has in store for him, Zeke takes the job and that’s where all the events begin.
The Haunted Mansion’s gameplay is pretty reminiscent of Nintendo’s Luigi’s Mansion as both share pretty much a similar concept. Luigi uses his vacuum to suck up spirits roaming the area, while Zeke holds a magical lantern capable of vanquishing evil spirits. The lantern can be upgraded using mystical gems players find upon rescuing certain imprisoned souls.
Despite Luigi’s Mansion being a better specimen of the genre, The Haunted Mansion is still a fun-to-play game. It isn’t mind-blowing for sure, nor anything revolutionary, but not bad at all. It just goes on to show that Disney-licensed titles carry the essence to develop quite enjoyable games.
The Suffering duology is an unsettling journey into the depths of prison. Through the blend of different factors from the genre, Surreal Software’s masterpiece proves to be a peerless title in the genre. The first game in the series puts you in the shoes of Torque, a convict responsible for the murder of his family. Not long after he was sent to prison, things quickly turn to chaos when creatures appear without warning.
The sequel is a follow-up, putting you once again in the boots of convict Torque and his struggle to escape his nightmares. Both of these games emphasise psychological horror over action. To deliver an unsettling experience, the developers have also implemented a morality system. The former acts as an arbiter for your actions, hence deciding the ending you get.
Manhunt was Rockstar Games’ spin on the stealth genre, opting for a daring take that sparked controversy upon its release. Almost two decades after its launch, Manhunt remains a graphically intensive game to go through, all thanks to the well-done depiction of crime and murder.
Players take on the role of the prisoner James Earl Cash who is forced to be part of a series of snuff films. To earn his stolen freedom back, he has to brutally massacre criminal gang members sent after him. Little did they know that they were facing the real horror themselves.
The former is a blend of stealth and psychological horror. Players have to sneak into the shadows and assassinate their target in brutal ways. Soft-hearted players shouldn’t go near this game as the depiction of crime in Manhunt isn’t a joke.
Fatal Frame is a different take on the horror genre all thanks to its setting and the unique storyline. The game did away with the reliance on melee weapons to confront enemies, and instead introduced a unique system featuring a mystical camera. Titled the Obscura Camera, the former is your only friend in this hour of fear. It acts as a weapon to purge ghosts and an eye for you to see invisible enemies.
The second game is nothing short but a blast. The sequel improved upon its predecessor’s flaws to deliver what many deem the best instalment in the franchise. Although it may have dated controls, the scare level is off the chart. Those seeking a scary night should sink their time into the Fatal Frame series.
Doom 3 was ahead of its time when it came out on the Xbox. It shocked pretty much everyone at the time. Similar to yet another FPS on the Xbox, Escape from Butcher Bay, Doom 3 is a technical marvel. Although disliked by fans who grew up with the classic Doom, the third instalment is a clever take on the survival horror genre.
Dropping the fast-paced gameplay, Doom 3 is a survival horror with an emphasis on forcing players to be on their guard. Ammunition is a scarce commodity, and enemies will show no mercy the moment they make contact with you. Add to that the incredible atmosphere and the diverse line of weapons players stumble across, and you got yourself a bone-chilling experience.
Silent Hill 2 has been a strong reigner in the genre, and even after all these years, it reigns supreme. This genre-defining psychological horror title changed the way gamers would tackle horror. The premise was no longer about littering the game with zombies to scare the player or relying on jump-scares. The goal was beyond that, dwelling inside the psychological factors that scare humanity; fear of the unknown.
Silent Hill 2 sees players controlling James Sunderland. After he was sent a letter by his supposedly-dead wife to come to visit him in Silent Hill, James takes it upon his shoulder to look for her. Little did he know that the town would test his mettle in the face of what his eyes are about to explore.
Silent Hill 4 is also nothing short but amazing. Featuring a simple yet unsettling setting inside an apartment, players journey with Henry Townshend to perilous places located deep in every neighbour’s room. What begins as a simple psychological horror quickly turns ninety degrees into an unforgettable psychological horror. Looking back, Team Silent should definitely make a comeback one day because the genre is in dire need of a new Silent Hill.
The Thing is a perfect example of how a movie-licensed game should be. Similar to X-Files: Resist or Serve, The Thing is faithful to the source material, perfectly emulating what the movie was aiming for. The game’s primary focus is teamwork along with the importance of managing your resources.
In order to survive the dilemma, players have to cooperate with the team and build up trust. However, since trust is a sensitive matter, you can never know which one of your crew members is the threat. Things get intense when you as the player have to make a series of decisions which would either earn your comrades’ trust or create distrust.
The Thing game acts as a sequel to the original movie released in 1982. Known in Japan as The Thing from the Planet X episode II, The latter’s focus is on survival and confronting the odds of being devoured by a vehement grotesque creature.
Call of Cthulhu is a stealth survival horror based on numerous H. P. Lovecraft novellas such as The Shadow Over Innsmouth and other related Cthulhu Mythos. The game’s story puts you in the shoes of detective Jack Walters as he goes to investigate the peculiar town of Innsmouth. Not long after his arrival, he starts witnessing some unusual behaviour from the citizens, which pushes him to investigate further, leading him to discover what he shouldn’t have seen.
Aside from the annoying game-breaking bugs and glitches, Dark Corners of the Earth is a linear survival horror with core elements from the genre. The player starts as a hopeless detective without any means to defend himself. And that is where stealth becomes a priority. Enemy AI in this game is annoying to deal with, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. Fans of the genre shouldn’t miss Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. It goes without saying that the game does suffer from certain flaws, but the atmosphere and the story are enjoyable enough for a playthrough.
Obscure was originally developed by Hydravision Entertainment before they were rebranded to Mighty Rocket Studio. Since then, the company hasn’t made a new survival horror game, and that is a shame. The world is in dire need of yet another great co-op survival horror game.
The game’s plot is about a group of teenagers who get trapped at their high school in the middle of the night. Amidst their attempt to find a way out, they slowly discover that their high school is littered with humans turned into monsters. To determine the cause, they end up cooperating.
Despite the awkward dialogue at times, Obscure’s gameplay mechanics were a new breath of fresh air back then. Cooperation is key in Obscure, and perhaps the best thing about all this is the ability to control both characters. Not only that but also, you can exchange items, and manage resources together at any time.
Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick is a groovy instalment in the Evil Dead game franchise. Compared to its predecessor, Hail to the King, the former is a step above in every possible way. Set three years after the events of the original game, Ash Williams returns to tell us the story of his struggles with the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis.
In this hack and slash horror game, Players take control of Ash Williams as he slices and dices his way through a myriad of freaking monsters. Equipped with a chainsaw in his right hand, and a shotgun in his left hand, Ash is ready to blast some balls.
The gameplay may get repetitive at times, but Evil Dead fans will surely be pleased with A Fistful of Boomstick. There’s another instalment on the Original Xbox titled Evil Dead: Regeneration. That too is a great one and an improvement over its predecessor.
Thank you for reading.