Silent Hill 3 (PS2)
In conjunction with "2", "Silent Hill 3" shows another side to how horror can be presented. Where the previous game was dull (in a good, color way and not in the way of sucking) and dark in regards to its presentation, this later installment is loud and harsh with heavy color contrasting.
The central idea of the story is revenge, focusing on a young woman named Heather who takes a trip to the mall, meets a few creepers, and leaves through hell. Along the way, she encounters various beings that seem to be rather suggestive in their shapes and a few other colorful characters, including one of my favorites: Father Vincent, a "hypocrite in nice clothes".
Through the journey, you learn many things that build upon the story presented in the very first game, and, at the end of it all, is probably, in my opinion, one of the coolest boss fights I've ever played. The music, the simplicity of it and yet its strange way of making itself challenging....
The personalities you encounter in the story and the overall execution of every decision, the visual aspects and just incredible atmosphere presented in this piece, this is a classic horror you should not pass up.
Penumbra: Black Plague (PC)
"Penumbra: Black Plauge" is a step up from "Overture". In this, the enemies are more relentless and you are left with no weapons. It's even darker than before and the feeling of claustrophobia is oppressive on the player while continually descending farther and farther into a maze of incomprehensible terror.
This time, you meet a few more characters than you did in "Overture", but not very many. It's best to think of the game as a "puzzle platformer" in a non-traditional sense, though there is a section that is basically platforming.
The game will test your ability to think on your feet, with environmental puzzles that fill you with so much tension you will probably loose a few inches 'round from squeezing yourself in so hard.
Reaching up to the end is a feat and incredibly rewarding with its wonderfully written and very symmetrical closing. I'm a sucker for story-symmetry.
Clive Barker's Undying (PC)
Despite some mechanics issues and irratating enemies, "Clive Barker's Undying" explores through some very disturbing locations with a family of the creepy undead following hot on your trail.
The story can get very confusing, the accents are messy even to untrained ears, and often times the progression seems to loose itself, but it still held my attention with the unique visuals and the bizarre siblings the main protagonist follows.
If any game were to be remade, I wish it would be this one. There is so much potential buried within the clunky execution and all the elements are there. Plus, with all the updates engines and graphics have undergone, it could be one beautifully grotesque game.
Deadly Premonition (XBox 360/PS3)
"Deadly Premonition" is one that confused me when I first came across it. Its tone is a mix of comedy and frights. Upon going through it a few more times, it really began to grow on me. It's feel is very reminiscent of the famous Silent Hill series, where the player is transported to some sort of warped version of the currently explored area with dark and bizarre people-monsters.
Where most of the games I've mentioned are very short on its repetoire of characters, "Deadly Premonition" shows no shortage. Everyone in the smallish town of Greenvale is a suspect, even cute Deputy Sheriff Emily whom Agent York, our hero, becomes enamored with.
You can explore all through the town, finding small sidequests or discovering bits of information on the town's inhabitants or its history. The world runs much like that of the real world, with the passage of time and certain things happening depending on the time of the day with specific objectives needing to be completed within that window of time. "Deadly Premonition" easily stretches out into a 20 hour game.
Fatal Frame/Project Zero (PS2/XBox)
"Fatal Frame", or "Project Zero", is a unique game where you are rewarded for being terrified out of your wits. The objective is quite simple: go to scary house for a few nights, fight evil ghosts with weird camera, and save brother. Oh... and try not to die.
Play as Miku, traversing through a creepy old mansion, as she looks for her missing brother Mafuyu. This is a prime example of the effectiveness of Japanese horror. It's artful while remaining gross and disgusting, with the most ecclectic range of distressed spirits Ghost Hunters can't even come across.
There isn't much more to say about this game, really. It's very simple and straightforward. I recommend just finding a copy of the game or watching a Let's Play of it.
Resident Evil 2 (PS1)
"Resident Evil 2" is a vast improvement on the original game. Despite the fact the first game was a classic in terms of its quirkiness and it's overall fun playability, the follow-up featured intriguing characters and two missions to choose from that intersect and can in fact affect each other in regards to certain circumstances.
As Claire Redfield, sister to S.T.A.R.S. member Chris from the first installment, you search for your missing brother while attempting to escape the city with young Sherry Birkin, daughter of the man responsible for the creation of the virus that has infected Raccoon City.
As Leon S. Kennedy, you are a rookie cop, first day on the job, when suddenly, before you even get to the job, things go, quite literally, "to hell".
This is the game that brought "Resident Evil" fans many of the most beloved characters, like Leon and the infamous Ada Wong.
Continuing the precedent of the game before, "Resident Evil 2" expands on the horror with fabulous writing and voice acting and keeps you tense and on the edge of your seat.