This is obviously going to be pretty subjective, as what scares one person may not even faze another. However, I think most of us probably have games (or more likely, levels within games) that we try to get through as quickly as possible, because we can’t stand the constant tension of playing them for long. Here are mine… tell me yours.
(Full disclosure: I never had a console as a child, so have probably missed a couple of obvious ones… for example, I hear good things about Silent Hill 2, but have never played it.)
1) Half-Life 2 – Ravenholme
The thing I hate about this level is that you can hear the various beasties moving around before you encounter them, so each shock of being suddenly attacked by a headcrab is preceded by several seconds of anticipation, just to really get the adrenaline up.
2) Vampire, the Masquerade: Bloodlines – Ocean View Hotel
This one is notable because it’s one of the easiest levels in the game… it’s incredibly hard to die on this level and yet it’s still terrifying.
3) Resident Evil 4 – The bit with the suspended cages
It’s been a long time since I last played this game, but I recall a bit with several suspended cages that would drop after a time limit. The frantic scamble to get from one cage to the next, plus the fact that a giant bug-monster-thing would drop down randomly to assault you, made this section five minutes of blind panic.
4) Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth – Escaping the Hotel
This portion of the game was particularly terrifying because it required such perfect timing to get through each door and lock it behind you before your pursuers caught you. It felt like they were always right on your tail because they really were that close.
5) Slender – The entire game
If you’ve played it, you’ll understand.