We aren't entirely sure what it is about Five Nights at Freddy's that makes it so darn creepy, but the fact is, the series itself has dished up more nightmares than we'd probably like to admit. And while its gameplay isn't even remotely challenging, its jump scares are nearly always on point, which is precisely why we endure the emotional torture that it carves up to begin with.
Five Nights at Freddy's certainly looks cute, but in reality it is anything but, and it actually borders the point of being inhumanely. And yet, we've found ourselves slugging through those graveyard shifts down at Fazbear's pizzeria more times than we'd like to count. Between shifts, however, we have often taken comfort in alternate realities, where Freddy hasn't been the judge, jury, and executioner of our dreams. Realities, such as these five.
5. Poppy Playtime
We just want to echo the fact that, contrary to popular belief, Poppy Playtime isn't a children's TV show. And yet, in spite of our best efforts to tell others of its true nature, the sinister protagonist has been able to slip through the net time and time again, which has made her something of a martyr in the survival horror realm.
Poppy Playtime follows a former employee of an old toy factory. Now abandoned, the ex-colleague sets out to revisit the premises and search for clues regarding his team's disappearance that took place a decade prior. Upon arrival, they discover that the remaining toys have yet to be sent out to pasture, and that they've suddenly grown a life of their own from the ashes of negligence.
4. Emily Wants to Play
Emily Wants to Play is a survival horror game that sees you playing the role of a pizza delivery person. However, unlike any standard shift that would typically have you going door to door, this bite-sized frightfest has you pinned in one property, a place in which its only occupant pulls the strings and holds the keys to your freedom.
As you settle in for the night, you'll have to figure out how to progress through each hour as Emily plays tricks on your mind. By coming to understand her ways and the behaviour she employs, you may just stand a chance at seeing the other side of the door, though you should definitely anticipate a series of jump scares before getting so much as a peek.
Like Five Nights at Freddy's 4, Boogeyman only gives you one tool for defense: a flashlight, which is powered by a limited amount of battery. Using it, however, is essential if you plan on waging war with the notorious Boogeyman, an evil entity that would do anything to reach the other side of your penetrable bedroom walls.
The idea behind Boogeyman is pretty straightforward, as it is in Five Nights at Freddy's. By tuning in with your environment and using sound as a first line of defense, you must hold back the opposing demon that looks to gain entry to your home. With nothing but a flashlight and a fine ear for danger, you must learn to adapt to the darkness as you trudge through the night and hold out for dawn's break.
2. The Park
As much as we cherish the insane amount of jump scares that Five Nights at Freddy's employs, we do often find ourselves longing for a simpler experience, if only to break up the heart attacks ever so slightly. Fortunately for us, we have the likes of The Park to keep us ticking over, and it serves as a gentle reminder that not all survival horror games have to be terrifying in order to build ambience.
The Park certainly isn't the longest game in the world, as you can pretty much scratch it off in two hours or less. But the story it tells is both chilling and inviting, and it will keep you coming back for more as you locate new stones to unearth. At its core, it's a narrative-driven experience about a mother's search for her lost son, but its exterior layer definitely has its fair share of unnerving components.
1. Slender: The Arrival
Slender: The Eight Pages was once considered to be the kingpin of survival horror. In spite of its simplistic design and controls, the jump scares were revolutionary, and they paved the way for copious amounts of other terrifying video games, all of which happily paid their respects to the addictive yet horrifying Eight Pages experience.
Slender: The Arrival was Parsec Productions' fully realized world coming to life on modern systems. After waves of praise from horror fans all over the globe, the studio finally decided to cash in on the idea and build a fleshed out horror extravaganza. And, to be fair, it did not disappoint. It was something else—something otherworldly. Yet, it was further proof that Slender was the most nightmarish character in the gaming world during its time.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.