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Ranked: All of the Supermassive Horror Games—So Far

Until Dawn launched a legacy—but how does it measure up with what followed?

supermassive horror games ranked
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  • Photo Credit: Supermassive Games

Supermassive Games is the developer behind the horror hit Until Dawn and the gripping Dark Pictures Anthology series. They were revolutionary in ushering in the new era of horror video gameplay, offering layered, ever-changing choice-based stories that embraced the butterfly effect. By using motion capture and big-name celebrities in their games, they made the experience feel as though players were at the helm of their favorite horror movies. With life and death in their hands, every flick of a button had high stakes.

The next horror game from the developer, The Quarry, is set for release on June 10th. Outside of the Dark Pictures Anthology, this one appears to be more in line with the length and style of Until Dawn. The trailer alone makes it look incredible—it's certainly got me quaking in anticipation. And if that weren't enough, the next Dark Pictures Anthology installment, The Devil in Me is also set to release later this year.

Of course, not all of these horror games were smash hits. Some fell flat in story while others were so annoying to play it made me want to chuck my controller across the room. But while we wait for what is sure to be an exciting addition to the Supermassive catalog, let's look back on the games we have so far. Here are all of the Supermassive horror games, ranked. 

4. Man of Medan

Following the success of Until Dawn, Supermassive Games teamed up with Bandai Namco Entertainment to launch a new horror anthology series of video games. Man of Medan was the first of this ongoing collection, released in 2019. The game follows a group of four college students and their hired boat captain who set out into the South Pacific Ocean for an unsanctioned diving trip. As they search for the wreckage of a plane from World War II, they run into a group of hostile pirates. Held hostage by the criminals, the group is forced aboard a ghost ship in search of something called the "Manchurian Gold," but what they find there is a series of horrifying phantasms and senseless death.

The game has an interesting setup of personal drama to wreak havoc amidst the horror aspect, and Shawn Ashmore is a great lead as the cocky Conrad. However, much of the actual gameplay is highly frustrating. For a first-time player, you're almost guaranteed to lose, as any attempt to follow real-life instincts results in a ham-fisted in-game punishment. And if you lose Conrad early on—something that is far too easy to do—you lose the most interesting part of the story. In my opinion, the twist is lackluster, and my copy was so riddled with glitches I was just going through the motions by the time I got to the end.

3. House of Ashes

Released in 2021, House of Ashes was the third installment in the Dark Pictures Anthology. Ashley Tisdale is the leading actress in this game, playing CIA field officer Rachel King. The game takes place during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. After a clash during a US military raid, four US soldiers and one Iraqi with the Republican Guard fall into an underground temple. With personal, political, and racial tensions abound, they must find a way to escape the ancient structure. But as vicious vampiric entities emerge from the depths, that's easier said than done.

I loved this game as much as I hated it. The visuals were incredible—there's a segment involving a lake of blood that had me so scared I was seconds from passing out. The unique take on vampires was really great, but their origins were deeper explored it got incredibly convoluted. The characters were incredibly hard to root for, as few of them had any redeeming qualities. The search for clues seemed pointless, as it didn't really aid in how the game would progress except to weave an unnecessary background. The biggest issue I had with the gameplay was that it wasn't always clear what choice you were making based on the dialogue options. The terror was top-notch, but the end is a bummer no matter which way you slice it.

2. Until Dawn

With the initial announcement of the Dark Pictures Anthology, I knew that the game that started it all would be hard to beat. Released in 2015, the game follows a group of friends who gather at a lodge in the remote, snowy mountains a year after the disappearance of two of their own. An ominous stranger stalks through the woods, and a psychotic killer seems to be toying with them from far too close. But the biggest danger may be the flesh-eating monsters hunting them through the trees and caverns.

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The most expansive game on this list, its characters are voiced and motion-captured by some top-notch names: Rami Malek, Hayden Panettiere, Meaghan Martin, Brett Dalton, Jordan Fisher, Nichole Bloom, and Peter Stormare. The creatures were so viscerally terrifying that I could only play the game in short bursts. I really cared about all of the core group, and every loss was devastating. The search for clues provided a slow unfolding understanding of the situation, which really help in guiding choices as the story progressed. It's the kind of game that truly feels different every time you play it. My biggest complaint is that, on the PS4, the mechanics of the shooting were really frustrating to use, and for the success of such a thing to so heavily impact parts of the story, I would have wanted a more user-friendly experience.

1. Little Hope

Does a perfect game exist? I think so. Released in 2020, Little Hope was the second installment in the Dark Pictures Anthology. In this game, four college students and their professor are stranded in a small Massachusetts town after their bus crashes. As a thick fog traps and guides them through the area, they are stalked by mangled demons and unsettling visions of what appear to be past lives from a colonial era.

Related: A Witch’s Tale: 7 Spooky Ghost Stories from Salem, Massachusetts

Will Poulter is the game's leading actor, Andrew, and his incredible performance makes his character so likable that this game is impossible to put down. The other characters are a bit of a drag at the beginning but designed in a way that it really works with the story. There are so many layers to this story that make the game feel incredibly full. The plot is rife with deep emotion, and the scares are so visceral that while I was playing I started to feel like I was actually choking on the fog. The game is user-friendly without being condescendingly easy, and the twist ending is, in my opinion, extremely satisfying. I was left with a sense of unease for days after finishing.