The 10 best action-horror games on the PS1

The 10 best action-horror games on the PS1

Unlike the main genre of survival horror, the action horror subgenre emphasizes fast-paced action gameplay over puzzles and horror elements, which are showcased in franchises such as Dead Space, Left 4 Dead, Y The last of us. With current titles like Ghostwire: Tokyo and upcoming games like The Protocol of Callisto, Children of the Forest, Y STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl, the action-horror genre remains strong.

Even before action-horror games became popular in the early 2000s, there were some great titles on older consoles like the Playstation. Within the extensive catalog of PS1, games like Omen of Blood: Legacy of Kain stood out from the rest.

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Fear Effect (2000)


The Fear Effect title screen

Though inspired by survival horror games like demonic resident Y dinosaur Crisis, the 2000 cult classic fear effect it’s more of an action-adventure title with a survival horror aesthetic that includes third-person perspective, fixed camera angles, and zombie-like enemies. The game primarily follows one of the best female leads in horror games, LGBTQ+ mercenary Hana Tsu-Vachel, and two of her mercenary associates as they try to find Wee Ming, the daughter of the powerful Hong Kong Triad boss. , to retain it. for ransom

But as the journey continues, the trio find themselves trapped in a supernatural mystery containing undead villagers, demons, and paper dolls brought to life. Due to the game’s revolutionary cel-shaded art style and unique FMV backgrounds, it gained a small following and has had several sequels.


Samurai Soul (1999)


Kotaro and Lin talking to each other during the beginning of the game Soul of the Samurai

Another action-adventure game with survival horror elements is the 1999 game. samurai soul, developed by Konami. known as Ronin Blade set in Europe, the game follows a ninja named Lin. She is looking for her older brother Shin and a lordless samurai named Kotaro who is investigating a strange event on the way to her childhood friend’s dojo. Similar to the first two demonic resident games, some of the scariest games of the 90s, players choose to play the Lin or Kotaro campaign.

During their overlapping travels, the two discover that people are becoming infected with soul bugs, which grant individuals supernatural abilities while also turning them into monsters. To experience the entire story and achieve the true final boss and ending, both character campaigns must be completed on the same save file.


Akuji the Heartless (1998)


A screenshot of Akuji from the game Akuji the Heartless

akuji the heartless was developed by Crystal Dynamics, who are best known for Gex — the iconic 90s video game franchise that needs a rebootand the Kai’s Legacy Serie. akuji is a 1998 action-adventure platform game and Crystal Dynamics’ first title after they were acquired by Eidos Interactive. After having his heart ripped out on his wedding day, the main character is trapped in the underworld due to a voodoo curse.

When the spirit of his girlfriend, Kesho, reveals to Akuji that her brother, Orad, orchestrated the assassination and is now planning to start a war, Akuji makes a deal with the loa Baron Samedi to be brought back to life. If Akuji gathers all the souls of his ancestors, the Baron will show him the way out. But things are not exactly what they seem.


Terracon (2000)


Xed in the opening cinematic of the Terracon game

Released only in Europe and South Africa, Terracon is a 2000 sci-fi action-adventure game that is possibly one of the best looking titles ever released on the PS1. Due to overpopulation, the Plutonians, a race of gray aliens on Pluto, create a large biocomputer called “Terracon” that can terraform barren planets in the solar system into hospitable climates. But, when Terracon begins to develop his own consciousness, the Plutonians decide to shut him down.

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When Terracon’s creator Doc tells them they must shut them down, Terracon kills Doc and destroys Pluto. The protagonist, Xed, hid from the Terracon and witnessed the horrific destruction of his species. To stop the supercomputer, Xed must travel to each of the planets in the solar system, gather launch code cartridges, and fire missiles at the Terracon.


Nightmare Creatures (1997)


Nadia gameplay in Nightmare Creatures game

Considered a spiritual predecessor of blood borne, nightmare creatures is a 1997 gothic horror action game set in 1834 London. When scientist Adam Crowley collaborates with a devil-worshipping cult called the Brotherhood of Hecate, he uses a special elixir to turn people into nightmarish creatures. The game features two playable protagonists: a young woman named Nadia Franciscus and a priest named Ignatius Blackward.

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After Ignatius receives a book detailing the Brotherhood’s past, he enlists the help of Dr. Jean Franciscus and his daughter Nadia, but the doctor is killed and the book is stolen. During the funeral, the two characters receive a strange message that leads them on a quest to find Crowley and save London. While the game has a sequel, the third installment was sadly cancelled.

Tecmo’s Hoax: Invitation to the Dark (1996)


I started talking to the player in the game Tecmo's Deception: Invitation to Darkness

One of the most unique franchises on the PS1 is the Cheated series, which began with the 1996 Doctor Faust-esque real-time RPG Tecmo’s Hoax: Invitation to the Dark. As the eldest prince of Zemekia, the player has been wrongfully accused of the king’s murder. As he is sentenced to death, the prince wishes he could get revenge, and lightning strikes him and sends him to the Castle of the Damned.

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After meeting the demon Astarte and becoming the new master of the castle, the player is tasked with luring and killing people by building the castle layout and setting various traps. Depending on the player’s actions, they will receive one of six endings. The success of this title spawned multiple sequels, including the game which introduced many important mechanics: Kagero: Deception II.

Medi-Evil (1998)


Sir Daniel stands tall, blissfully unaware of the dangers that surround him on the cover of MediEvil.

Released in 1998, MediEvil is a humorous hack and slash action adventure that spawned two sequels. According to legend, the protagonist, Sir Daniel Fortesque, sacrificed his life to defeat the evil wizard Zarok and save the kingdom of Gallowmere. Actually, he died at the beginning of the war and the king invented the legend.

When Zarok returns and summons his undead army, he accidentally resurrects Dan, who is now a skeleton. To redeem himself and finally enter the Hall of Heroes in the afterlife, Dan goes on a quest to truly defeat Zarok and save the kingdom.

Alien Resurrection (2000)


A screenshot from the game Alien Resurrection

While the 1996 PS1 first-person shooter alien trilogy it’s a pretty good experience that’s perfect for fans of the franchise, it really didn’t do anything different compared to other shooters of the time. Meanwhile, the FPS title alien resurrection it had its problems, but it also had revolutionary gameplay. Despite being based on the 1997 film of the same name, alien resurrection was not released until 2000 due to various development issues, according to eurogamer.

With all the struggles, it’s already a miracle that alien resurrection I was even released at all, but his survivability is not the most famous aspect of the game. Instead, alien resurrection he is known for being one of the first shooters to use both analog sticks on the controller.

Omen of Blood: Kain’s Legacy (1996)


The first Legacy of Kain game as it appeared on PS1

Directed in large part by famed video game creator Amy Hennig, who also created the Unexplored series, the dark fantasy action-adventure franchise Kai’s Legacy is a beloved and critically acclaimed series. Although the franchise increased in popularity after the second installment Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaverthe series actually started with the 1996 top-down 2D action-adventure Omen of blood: Legacy of Kain.


After nobleman Kain is denied a place to stay at the inn and is killed by an army of assassins, he is resurrected as a vampire for revenge. As he searches for a cure for vampirism and kills a group of evil wizards, he slowly transforms into a monster who just wants more blood.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)


Castlevania Symphony of the Night

One of the most iconic and revolutionary titles of the Castlevania franchise is the 1997 action RPG Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which is one of the pioneers and namesakes of the Metroidvania genre. It happened four years later Castlevania: Rondo of Bloodthe game follows Dracula’s dhampir son, Alucard, who is a character who returns from Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse.

After Richter Belmont’s disappearance, Dracula’s castle has resurfaced and Alucard must enter the castle, find Richter, and kill Dracula once more. Depending on how much the player explores, he will get one of several endings.

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