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Horror purists may scoff at the use of jump scares in video games, but there’s no denying that a well-crafted injection of sudden terror is amazingly effective at ruining a perfectly good pair of pants. While some titles play the long game with their horror elements, other experiences plunge you directly into a moment that’s designed to stress you out. We’ve rounded up some of the best jump scares in video games below.
What’s cool about some of these frights is that they popped up in a wide range of games, including titles that aren’t truly horror games. Jump scares when you really don’t expect it? Those can be even more jarring. By no means is our list of 15 jump scares exhaustive, and some of these may not have even scared you. That’s another cool thing about jump scares; they tend to work differently on each person, especially in an interactive medium like video games.
For more horror game suggestions, check out our list of the best horror games on Xbox Game Pass and best indie horror titles of 2022 that you may have missed. There are also a ton of great deals on horror games right now.