Super Nintendo Horror Games - The Complete List of the Best and Scariest SNES Horror Games!

Are you looking for some spooky action or chilling horror adventure for your SNES? While horror games wouldn't hit their stride until the 32-bit era when Resident Evil popularized the genre, the Super Nintendo has a handful of horror-themed titles in its library that can scratch that itch. Here's a complete list of the best Super Nintendo horror games!

Clock Tower

Clock Tower SNES Scissorman bathroom encounter screenshot

Clock Tower is not only the best true horror game on the Super Nintendo, it's one of the best horror games of all time. This iconic point-and-click horror adventure game was the first entry in what went on to become a classic franchise with sequels on the PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2. Taking inspiration from Italian horror movie maestro Dario Argento, specifically the film Phenomena AKA Creepers (seriously, this is almost a straight-up adaptation of Phenomena in 16-bit video game form, right down to the main character clearly being modeled after Jennifer Connelly), this creepy title has you trying to escape a mansion while being hunted by the game's terrifying signature villain Scissorman. Along the way you'll uncover some horrifying scenes and hopefully rescue a few of your friends in the process. A true classic, Clock Tower is highly recommended and is a must-play for every fan of horror games.

Unfortunately Clock Tower was only released in Japan for the Super Famicom back in the day, but it has received a great fan translation and English-language reproduction cartridges for the SNES are plentiful on eBay.

Shop for Clock Tower on eBay!


Doom SNES Bull Demon encounter screenshot

Doom, along with Clock Tower, is one of the few Super Nintendo games that are legitimately scary. This port of the classic, groundbreaking PC first-person shooter brought some truly terrifying horror to the SNES. Doom on the Super Nintendo excels at creating an unnerving atmosphere in large part due to its 3D graphics and first person perspective - You're not just walking from left to right, you're actually exploring an abandoned space station full of monsters that could be lurking around every corner, with the only other signs of humanity being the mutilated corpses of your fallen comrades. The game makes effective use of a dark color pallete with dimly-lit environments, and the music and sound effects work together to heighten the tension. The game definitely has a few shortcomings, with a pretty low framerate and resolution, but if you can deal with its limitations, Doom for the Super Nintendo is absolutely worth playing. 


Nosferatu SNES zombie fight screenshot

Nosferatu is a cinematic action-platformer in the same vein as games like Prince of Persia and Out of this World, but with a gothic horror setting. While the platforming is handled similarly to Prince of Persia, the game also has a strong focus on combat, having you get into bare-handed brawls with the likes of zombies, demons, and werewolves. Nosferatu has a pretty impressive presentation for an SNES game, with some cool cutscenes featuring really nice animations, and a dark and foreboding soundtrack. While the puzzle-platforming gameplay might not be for everyone, if you're looking for a solid horror-themed game for the Super Nintendo, Nosferatu is an interesting adventure that's worth a look.

Super Castlevania IV

Super Castlevania IV SNES screenshot

One of the most iconic franchises in gaming history, Castlevania came to the SNES in 1991 in the form of Super Castlevania IV. This Super Nintendo exclusive sequel combines hardcore 2D action-platforming and a classic gothic horror atmosphere. The horror here is found in its enemy and stage design - you'll fight skeletons, vampires and other monsters on your way to Dracula's castle, passing through cemeteries and clock towers. Feautring an improved control scheme headlined by the new 8-way whip control, Super Castlevania IV further refined the series and is easily among the best games on the Super Nintendo.

Castlevania Dracula X

Castlevania Dracula X SNES boss encounter screenshot

Released in 1995, Konami brought Castlevania back to the SNES with Dracula X. This game feels like more of a true sequel to Castlevania III on the NES. Dracula X brings back the insane difficulty and gameplay of the NES classics and updates it with some gorgeous 16-bit pixel art. If you're into Castlevania or just classic gaming in general, you owe it to yourself to check out this underappreciated classic.

Musya: The Classic Japanese Tale of Horror

Musya The Classic Japanese Tale of Horror SNES fighting monsters screenshot

Musya is an interesting and very obscure game for the Super Nintendo - it's very unique as the horror elements here are all based on Japanese horror folklore. The game plays a lot like the earlier Castlevania games, and that's not a bad thing. It's not quite as good as those titles, with the control feeling just a bit too slow and stiff, but it's still plenty fun once you get used to it. While Musya isn't without its flaws, it's an extremely strange and unusual horror-themed title on the Super Nintendo, and frankly it's surprising that this very Japanese game was even actually released in North America back in the day. Check it out!

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts

Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts SNES first stage zombies screenshot

The Super Nintendo got its very own entry in Capcom's classic Ghosts 'n Goblins series with Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts. This action-platformer sees you make your way through graveyards and ghost ships full of zombies, werewolves, and other monsters on your quest to save your princess. This is definitely a much more deliberate gaming experience than something like Castlevania - it's basically a puzzle platformer where you always have to carefully plan your next move. With some really great and creative level design, fantastic graphics, incredible orchestral soundtrack, and old-school hardcore difficulty, Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts is an absolute classic for the SNES.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Zombies Ate My Neighbors SNES Chopping Mall screenshot

Zombies Ate My Neighbors offers a comedic take on the horror genre, clearly drawing inspiration from sci-fi B-movies and classic horror films. Armed with household weapons like squirt guns and weed whackers, you'll attempt to save your braindead neighbors from zombies, chainsaw-wielding maniacs, and more as one of two teenagers. It's campy, it's chaotic, and it's a blast to play co-operatively with a friend.

Ghoul Patrol

Ghoul Patrol SNES boss fight screenshot

Ghoul Patrol is the sequel to Zombies Ate My Neighbors. It's pretty much more of the same, so if you're a fan of the first game, Ghoul Patrol offers even more zombie-blasting and neighbor-rescuing action.

Demon's Crest

Demon's Crest SNES first level screenshot

A spin-off game in Capcom's Ghosts 'n Goblins series, Demon's Crest has you playing as villain Firebrand. With a gothic horror theme similar to Castlevania, great graphics, and huge bosses, this action-platformer is a solid entry to the limited selection of horror-themed games on the SNES. The game also features some Metroid-style level progression, allowing you to backtrack and explore previously inaccessible areas as you gain new abilities. A bit of a hidden gem, Demon's Crest is a great and fairly unique game for the Super Nintendo.

Super Metroid

Super Metroid SNES opening sequence screenshot

While Super Metroid isn't what most would consider a horror game, it certainly has its share of unsettling scenes. This classic platforming adventure game has you exploring abandoned space stations and caves on an otherworldly planet full of hostile aliens as you search for power-ups to aid you in your quest to defeat Mother Brain and return home. The game makes it onto this list thanks to some tense scenes like the opening, where you return to the space colony you just dropped off the last Metroid larva to be studied, only to find all of the scientists aboard dead and the Metroid missing. Featuring a fantastic soundtrack and great visuals, Super Metroid is one of the best games of all time and easily one of the best on the Super Nintendo.

Laplace No Ma (Laplace's Demon)

Laplace No Ma Laplace's Demon SNES zombie battle screenshot

One of the more unique games on this list, Laplace No Ma is a horror-themed RPG where you are tasked with solving a murder mystery inside of a mansion. Combining a traditional J-RPG style battle system with some classic survival horror elements, this game is quite the interesting mash-up and has a lot of cool mechanics. While the turn-based battles may not be anything to write home about, the game is worth playing thanks to its very intriguing story. If you're looking for an oddball horror game on the SNES, defintiely check out Laplace No Ma. It was unfortunately never officially released outside of Japan, but it's yet another game on this list that has been translated by fans and has seen English language cartridges released on the internet.

Shin Megami Tensei, Shin Megami Tensei 2, Shin Megami Tensei If...

Shin Megami Tensei SNES battle screenshot

Adding to the list of horror games that were only officially released in Japan for the Super Famicom, the Shin Megami Tensei series for the Super Famicom is an interesting and unique first-person horror RPG from Atlus. Combining strong horror elements with classic dungeon-crawling RPG gameplay. The games were impressively non-linear for their time and feature a more mature story atmosphere than most 16-bit games. I'm lumping them all together here because they all play more or less the same, but they're all worth checking out if your looking for some interesting horror games for the SNES. Shin Megami Tensei, Shin Megami Tensei 2, and Shin Megami Tensei If have all been translated to English by fans so they're fully playable and English SNES reproduction copies are available to purchase on eBay.

Shop for Shin Megami Tensei on eBay!

Related posts:

Horror Games on the Nintendo GameCube

Horror Games on the Nintendo Wii

Horror Games on the Nintendo Wii U

Horror Games on the Sega Genesis

Horror Games on the Sega Saturn

Horror Games on the Sega Dreamcast

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