Shack Chat: What is your favorite monster in a video game?

As we wind down to the spookiest day of the year on Halloween, the Shack Staff opines on their favorite video game monsters.


We’re almost to October 31… Halloween. It’s almost time to don our spookiest or silliest outfits and go out for some candy and fun, or stay in and take in some scary movies, TV or games. Either way, we still have a few days until the big day. With that in mind, we have a particularly thrilling Shack Chat for you. This week, the Shack Staff answered the question of which is the scariest monster in video games. There are ghosts, beasts, and mutations a-plenty as we look at the wide variety of things that brought us nightmares well after we hit the power button on our favorite games. Check out our full array of answers below and share your own!

Question: What is your favorite monster in a video game?

The Xenomorph (Alien: Isolation) - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Monster Hunter

This is kind of a cheat because the Xenomorph is more recognized as a movie monster. However, I couldn't help but ultimately land on it because Creative Assembly did such an amazing job of nailing exactly why audiences and the original Alien movie's characters should be so afraid of this thing. It's a tracker that hunts its prey down with nothing more than sound. If it hears you walking just a little too loud, it'll crash through a wall, fall through the ceiling, or jump up from the floor and scare the pants off of you.

There hadn't been a game like Alien: Isolation in that entire series before and there hasn't been another like it since. You won't see a scarier Xenomorph in any other video game.

The Tonberry (Final Fantasy series) - TJ Denzer, has a Safety Bit equipped

The Tonberry is about to hurt you real bad.
Source: Square Enix

 Look at that thing. It's so cute and unassuming. It's not even attacking. Just getting closer little by little. Haha, boy it sure does have a lot of life, though. No biggie. Seems like an easy victory... Or so you thought. Stab. Your party member went from 100 percent healthy to dead. That creature has a little knife! It wanders over to your other party members. You frantically make the decision to kill it or run. How much life can it have left?! A lot it seems. Stab. That's another party member down. It doesn't matter if you escape or succeed at this point. Now you know: never trifle with a Tonberry.

These unassuming little hooded creatures are the stuff of nightmares. They have been insta-killing Final Fantasy party members throughout the decades since their first appearance in Final Fantasy 5, and they are always the same. They have huge health pools and generally only one signature attack... stabbing you to death once close enough. That slow walk they do towards your party makes them all the more unnerving. In a darkened hall or haunted house, Tonberries would fit right at home with their slow deadly approach.

You may have leveled up and figured out the strats to defeat a Tonberry or two at some stage of your gaming career, but likely nothing prepared you for that first encounter or the dread of facing one, let alone a group of three, thereafter.

The Flood (Halo Series) - Sam Chandler, Now enjoys The Library

One of the enemy types that has resonated with me since I first encountered it was The Flood from Halo: Combat Evolved. This creepy, parasitic species is the ultimate monster. It feels no pain. It has no morals or ethics. All it does is consume all life in the universe. It even manages to elevate the tired zombie to new heights. It’s not just a virus that infects you, but a disgusting jellyfish-like creature that winds its tendrils into your spine. It’s pure body horror. Even the lore and backstory of the Flood is also harrowing. Plus, you cannot beat mowing through Flood in Halo: CE with a shotgun.

Bloater (The Last of Us) - Bill Lavoy, Bloaters Must Die

My favorite monster from a video game is likely the Bloater from The Last of Us. Well, there were a few Bloaters. The one in Bill’s Town wasn’t too bad, but the one in the basement of the hotel in Pittsburgh was terrifying. That thing could come from multiple directions, as could other enemies. You were trying to fire up a generator, kill screaming infected, and not get your face pulled apart by this giant blob of monster. You were tossing every Molotov at this thing, setting traps, and even when you fired up the generator you had to bolt to use a keycard and get into an elevator.

Honestly, I’m being very dramatic, as this isn’t close to the scariest thing you can see in a video game. Not even in the top 500. But, I don’t play scary games on account of hating jump scares, so overcoming this back in the day was a big deal to me.

Alma (F.E.A.R. Series) - Morgan Shaver, Still waiting for a F.E.A.R. remake

Alma from the F.E.A.R. series
Source: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Is Alma a traditional “monster” sort of monster? No. Is she the series’ main antagonist and an incredibly powerful, vengeful spirit with supernatural powers capable of terrifying levels of violence? Yes. So it counts… maybe. Either way, I’ve always loved the F.E.A.R. games and how its main “monster” is presented to you as a spooky little girl.

It’s unsettling, especially in the first game as you encounter the skeletons and messy leftovers of other soldiers and civlilians’ previous run-ins with Alma. Body parts, blood splatter everywhere, terrified screams in the background, and all of it caused by what appears to be a “harmless” little girl.

If you get creeped out by Sadako in Ringu (The Ring), you’ll likely feel the same way towards Alma in the F.E.A.R. games. Alma has a similar tragic backstory to Sadako as well, and the more you learn about what happened to Alma, the more you end up understanding her anger and desire to rip everything and everyone apart. Empathizing with her plight doesn’t make her any less scary, though.

Zombies (The House of the Dead series) - Steve Tyminski, Stevetendo Hos- BOO! Did I scare you?

The zombies coming at the player in The House of the Dead.
Source: Sega

Halloween is almost here, and it gets you thinking about monsters and video games. What is my favorite monster in a video game? I feel like the term “monster” is a loose term when identifying something. I don't play horror games too often but there are monsters that left an impression on me. I have to give a shout out here to Pokémon, or pocket monsters (see what I did there?). I also have to mention my favorite Mario enemy, the Chain Chomp, also a monster.

The House of the Dead zombies always stuck with me in terms of video game monsters. I think it’s because the House of the Dead series is an early video game memory I have. Going on vacation and playing the game in the arcade with my dad and brother was always fun. Trying to dodge the zombies and not get killed; having bragging rights over who lasted longer as well as trying to dodge a knife getting thrown. For this question, I have to give it the House of the Dead zombies with Pokémon and Chain Chomp getting honorable mentions.

And there you have it. Those are our favorite video game monsters, but what are yours? Let us know in the Shacknews Chatty section below, and have a happy Halloween!

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

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