With the release of the DOOM reboot filling our lives with satanic rituals and demonic invasions, we here at Bit Cultures figured it was only fitting to dedicate this week’s Top 10 to games that deal with dispatching the hordes of Hell. These nightmarish videogames span multiple genres, from FPS to hack ‘n’ slash. The best aspect of games that deal with demons isn’t just the glory of ridding the world of their accursed presence, but, as Bill Murray’s character in Caddyshack puts it, “we don’t even need a reason!” Without further ado, here are out Top 10 Demon Slaying Games!
10. Dark Souls (Series)
Dark Souls essentially boils down to you murdering large monsters. Sure there’s a story and lots of lore and a rich vibrant universe, but when you get right down to it, you’re killing big creatures. And sometimes, those creatures are demons. Dark Souls has you slaying multiple demons at various points throughout the trilogy. Dark Souls’ tutorial boss is the Asylum Demon. Quickly after that, there’s the Taurus Demon and then the horrifying Capra Demon. Combined with areas such as Demon Ruins and Lost Izalith, the Dark Souls franchise has its fair share of demons for you to righteously murder.
9. Ninja Gaiden (Series)
Incredibly hard gameplay, ninjas, and demons- what could go wrong? The Ninja Gaiden series has been a long-running franchise stemming from its early arcade days, yet all the games are essentially the same story. You are a ninja and you must defeat the evil rival clan that is summoning creatures from Hell to wreak havoc on the Earth. It’s a tried and true story that works because of its excellent combat system. The difficulty and fast paced gameplay make for a tense and memorable gaming experience. Every time you slay a monstrous Fiend and make the world a safer place, you feel a righteous satisfaction.
8. Gauntlet (Series)
What’s better than battling through waves upon waves of undead demons? Why, battling them with your friends, of course! The arcade-style hack ‘n’ slash gameplay of the Gauntlet series (most notably Gauntlet: Dark Legacy) is both addicting and challenging, with plenty of levels to fight through that only get more and more difficult. Personally, me and my friends never could get very far in this game, mostly due to my 3rd-party PS2 memory card that withheld us from saving our game, but that didn’t stop us from living out our dark fantasy desires in mowing down mobs of demonic monsters.
7. Dante’s Inferno
Yes, Dante’s Inferno was a mediocre God of War knockoff and yes, it’s overall a forgettable game. But it is solely dedicated to slaying demonic creatures from the depths of Hell and those demons were designed exceptionally well. Just take a look at the picture for Fraud above. That’s fantastic boss design, and the game is full of memorable demonic horrors like that. Clearly drawing inspiration from Dante’s beautiful poem, Dante’s Inferno excelled at demon design and created some very memorable demon boss battles.
6. Silent Hill (Series)
While every game on this list uses demons in some capacity, you’d be hard pressed to find another series who uses them to the effect that the Silent Hill games do. The entire series is ripe with grotesque and haunting designs, and even though the later games lost sight of this, they used to have far more meaning to them. More than just being physical obstacles to avoid or bludgeon with a trusty pipe, the demons in the Silent Hill games transcend into the metaphorical, often symbolizing something important to the main character or someone else within that specific entry. The original Silent Hill did this with its demon children and nurses, both a manifestation of fear from the character who experienced torment from their more reality-based counterparts. Silent Hill 2 goes to the extreme with it, and while I won’t indulge too much since a paragraph wouldn’t do it justice, I’ll say Pyramid Head is the most recognizable example. His narrative significance is also why many fans, myself included, were disappointed with seeing him crop up in later installments and the movies, since he’s far more than the overused executioner type he’s become.