In keeping with the Halloween season, and rather than just listing the top three scariest games I've played, I've decided to be a little more specific and list my favorite depictions of Hell in computer games. See if these games capture your imagination of the last place anyone wants to end up in.
This first-person shooter which harkens back to classic FPS games has a very creative version of Hell in the final level. Rather than just fire and brimstone, this plane of Hell is a war zone frozen in time. It portrays warfare from across all ages, including the spears and shields of the medieval era to the trenches of World War I. There's even a nuclear explosion in the background which you can get closer to if you can jump right. Best of all, all the monsters you fought in the previous levels end up here as ghosts (which you can destroy again, of course), and you get to fight the Lord of Hell himself.
#2: Diablo III (Hell Rifts)
Unlike the two previous Diablo games, you don't formally enter Hell. Instead, in Act IV, during Diablo's invasion of the High Heavens, you enter Hell Rifts from which demons are pouring through, in an effort to close them. But these little planes of Hell still portray the place remarkably well. The ground is a mix of obsidian and strange organic material. Stalagmites point upward and large bones litter the ground, and the sweltering heat is so intense that the air fluctuates and distorts the view like a gas oven. They may be small, but the Hell Rifts in Diablo III do everything right in portraying this terrifying realm.
#1: Doom 3
As the action starts heating up in this 2004 title (re-released in 2012 as the BFG Edition), you get little snippets of Hell that seep into the Mars station, such as weird, organic growths, skulls and other bones, and even floating platforms with magma underneath them (and of course, all the demons you get to shoot). Then, towards the end of the game, you activate the portal and enter Hell itself, and the view is both incredible and terrifying. The sky is red and black, with other asteroids and platforms floating in the distance. There are skulls of all sizes, some so large that they serve as doorways. Some bridges impossibly float above hot lava, and huge arteries flow with blood in some areas. The demons themselves have a different skin texture than on Mars, yet are still just as powerful. This may not be the most creative or unique rendition of Hell, but it's still the Hell that all of us would imagine and recognize, and Doom 3 delivers it perfectly!
Do you know of other games that portray Hell really well? Post them in the comment section below!