The fifth entry in the Fatal Frame series, Maiden of Black Water, has just been re-released on modern platforms, and it’s a major boost for a mostly stagnant horror series. Originally released on the Wii U in 2015, Maiden of Black Water isn’t usually seen as a high point for the franchise, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking out.
Beyond that, the Fatal Frame games have been hugely influential to the broader pantheon of modern gaming. From semi-forgotten indie titles to major AAA efforts, these games could make for perfect companion playthroughs for fans who’ve just wrapped up their photography-filled journey.
10 Outlast (2013)
A harrowing first-person adventure through a seemingly-abandoned asylum, Outlast places players in the shoes of Miles Upshur, an investigative journalist following up on a tip suggesting some serious foul play being perpetrated by the Murkoff Corporation. Armed with nothing but a night-vision-capable camera and nerves of steel, Upshur must endure all manner of horrors to break his story.
Though Outlast opts for the hide-and-seek approach to survival horror popularized by games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Slender: The Eight Pages, it remains a seminal indie horror title, and those accustomed to fending off frights from behind the lens of a camera will fit right in here.
9 Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir (2012)
Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir—also known as Fatal Frame: The Diary of Faces—was an experimental spinoff of the Fatal Frame franchise made to make use of the Nintendo 3DS’ augmented reality abilities. Less of a video game and more of an interactive visual novel experience, players use the 3DS camera to explore the pages of a supposedly-cursed booklet included with the game.
It was an interesting idea, though developer ambitions may have outstripped the abilities of the hardware with which they were working. That said, it’s a neat little oddity on which Fatal Frame fans shouldn’t miss out.
8 Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (2009)
A reimagining of the original Silent Hill game released during the title’s tenth anniversary, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories appeared on the Wii, PS2, and PSP and was a radical redesign when compared to the semi-open world survival horror title on which it was based.
The narrative of Shattered Memories is much tighter and more obvious, and the gameplay is split in between sections requiring investigation and minor puzzle solving and chase sequences demanding quick reflexes. It feels like something of a departure from the first four Konami titles, but this may make it a bit more approachable for Fatal Frame fans.
7 ZombiU (2013)
Originally introduced as an early Wii U game meant to cater to the then-marginalized hardcore market, Ubisoft’s ZombiU—eventually re-named Zombi when it debuted on other consoles in 2015—was a fascinating but flawed survival horror experiment that made use of the console’s unique features.
On the Wii U, players would have to use the gamepad to do things like scan items in the environment and manage their inventories. It feels somewhat akin to the gamepad implementation included in Maiden of Black Water, and hardcore Fatal Frame fans may have at least a small amount of love for Ubisoft’s attempt at innovation.
6 Rule of Rose (2006)
Released very late in the PS2’s lifecycle, Rule of Rose holds the distinction of being one of the console’s rarest games. Commanding outrageous triple-digit prices on eBay, this one’s strictly reserved for the survival horror die-hards—or those handy with an emulator.
A girl named Jennifer living in England in the 1930s is kidnapped and taken hostage aboard an airship controlled by a group of girls calling themselves the Red Crayon Aristocrats. Jennifer is forced to complete various tasks for her captors and work to uncover exactly what’s going on. In Rule of Rose, gameplay takes a back seat in favor of narrative, something Fatal Frame aficionados will be familiar with.
5 Ju-On: The Grudge (2009)
A mostly-forgotten adaptation of the legendary Japanese horror series of the same name, 2009’s Ju-On: The Grudge was a Wii exclusive that was met with fairly lackluster reception despite its promising premise. A chance encounter with a supernatural spirit has placed the Yamada family in grave danger, and the player must take control of the four family members and work to escape the curse of Kayako.
Though stunted by unresponsive controls, the eerie atmosphere and frequent jumpscares will feel familiar to those who’ve cut their horror teeth on the Fatal Frame games.
4 P.T. (2014)
Years before the Resident Evil franchise would be reinvigorated, Konami’s Silent Hill series looked to be entering a new era. Said to be developed by the fictitious 7780 studios, P.T., or Playable Teaser, was a monumental release meant to drum up hype for the then-upcoming Silent Hills game.
Unfortunately, after a very public falling out with auteur developer Hideo Kojima, Silent Hills was canceled, and the P.T. demo was removed from the PlayStation Store. Tragically, only those who still have it on their systems all these years later can play it, but hardcore horror fans owe it to themselves to at least check out a Let’s Play of the terrifically terrifying teaser.
3 Resident Evil 7 (2017)
The Resident Evil series was never known for its realism and the series’ fifth and sixth installments in particular veered too far into high-concept sci-fi territory for most fans. Fortunately, Capcom would course correct in due time, righting the ship with the delightfully disturbing Resident Evil 7 in 2017.
Eschewing much of the franchise’s established lore, RE 7‘s grounded setting and relatively restrained plot may make the series more approachable for fans of Fatal Frame. What’s more, the game’s relatively restrained combat warrants comparison to the photography-based battles of Koei Tecmo series.
2 Siren (2004)
Told from the perspectives of ten different survivors desperate to escape the cursed town of Hanuda, Japan, Siren is one of the most innovative horror titles of all time. Though it bears striking resemblance to many games—the original Fatal Frame being one of them—Siren is unique in that it’s one of the very few games to implement second-person gameplay.
Players have the ability to see through the eyes of enemy pursuers, enabling them to run and hide more effectively. It’s a tough mechanic to come to grips with, but those with a penchant for atypical horror games will doubtlessly enjoy this.
1 DreadOut (2014)
When a group of students happens across an abandoned village in Indonesia, bizarre events and otherworldy hauntings plague them, and it’s up to protagonist Linda Meilinda to parse things out and put a stop to the preternatural proceedings.
DreadOut wears its influences on its sleeve; with an abandoned village, malicious spirits, and a photography mechanic, it’s Fatal Frame through and through. The title even boasts a PS2 graphical aesthetic, though that may have been the unintentional result of its small budget. It may not be the most flattering copycat attempt, but DreadOut has a small but dedicated following, and Fatal Frame fans will likely be able to fit right in.