Ever had a shadowy figure pass by in the corner of your eye, but when you turn to look nothing is there? Your heart pounds with unnecessary adrenaline and the confidence boost of instant relief as you realise everything's fine. That feeling can be addictive, even if you suddenly find that your underpants are a little damp. Games are great at giving you those scares alongside the safety of knowing 'it's only a game. So here are nine of PlayStation's biggest squinting-through-your-fingers shockers.
1. Alien Isolation - Being stalked by the Xeno
Creative Assembly's love letter to Ridley Scott's haunted house in space is stuffed with jump scares thanks to a nine-and-a-half foot Xenomorph that's powered by some seriously clever systemic AI. Learning from your stealth tactics, HR Giger's beastie adapts, stalks and terrifies.
2. Dino Crisis - The T-Rex
Another smashed window, another classic Capcom fright. Rather than dealing with decomposing canines (see number four), Dino Crisis's Regina is confronted by the game's Tyrannosaurus Rex in a shocking jump scare that makes Jurassic Park's hairiest (or should that be scaliest?) bits look suitable for Sesame Street.
3. Batman: Arkham Asylum - Killer Croc
You call that a Batarang? This is a Batarang. Actually, we'd rather have Mick Dundee's machete when atavistic badass Killer Croc first jumps out at the Dark Knight in Arkham's sewage works. Cue a tense face-off as you sneak past a beast that constantly tries to ambush Bats from the water below.
4. Resident Evil - The undead dogs
The daddy of all digital 'BOO!' moments, and one that likely sent many a pacemaker into a terrifying flutter back in '96. After entering the spooky halls of Spencer Mansion, your choice of STARS agent happens upon an innocuous corridor with a rather big windo... AH, RUN AWAY! UNDEAD DOBERMAN! That pouncing pooch was one masterful sight scare.
5. Outlast - The burned man
While Red Barrels first-person fear-fest does contain a scene where a naked MD chases you with a rusty hacksaw, its biggest jump moment has a fairly low-key build-up. After putting out a blaze in a canteen, a burnt dude hops out at you, gives you a quick squeeze, then does a runner. Trust us, its a lot scarier than it sounds.
6. Dead Space 2 - Stalkers
Sadly, not even a hastily acquired court order could put a dampener on the murderous aspirations of these particular Stalkers. Each time Isaac encounters one of the skittish dastards, they hide, peek around corners, then sprint and maul. A startling shock for any space engineer.
7. BioShock - Dandy Dental
It doesnt matter if you floss daily down in Rapture, because the dentists in this submerged utopia would rather disembowel you than fix those pesky fillings. When Jack investigates Dandy Dental in search of a brand new Plasmid, he's set upon by a tooth-fiddler who attacks him out of nowhere. What a Bio-shocker.
8. Tomb Raider - The wolves
After her ship crashes in the Dragons Triangle, a young Lara Croft must hunt for food, bandage up her various owies and smear as much virtual muck on her tank top as humanly possible. Oh, and she also has to search a deep, dark cave which just happens to house a brassed off wolf, following several minutes of unsettling, off-screen growls.
9. Silent Hill 4: The Room - The hospital
Hospitals are rubbish at the best of times, let alone when they're inhabited by the disembodied giant head of your neighbour. This huge, jittery-eyed cranium sneaks up on you through some clever camera placement and smartly reverses the game's peeping Tom themes as it stares a hole in you.