Silent Hill is one of the most iconic franchises in video game history. We”ve ranked each entry, including spin-offs, by how long they take to beat.
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Silent Hill was once the most terrifying horror franchise to grace gaming marketplaces. Its heyday has long since passed, but the greatest entries still hold up. Silent Hill 2, in particular, gets singled out as one of the greatest games ever made, regardless of genre.
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To celebrate the series, and perhaps mourn a bit as well, the following list will rank all the games in the series based on their length as recorded by howlongtobeat.com. One thing to remember when going through this list – long length does not necessarily amount to a quality title. A short and sweet experience can be enjoyed dozens of times over, while a twenty-hour mediocre game is played once and immediately forgotten.
14 Silent Hill: The Arcade (1 Hour)
Being an on-rails shooter, one shouldn”t expect this arcade spinoff to last longer than most others in the genre. While the style has its place in the arcades, reviews at the time weren”t kind to it, calling it unnecessary and decrying how it feels nothing like a traditional Silent Hill.
While not a full-length title, P.T. was an interactive demo for the ultimately doomed Silent Hills from horror director Guillermo del Toro and Hideo Kojima. The enigmatic puzzles can be solved quickly if one knows what to do, but people are still unsure exactly how the final puzzle is solved. Despite it only being a demo, the playable teaser had a huge impact on the industry, and disappointment rippled through fans when the project was cancelled.
This Gameboy Advance title is an adaptation of the first game”s story in visual novel form. It only came out in Japan, though fan translations exist. The only real gameplay comes in the form of decision making, taking away the tension and fear added to the macabre story through combat. It is the perfect way to experience the game for those too scared to play the original PS1 classic.
The series wasn”t only available on consoles. Mobile platforms got in on the action too. Instead of being third-person survival horror titles, these games put players in a first-person perspective and employ point-and-click controls more manageable for cell phones. Oddly enough, the sequel comes in at only about half as long as the first entry.
The first entry in the mobile series came out in 2007, long before gaming on phones was en vogue. Given the nature of the platform, the titles are nearly impossible to play these days. It is odd to think about games being inaccessible, but it isn”t the only game with the same problem. P.T. is also only available on the hard drives of people who never deleted it.
The sequel to Silent Hill 2 is often overshadowed by its predecessor, but it is fantastic in its own right.
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The combat makes several subtle improvements and the graphics were leaps and bounds ahead of its time. The facial animations are particularly gorgeous. Its story isn”t the same personal gut-punch of the 2001 classic, though.
The prequel to the first game came out on the PSP in 2007. Going back to the past and having a direct relation to the first entry was a neat idea, but development problems led to a less than stellar product. Sony”s first handheld console had numerous problems translating popular franchises to its format, and Silent Hill: Origins was yet another victim of the transition.
Shattered Memories takes enough liberties with the first game”s story to feel more like a reimagining than a straightforward remake. The gameplay also puts an interesting twist on the formula, dividing the action with questions and tests in a doctor”s office whose results impact the following chapter.
The one that started it all distinguished itself from other survival horror games by featuring full three-dimensional graphics and a moving camera. Doing this was an impressive feat on the humble PS1.
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The game stemmed from Konami”s wish to craft a game with the potential to become a hit in the West. Knowing this makes it ironic to find out that the series” downward trajectory started when western developers took over the franchise.
As great as the debut title is, its sequel really blew the lid off the franchise. Silent Hill 2 stands side by side with Metal Gear Solid 2, Grand Theft Auto III, and Final Fantasy X as one of the greats from 2001″s legendary lineup. Not only is the gameplay a step above other survival horror titles, but the story tackled subjects previously unheard of in the medium like infidelity and childhood trauma.
This numbered entry is somewhat of an outlier. It doesn”t take place in the titular town and focuses more on combat rather than puzzle-solving. Because of this, it is not remembered as fondly as its older siblings, though it was better received than the following entries in the franchise.
Silent Hill: Homecoming brought back some of the puzzle-solving elements of the originals, but it wasn”t enough to please fans. It was the first mainline title in the series to be tackled by a western developer instead of Team Silent, who had previously done all the games save for the spin-offs.
Downpour is the last full-length traditional Silent Hill the world may ever see. While not bad by any means, it certainly doesn”t live up to the standard set by the earlier entries. The series has to at least be commended for always trying to stay true to its roots and not becoming an action game like Resident Evil did, though Resident Evil 4 and 5 are still incredible.
Book of Memories takes a radical turn with the series, abandoning the slow-paced survival horror for a dungeon crawler. While genre shifts can sometimes be positive, it didn”t work out for the PS Vita title. It is merely average, making players miss the old games rather than appreciate a new take on the franchise.
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