Spiders have long been deeply rooted in the human brain as something to be afraid of. They have too many legs, too many eyes, and their preferred method of trapping and killing prey is one of the most horrifying concepts wrought by God. So, it’s only natural that video games have taken advantage of this nightmare and utilized them as a short hand for unspeakable evil. So, of all the different iterations of this premise, here are the five freakiest eight-legged freaks.
What’s scarier than eight legs? No legs, check out the five scariest snakes here.
5. Spider Silhouette – Limbo
All throughout Limbo you are hounded by the dark shape of a spider so large that you can never get a view of the whole thing without getting impaled on her sharp legs. The game does not equip you with the tools to take on such a beast so every time she shows up, all you can do is run.
Maybe it’s the lack of music, or the fact that the spider makes no noise other than its footsteps, but something about each of these spider encounters gives a feeling of emotionless cruelty. Like, the spider is not your enemy, she is simply doing what any animal would do when faced with easy prey. There is also an added layer of difficulty due to the fact that some portions of the map explicitly require the spider’s “help” to gain access so you must balance between keeping a safe distance from her and remaining close enough that you can be on the other end of a log so that when the spider steps on it you get lifted to the next platform.
4. The Duke’s Dear Freja – Dark Souls 2
There were a lot of contenders in the category of “Giant Spider Boss with lots of little Spider Minions” but the Duke’s Dear Freja from Dark Souls 2 is the freakiest. As the name implies, Freja is the pet of the Duke of a small region within the game. As Freja grew she spawned more and more offspring until her master’s lands were overrun with spiders the size of coffee tables which, predictably, drives the realm to collapse.
Freja herself is a little larger than a coffee table, sitting roughly at the size of a water tower, with a spider head not just on her front end but on her back end as well. She may not be the hardest boss, but she is one of the most dread inducing, especially when you play through NG+ and they surprise you by sending her in earlier in the level than before so you’re even more unprepared. Not to mention that after defeating her you find that, trapped in her web, is a literal dragon, and any spider capable of ensnaring and killing a dragon is a spider worthy of respect and fear and perhaps even worship.
3. Spider Swarm – Uncharted 3
These spiders aren’t your typical enemy or boss, and if you’re even the least bit squeamish about our chitinous eight-legged friends, then this moment from Uncharted 3 will have you white knuckling your controller. After setting off a trap that releases a swarm of man-eating spiders into a dungeon, Nathan and company have to escape by sweeping their torches across the ground the keep the endless torrent of spiders at bay until having to resort to a shotgun to keep them from being overrun.
It’s fast and overstimulating and will require more intense button mashing than any other arachnid on this list.
2. The “Spider” – Hunt: Showdown
The Hunt: Showdown is a multiplayer game where you and up to two friends must accept bounties to track and hunt down terrifying monsters (think The Witcher but with shotguns and from a first-person perspective). One of those creatures is simply called “The Spider”, and it doesn’t exactly go down easy.
The Spider has the ability to move incredibly fast, using that speed to both charge toward you and avoid getting hit. It can climb on any surface at any orientation making it disorienting to fight, especially if you’re in an enclosed space. It can fight you up close with its legs and fangs or spit poison at you from a distance, and even when you aren’t in direct combat with it, hearing the heavy trundling of its legs is a form of psychological warfare in and of itself. Also, you may notice that “Spider” was put in quotes, and that’s because if you finally manage to kill it, upon getting a closer look you will find it actually looks like this:
1. Wolf Spiders – Grounded
At the top of our list are technically, just regular normal spiders. However, in Grounded, you’ve been shrunk down to spider food size. As you build shelter, gather food, and search for a way to reverse your shrinkage, you have to constantly be on the look out for wolf spiders.
They travel in near silence, given away only by the distant bending of grass blades. However, once they see you, their eyes turn red and they become a blur of speed and fangs, completed with perhaps the nastiest sounding growls and spitting ever attributed to a spider in any medium. The game designers knew they were such a left turn into survival horror territory that the game even has a filter setting where the spiders can be removed. They are at best an effective jump scare machine and at worst, the end of your Honey I Shrunk the Kids adventure.
- Armogohma– Lengend of Zelda: Hate the giant human eye on its cephalothorax, but she’s not as horrifying as Freja.
- Laura- Evil Within: Not technically a spider, just a woman with too many arms.
- The Trite- Doom 3: upside-down human heads with eight eyes and six legs. Six legs technically makes them insects not arachnids.
- The Tarantula- Deadly Creatures: a regular tarantula but with the close combat lexicon of John Wick, the only reason she isn’t terrifying is because she’s your playable protagonist.
Want spiders in a more pleasant context? Check out every movie featuring Spiderman.