You can't keep a good slasher down. When you think they're gone, they have a nasty habit of reappearing in the most unexpected places. Though traditionally, Slashers got their start on the silver screen, over the years, they've made appearances in a newer format: the world of video games. From genre icons Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees to Leatherface, there's something about seeing these horror movie staples popping up in an interactive video game format that keeps us coming back for more. To celebrate the release of Gun Media's new survival horror game, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, let's take a look at some notable video game appearances from some of the genre's biggest titans.
1. Jason Voorhees - Friday The 13th (1989) (NES)
With the Friday the 13th series as popular as it was in the 1980s, it's no surprise that Jason eventually made his way into video games. This ambitiously designed NES game saw players take on the role of a Camp Crystal Lake counselor and prevent campers from being butchered by the hockey mask-wearing maniac. Something to note is the strange purple outfit Jason wears in this game; that design would go on to appear in various forms of merchandise over the years, including its very own NECA figure. Totally rad!
2. Freddy Krueger - A Nightmare On Elm Street (1990)
Can you believe there's only been a single attempt at A Nightmare on Elm Street video game? The 1990 NES game put players in the role of teens exploring Springwood, collecting the bones of Krueger to put an end to him once and for all. While on the surface it seems to be a standard beat-em-up with heavy Castlevania influence, the game also featured a unique mechanic where players would fall asleep and be transported to Freddy's dream world where they would encounter more hellish creatures. Much like the Friday the 13th game, this game was a little too ambitious for the hardware at the time.
3. Michael Myers - Call Of Duty: Ghosts (2013)
Michael Myers has gotten himself wrapped up in questionable situations over the years, be it an encounter with the Cult of Thorn or a brief stint on a reality show filmed in his home, you never can pinpoint where he will appear next. So imagine the surprise players had in 2013 when he turned up on the battlefield in Call of Duty: Ghosts. Though relegated to a DLC drop and under certain conditions, players are actually able to take control of this Haddonfield Horror and hunt down opponents with a huge ax. Yeah, this one is a little silly, but at the end of the day, this is a fun crossover.
4. Freddy Krueger - Mortal Kombat (2011)
Back in 2011, the Mortal Kombat series was reborn with a reboot. Releasing this ultra-violent series in the modern gaming era meant developers could add more fighters to the game through downloadable content. Who could they add? Would it be a fan-favorite character? A new Kombatant? Well, in a first for the series, Netherrealm Studios decided to add Freddy Krueger from the 2010 reboot. Though a supremely odd choice in retrospect, the addition of the Springwood slasher would blow the doors wide open for our next entry. Finish him!
5. Jason Voorhees And Leatherface - Mortal Kombat X (2015)
In 2015, Mortal Kombat X hit the fighting game scene. The sequel to the stellar reboot took the series into a darker, more horror-inspired direction. With this came the expected addition of Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th into the roster with a set of moves inspired by the iconic film series. When the game introduced its second Kombat Pack, the team added Leatherface from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre series. Both characters stood toe to toe with the legacy roster for the bloodiest of fatalities and felt like a perfect fit for the series. Also, where else will you see Leatherface throw a chainsaw across the entire room?
6. Ghostface - Call of Duty: Warzone (2020)
Call of Duty may have experimented with Michael Myers in the past, but Warzone is where things got a bit more buck wild. The battle royale game hosts a yearly Halloween event where horror movie-inspired skins are introduced. The best of these was the appearance of Ghostface from the Scream franchise. Not only was seeing Ghostface run around with an assault rifle a precursor of things to come in Scream VI, but he was also voiced by Roger L. Jackson. What's your favorite scary video game?
7. Jason Voorhees - Friday The 13th (2017)
You can't talk about Slashers in video games without mentioning the 2017 Friday the 13th game. A huge love letter to the entire franchise, the game saw players not only take on the role of counselors trying to survive the night but as the unstoppable Jason himself. The game features nearly every single movie depiction of the character, including a new design crafted by Tom Savini himself. Friday the 13th felt like a game made by the fans and for the fans. The publisher, Gun Media, hopes to recreate the magic with their newly released Texas Chain Saw Massacre game.
8. Ghostface - Among Us (2018)
Among Us plays a lot like Scream in video game form. Players go around completing objectives while a secret traitor is among them, with the only goal being to take them out. So it's only fitting that players could unlock Ghostface's iconic robes and masks to celebrate the releases of Scream and Scream VI. When equipped with the proper gear, it essentially turns Among Us into a bonafide Scream game. Until we get a proper dedicated game, this one will do just fine. A familiar hockey mask was also available as an in-game skin, giving us big Jason X vibes.
9. The Whole Damn Kitchen Sink - Dead By Daylight
I'm gonna be honest. This entry seems like a bit of a cop-out. Dead By Daylight is a multiplayer game that sees four players attempt to escape a map while a single player takes on the killer role to prevent that from happening. It's fun and relatively simple, meaning almost any theme could be applied to it, and it will work just fine. Because of this, so many slasher icons have been added to the game, such as Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Pinhead, Amanda from Saw, etc. Chances are your favorite horror franchises have some form of representation in Dead By Daylight.
10. Leatherface And Family - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (2023)
Gun Media have returned to the horror video game genre they helped popularize with their latest release, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Based on the first film from 1974, the game takes a unique approach featuring a 3v7 format that'll see survivors AND killers working with others to emerge as the victors. This Leatherface appearance stands out from previous video game incarnations because he's joined by other fan favorites such as The Cook and The Hitchhiker. Making the whole family playable this time around and featuring environments authentic to the original film, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre looks to make its bloody mark on the slasher video game genre.