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Video Games You Should Play By Yourself

Video games are often thought of as entertainment for children, or adults who never grew up: media outlets like NBC News still love to report on news that video games aren't just for "basement-dwellers" anymore. This should not come as a surprise. Gamers have embraced the internet and taken over mainstream culture, and Gamespot writes that video games, hardware, and accessories accounted for $14.6 billion in sales for the year 2017 alone.

No one should be worried about others knowing they are a gamer. That said, there are still some games out there that you might be better off enjoying on your own. Maybe they are embarrassing because they're terrifying. Maybe they will reveal a side to your personality you don't want others to know about. Or maybe they'll just show anyone else in the room what a bastard you truly are. Let's take a look at some games that you may want to rethink playing in the company of others.

Be wary of spoilers if you have not played these titles.

God of War casts you as an unsympathetic, violent monster

To be clear, we are talking about the God of War series before the 2018 PlayStation 4 release. Kratos started out as a hyper-violent, sadistic monster of a human being, and he only got worse as the stories went on. These games are full of toxic masculinity: Kratos engaged in sex minigames (with twins, in some cases) where timed button presses garnered extra experience. He gleefully dismembered and tortured his enemies, and he generally did it simply because he was angry.

Kratos' violent tendencies became increasingly ridiculous as the games went on, culminating with 2010's God of War III. While still a fun and satisfying game, Kotaku may sum it up best: Kratos' ultraviolent schtick has grown "claustrophobic," and yet the game gives you no other way to solve your problems besides ripping heads off. It forces the player to do increasingly disturbing and absurd things while making up increasingly bizarre explanations for why you have to.

This is why Kratos winds up ripping off Hermes' legs, among other things.

Luckily, 2018's God of War reigns in some of the absurdity and helps to humanize Kratos. Hitting the reset button seems to have paid off: Metacritic shows that the game has garnered almost universally glowing reviews.

Grand Theft Auto V rewards you for being a psychopath

The Grand Theft Auto series revels in its political incorrectness, and Grand Theft Auto V may just be the king of the mountain in that regard. The Telegraph, among other publications, wrote that the game possesses an uncaring, misogynistic attitude throughout its runtime. Women are often treated as objects, used only as gratification or targets of humiliation. They are strippers and prostitutes; they have "skank" tattooed on their lower back. One in-game mission has you sneak into the home of a female celebrity to take pictures of her having sex, which you then use to blackmail her.

Many of the missions in GTA V will make onlookers question your morality, but it is doubtful any of them will do it quite like the mission entitled "By The Book." In it, players take control of Trevor Phillips as he attempts to get information out of another character. Eurogamer writes that the scene takes away from the successes of the game, and seems to serve no purpose other than to make headlines, rather than enhancing the narrative. It should be disturbing enough for you as you input buttons to pull out teeth and electrocute your victim. Don't forget to restart his heart if you accidentally kill him: you need to keep that torture going! Anyone else watching you play the scene out may not want to be alone in a room with you ever again.

Alien: Isolation will have you crying in the corner

Alien: Isolation is an absolutely terrifying experience. The Verge wrote a feature on the unique set of AI systems used to create a deadly, realistic predator that stalks you through a derelict spaceship. One of the ways it manages to be so scary is because it does not artificially limit your character. You have weapons, you can move about freely and find places to hide.

None of it really matters, however, because the xenomorph is much better at hunting than you are at hiding.

Unlike many horror games, where the scariest moments are the same for everyone due to a certain set piece, Alien: Isolation lives and breathes by the unpredictability of its big bad. Reading Steam reviews about the game's scariest moments is fascinating: they are all unique to that player's game experience. Sandbox horror doesn't always work, but Alien: Isolation will have you hiding under desks for minutes at a time, just hoping the xenomorph hears something else and goes away. Holding your breath and gripping your controller in fear is no way to show off how brave you are to other people in the room with you.

The Sims will tempt you into cruelty

The Sims series was created in 2000 by legendary game designer Will Wright, and quickly began to dominate the gaming marketplace. Almost two decades, three sequels, and countless expansion packs later, The Gamer writes that the Sims franchise has sold over 200 million copies worldwide, an astronomical figure for a game that Wright himself told Wired was more of a "digital dollhouse" than an actual game.

The problem with playing with dolls is that, sometimes, the dark side of human nature takes over. And few games showcase what a terrible person you can be like the Sims series.

Buzzfeed submissions detail the most awful and creative ways players have destroyed the lives of their characters. Reddit is full of stories of drowning Sims in the pool, locking them in houses and burning them to the ground, or driving Sims insane. Essentially, you should never let your significant other see you play this game and then try to convince them that you'd be great to take care of a dog. By then, they will know too much.

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt constantly puts you in no-win situations

Seemingly every quest in The Witcher III: Wild Hunt seems to exist in some moral grey area where, no matter how you choose to solve things, some undeserving soul winds up losing. Unlike many games that offer moral decisions, where there are fairly obvious "good" and "bad" paths, The Witcher III allows you to see everyone's side and justifications for their actions, then forces you to choose who is most in the right.

It adds to the realism and world building, but can also make you feel like a total prick. PC Gamer highlighted one of the most memorable questlines in the game, involving a character named the Bloody Baron. Pawel Sasko, the quest's designer, told them his inspiration for the quest: "I saw families destroyed by alcoholism and violence ... I saw parents fighting with each other and beating their kids, but they were also in love and loyal to their family." This moral complexity helps The Witcher III's story transcend typical gaming tropes, but also can make others question just why you chose to help one character while punishing another.

Just look at the Steam responses to the quest involving a powerful curse called the Nithing. The different reasons players give for killing one character versus another are a fascinating psychological look at how people play games. It also might convince others watching you play that you should never be allowed to make moral decisions.

The Evil Within 2 is full of terrifying jump scares

Not every game on this list involves shaking your moral fiber to the core or casting you as an amoral psychopath. Sometimes the only reason you should play a game by yourself is because of how terrifying it is, and the jump scares of The Evil Within 2 fit that bill nicely. GQ writes that the plot of the game is over-complicated and not interesting, but they still thoroughly appreciate the jump scares and tense atmosphere that the game creates. Watching someone play a scary game is never as terrifying as actually playing it, so you are always going to be on the losing end of The Evil Within 2's set pieces if you aren't playing it on your own.

The Evil Within 2 is a game about maximizing psychological scares with intense, horrifying imagery. Just take a look at some of the game's scariest scenes, and think about directing a character through that action as someone else in the room laughs at you. In fact, designer John Johanas told The Telegraph that his team consciously programmed in moments of stress relief, knowing that some scenes were just that emotionally draining.

Resident Evil 7's Baker family will stalk you in VR

Speaking of panic-inducing games, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard helped to reinvent the series after it descended into the total silliness of the fifth and sixth entries. The Baker family, led by patriarch Jack, are a big part of the terror the game inspires. These sadistic, cannibalistic monsters will stalk you throughout Resident Evil 7's runtime, and are full of nasty tricks that will make your skin crawl and your pulse race.

Also, did you know you can experience RE7 in virtual reality? Strapping a VR headset and flailing about a room already makes you look a bit like a goon. Couple that with the absolute horror of fleeing from an axe-wielding Jack Baker, and we're suddenly talking about the type of fear and panic that will make people never speak to you again. Endgadget called it "the most terrifying VR game on the market." CNET writes that virtual reality is "too immersive" for a game as scary as RE7. Maintain your dignity: you don't want to play Resident Evil 7 on PlayStation VR with anyone else in the vicinity.

BioShock tasks you with killing a little girl's best friend ... over and over

BioShock is full of disturbing imagery, and the game presents you with an extreme moral question early on: just how far will you go in a quest for power? This is presented in the form of Little Sisters: young girls who collect ADAM, the lifeblood of Andrew Ryan's underwater world of Rapture. Each Little Sister is followed by a terrifying protector called a Big Daddy. The game gives you no option in one aspect: you have to kill the Big Daddies in order to proceed. This is heartbreaking enough, as each Little Sister is psychologically bonded to their Big Daddy, and they sob and grieve once you are victorious.

Once the Little Sister is on her own, the game presents you with another moral quandary: you can choose to rescue them from their fate, freeing them from the parasitic relationship they are in. This grants you a small amount of ADAM, which you can use to increase your character's abilities. You can also choose to kill the Little Sister, which grants you significantly more ADAM. Remember, creepy as they are, these are little girls who skip, sing, and play games.

Maybe you should kick everyone out of the room before you make the decision. Hopefully you can live with yourself afterwards.

The Dragon Age series will push all your moral limits

BioWare games generally do not have the subtle moral compass of something like The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, but Dragon Age: OriginsDragon Age II, and Dragon Age: Inquisition still push you to the limit with a lot of your decisions. One of the biggest (and most telling) options available in all of the games is which character you are going to attempt to romance. You only picked one, right? Because there are several different options, and you certainly wouldn't want your partner to see you playing the field, two-timing your chosen companion, would you?

Would you?

Even though the sex and romance options draw a lot of the big headlines, there are plenty of other extremely tough choices to make. Iron Bull's plotline involving his mercenary company stands out, and many people over on this Reddit thread claim to have had a very hard time choosing between Alistair and Hawke. Regardless of how you play through the Dragon Age series, there is no doubt that you will wind up agonizing over and regretting some of the decisions you make. You may reveal some sides to yourself that you don't want out there.

Amnesia: Dark Descent will make you very, very afraid

It would be tough to talk about some of the scariest games out there without mentioning Amnesia: Dark Descent. It can turn even the bravest gamer into a panicky mess in no time at all, and some of the most successful YouTubers in the world, like PewDiePie, got their start by streaming this terrifying game. By giving you little option to deal with monsters besides running and hiding, Amnesia keeps things tense and rarely lets up. If you've never tried it and think you can handle anything, load up the  "Prison," "Storage," or "Choir" levels and try to get through them. You won't be feeling brave for long.

Check out this Steam thread to get a look at which parts still give people nightmares. For example, "Choir" is a torture chamber full of brutes and unpleasant imagery, and not an area any sane person would want to go back through ever again. Are you brave enough to make your way through?

The Souls games will bring out your inner rage-quitter

Look, we get it. The Dark Souls games, and their Bloodborne cousin, are hard. Really hard. Sure, with enough patience and forward planning, you can get through the game just fine, and triumph over even the most difficult opponents. But think about it: is patience one of your virtues? Really?

The first time a basic skeleton warrior kills you, you'll chalk it up to bad luck. The second time, you'll blame your controller. By the fifth time, you'll be throwing that controller across the room. This portends the imminent onset of table-flipping, and eventually, rage-quitting. By the time you swear off the game forever, you'll look more like a silverback gorilla than a human being.

It's not a sight you'd want to inflict on anybody; worse, it's not how you'd like anybody to remember you. Better to be alone, where you can curse the screen blue in peace. Who knows, maybe after you stew for a little bit, you'll even come back and try to play again. Of course, keep your second attempt a solitary affair, too. You wouldn't want anyone to see you flip the table twice.

Don't let anyone see you join the Doki Doki Literature Club

Aw, look. A cute little dating sim game, where you flirt with nice girls, read their poetry, and generally try to navigate the romantic shoals of high school. This isn't so bad, right? Maybe it's a bit sappy, and people might wonder why you're not out there trying to flirt with actual (and hopefully older than high school-age) girls, but on the whole, Doki Doki Literature Club isn't that crazy, right?

Hang on a minute.

That poetry the girls write gets awfully ... creepy. And one of them does seem to have a strange obsession with ... knives. And does that one girl somehow know that you're streaming on Twitch? And ... holy cow, did the game just delete my save file?

What begins as a cutesy little fluff piece quickly descends into a nightmarish hell of psychological manipulation, discomfort, and dread. Doki Doki Literature Club has been called a "genius" game by The Verge, one that will disturb you in profound ways. You don't want anyone watching over your shoulder as the poor girls all fall into madness and despair. You don't want anyone watching you as your face becomes a portrait of existential crisis. Play this one on your own.