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The Most Prolific Serial Killers In Video Games

Monsters, aliens, and bioweapons can all make for terrifying video game villains, but there's something especially scary about a serial killer. Maybe it's because they're a little more grounded in reality, or maybe it's the simple fact that they're human, but a good serial killer can give a game an unsettling edge like few other kinds of villain. Perhaps that's why they've been featured in so many of the creepiest games of the last decade – their presence is often marked by terrifying moments that shake gamers to their core. Sometimes their identity is a mystery to be solved in a race against time as their victims continue to pile up. Other times they take the role of an unmasked antagonist, engaging the player-character in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. Plenty of video game antagonists kill people, but there's something specific about a serial killer's wanton disregard for human life that sends a few extra shivers up the spine.


Some of the most iconic serial killers in fiction have been featured in video games, from Jason Voorhees to the Joker. Other killers have made for some of the more memorable side quest villains in games, such as the Carnal Sins killer in "The Witcher 3" or Jack the Ripper in the "Assassin's Creed: Syndicate" DLC. But the most prolific killers in video games have always been the primary antagonists. Here are a few that stand out above the rest.

Ruvik - The Evil Within

"The Evil Within" was created by designer Shinji Mikami who had made his name creating the "Resident Evil" franchise. Mikiami told the UK gaming magazine Edge (via BloodyDisgusting) that "people have got used to the tropes of horror and they know what's coming next, so in that sense it is harder to make them afraid." He created "The Evil Within" in an attempt to circumvent the player's expectations. The game is full of brutal monsters in tight, confined spaces, dialing up the player's anxiety to eleven. It's arguably one of the greatest horror games of all time, but the primary antagonist of the game isn't some Lovcraftian nightmare, however. It's a man named Ruvik.


Born Ruben Victoriano, he showed signs that he was unstable from a young age as he conducted immoral experiments. Ruben lost all semblance of empathy when he lost his sister in a local fire where he was horribly disfigured by burns. He then partnered with a Psychologist named Doctor Jimenez to create a device called STEM which could only be powered by his own mind. But Reuben was betrayed. He was killed, his mind was harvested and placed in the machine where his consciousness survived. Ultimately, he became Ruvik, and his goal then became using the people drawn into the neural world of STEM in order to facilitate his escape.

The Origami Killer - Heavy Rain

"Heavy Rain" was the first of Quantic Dream's major decision based thriller games that the studio eventually became known for. In it, there is a serial killer on the loose in an unnamed city plagued by oppressive rain and the clock is ticking before they claim their next victim. The media eventually begins referring to the culprit as The Origami Killer since small pieces of origami are found at each of the crime scenes. The story is told from multiple perspectives. Each of the playable characters is investigating the killer, gathering clues and trying to find them as quickly as possible. One of them is a man named Ethan Mars, whose son Shaun has recently been kidnapped. This adds a layer of tension to the game which is compounded by it's clunky controls and the narrow window of its quicktime events.


Everything about The Origami Killer indicates that flair for the dramatic that makes for a good video game villain. They drown their victims, leaving orchids on their chests, and pieces of origami clenched in their hands after moving the bodies to a new location for the police to find them. They also enjoy setting a series of "Saw"-like challenges for Ethan to complete in order to keep his son alive. The revelation of the killer's identity at the end of the game is a twist that would shock even the most perceptive of investigators.

Raincoat Killer - Deadly Premonition

"Deadly Premonition" is an open-world survival horror game with a strong "Twin Peaks" vibe that dates back to the PS3/Xbox 360 generation, though a port of the game is now available on the Nintendo Switch for new players looking to take a trip back to the strange fictional town. The game follows FBI agent Francis York Morgan as he comes to Greenvale, Washington in order to investigate the death of a young woman named Anna Graham who was murdered and posed on a tree in a brutal and ritualistic manor, similar to other murders which have occurred across the country. This sparks a series of strange interactions with the townsfolk as he attempts to uncover the killer's identity.


The Raincoat Killer, as the locals call them, has been spotted many times, but no one knows who they are. The character has grown into a sort of urban legend, with the people of Greenvale claiming that the killer only attacks when it rains. Agent Morgan is regularly ambushed by the Raincoat Killer throughout the game, but it is only much later — after coming into conflict with several of the supernatural forces governing the town — that Morgan discovers the killer's true identity and is able to try and put a stop to the darkness plaguing Greenvale and its people.

Scissorman - Clocktower

Newer gamers might not know much about the "Clock Tower" series, but there was a time when these games rivaled "Resident Evil" and "Silent Hill" as one of the most noteworthy survival horror franchises. The first game was released back in 1995 on PC, Super Famicom, and PlayStation and was one of the rare 16-bit 2D games to be made in the genre before survival horror exploded in popularity right as 3D became the new standard in the late 90s.


The story follows Jennifer Simpson, one of four orphans adopted by a wealthy recluse named Simon Barrows in a mansion called the Clocktower. Jennifer gets separated from everyone shortly after arriving, only to later find one of them dead. She's then attacked by a young boy wielding an oversized pair of scissors. The Scissorman will stalk Jennifer across the house, popping out of boxes and appearing randomly, forcing Jennifer to run and find a safe place to hide. He might seem primitive by today's standards, but there is an entire generation of gamers still haunted by the Scissorman.

The TV Killer - Persona 4

"Persona 4" might seem like an odd choice since it isn't really much of a horror game. In truth, it's more of a JRPG, but the entire story is based around uncovering the identity of the TV Killer. Several locals have gone missing, only to appear on the mysterious Midnight Channel, a strange television show that can only be seen on foggy nights. Shortly after their debut on the Midnight Channel, their bodies are discovered hanging either from an antenna or telephone lines with no explainable cause of death. The killer's method is later explained when the unnamed protagonist and a group of his friends discover that they can travel to a parallel world within the TV where they must battle monsters called shadows in order to save the people who would be the TV Killer's next victims. The real challenge of the game is discovering who's been throwing people into the TV to die, and why?


Players can investigate both inside and outside of the TV world, searching for clues, but there's a time limit to how long they have to do so. At a certain point, the player is given a deadline to find the killer or else risk getting one of the game's "bad endings."