Sometimes when a monster appears in video games, there’s nothing you can do to fight them. Unstoppable monsters that continuously hunt you — I call these monsters stalkers. Some games let you battle the Stalkers, but you’ll never be able to kill them until you reach a specific story event. Nemesis is one of the most obvious stalkers in video games, but this type of relentless enemy didn’t become popularized until Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Terrifying things that can’t be stopped. All you can do is slow them down or run for your life.
Stalkers have been in video games since the early days, but the modern incarnation usually follows a few rules. Stalkers will almost always kill you instantly, or do a ton of damage when they catch you. Stalkers will constantly pursue you, either in an open non-linear environment or in a very curated chase sequence. When a stalker appears in a game with weapons, you can fend them off briefly or stun them, but you’ll never be able to actually kill them until much later in the game. And stalkers are universally scary — even in games that aren’t that scary.
Let’s lace up our running shoes and talk about the freakiest, grossest, and more horrifying stalkers in video games.
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Mr. X [Resident Evil 2 Remake]
Nemesis might be the relentless monster we hated from the original Resident Evil series on PS1, but the Resident Evil 2 Remake surpasses him with a brilliantly redesigned Mr. X. The tyrant is an unkillable enemy that appears about halfway through the game — when the Police Station is mostly unlocked, Mr. X will begin his hunt.
What makes Mr. X special is just how unpredictable he is. Unlike any of the other stalkers on this list, Mr. X appears in a pretty open environment — and he just never gives up. While you’re trying to solve puzzles, you’ll always hear the thunderous stomping of his massive boots. Mr. X can be stunned, but he never leaves the area. Shooting enemies will alert him to your location, adding even more danger to encounters with zombies.
Mr. X is a lumbering brute that adds a new dimension of intensity to Resident Evil 2. Nemesis is going to have to step up his game.
Xenomorph [Alien: Isolation]
It took a very long time, but we finally got a game that does justice to the Xenomorph. In the original Alien, the Xenomorph is an unstoppable killing machine. Nothing could stop it. Not even the vacuum of space slowing this thing down, and Alien: Isolation turns the Xenomorph into an unkillable stalker.
Alien: Isolation plops your Ellen Ripley descendent into terrifying space station where the alien is always stalking you. It emerges (and retreats) through vents. That’s why you’ll need the handy tracker to avoid it. Stealth is your only option, so you’ll have to take cover to hide the relentless alien hunter. Your weapons like the flamethrower can scare the Xenomorph off, but you’ll never kill it. This game really wants us to feel totally vulnerable in a way previous Alien games never really attempted. This alien is terrifying.
Find more of the scariest stalkers in video games on the next page.