Silent Hill is a psychological horror series and franchise by Konami. The series has received strong critical and commercial success since its 1999 debut. It is one of the most important names in the survival horror genre.
Because of its success, the series has expanded into comics, two films, and several spin-offs. We’re running down the eight main titles, one HD bundle, and eight spin-offs. The total is 17 Silent Hill entries.
However, the series appears to be defunct. If you’re looking for a modern horror thriller, you could check House of Ashes.
Every Silent Hill Games in Order
Silent Hill’s setting is a fictional American-resort town with the same name. Most games happen in the same set, Silent Hill, Maine. Those occurring in other places are still connected to the town. Some of these events are implicit, while others are implied.
That said, an internal Konami team created the first four main games. It was Team Silent, a former subsidiary.
Afterward, there have been several studios working in the franchise under Konami publishing. Notably, most of these developers have been western.
Even though it has gone through multiple studio changes, the franchise retains its signature elements.
Silent Hill is an adult-oriented survival / psychological horror series. It’s disturbing, scary, gory, and full of atmospheric dread. As such, these games have a 17+ years rating.
At its core, these are third-person horror shooters. Weapons are scarce, ammo is lacking, and puzzles are plentiful. Characters find themselves in hostile places and need to solve a mystery to survive.
On top of the gameplay, these games focus on deep themes by exploring the evil sides of humanity. Often, humanity is the true “monster.” They convey ideas like abortion, suicide, murder, addiction, corruption, betrayal, fear, and hate through heavy symbolism and imagery.
Silent Hill – 1999 (Main Series)
The first entry debuted in 1999 for PlayStation. In 2001, it debuted for Game Boy Advance as well.
Silent Hill follows Harry Mason. Unlike the veteran protagonists in most Resident Evil games, Mason is an average man. He’s searching for his missing daughter in the eponymous town. There, he stumbles upon an evil cult amidst a ritual to revive a deity.
The game has five endings, and these depend on player choices. However, one of these endings is a spoof. Similarly, the gameplay offers combat, exploration, and puzzles. The goal is to find Cheryl in Silent Hill.
However, the town is full of monsters, and Harry can face them with firearms and melee weapons. But because he’s an ordinary father, he can’t sustain many blows, and he runs out of breath quickly when sprinting. Likewise, Mason’s aim is unsteady, although he has a radio that picks up static if monsters are nearby.
Play Novel: Silent Hill – 2001 (Spin-off)
In 2001, Konami released a gamebook visual novel for Game Boy Advance.
It retells the original story via text-based gameplay. The player confronts situations, questions, and puzzles, and he must choose options to move forward.
After completing the game, players can unlock Cybil as a protagonist for a second playthrough.
Notably, the game had no soundtrack, a massive distraction from the horror atmosphere.
Silent Hill 2 – 2001 (Main Series)
Silent Hill 2 debuted in 2001 for PlayStation 2. A year later, it debuted for Windows.
The new story focuses on James Sunderland. He’s a widow traveling to Silent Hill after receiving a letter from his dead wife. The plot takes its cue from the novel “Crime and Punishment” (1866) by Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Moreover, the atmosphere and design style takes inspiration from film directors like David Lynch and David Fincher. Needless to say, the game brims with style and a clear sense of direction. That’s why the second entry was more successful than the first. It’s also known as one of the best games in the genre.
That said, Silent Hill 2 is a psychological thriller. Still, you guide Sunderland through Silent Hill, across monsters and puzzles in search of his dead wife. The gameplay is similar to before, but the character can update a tourist map he finds with points of interest you’ve visited.
Silent Hill 3 – 2003 (Main Series)
Silent Hill 3 debuted in 2003 for PlayStation 2 and Windows. It retains a similar third-person perspective, combat, exploration, and puzzles. Likewise, the new protagonist has a radio that picks up static when monsters are nearby and a flashlight.
The title follows Heather Mason, a teenager who becomes a part of the town’s evil cult. Like the first game, the group is trying to revive an ancient deity. Heather first appeared as a baby in the original title; her father rescued her from the cult.
The third entry had more commercial success in Japan than the second entry. Even so, it continues the horror, survival, and physiological elements of previous games.
AS for the gameplay, you control Heather after awakening from a nightmare. This is important, as her playtime oscillates between reality and the Otherworld, a supernatural version of reality.
Team Silent developer the third and the fourth entry back-to-back. So, The Room debuted in 2004 for Xbox, PlayStation 2, and Windows. It’s currently available at the GoG store since Konami re-released the game in 2020.
The Room happens in another fictional city, Ashfield. The new protagonist is Henry Townshend. He’s trying to escape from his locked-down home apartment.
As the game goes on, he explores various supernatural worlds and finds himself in conflict with serial killer Walter Sullivan.
This setting altered the gameplay slightly. It has both third-person and first-person segments, limited exploration, and a single save point. Lastly, there’re fewer weapons, melee weapons can break, and some items can grant a bonus to the character.
Silent Hill Mobile – 2006 (Spin-off)
Silent Hill Mobile debuted in 2006, but only in Japan. It was a companion app of 2006’s Silent Hill Film.
This was also a gamebook experience. Players could navigate the world of the original title, interact, and make text-based choices.
The game follows Harry Mason across the original story and the four original endings.
Silent Hill: The Arcade – 2007 (Spin-off)
The Arcade debuted in 2007 as a title for arcade machines. It’s similar to the House of the Dead titles, where players use plastic guns to shoot at enemies and have to fire outside of the screen to reload.
This is a “rail shooter” title. That means players can’t move the characters. Instead, the gameplay is only about aiming and shooting.
The environment is still 3D, and you play in Silent Hill. The characters are Eric and Tina. They are fighting against the town monsters to uncover the mystery behind Eric’s nightmares.
Silent Hill: Origins – 2007 (Main Series)
Origins is a 2007 survival horror game. Climax Action is the new developer, and they launched the title worldwide for PlayStation 2.
The fifth installment is a prequel, so the plot happens in the first game.
Its story follows Travis Grady researching information about a girl he rescued from a fire pit. Once again, the setting is Silent Hill, so the events deal with the town’s cult and supernatural mysteries.
The gameplay is similar to the original trilogy. However, there’s less focus on exploration and extra emphasis on combat and puzzles. Lastly, Travis also carries a radio and a flashlight.
Silent Hill: Orphan – 2007 (Spin-off)
Orphan is another mobile title. It debuted in 2007 for smartphones.
The game’s setting is an abandoned orphanage. It had point-and-click first-person gameplay.
Lastly, the game had a plethora of puzzles to solve using items and clues. As the game goes on, the story unveils past events of Silent Hill.
Silent Hill: The Escape – 2007 (Spin-off)
The Escape is the next mobile entry in the survivor horror franchise. It also debuted in 2007 for smartphones.
It was a simple game. Playtime was about finding keys to move on towards the next Room. It was also a point-and-click, but it worked with taps, swipes, and slides.
Lastly, the title had four characters to play, including an alien.
Silent Hill: Orphan 2 – 2008 (Spin-off)
Orphan 2 or Mobile 2 is an Orphan sequel. As such, it features a similar first-person point-and-click gameplay.
The setting is a Silent Hill Clinic. Lucas is the playable protagonist, and he’s a man who can’t remember his own identity. So, playtime is about finding clues to learn about himself and why he lost his memory.
Homecoming debuted in 2008. Double Helix Games was the developer of the sixth main entry in the series. They launched the title for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows.
The plot follows Alex Shepherd, a soldier returning from war to his hometown, Shepherd’s Glen. There, he finds the town is in turmoil and discovers his brother is missing.
The new protagonist begins a journey to find his lost brother. The journey takes him to Silent Hill, where he’ll learn about the Order, the town’s cult. Moreover, he’ll uncover the town’s history, as well as his own past.
The gameplay is similar to past entries. However, the protagonist is not an average man, so he can aim, fight, and run better than previous characters. Moreover, Alex has a journal where he stores the clues he finds, and you can check the journal to solve puzzles and move forward.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories – 2009 (Main Series)
Shattered Memories debuted in 2009 for PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii, and PlayStation Portable. The developer behind the title is Climax Studios.
The title re-imagines the first game. It keeps Harry Mason, as well as the original quest in Silent Hill. However, the story happens in a different “timeline” or “universe.” Therefore, characters are different, events vary, and the five endings are new.
The gameplay has first-person psychotherapy segments, over-the-shoulder exploration parts, and narrative segments. That said, there’s no combat in the game.
Silent Hill: Orphan 3 – 2010 (Spin-off)
Orphan 3 debuted in 2010 for smartphones and tablets. It’s the sequel to Orphan 2, and so it features point-and-click gameplay.
Vincent is the new playable character. He’s exploring a mystery inside a dreaded mansion.
Silent Hill: Downpour – 2012 (Main Series)
The latest main entry in the series debuted in 2012. It’s a Vatra Games title, and it’s available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Murphy Pendleton is the new protagonist. He’s a prisoner, stranded in Silent Hill after the prison transport vehicle had an accident. Often, he’ll enter the Otherworld to unlock repressed memories. So, the game is about uncovering the protagonist’s story and a new mystery in the titular town.
The game offers a semi-open-world design. Players are free to explore multiple paths on foot, as well as abandoned subway tunnels. Moreover, he can interact with the environment, like fire escapes, to move forward. Finally, he finds various opportunities to help or abandon NPCs.
There’s combat in the game as well, and it’s similar to previous titles. Murphy is an average man, so he has trouble aiming, running, and fighting in melee.
Silent Hill HD Collection – 2012 (Bundle)
The HD Collection debuted in 2012. It packs remastered versions of Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3.
This bundle debuted for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The two games had new voice-acting and updated graphics.
Silent Hill: Book of Memories – 2012 (Spin-off)
Memories is a 2012 dungeon-crawler by WayForward Technologies. The spin-off debuted for PlayStation Vita.
The gameplay is taking hack&slash action-RPGs. The player travels through multiple dungeons, defeats monsters, gains experience, and improves abilities.
Each level has various puzzle pieces. Collecting all the parts opens up to the next level. However, some choices lead to six different endings, although one of these is a spoof.
The plot follows a playable avatar after receiving the Book of Memories on his birthday. The book contains information about his entire life, which leads to unforeseen dreams inside locations in the book.
Every Silent Hill Game in Chronological Order
- Silent Hill – 1999
- Play Novel: Silent Hill – 2001
- Silent Hill 2 – 2001
- Silent Hill 3 – 2003
- Silent Hill 4: The Room – 2004
- Silent Hill Mobile – 2006
- Silent Hill: The Arcade – 2007
- Silent Hill: Origins – 2007
- Silent Hill: Orphan – 2007
- Silent Hill: The Escape – 2007
- Silent Hill: Orphan 2 – 2008
- Silent Hill: Homecoming – 2008
- Silent Hill: Shattered Memories – 2009
- Silent Hill: Orphan 3 – 2010
- Silent Hill: Downpour – 2012
- Silent Hill HD Collection – 2012
- Silent Hill: Book of Memories – 2012