Thanks to modern technology, video game characters have the potential to look more realistic than ever. Or they can resemble an advert for Pepto Bismol, as plenty of developers have used bleeding edge technology to create some of the most revolting creatures to ever grace a video game. From humble beginnings as detailed 8- and 16-bit atrocities to the more realistically repugnant designs of today, there’s never been a better time to look at a video game monsters and lose your appetite. Forever. Here’s a look at some of the best and most atrocious designs to escape a studio.
Multiple monsters on this list will soon be more grotesque and realistic thanks to a few upcoming remakes: The Last of Us Part I, Resident Evil 4, and Dead Space.
And we wouldn’t be surprised if more monstrosities earn spots on this list in the not-so-distant future. There are numerous games in development that have either already shown off some hideous monsters or are prime candidates for introducing some less-than-pleasant-looking creatures, including The Callisto Profile, Scorn, and Slitterhead.
Succubus – DmC: Devil May Cry
Ugly on the outside and inside, DmC: Devil May Cry’s Succubus makes a hell of a first impression. A grotesque creature summoned from the pits of hell, the Succubus is a visual and audio assault on the senses as it hurls both foul language and literal bile at a young Dante in Ninja Theory’s underappreciated take on the iconic devil-slaying hero.
Bloater – The Last of Us
The idea of infected humans running rampant across the world thanks to a mutated Cordyceps virus is horrifying enough, but the Bloaters in The Last of Us takes that fatal fungal growth to a disturbing new level. The body being little more than a succulent meatbag for the virus to use as a horrible form of transportation, Bloaters are nigh-unstoppable remnants of humanity that exist only to spread the virus and destroy anything that gets in their way.
Broodmother – Dragon Age: Origins
Science hasn’t managed to coin a term for the fear of nipples just yet, but it has narrowed down the root cause of that phobia to Dragon Age: Origins and the Broodmother that appears within that game. A ghoul that resembles a engorged caterpillar if it were constructed out of tentacles and too many mammary glands, Broodmothers are created through a horrific process that’s nothing short of vile and stomach-churning.
Nemesis – Resident Evil 3 Remake
The first incarnation of Nemesis looks like it was driven face-first into a grove of ugly trees, but by the climax of Resident Evil 3, it happens to have mutated into a hideous pile of flesh, tendrils, and teeth. Thanks to the RE Engine, that image of Nemesis cultivating bioweapon mass looks more revolting than ever, but at least Jill Valentine is ready to help the abomination shed some weight with a handy laser surgery treatment.
Asphyxia – Silent Hill: Homecoming
Asphyxia looks like a science project by Toy Story’s Sid if he grew up and landed work in a mortuary. Several bodies gruesomely stitched together to create a nightmarish human centipede, Asphyxia is one of the haunting encounters in 2008’s Silent Hill: Homecoming. With an origin story that’s equally disturbing and a design that goes all in on a design that’ll stick with you long after the end credits have rolled.
Lepotica – Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil’s collection of bioweapons are a highlight reel of infectious grossness, and Lepotica ranks near the top with its design. A shambling mess of flesh and pus, it probably smells as bad as it looks and it can easily raise a horde of undead around it by releasing viral spores from its body.
Guardian – Dead Space
Guardians tick multiple boxes for disturbing monster designs, seeing as how they’re a collection of tentacles, claws, and at least one oversized anal cavity that’s on the hunt when Isaac Clarke encounters them. The most disturbing feature though? The leftover human face, forever contorted into an expression of rage and pain that’s doomed to watch over a specific area for the rest of their unnatural lifespan.
Laura – The Evil Within
By the time you encounter Laura in The Evil Within, you’re probably desensitized to seeing creatures covered in blood and scabs. Laura definitely has that look, but it’s the way that she moves in her encounters that’ll send a chill down your spine. Elongated limbs–plus a few extra arms–combined with arachnid movements as she crawls toward you makes her a foe that you’ll want to avoid at all costs.
The Great Mighty Poo – Conker’s Bad Fur Day
A literal and massive pile of poop that’s hellbent on slapping Conker with a hardened fist of extreme excrement, the Great Mighty Poo is as smelly as it is talented at singing. Just make certain that you stand well beyond flinging distance when you encounter this wretched mound of dung.
Captain Keyes infected by the Flood
There’s a good reason why every encounter with the Flood in Halo has been met with a “nuke ’em” attitude, and when you see Captain Keyes used as nothing more than a flesh-sack by the vile creatures, you’ll be ready to push the button for nuclear annihilation yourself. Not just a grotesque parasite leeching off of the commander, this appearance of the Flood will make you feel queasy when you see and hear it, thanks to some incredible sound design.
Godrick the Grafted – Elden Ring
Heavily armed and extremely dangerous, Godrick’s misshapen form makes for a repugnant barrier of grafted flesh to hurl yourself at when you first encounter him. Stitching a few extra limbs onto a character model would be weird enough, but From Software went the extra mile with Godrick’s design, crafting each extra arm to be loaded with rotting skin, torn muscles, and broken bones that are used to drop you in an epic early battle within Elden Ring.
Orphan of Kos – Bloodborne
Another From Software masterpiece that’ll have you reaching for a bucket, the Orphan of Kos makes a grand and grotesque entrance in Bloodborne and puts up a hell of a fight before you put it down for good. It attacks you in pure sickly rage with an axe forged from its own organs. But at least this battle ends with the miserable creature returning back to the black ocean that gave birth to it.
Resident Evil Village baby
It’s a scientific fact that babies are the worst, as they never tip waiters, can’t beat you in Street Fighter, and regularly fail to pay their taxes. A giant baby is an even bigger menace then, with Resident Evil Village throwing a pure nightmare fuel abomination your way. Once you encounter it in House Beneviento, you’ll never look at infants the same way again.
Dead Hand – Ocarina of Time
Beneath the cheerful facade of Ocarina of Time, there’s a creature that’s unfiltered terror from the golden age of the N64. Made entirely out of nightmares, the Dead Hand has a fascinating and horrifying lore behind it, explaining just how this subterranean monster came to call Kakariko village home, waiting to drag anyone unlucky enough to cross its path down into the darkness.
Boomer – Left 4 Dead
A classic design that went on to inspire so many other monsters in other zombie games, the Boomer is a two-legged sack of viral vomit that’s just a few well-placed rounds away from exploding. A corpse is never pretty to look at, but when that undead nightmare looks like a balloon made out of rotting flesh that’s ripping apart, then the Boomer won’t be the only organism in a level that’s evacuating its stomach contents.
Clotho – God of War II
Anyone with an aversion to pale skin, random patches of hair, and a skyscraper of flesh will want to avoid this fight from God of War II, lest you activate a quick-time event to eject your lunch. It’s a clash against a titanic foe that’s stomach-churning to say the least, but at least it ends axe-xactly as you’d expect it to in a God of War game.
Botchling – The Witcher 3
We’ve already proven that babies are the worst on this list–they can’t even play you in Mortal Kombat either–but in The Witcher 3 they’re somehow even worse. A combination of curses and black magic, Botchlings are infants that you want to steer well clear of, as one wrong move can see their hideous and abandoned form evolve into a lethal abomination.
Legion – Castlevania
A biblical monster that looks like a disease-ridden beach ball, Legion has been a recurring nemesis in Castlevania games over the years. While the idea of a creature composed of several hundred writhing bodies locked together in spherical harmony isn’t too unsettling, it’s the real Legion hiding beneath that fleshy shell that’ll have you feeling ill when you witness it for the very first time.
Face-scanned characters in NBA 2K15
2K’s various sports games have a great feature that allows you to import your face into game and slap it onto an avatar. The technology did have some glaring problems at first though, with NBA 2K15 being notable for a few glitches that turned a normal face into a representation of what can only and politely be described as modern art.
The One Reborn – Bloodborne
An unholy amalgamation of corpses of any nearby decaying flesh that it could get its slimy hands, the One Reborn is a failed god that’s looking to add your organs to its rotting collection in Bloodborne. Not exactly easy on the eyes, the One Reborn is a reminder that developer From Software has few peers when it comes to crafting nightmare fuel.
Revenant – Resident Evil Revelations
Resident Evil could easily dominate this list with its entire collection of bioweapons, but we’ve saved some of the most repulsive for last. Take the Revenant for example, which looks like someone tried to stitch a corpse back together while drunk. Still alive and in absolute agony, the unnatural gait of this flesh-puppet come to life will make you dash to the nearest toilet in disgust.
U-3 – Resident Evil 4
And to make things even worse, there’s the U-3. Not to be confused with an inescapable Irish rock band on your Apple devices, the U-3 is a disgusting chimera of human, insect, and reptile DNA, and a night watching spent David Cronenberg films.
Lickers – Resident Evil 2
With a tongue that KISS frontman Gene Simmons would envy–or possibly consider legal action over because of copyright infringement–Lickers are easily one of the weirdest and most reviled mutations in all of Resident Evil. A perfect killing machine engineered solely to slap you in the face with their virus-coated throat-muscle, everything about the Licker is just wrong on an instinctual level.
William Birkin (G) – Resident Evil 2
If you’ve managed to make it this far without losing your lunch, then behold the final boss of this list: William Birkin in his G5 form. A brilliant scientist who started a zombie apocalypse in Raccoon City, Birkin mutates into several forms throughout the game, each one more revolting than the last. For his G5 form, Birkin mutated into a creature comprised of tumors, tentacles, and teeth.