Screaming is one of the most passionate forms of expression. Screams can convey joy, terror, rage – they're a versatile communicative tool, pertinent to the human condition (or the condition of any conscious being for that matter). We've all bellowed a scream for one reason or another in our lives. Needless to say, in order to build real characters that foster a sense of empathy within the player, we need to hear some screams, shouts, hoots, hollers, or other variety of vociferation. So, turn your volume down and check out the 10 best screams in gaming.

Warning: Spoilers

10. Arbiter – Halo 3

While this isn’t the most powerful scream on the list, think about what the scream represents. An intergalactic parasite is on the move, entire species stand to be wiped out, and Thel ‘Vadam (better known as the Arbiter) just dropped the most epic one liner on this side of the galaxy. The dude has four lips. These things must be taken into account in order to precisely measure the quality of a scream. And this scream is quality.

09. Screaming Mantis – Metal Gear Solid 4

You don’t get the name Screaming Mantis without a track record for dominating the scream discipline. Little known fact – the most effective pose for a scream is called The Exorcist. The same concept that allows mothers to lift cars off of their children, known as hysterical strength, is being applied in this situation. When the body contorts in the way Screaming Mantis showcases above, every muscle is contributing its maximum strength to support the vocal cords. The resulting scream can be up to 40 times more powerful than a normal scream.

08. Tidus – Final Fantasy X

Have you ever wanted to scream real loud? Tidus is the poster child for screaming real loud. Everyone take notes. The execution of his scream is flawless; the way he outright states his intentions with a sense of confidence, the brief pause after Yuna’s laugh like she thinks Tidus isn’t crazy enough to actually do it, the accented head grasp putting the exclamation mark on the scream. It says “Hey, I’m the alpha dog. Hear me roar.” He’s not screaming “a little” loud or even “reasonably” loud. This is real loud.  There’s nothing fake about the volume of this scream. For his finale, he looks up to the heavens as if issuing a challenge to any divine beings that dare shout back. None would be so foolish.

07. Sindel – Mortal Kombat series 

It’s difficult to pick just one Sindel scream – Banshee Scream, Star Screamer, Double Star Screamer, Deadly Scream, Sonic Screech, Migraine, Mouthful – she really is the queen of screams. Her ultrasonic screams can blow the skin off her enemies, tear them into pieces, or explode half their head. She can also manifest her screams into fireballs and manipulate sonic waves. It almost seems unfair putting her on this list.

06. GLaDOS – Portal 2

GLaDOS registers a whopping 31 unique pitches in this scream. For reference, the guitar solo from “Stairway to Heaven” contains 27 unique pitches. That’s not a knock on Led Zeppelin, I’m just saying – GLaDOS made this list and Jimmy Page didn’t.

05. Daxter – Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

There’s nothing quite like the scream of a freshly mutated individual who has just surveyed their new, furry tail for the first time. This scream speaks volumes because, beyond just being obnoxiously loud and resounding around an entire island, we can all relate to this scream. Sure, you’ve never been transformed into an orange, hybrid rodent (presumably), but most people scream like this after just seeing a rodent. Just imagine if you were the rodent. Fortunately Daxter has a fantastic support group, led by Samos the Sage’s professional opinion: “The change is an improvement.”

04. Black Mesa Scientist – Half-Life

The scientists of Black Mesa are well-known for their groundbreaking research into fields such as rocketry, robotics, physics, and genetics. After the Lambda Incident, however, most of these projects came to a screeching halt. One scientist remained determined to complete his linguistics study which aimed to answer the question, “At what point does it stop being a scream and start being art?”

03. Brisco – Michigan: Report from Hell

The uniformity of Brisco’s screams are unmatched by any other character on this list. Throw a wrench into the works, hell, throw the whole tool box, you’re not cracking Brisco. It doesn’t matter what female name he’s yelling, it doesn’t matter how fearsome the monster is, it doesn’t even matter that he’s holding the boom and ruining every single shot with his shouting – Brisco is a screamer through and through.

02. Ciri – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

This is one of those screams that’s so potent that it reverberates in your eardrums long after you’ve actually heard it. Ciri’s scream is so powerful, it forced the Wild Hunt to flee in terror. In a scene that didn’t make it into the game, the Wild Hunt held a meeting following their escape, during which it was agreed upon that they would rename themselves the Mild Hunt. This scream lasts for a minute and 31 seconds and showed no sign of stopping until Avallac’h intervened. If he hadn’t, some say she would still be screaming to this day.

01. Ethan – Heavy Rain

Shaun!