The SCP Foundation is one of the biggest and most popular fiction collaborations on the internet.
It all started back in 2008 on 4chan’s x board when a user posted a log-based creepypasta about an animate statue, SCP-173, and how to contain it which I also included on my list of the best creepypasta of all time.
The post quickly sparked the interest of other users, who soon began writing their own SCPs.
I first learned of the SCP Foundation and the horrors it contains back in the late 2000s when SCP-173 was frequently shared on 4chan and on other places online. Yet, I never looked deeper, never visited the actual SCP-Wiki and read none of the many other SCPs.
Since I’m a horror writer, I love all horror fiction, be it as books, manga, or creepypasta shared over the internet.
In recent years, the popularity of the SCP Foundation has grown significantly. Many YouTube channels small and big talk about various SCPs and several video games have been released.
Before long, my interest was piqued and at the end of last year, I finally checked out the SCP Foundation myself. And thus my deep-dive into the world of Secure, Contain and Protect began.
Table of Contents
- The SCP-Wiki
- Best SCPs – Honorable Mentions
- Series I
- Series II
- Series III
- Series IV
- Series V
- Series VI
- Series VII
- Best SCPs – 001-Proposals
To my surprise, the SCP-Wiki and many of its entries differed from what I’d originally thought. I’d expected that most of the articles would be containment procedures for anomalous objects or creepy monsters akin to SCP-173.
Instead, the content of the SCP-Wiki had evolved over the years. By now, it contains many different styles and genres. You can find horror, science-fiction, comedy, historical fiction and even meta-fiction, all in the form of SCPs.
The anomalous objects and monsters, too, have evolved. We can find articles about Elder Gods and monsters, but also concepts, dangerous thoughts, memes, parallel dimensions, the future, the past and so much more.
As part of this deep-dive I read as broad and wide as I could. Many articles, lists or videos concerning the SCP Foundation talk about the most popular articles, but that doesn’t do it justice. Overall, there’s over six-thousand SCPs out there by now.
I didn’t read all of them, of course, but I read a good part of it, almost a thousand entries.
While taste is subjective and not all the SCPs I read were good, I found quite a few that were truly amazing.
That’s why I put together my personal list of the best SCPs of all time.
Notice: All articles cited here are licensed under CC-BY-SA.
Best SCPs – Honorable Mentions
I included a small list of honorable mentions because I sometimes came upon articles I didn’t truly enjoy, but which were too well-crafted to ignore.
The articles here are all outstanding, well-written or took tremendous effort. Many of them are amongst the most popular articles in the SCP-Wiki. And yet, I had my problems with them. It could’ve been the narrative, the story told, the complexity, missing information or certain aspects I didn’t enjoy.
Still, I think they are all worth reading, or at least worth a look.
With that, I present you twenty honorable mentions that didn’t make it into my overall list of the best SCPs.
Series I is where it all started. Those are the very first SCPs, and they were written during simpler times.
Today, Series I is often criticized for being poorly written, having no character development, or being too simple.
While many of the articles in Series I are considered classics and rank high on the best-of-all-time list, it’s often more because of age and popularity than actual quality. A great example is the now defunct heritage collection, which includes some of the most popular SCPs of all time.
And yet, for all the criticism Series I is getting, the articles here can be quite effective. They are short and to the point, often reminiscent of creepypasta, and can be best described as monster-of-the-week articles.
They are less grand, less imposing and there’s no bigger mythos surrounding them. It’s because of this that they have a certain charm to them, at least some of them.
Overall, I read a good chunk of Series I, especially the more popular articles. While I believe the consensus of them being weaker compared to later Series holds true, I still enjoyed some of them. It’s here, I want to share those hidden little gems from Series I that I included in my list of the best SCPs.
SCP-002 – The “Living” Room
With Series II, a lot of things changed for the SCP-Wiki. Series II can be best described as a deconstruction of series I.
During Series I, the SCP-Wiki didn’t have a general tone. While some people wrote more realistic pieces, others wrote wacky and over-the-top articles. Those would later be known as lolFoundation. In these articles, the SCP Foundation is a crazy place, populated by insane, over the top characters.
Series II was a movement against this. The SCP-Wiki grew grimdark in tone. The world of the SCP Foundation became a cold, hard place. It’s dark and horrible, and many of the articles in Series II mirror it by being grim and depressing.
Series II was also heavily influenced by the SCP-1000 contest and its winner. It turned the SCP-Wiki away from its horror roots and more towards, including folklore, the unusual, and the fantastical.
In Series II, we also encountered the very first format screw, articles who incorporated other elements, moved away from the normal SCP format or disregarded it entirely.
Overall, Series II can be best described as a transitional period, one in which the SCP-Wiki moved away from the creepypasta roots of Series I and more towards the grander, more scientific style of Series III. Still, Series II is well worth reading, and many of its articles are amongst the best SCPs on the SCP-Wiki.
Series III is where things grew in size. It’s here where we find higher concepts, much more world-building and quite a few of the best SCPs of all time.
The articles of Series III are longer and often more story-driven than earlier ones. They are often grander in style, concerning anomalous creatures or concepts of an entirely different order. We’re not talking about monsters in cages anymore, we’re talking about entities that could threaten the entire SCP Foundation.
In Series III, we also get a much clearer picture of the various groups of interest, their motifs and the impact they have on the world and the SCP Foundation.
Once more, the tone of the SCP-Wiki changed. The grimdark tone that had taken root in Series III was replaced by a more ambiguous one. The SCP Foundation could still be unethical and often was. As a whole, however, it was concerned with keeping the world a safe place and protecting humanity.
Series IV is known mostly for how Meta it was. Many of the articles in Series IV played with tropes and twisted them in various creative ways.
It features some of the most creative and bizarre articles ever published on the SCP-Wiki. Format screws, Meta narratives, author inclusion and many other concepts came into play here.
While meta-articles were here to stay and would evolve, Series IV can be considered the most meta-heavy series out of all of them. And yet, as many meta-articles as Series IV contains, it also contains of a plethora of fantastic articles and many of the best SCPs of all time.
Series V is one of the newer Series, and one I haven’t explored as deeply as some of the earlier ones, yet.
In Series V, the SCP-Wiki returned to its horror roots. Once more, many of its articles would center on horrible, ghastly and creepy creatures. It’s also in Series V that one of the most popular and best SCPs in the horror genre was written.
One thing I noticed during Series V is that the writing was absolutely outstanding. It was here I discovered many of my favorite authors on the SCP-Wiki who’ve produced some of the most well-written and best SCPs of all time.
Series VI was yet another series that brought fresh wind to the SCP-Wiki. Once more, writers would try out new things and brought forth new ideas.
We can see an influx of different format screws, multi-page articles or entirely fresh forms of SCPs.
Series VI also took a step away from the horror and the more serious articles that dominated Series V. Instead, we saw a multitude of silly or humorous articles, many of which I enjoyed tremendously.
The writing, however, stayed on the same high level as during series V and I once more found many outstanding articles that make a worth addition to this list of the best SCPs of all time.
Series VII is the current and newest series, but it already features some absolutely fantastic articles.
The SCP-6000 contents might be my all-time favorite contest and features some grand, outstanding and well-written articles.
Overall, the quality I’ve seen in the articles of Series VII so far might be the best I’ve seen on the SCP-Wiki so far. While Series VII is new, many of the articles can be considered among the best SCPs of all time.
Best SCPs – 001-Proposals
Anyone who’s spent some time on the SCP-Wiki has heard about SCP-001 and the many 001-Proposals.
Being the number 001, many people had ideas what SCP-001 was supposed to be. Some said it had to be the very first SCP ever discovered, others said it had to be the most important or dangerous one.
It was eventually decided to keep the slot open, and instead fill it with proposals of what SCP-001 could be.
In-universe, SCP-001 was so important and dangerous, it was to be kept a secret and well-hidden. To keep its identity a secret, a variety of false entries were created to throw off any unauthorized reader.
What this meant is simple. The true SCP-001 could be any of them, it could be all of them, or none of them.
The SCP-001 proposals are a writer’s most ambitious work, their grandest article and the culmination of their efforts.
It’s because of this that the SCP-001 articles are seen as the cream-de-la-crop and the best SCPs on the entire SCP-Wiki.
After reading all of them, I have to agree.
Many of the 001-Proposals are amongst the most ambitious and best SCPs on the entire SCP-Wiki. As the last part of this list, I want to present to you the best of the almost fifty proposals there are on the SCP-Wiki.