It depends on the size and realism for me as well. I haven't played any of the games mentioned in the article, but I did have an encounter with these virtual creatures once in another game. I was dungeon crawling in F.A.T.E and the arachnids that I had to kill were medium sized and it wasn't scary at all. If I had to eyeball the length, it would be about an inch if I were to place a ruler directly to my screen.
Most of my experiences with virtual spiders are generally found elsewhere, like in movies(Harry Potter) and a cartoon(Spider Riders). Now the ones in HP are the kind that I react to. When they were slowly crawling down from the trees with their ungodly size(the gross sfx made it worse) and in droves, I just lose it.
As for the cartoon, Spider Riders, I remembering waking up super early every Saturday to watch it. The spiders here were mechanical and they didn't have that instinct of wanting to chomp down on every human that crosses their paths. They looked completely harmless and the characters actually relied on these mechanical spiders as companions. I wasn't afraid of them since they were nowhere close to a realistic depiction of an arachnid we'd find irl, they were actually pretty cool.