I am one of those weirdoes who thinks Halloween is the best holiday. Christmas is costly and sometimes painfully nostalgic. Easter is f*cking weird (painted eggs and dead messiahs, YAY) and Thanksgiving is the celebration of revisionist history, so to me, those holidays can hang themselves from their own Christmas lights. Halloween is where it’s at. Halloween also means horror stuff is everywhere. Horror video games come out most in October (fun fact #172) and horror movies are everywhere. Be they new to the theater or pasted all over the television and web, it just seems like Halloween is the easiest time for an adult to truly feel like they have the freedom to have fun and feel like a kid again, even if it only lasts a month or so.
And a part of that fun feeling around Halloween is feeling fear. It can be fun to be scared sometimes, especially from the safety of your couch, and what better way to elicit scares than by playing scary video games?
Problem is, right now the world is drowning in horror games. From big-budget to indie, it can be tough to figure out which horror games are the best to play around this time of year. That is why I am here, folks. Here is a list of the TEN BEST HORROR GAMES TO PLAY THIS HALLOWEEN (2017).
Keep in mind, there will be classics you are too young to know even exist and some games that are brand new, so there will be a scary game for every kind of gamer on this list. Enjoy!
10) Honorable Mentions:
(These Two Count as One)
Dead Space 2
“And it was at that exact moment Isaac knew, he f*cked up….”
The ‘Dead Space’ Series is great and scary as hell. But if you are choosing just one to play this Halloween, pick part 2, if for nothing else other than that opening scene which may be the scariest and most frantic opening level to any horror game ever.
Oh, and that”needle to the eye” scene is unreal, too, but most sites have already talked that to death (myself included) which is why this only lands as an honorable mention.
The Amnesia Series
So a game that teaches you how to make bacon using basic machinery? Awesome!
Honestly, the Amnesia series made “hide and seek” horror popular and they made it simple. And for those reasons, it worked really well.
In the end, the whole series is a blast to play. This is also a well-known fact and there is much love for this series across the web, which is why I only tossed it here as an ‘honorable’, as awesome as it is. Also, let me say, I am the weirdo who likes “A Machine for Pigs” the most, but most fans of the series will tell you just to go with the original for scares.
9) The Entire Outlast Series
Spoiler alert: He wants to use those to chop off your pecker. I wish I was kidding. This game is SICK.
I have spoken of Outlast on here before when writing about the best horror games and with good reason. Between Outlast 1, the Whistleblower DLC which is some truly disturbing stuff, and now the killer sequel, Outlast 2, these games are, dare I say it, kind of traumatizing. Yeah, I don’t just mean scary. They screw with your head in such a way where the games themselves can actually cause traumatic memories to be cued in one’s own mind.
I know a renowned game journalist who played part 2 (you can find this review online, but I won’t link to it because it is also kind of a traumatizing read) and in the middle of playing part 2, he had a kind of nervous breakdown because the game brought to light his repressed memories of being molested as a child. Not remotely kidding (as that isn’t something to joke about). THAT is how dark these games are.
And now, like a cherry on an Anthrax sundae, all the above-mentioned games come packaged together to be bought as one at a really good price, so don’t miss out on that! Three terrifying experiences for the price of less than ONE!
I know a great many people think Resident Evil and Silent Hill when they think horror games or scariest games ever (and one entry from both of those series make the list so they aren’t wrong), but I personally feel like Outlast has taken that title away from those series just for how FAR it is willing to go. Those games are creepy-fun.
8) Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
The look your grandma gives you when she is part alien-demon and you ask for more candy.
This game is TRULY a buried gem, and outside of a few Redditors I have talked to, I am the only person I know who played this game, yet a quick glance around the web will show you, MANY hold it in very high regard when it comes to scary horror games.
This game is an FPS that was the first horror game I can recall that was an FPS, yet gave you NO weapons. For the most part, you had to run and hide from people and creatures in this game that took place in the beloved H.P. Lovecraft universe.
And while running and hiding may be the most common thing in horror games now, Dark Corners of the Earth came out on the very FIRST Xbox, so think about how long ago THEY set the trend in motion, yet get no credit for it (for you TRUE horror geeks out there, the Clock Tower series did the ‘hide and seek’ thing first, but experiencing it in first person cranked the tension tenfold). I stopped playing this game for weeks at a time, that is how scary and relentless this game was for me the first time I played it.
Frankly, this is a phenomenal horror game too few people even know exist.
7) Resident Evil VII
Why does every horror game gotta have a weird little girl in it now? Love this game but WTF to that trope.
They did it. Capcom did it. They somehow brought the truest horror elements back into the series that was once the greatest survival horror series of all time and the very game responsible for making scary games so popular (but was by no means the first, look up SWEET HOME to see who RE’s grandpa is). Resident Evil VII was just what fans clamored for after the bizarre action-hybrid that was Resident Evil 6 (not necessarily a bad game at all, just not a Resident Evil game) and with part 7 we got just what we wanted from this series:
to be scared again.
Taking all the elements that made the originals so good (limited ammo, claustrophobic space, perfect pacing and a perfect meld of genuine fear with some fun jump scares) and adding some new tweaks to the formula as well. RE 7 started this year off with a bang.
Also, shifting the camera angle from third-person to FPS did not seem like something that would work in an RE game and felt like a blatant PT rip (which I completely encourage and hope more developers do), yet somehow, it worked and it worked freakishly well, ESPECIALLY in VR. The Baker family was the best “antagonist” this series has had yet, and that single experience made for a harrowing game.
Honestly, playing through RE VIII in VR might just be the scariest experience any gamer can really have right now, so scoop that shit up and play it Halloween night to really screw yourself up.
6) Silent Hill 2
Once you finish the game and the punch of the story lands, this game will mess up your head a bit.
Is Silent Hill 2 one of the greatest horror games ever made? It is, without question. If the new Outlasts didn’t drop, along with PT and RE7 recently, I would still go so far as to say this is the best horror game ever made, if not just for the amazing twists and turns the player experiences.
Silent Hill 2 opens with the protagonist of the game receiving a letter from his dead wife to meet him in “their special place” which was Silent Hill. What unfolds over the next many hours is a layered story so troubling and complex, the game takes you through a grotesque world all while leading you to a conclusion that blew your mind. Also, this is the game that introduced the now iconic Pyramid Head to the series and the encounters with him (them, actually) in part 2 are all unforgettable.
I won’t say any more than that for the one of you who hasn’t played Silent Hill 2 yet. GREAT Halloween game right there. Get on that shit!
5) Alien: Isolation
There are very few games I find TOO unnerving to play. Like I said in the intro, I am a horror buff. My real life is ugly and I love escaping into uglier worlds so I lessen my urge to blow my brains out. But Alien: Isolation is an unnervingly tense game. You NEVER feel safe, and it is weird, because even though you are playing a game and KNOW when this is all coding and you are safe, you are still GENUINELY scared in real life while you play. It is SO tense it is hard to capture in words.
Though not my favorite game on the list, there were times I HAD to shut this game off because I literally felt like I was going to have a stroke from so much adrenaline pumping through me. It’s the PERFECT ‘Alien’ game, even better than all the recent Alien movies, and is up there for the scariest game ever, which makes it a perfect play for Halloween night.
Man, I harken back to sweet days I was a 16 years old playing this game, snuffing motherf*ckers like what. I was hard AF back then. #SnuffLife #ASerbianGame
I don’t care if it is old. I don’t care if some think Manhunt series was shocking for shocking’s sake. Look at the title of this list. It is about the best and scariest games to play on Halloween, and playing in a game that is a snuff film where you need to murder people in increasingly brutal ways is about as HALLOWEEN as it gets.
What also sets Manhunt apart is, it is a stealth game, through and through (like Alien Isolation) and even if you are a killer, if you are heard or seen, the people you are trying to kill are killers, too, (often in freaky ass face masks) and when they hear or see you, you WILL know fear as they descend upon you like starved vultures.
Also, quite a disturbing and surreal feeling to hack at a man’s groin with a scythe, but this game grants you that feeling.
3) Dead by Daylight
At least he wears an apron so he doesn’t get your blood on his already bloody clothes. Makes sense.
I’m sorry, I know a lot of you wanted the new Friday the 13th game on here, but in my opinion, Dead by Daylight is the better (and less glitchy) of the two ‘horror movie slasher simulator multiplayer games’ out right now. Wow, say that in one breath. Dead by Daylight is a really cool, fairly new multiplayer game that pits players against a set of slashers (even some horror movie icons now, like Michael Myers from Halloween and Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre series).
What makes Dead by Daylight cool is, they sorta explain the slasher tropes as supernatural. Like, players can set up traps for the killers, but the killer has some special moves like teleportation and shit, so it ends up being a really interesting cat and mouse multiplayer game that sometimes leave you truly jittery on both ends (whereas when you play as Jason In Friday the 13th, the threat is all but nonexistent).
It is one thing when the “bad guy” is A.I, but when you know another human is controlling it to hunt and murder you, you know it adds a whole ‘nother level of depth and fear into it. Fun game and great to play with friends.
This pic tells you this game does NOT f*ck around, be forewarned.
A point-and-click game based off the GREATEST HORROR SHORT STORY OF ALL TIME, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is a game that was WAY ahead of its time. Featuring classic, pixelated, adventure game graphics (that are still very disturbing to this day), this horror PC game that came and went in 1995 and ended up slowly attaining a cult following because of writers like me who bring it up once a year is still one of the creepiest games ever made.
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (also scariest title of all time) is a horror game that will stay with you for the rest of your life once you play it. It features an A.I machine keeping the last few humans alive on earth inside a simulation that just tortures them and makes them relive their worst memories and moments, over and over, times a thousand, forever.
It is dark stuff that pulls no punches and that is why it is on the list and STILL a game more of you need to play. Playing it on Halloween would only make it that much MORE unsettling.
(Click Title of Game Above to Play RIGHT NOW)
1) Until Dawn
This game puts the WEE in Ouija. As in you it makes you wee your pants.
For me, Until Dawn has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the eighth generation of gaming, and not enough people recognize that. If there was ONE SCARY GAME out there to play on Halloween that would make it feel like you playing an ACTUAL horror movie, Until Dawn is it.
I remember going at Until Dawn really excited (Heavy Rain gameplay and storytelling meets horror movie slasher shit? Sign me up) but by the time I was done I was even more blown away then I had expected. The graphics are great (some awesome motion capture of some really talented young actors and actresses, like Rami Malek, who is the central character in the game), the varying options and choices you can make and different outcomes you can get are jaw-dropping (you can literally cause every single character to die or you can save each and every one of them, and it is not easy), and there are some plot-twists you will NOT see coming, which makes this even scarier and surprising ride.
In my playthrough, only two kids died and if you consider Until Dawn the scary game equivalent of a slasher movie, that is pretty damn impressive. Sometimes being a horror fan pays off. Apparently, I am a pretty good horror survivalist based on the games above.
So what is YOUR favorite horror game and did I leave it off the list, so now you are hunting me down like human prey? WOOHOO, my own horror game in real life!
*Instantly modifies a weed whacker into a spinning razor blade shooter and waits by the door