Halloween is almost here, and with spooky season upon us, there’s never been a better time to sink your teeth into some of the best horror games. Whether you’re looking to shit your pants with single-player stories or terrorise your friends in multiplayer titles, we’ve collated classic and new horror titles to try out this week to get into the Halloween mood.
Best Horror Games
World of Horror
World of Horror has been in Early Access for some time, but the “1-bit love letter to Junji Ito and H.P. Lovecraft” is now officially in full release in all its horrific roguelite glory. Experience turn-based combat in a fictional version of Shiokawa, Japan as you fight off otherworldly creatures and try to stop an impending apocalypse, all the while experimenting with a deck of cards that herald in “new forms of cosmic horror in every playthrough.” It only takes one glimpse at the launch trailer to get a feel for just how scary this horror game is – and to see the Tomie and Uzumaki influences running deep through the theming, art, and overall tone.
Alan Wake Remastered
Alan Wake Remastered, the 2021 remaster of the award winning cinematic action-thriller, ratchets up the suspense as troubled author Alan Wake searches for his missing wife and loses his grip on reality as the story he supposedly wrote begins to come true. Just like any great horror tale, it’s filled with twists, turns, and cliff hangers and a whole lot of darkness. The sequel, Alan Wake 2, also happens to be coming out this weekend – so you’ve got time to marathon both titles before Halloween for the full experience.
Phasmophobia is a lockdown classic for plenty of gamers who love a good jumpscare or paranormal experience – the 4-player online co-op psychological horror game sees you and a group of ghost hunters investigating homes with suspected paranormal activity to gather as much evidence as you can with full voice recognition and proximity chat to up the suspense. But be careful; the ghosts in this world are restless, and if they go on the hunt, you and your mates are in for it. If you’re keen to watch your mates absolutely shit themselves, Phasmophobia is the ticket.
Dead by Daylight
Dead by Daylight has become a spooky classic, with the asymmetric multiplayer 4vs1 horror game seeing one player take on the role of the Killer, while the rest play as desperate Survivors trying to escape and outlast. Iconic horror characters like Ghost Face, Freddy Krueger, and Michael Myers all make up part of the ever-growing Killer roster, so get ready to survive (or torment your group) across PC and console.
Layers of Fear
Layers of Fear (2016) is a first-person psychedelic horror game with a focus on story and exploration as players control a painter hellbent on completing his Magnum Opus. All the while, solve puzzles and navigate a constantly changing Victorian-era mansion filled with visions that peer into the painter’s psyche. Peel back the painter’s inner mind and encounter horrific visions that’ll have you on the edge of your seat.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
It wouldn’t be a horror game list without a Resident Evil title in the mix, and Resident Evil 7 Biohazard is one of the most horrific of the bunch (although, shoutout to Resident Evil Village for giving us Lady Dimitrescu). Capcom’s 2017 survival horror installment ushered in a perspective shift for the series, moving from third- to first-person and aiming for visual photorealism that amps up the gore to a new level. This jaunt into modern-day rural America is set after the events of RE6 and sees Ethan Winters searching for his wife at a seemingly abandoned plantation inhabited by a horrific, infected family. Dinner at the Baker Ranch will continue to haunt my dreams for the rest of my life, quite possibly – so now it’s time for it to haunt yours, too.
The Evil Within 2
The Evil Within 2 is disturbing as all hell, plain and simple. The survival horror game follows Detective Sebastian Castellanos as he tries to save his daughter by descending once more into the nightmarish world of STEM, where everything twists and warps around him in mind-bending ways. If I was asked to pick a game that typifies ‘visceral horror’, it’d be this one.
If you’re into sci-fi horror games, or just enjoy terrifying yourself at the thought of being stuck in the claustrophobic combines of a ship in space with something hot on your trail, Alien Isolation is my Halloween pick for you. Adapted from Ridley Scott’s iconic movie Alien, play Amanda, Ripley’s daughter, as you try to avoid becoming the Xenomorph’s next prey and solve the mystery of your mother’s disappearance.
While Dredge might not have the same level of gore and jumpscares as a lot of the other titles on this list at first glance, the ‘cozy’ single-player fishing adventure (and the creatures in the sea) are more than meets the eye. Prepare for sinister vibes, ominous eldritch-inspired beasts that lurk in the depths, and suspense that’s bound to have you looking at the ocean differently afterwards.
There are plenty more horror games that could fit nicely into your pre-Halloween gaming roster, including any Silent Hill title, Five Nights At Freddy’s, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and Until Dawn, but we’d be here all week if I listed out every spine-tingling, edge-of-your-seat gaming experience that’s perfect to sink your teeth into this October.
Enjoy your pants-shitting scary or dread-inducing gameplay, gamers. Which spooky titles will you be jumping into this week? Let us know in the comments.
Lead Image Credit: Capcom