It’s that time of year again, so get carving knives ready and cosplay designing skills because Halloween is almost here! If you just want to be hardcore and spend your nights leading up to the holiday playing video games, then how about play some scary and spooky games this October? Apart from the amazing the Amazing Spider-man game (no, that’s not a grammar error), there’s nothing much else to play this month. Sure, there are games like Call of Duty: Black Ops IV, or Battlefield V, or Red Dead Redemption 2, but save those for later, like, say, remind a couple of friends that Christmas is coming. *wink* *wink* And besides, the yearly autumn or Halloween sales are coming up, so you can make use of your 60 bucks to buy some horror games at discounted prices. What horror games do you want to play? Then look no further!
Horror games, while still a niche audience, are not popular to the general consumer. Apart from the indie gaming scene, don’t expect too much from big-name publishers to put out horror games frequently. We’ve got you covered though! If you really, really, really want to spend the entire month playing scary video games instead of trick-or-treating, then we’ve come up a very good list to keep you occupied and well, terrified at the same time. Oh, goodie!
Now then, let’s get started with Honey’s Anime’s Top 10 Scariest Games to Play During Halloween!
10. Yomawari: Night Alone
- System/Platform: PC, PS Vita
- Publisher: NIS America
- Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
- Release Dates: October 25, 2016
Cute, creepy, and scary, Yomawari: Night Alone is a Japanese horror game that is set in a Japanese neighborhood populated by supernatural beings from Japanese folklore. On an unspectacular evening, a little girl was walking with her dog and reasons beyond her control, the dog broke free from his leash and got hit by a vehicle. As the girl returns home, her sister went out to look for the dog. As time goes on, the girl’s sister and dog never return, and it’s up to her to find them. Strangely though, spirits started appearing in her neighborhood trying to take her life. Scared but determined, the girl pushes through to find her loved ones.
Once you’ve gotten used to the controls, you help the girl navigate town looking for clues for your sister’s whereabouts, solve puzzles, all while avoiding ghosts that wander the dark streets. Some ghosts are invisible, so you need to use your flashlight to get their location and avoid getting in their path. If you’re surrounded, or the road you want to take is blocked by a large monster, you can hide in the bushes and wait for it to pass by. Don’t let the cute girl fool you because Yomawari: Night Alone is a very creepy game that will give you constant goosebumps and heart pounding as you avoid getting killed.
9. Left 4 Dead 2
- System/Platform: PC, Xbox 360, Linux, Mac
- Publisher: Valve Software, Electronic Arts
- Developer: Valve Software
- Release Dates: November 17, 2009
In the aftermath of a viral outbreak known as The Infection, four survivors are stranded in the zombie-infested town of Savannah, Georgia. The survivors Coach, Ellis, Nick and Rochelle must work together to get across the zombie-filled town to the nearest evacuation zone. It won’t be easy for the entire population of Savannah has turned into zombies and a portion of them has turned into specialized zombies called the Special Infected that are deadlier.
Now we know what you’re thinking: games aren’t scary when you’re in a team armed to the teeth. However, Left 4 Dead 2 (let’s call it L4D2 for the rest of the topic) isn’t an easy game to beat even if you’re in a 4-man team because L4D2 is very unpredictable thanks to the AI Director that controls the game’s difficulty. To be honest, the AI Director can be masochistic and make your run from a casual stroll, to a hellish nightmare.
Apart from the unpredictable nature of the AI Director who gets to decide you die around the next corner or prolong the inevitable, L4D2 is still a survival horror game where you and your team must cooperate to survive. Getting separated from your team, and you’re stuck in a dark stormy abandoned factory with an ominous crying of a Witch nearby can creep you out, especially when dealing with special zombies called the Special Infected. Once these special Infected get a hold of you, you’re pretty much pinned until a teammate comes and rescue you. But let’s be honest here; The greatest fear in L4D2 isn’t the zombie apocalypse, nor a sadistic AI director. The greatest fear you’ll ever experience is your team’s poor coordination and lack of teamwork. Grab a few friend to play with, and work together to survive in a world torn apart by the undead. Or scream in horror as you watch your teammate shooting each other while a Hunter got you pinned.
- System/Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Switch, Android, iOS, Linux, PS Vita
- Publisher: PLAYDEAD, Microsoft Game Studios
- Developer: PLAYDEAD
- Release Dates: July 21, 2010
LIMBO is an atmospheric physics-based platformer where you play as a nameless boy searching for his sister. Stranded in a hostile world filled with deadly traps, bottomless pits, and giant spiders lurking in the dense forests, the nameless boy must brave through different areas and try not to get himself killed.
The first thing that catches your attention after booting up LIMBO is that the atmosphere is dark and oppressive with a black and white color palette. You immediately feel that the world you’re in is trying to take your life, and the bad news is, the world is indeed trying to kill you. The world is riddled with traps and puzzles that if you take a wrong step, your character dies in the most gruesome way possible. He gets his head chopped off, stabbed, sliced in half, drown, crushed, electrocuted and more. LIMBO is a short game, but the atmosphere draws you in like a moth to a flame.
7. Dead Space 2
- System/Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Developer: Visceral Games
- Release Dates: January 25, 2011
Out of the Dead Space trilogy, part 2 is arguably the best in terms of gameplay, story and enjoyment factor. The story takes place after the space engineer Isaac Clarke survived the many horrors within the corridors of the space mining ship the Ishimura. Having been exposed to the telepathic influence of the Marker--an alien artifact that can turn everyone into grotesque undead called the necromorphs—Isaac’s mind is close to the breaking point. After spending some time in a space station called the Sprawl as a mental patient, swarms of necromorphs have infested the colony. With no other choice than to survive, Isaac once again dons the armored engineer RIG to give him ample protection against the vacuum of space, and jerry rigs his plasma cutter to fend off the relentless necromorphs.
Giving a character a wide array of weapons to dispatch monsters isn’t particularly scary, and if the necromorphs scare the living Jesus out of you, the atmosphere from where they appear can. A large part of the Sprawl are dark and with the limited visibility your flashlight can give, and given the fact you need precision aiming to shoot off their limbs to dispatch them quickly, it’s not wise to go guns blazing. There also specialized necromorphs that charge at you like battering rams, or shoot projectiles at long range, and even try to melt your face off with acid attacks. And the fatalities are a sight to behold. Isaac gets split in half, gets melted, crushed by the air locks, get his head ripped off and get replaced by a necromorphs, etc., Dead Space 2 will keep you on edge.
6. Five Nights at Freddy's
- System/Platform: PC, Android, iOS
- Publisher: animdude
- Developer: animdude
- Release Dates: August 19, 2014
Yeah, we know, this very long game series has become a meme to the gaming community thanks, in part, of its very “colorful” fanbase, but it’s still a solid horror experience. Seriously, why else did YouTube personalities make let’s-plays of this series?
The story is simple: You are a security guard watching over the Freddy Fazbear's Pizza during closing hours. Sounds simple enough, right? Apparently there’s a memo from the management that the animatronic animals, namely the restaurant’s mascot character Freddy Fazbear and his friends, are rather unpredictable and tend to wander around on their own in the evening. Stuck in the small office, you monitor their movement through surveillance cameras and lock the security doors when the lovable Freddy Fazbear gets too close. But be careful though! Power to the doors and cameras are limited, so use them carefully.
The entire gameplay is you sitting in the security room and constantly check the cameras for movement. Check the layout of the hallways and lock any of the available doors to halt the advance of the robots. Stare too much at the cameras, you might end up getting your face eaten when one of the robots is right in front of you. The gameplay is simple, but has enough difficulty to keep you on your toes. Seriously, these scare-looking robots will scare your soul out of your body.
- System/Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, Xbox One
- Publisher: Red Barrels
- Developer: Red Barrels
- Release Dates: February 4, 2014
As the freelance journalist Miles Upshur, you will travel to Mount Massive Asylum after he received an anonymous tip that something illegal going on in the mental institute. Armed only with his wits and camcorder to record the activities inside the asylum, and a way to navigate through dark areas with its night vision function, Miles must avoid the escaped inmates, gather enough information to show the public, and get out of Mount Massive Asylum in one piece.
Getting chased by an alien or getting ripped apart by zombies, or getting possessed by ghosts, horror games tend to overuse these elements, but Outlast went to a more grounded approach of letting the player explore an asylum filled with lunatics with a nasty habit of killing scrawny guys running around carrying a camera (ie you). Apart from avoiding getting impaled, you must search for documents scattered around the asylum, and use your camcorder to record your experiences on tape. And being just a normal guy with no fighting skills, you spend much of your time running away and hide from the inmates.
There are a ton of jumpscares in Outlast that are so well-placed and sometimes out of nowhere, that it may cause your heart to burst out of your chest. And speaking of bursting chests...
4. Alien: Isolation
- System/Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4
- Publisher: Sega
- Developer: Creative Assembly
- Release Dates: October 7, 2014
There are a good amount of video games based on popular sci-fi horror franchise, but these games are more action-oriented where you hunt down xenomorphs rather than focus on surviving and fending off said xenomorphs. Alien: Isolation is a survival horror game that captures the fear of getting isolated inside a dingy space station with a vicious alien. You play as Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley from the film Alien who went missing for 15 years. Amanda’s hopes were renewed as she received that the black box of the ill-fated Nostromo, where her mother was stationed, has been recovered and is being held in Sevastopol Station. Upon arriving at Sevastopol Station, something was off—communication to the station was cut off, and the crew inside are in a state of panic. It turns out, there’s something else apart from the black box that was recovered.
The only way to survive is stay away and hide as the xenomorph is faster and stronger than you. Once it sees you, you’d better start praying that flamethrower you’re holding now has some fuel left. To break it all down, Alien: Isolation is like a huge game of cat and mouse where you try to avoid getting caught by the alien. Things get very scary when you try to operate a contraption, craft an item, or do a puzzle or wait for a few seconds to save your progress, and then suddenly your motion tracker is picking up movement in the ventilation system. To make things extra challenging (ie terrifying the crap out of you), the dynamic AI of the alien is unpredictable—you may have fended it off back to the ventilation system with your flamethrower, but it may move around and ambush you.
3. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
- System/Platform: PC, Linux, Mac
- Publisher: Frictional Games, THQ
- Developer: Frictional Games
- Release Dates: February 17, 2011
Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a first-person survival horror and puzzle game where you play as Daniel who woke up in the dark halls of Brennenburg Castle with no recollection of what has happened. In front of him is a note written by himself saying he removed his own memories of the past. The letter also said he must descend Brennenburg Castle and murder the man called Alexander, and watch out for “living nightmares” that are wandering around the dark hallways of the castle.
A game sometimes isn’t terrifying if you give your character a rocket launcher, but what if you want a game that your only weapon against the horrors is by running away and hide? To add more spice to the horror, your character loses sanity when you stay in the dark for too long, making hiding in a closet for too long a dangerous maneuver? The depths of Brennenburg Castle is very dark with very little light sources, making exploration very difficult. You do have an oil lamp, but fuel is finite, so you have to balance turning it on to explore a section, gather as many items as you can, and turn it back off once you’re under a light source like a torch on the wall. But staying in the light too long can make you visible to the creatures called the Gatherers. If they see you, your only choice is to run and hide. The constant resource management, puzzle solving and avoiding monsters is a very tense experience that will keep your heart pounding and hands sweating.
- System/Platform: PS4
- Publisher: SCEA
- Developer: From Software
- Release Dates: March 24, 2015
From the same creators of Dark Souls, Bloodborne is an action adventure RPG where you explore vast decrepit streets, bloodstained halls, and ruined buildings all while fighting deranged townsfolk and indescribable monstrosities. You are one of the many travellers visiting the city of Yharnam for the fabled Healing Church that has the power to cure any form of illness. Upon arriving in Yharnam, however, the once beautiful city is stricken by an unknown plague, causing weird mutations amongst the townsfolk.
While not categorized as a horror game, Bloodborne’s Victorian Era-esque setting constantly shrouded by death, decay and darkness, and populated by deformed, diseased people, animals and all manner of creatures, and a ton of blood make it one nightmarish experience. And add From Software’s brand of difficulty, each encounter is tactical and deadly with monsters that can do huge damage if you don’t time your dodges perfectly; you’ll die and start all over from the beginning, and probably end up destroying your PS4 controller.
A nightmarish setting, powerful enemies, deadly traps, giant grotesque bosses, and finite resources make Bloodborne feel like a survival horror game rather than a typical action adventure RPG. If you’re a type of gamer who wants a hardcore experience and at the same time getting immersed at the beautiful, yet oppressive worlds, then Bloodborne is a rite-of-passage game that separates the best from the casual.
1. Silent Hill 2
- System/Platform: PC, PS2
- Publisher: Konami
- Developer: KCET
- Release Dates: September 24, 2001
After receiving a letter from his wife, James Sunderland visited the resort town of Silent Hill. It was his wife’s favorite vacation spot, but now the town is shrouded in fog with not a soul in sight. But the strangest thing is James’ wife already passed away. Was the letter really from his wife? James must find the answers and his answers are in Silent Hill.
The Silent Hill franchise (the first 4 games at least), is known for its unique brand of psychological horror that relies on atmosphere, sound design, sexual references, characters are just typical people with no combat experience, and storytelling to deliver a spine-chilling experience without relying on the typical jumpscares you see in other games like Resident Evil or Outlast. The main highlight of Silent Hill 2 is the town itself, Silent Hill—it’s a living entity shrouded in constant fog filled with monsters created by the subconscious of the hero James. Everything James encounters has a sexual tone to them with monsters that look like corrupted female reproductive organs, the nurse zombies wear skimpy outfit, etc.. Is Silent Hill always like this or is the town creating manifestations of James’ inner desires and fears, as he explores the town looking for his dead wife? James eventually meets some people in the town, but they all seem a bit off, like they’re seeing the town differently to James, and they probably see James differently as well.
This brand of horror is very hard to replicate because the goal of Silent Hill isn’t to scare your pants off, but rather give you a sense of dread and despair as you explore the foggy town devoid of life, while having the feeling that there is something out there watching you, taunting you, or driving you mad. If you want a genuine scary experience with a unique approach to horror that doesn’t rely on cliche and gimmicks like a sanity meter, then Silent Hill 2 is the best and scary game for you to play this Halloween.
We’d like to give an honorable mention to P.T., a “Playable Teaser” for the now-cancelled Silent Hills game. The Silent Hill franchise needed a new spark of life so Konami assigned the legendary Hideo Kojima from the Metal Gear franchise to direct the franchise to a whole new direction. Konami has then released P.T. to the PS4 as a free download and it terrified everyone with its atmosphere and gameplay. Unfortunately Konami has removed P.T. from the Playstation Network, and the only way to play P.T. is to find someone who has the game downloaded to their PS4. If you manage to find a copy, we encourage you to play it, especially during Halloween.
So anyway, this concludes our Top 10 Scariest Games to Play During Halloween. There are a lot of horror games out there and sadly, we couldn’t put them all in this list. But still, the titles we have listed are one of the scariest games you can play for Halloween. Some will creep you out, some will make you jump out of your seat, or some will feel dread and despair, and we guess they’re better experiences than going out trick or treating for expired candies!