Photo-Illustration; Vulture; Photos Courtesy to the Developers
The approach of Halloween is getting us all in the mood for something spooky, and there’s no better way to feel the fright than with horror video games. Horror games can be scarier than the most intense horror movies by immersing the player in the action and giving them control of their fate.
Even those who are not afraid of horror might enjoy interactive scares. With those scaredy-cats in mind, we’re rounding up games that fall everywhere on the spooky spectrum, from those that are simply horror-adjacent to games that might actually cause you to literally die, Ringu-style.
We included a wide range of games including classic and modern, solo and multiplayer, competitive or cooperative, and more. So no matter what kind of scares you want to get into this October, there’s a horror game waiting for you.
Play as much or as little as you wish Addictive action gameplay that isn’t actually scary.
Vampire Survivors isn’t exactly a horror game, despite the name. The game’s gothic design and endless number of monsters make it an excellent choice for Halloween gaming. The game automatically attacks your character. You just need to aim and survive for as long as you can. This makes it accessible even to casual gamers.
You can play as much or as little as you wish: An interactive novel of Japanese design with surreal elements.
At first glance Doki Doki Literature Club appears to be a typical Japanese-style “visual novel” in which you do high-school stuff like attend class and woo girls — a popular genre in its own right, but why is it on a horror list? American designer Dan Salvato led the development of the game. It eventually turns into a full-on psychological horror. To say more would risk spoiling the experience, so we’ll leave it at that.
Play as much or as little as you wish A well-made Nintendo game with a light horror atmosphere.
Metroid It is one of the most loved and oldest games in gaming. It’s always been tinged with horror, as you guide space bounty hunter Samus Aran around derelict spaceships and hostile alien environments until she’s powerful enough to escape. The latest entry, 2021’s Metroid DreadIt lives up to its title, and Yoshio Sakamoto, the producer, told GameSpot that the game was named after the emotions it wanted to focus on: fear, dread, and terror. It’s a must-play for Nintendo Switch owners.
Play as much or as little as you wish Multiplayer Slasher-inspired fun.
Dead by Daylight is something known as an “asymmetrical” multiplayer game, because the teams are uneven. The four normal players play the role as survivors, while the fifth plays the role of the powerful Killer, who tracks down the survivors and attempts to take out the killers. The game features a wide range of licensed characters, from Freddy Krueger and Leatherface to the Demogorgon from Netflix’s Stranger Things.
Play as much or as little as you wish Dark SoulsIt’s a horror movie with Lovecraftian Horror and werewolves.
Elden Ring broke through to the mainstream this year, but it was just the latest in a long line of challenging, immersive “Souls” games by Japanese developer FromSoftware. It also includes BloodborneThe 2015 PlayStation Exclusive Set in a World of H.P. Lovecraft–inspired cosmic mythology and gothic horror. Fans have been waiting years for a remaster on modern platforms, but failing that, the original still holds up well — as long as you don’t mind a challenge.
Play as much or as little as you wish To revisit the classic horror-comedy franchise, in game form.
Call who if you have the latest Ghostbusters The films may not have scratched the itch you were hoping for. Try The Video Game GhostbustersThe sequel is called. Ghostbusters 2. The game is set in 1991 and casts you as a Ghostbusters recruit. It also features the voices of the original cast. It’s well worth taking a trip down the memory lane to see the remastered version on modern consoles.
You can play as much or as little as you wish: Narrative-focused YA-style horror.
Oxenfree You play the role of Alex, a teenager girl who sets out to discover an island where supernatural events take place. It is Stranger Things Its visuals, music and writing are top-notch, giving it a wide appeal. Netflix purchased Night School Studio, the creator of vibe. Oxenfree You can access the Netflix app on your smartphone to get it for free.
Play as much or as little as you wish Modern ambience with old-school gameplay
Horror games often play in the first-person perspective, as the intimacy of being inside a character’s head can create plenty of chilling moments. Limbo The rare, old-school horror game that is more like MarioThe character moves from left to right on the 2-D plane. That doesn’t quell its spookiness, though. The black-and white puzzle game and its spiritual sequel. InsideIf you are afraid of giant spiders, these are some of the most popular cult favorite.
Play as much or as little as you wish A cinematic horror experience that’s more like an interactive movie.
The Quarry The horror story is a classic one: Teenage counselors at summer camps must survive a night full of supernatural attackers. The gameplay is not traditional. You spend most of your time making decisions that affect the story. You can make any character live or die, depending on your actions. Developer Supermassive Games’ previous entry, Up to DawnIt is highly recommended that you also use it.
Play as much or as little as you wish Sci-fi horror that focuses on the story.
From the developer of the beloved Amnesia series, Soma The story casts you as an explorer who is lost in a decaying underwater research facility managed by an artificial intelligence. It is a fascinating story with a unique setting.
Play as much or as little as you wish With friends, goofy co-op horror.
Phasmaphobia Ghost-hunting is fun, but you can also do supernatural investigations with your friends. Ghost-hunting tools like night vision cameras, ouija boards and EMF meters are used to help you and your team identify the type of phantasm in the area. It’s hilariously janky, but undeniably fun.
Play as much or as little as you wish Learn More Resident Evil.
The Evil Within The sequel and the original survival-horror game are primarily traditional survival-horror video games. Resident Evil series creator Shinji Mikami. It’s like a greatest hits of video-game horror: It has everything you want, from nightmarish environments to fight-or-flight gameplay, all in a polished package. Both are great games, but you should start with the original.
Play as much or as little as you wish Open-ended survival-horror.
This survival-horror game is different from many others on the list. The Forest The game is open-ended. The environment is open to exploration and you play the role of a man searching for his son on a remote island. While trying to survive, you must scavenge and craft items while avoiding the cannibal population. It’s atmospheric and spooky, plus you can play by yourself or with friends.
Play as much or as little as you wish Psychological Taiwanese horror.
Devotion It is an atmospheric adventure video game that allows you to explore an apartment complex and learn about the lives and times of the family who lived there. It was controversially released in 2019, and it was quickly removed from digital shelves because of a few elements that were perceived as being critical of China’s government. Red Candle Games, the developer of the game, eventually self-published it. Devotion online, where it’s available now.
You can play as much or as little as you wish: To feel equally terrified and disgusted.
The Mortuary Assistant As a real mortician, you will have to perform embalmments as well as other skin-crawling duties. Of course, the horror doesn’t stop there, as River Fields Mortuary may or may not be haunted by a demon. The Mortuary Assistant is not for the faint of heart, but it’s a must-play for horror enthusiasts.
Play as much or as little as you wish In an easy to digest format, animal terror scares.
Even eight years after its release, the game that created a medium-sized media empire is still worth a play. There have been dozens of spinoffs and sequels. You play as a night-shift employee at a Chuck E. Cheese–style amusement restaurant where the animatronic animals have come to life and developed murderous tendencies.
You can play it as often as you like: Traditional survival-horror single-player gameplay with some serious scares
The seventh Resident Evil The perfect place to start is the game, paradoxically. You can jump straight into its kidnapped-by-cannibals story without any prior knowledge of the series’ zombie-apocalypse-sci-fi lore, and enjoy exploring an extremely scary house and its surrounding estate. You can continue the fun in the newer episodes. Resident Evil VillageThis is a discussion about a coven dominatrix-y vampires.
Play as much or as little as you wish A hard-core group that tests your abilities with three of your friends.
You can team up with your friends in multiplayer multiplayer shooters to defeat hordes. But GTFO It stands out because of its terrifying, extreme difficulty. It is a difficult task to navigate an underground network with limited resources. Because the worst is certain to happen.
Play as much or as little as you wish The classic classic horror movie. Alien movie universe.
Alien Fans need not look further than Alien: Isolation. Ripley is your character. You must sneak around a space station and avoid an unkillable Xenomorph alien. This game pushes horror-stealth beyond its limits. There’s even an iOS version for those who like gaming on the go.
Play as much or as little as you wish To sneak around a psychiatric hospital while managing your camcorder’s battery life.
Start with Amnesia: The Dark DescentSome horror-game developers decided in the 2010s to completely eliminate combat. What’s scarier than being totally unable to fight back? Outlast One of the most bizarre entries in this subgenre. Your camcorder is your only light source. You must navigate the Mount Massive Asylum. There was an expansion, a sequel, and soon a third.
You can play as much or as little as you wish: You will find gruesome survival horror mixed with sci-fi.
Dead Space One of the greatest survival-horror game ever made. You’re cast as a space explorer on a mining ship infested with horrifying, mutilated monsters, armed with industrial weapons that can dismember them limb from limb. EA Redwood Shores was the game’s developer. Visceral Games was created to develop sequels. However, the original game has not been duplicated.