Spooky season is upon us, which is why Halloween fiends look for a scare in more places than just movies — like in horror video games.
They want to feel scared to their core. These are people who want to do much more than witness the struggles of a protagonist; they’re looking to take control of them. What a better way to provide that immersive experience into the macabre? Horror video games provide them front row seats to every jump scare, gruesome moment, and even death in the most enveloping ways possible.
Not all spooky movies scratch the itch that comes every Halloween where self-torture seemingly becomes a thing of excitement. That’s why this A-List is there: So dim the lights, boot up your console or PC, and settle in for a gaming night of frights.
Here is the list of top 10 horror video games…ever.
10. Dead by Daylight
The gameplay of “Dead by Daylight“ is the true differentiator from other horror games. A multiplayer game where four friends are thrown into a mist-filled forest or abandoned asylum. Of course, they’re not alone.
One player takes control of a terrifying killer and immediately sets off hunting the four survivors looking to kill them and prevent their escape. Tension is at its highest as these survivors must use stealth, agility, and luck to avoid the killer, fix the generators, open the exit gate, and survive the night.
Did I mention the game features some truly iconic horror villains — Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and Leatherface are all playable. You’ll be praying they don’t find you but if they do…run like hell.
9. Dying Light
“Dying Light“ is a first-person, open-world zombie game. The player takes control of a character named Kyle Crane who is sent into the perilous, quarantined city of Harran on a special mission to retrieve something of grave importance.
Leaning heavily into parkour gameplay, the player must outrun hordes of zombies chasing them down. Scale tall buildings, navigate tricky rooftops, and leap large distances to survive all to not become dinner for the undead.
As is the case with some of these horror video games, it really gets scary when the sun goes down. At night, something else comes out. A different type of zombie who is more aggressive, faster, stronger, and much harder to kill. You have no choice but to run and pray you make it to a safe house in time.
“F.E.A.R.” (First Encounter Assault Recon) follows a team of special forces specialised in dealing with supernatural occurrences. They are sent to confront and capture a sinister paranormal entity called Alma that takes the form of a young girl.
Plagued by horrifying visions caused by Alma, you must survive all the carnage thrown at you. Additionally, you fight off guards who will do anything to cover up a diabolical mystery as you uncover the truth about Alma. In your journey, you’ll encounter evil hallucinations and telepathic experiments inside a secret facility. There is no sense of safety or premonition of when you are going to be transported into another nerve-wracking vision.
7. Until Dawn
“Until Dawn” follows a group of eight friends who reluctantly return to a snowy lodge cabin on Blackwood Mountain a year after a tragic event befalls them. They are invited back by one of the friends as a way of paying their respects but something is not right. In fact, some of the friends believe they may not live through the night to see the dawn.
This is one of the horror video games that allows you control every character and gives you multiple choices characters say and do. But, be careful! Every action has consequences and in this game nobody is safe.
If you get a character killed its permanent. Trying to close a door on another character to survive a chase? They might just remember that and it could come back to haunt you. Knowing that every character is vulnerable creates a heart-wrenching experience as you fight to keep your favourite alive until the end of the game.
6. The Evil Within
“The Evil Within” is a third-person survival horror video game that focuses on the protagonist Sebastian Castellanos a police officer. After he arrives at Beacon Mental Hospital to investigate a brutal murder, he is transported into a horrifying and decaying world.
Trapped and all alone, you must find a way to escape this hellish world and uncover the truth about where you are and what happened at Beacon Mental Hospital. Resources are scarce and sometimes a stealthy approach is the only way to survive in a world where everything wants you dead.
5. Outlast 2
“Outlast 2″ follows Blake Langermann, an investigative journalist and cameraman who is travelling with his wife to investigate the murder of a pregnant woman with no name. After a crash landing, Blake wakes up in the wreckage to discover his wife has gone missing and must search the area to find her.
A sinister cult populates the area and you must sneak past the psychotic members at all costs because in this game, there is no fighting back. Armed with only your camera, there is no way of harming the enemies, which creates an even more heart-racing experience as you must run and hide if you are found. Under the bed or inside the cupboard, no hiding place should be overlooked.
4. Resident Evil 2 (2019)
The “Resident Evil 2“ remake was a groundbreaking success. Keeping everything that made the original game so great while simultaneously adding some fantastic new features. Remakes in horror video games are an anomaly, but this eventually was considered to be game of the year for 2019. The game follows Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield as they struggle to escape Raccoon City as it erupts into chaos during a zombie outbreak.
This is a game that is jam-packed with jump scares. There is a zombie waiting around every corner or ready to burst through a window and eat your flesh. Think that zombie on the ground is dead? Better double-check and put a bullet in its brain, if you have any left. Ammo is rare and you must pick your battles carefully if you want to get out alive.
3. Dead Space
“Dead Space“ is one of those unique horror video games that puts us in space and gives us the name of our unique enemy. Here, you are set on a spaceship called Ishimura that is taken over by a race of feral monsters called Necromorphs.
Engineer Isaac Clarke must not only battle with the Necromorphs to survive, but also deal with his increasingly dangerous growing psychosis making him question his own sanity. Poised to figure out the truth about what is happening, even if it kills him.
Down every dark hall of the Ishimura lurks a Necromorph waiting to pounce and you must exploit their weak spots if you want to get out unscathed. As you progress through the game they become increasingly more difficult as you encounter new kinds of Necromorphs.
The Necromorphs aren’t the only thing providing you fear. The sheer tension this game increases as you explore the Ishimura. You’ll be gasping for air much like the character you play as when certain areas of the ship require a race to find more oxygen to survive.
“Outlast” focuses on Miles Upshur, an investigative journalist who chases a story that leads him up to a remote psychiatric hospital called Mount Massive Asylum. Outlast started as an indie game and quickly took the video game horror genre by storm with its creative and original gameplay.
In a pitch-black asylum with the psychotic patients on the loose, a camera equipped with night vision mode is your only friend. Whatever you do, don’t run out of batteries. You will be plunged into darkness and must navigate through the asylum praying you don’t bump into a rabid patient.
The batteries slowly deplete throughout the game and require you to be smart about when to use the camera. Search every corner of the asylum to find new batteries because they are the only thing keeping you alive. Some patients are dormant but you don’t know which as you slowly walk past them nervously waiting to see if they will attack you.
1. Alien Isolation
In space, no one can hear you scream. You’ve experienced the movies that affected a whole generation but now its time to relive it in what has to be the top of the horror video games out there.
This time you get to immerse yourself in the world of Alien scarier than ever by putting you in the front seat. The story follows Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, as she investigates the disappearance of her mother.
“Alien: Isolation“ is the perfect definition of how horror video games should be done. It has excellent survival gameplay that requires stealth and thinking smart to survive. The Xenomorph is hunting you down and there is no way to harm it but you are equipped with a motion tracker that gives you a heads up when the iconic alien is nearby. It is not always reliable however and the game isn’t afraid to throw some heart racing jump scares your way when you least expect it.
The game has incredible graphics and level designs that fill you with nostalgia as you explore a space station that has striking similarities to the one from the movies.
So now you’ve seen this A-List, what do you think? Did you feel that I missed anything out? Drop a comment below, I would love to hear your opinion!