The 7 most terrifying games you should play on Halloween
If dressing up as a ghost and going to a party doesn’t quite give you the fright you were hoping for on Halloween, how about staying in and scaring yourself silly with some of the most terrifying games you’ll ever play? We’ve picked out eight classic horrors that are guaranteed to give your the creeps, whether you’re playing on console, PC or smartphone.
So, turn off the lights, wrap yourself in your favorite blanky, and tell your neighbors to ignore your screams.
Slender: The Eight Pages
Platforms: Mac, PC
Slender is a true horror classic. Released in 2012 by indie game studio Parsec Productions, it’s a first-person survival game in which you must explore a creepy forest at night to collect eight pages covered with crude drawings. You’re armed only with a flashlight that will run out of battery life.
As if wandering the woods in the pitch black wasn’t creepy enough, you’ll also have to avoid the simply terrifying Slender Man, who teleports around and often ends up right behind you when you least expect it, forcing you to pause the game and change your underwear (preferably after showering).
Slender isn’t a lengthy game — if you can master it, it won’t take you long to collect all eight pages. However, if Slender Man catches you (and he will — many, many times) it’s all over, and you’ll have to head back into the forest and start all over again.
Released just this month, Alien: Isolation is the latest game in the sci-fi horror series. It’s set in 2137, 15 years after the events of the original Alien. Like Slender, it’s a first-person survival game. This time you’ll play as Ellen Ripley‘s daughter Amanda, who is transferred to the space station Sevastopol to locate the flight recorder of mining ship Nostromo.
When Amanda arrives, she discovers an alien that cannot be killed has offed the vast majority of the crew. Her only chance of survival is to avoid the alien at all costs, but that won’t be easy — the alien actively hunts down Amanda using sound and smell, and it’s always on her trail.
Isolation has received rave reviews since making its debut, and it’s regarded as a must-play for anyone who’s a fan of the Alien franchise. Its incredible graphics — particularly on PC and the latest consoles — make it even more realistic and frightening than its predecessors.
The original Dead Space was designed to be the “the most terrifying game” ever made, and that’s why it should be in your game collection if you’re a fan of video game scares. Dead Space is a survival game like the others we’ve already picked, but instead of running away from your enemies, you’re going to take them on.
If you also like shooters, this one’s for you — but Dead Space has a unique twist. You see, the Necromorphs you’ll be fighting often don’t have brains or respiratory systems, so shooting them in the head or the chest isn’t going to stop them. Instead, you’ll need to shoot off their arms and legs to disable them.
Oh, and did I mention that Dead Space is set in space … in the 26th century?
Dead Space has been an incredibly successful franchise, shifting more than 8 million copies worldwide since its 2008 debut. If you’ve yet to sink your teeth into it, we recommend starting with the original and working your way through to Dead Space 3.
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 is one of the scariest games I’ve played on a console, and it’s just as scary on mobile. Set six years after the destruction of Raccoon City, the game sees you playing Leon S. Kennedy, a U.S. agent who’s on a mission to rescue Ashley Graham, the president’s daughter.
Along the way you’ll encounter hordes of unruly villagers and mutated monsters who have pledged their lives to Los Illuminados, the cult that perpetrated Ashley’s kidnapping — and each and every one of them will send shivers down your spine.
Resident Evil 4 may be pretty old now, but it’s still an incredible horror game — and widely regarded as the best in the Resident Evil series. If you haven’t already played it, you’re missing out on one of the greats.
The Walking Dead
Walking Dead is a five-part episodic game series set in the same universe as Robert Kirkman’s award-winning comic books — and each one is as horrifying as the last. But this isn’t just another zombie shoot ’em up; it’s a game that “explores some very dark psychological places, revealing that the undead are not the only thing to be afraid of when society crumbles.”
The title offers a brand new story in which your are Lee Everett, a man who’s been given a second chance at life in a world devastated by the undead. Your focus is on survival, and protecting a young orphaned girl called Clementine from the bloodthirsty zombies that are already finish off the remaining survivors.
You’ll be forced to make split-second decisions; there’s no time to ponder when the undead are breathing down your neck. But be careful: The decisions you make in each episode will directly affect how your story plays out across the entire series.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Platforms: Mac, PC, Linux
Many would say Amnesia: The Dark Descent is the most paralyzing game on this list, and it’ll most likely give you nightmares for weeks. But don’t let that put you off.
You play Daniel, who wakes up in a desolate castle with no idea how he got there, and only vague recollections of his past. His only mission is to survive by running, hiding and using his wits. The atmosphere is incredible, and once you begin playing the game, you’re in control from beginning to end — there are no cut scenes or time-jumps.
Amnesia is one of the most immersive games you’ll ever play, and it just so happens it’s completely petrifying, too. If you decide you only want to play one of these games this Halloween, you should probably make it this one. Check out the video below for a taste.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Outlast is a first-person survival game created by programmers previously involved with titles like Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed and Uncharted. The campaign is set in a derelict psychiatric hospital overrun by homicidal patients, and you, reporter Miles Upshur, must get out alive.
You have no weapons, so you must intelligently navigate the environment and hide wherever you can in an effort to stay out of sight. You do, however, have a camera and a notebook, which you’ll use to document the horrors you encounter. You’ll also take advantage of the camera’s IR mode to see in the dark.
Outlast lets you live out a common nightmare — being stuck inside an abandoned building that’s filled with evils. And it’s just as gruesome and horrifying as you expected it to be.
Have some horror game favorites of your own you think we should be playing? Let us know in the comments.