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Ten Terrifying Games You Need To Play This Halloween

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Ten Terrifying Games You Need To Play This Halloween

Halloween is on the horizon and if you’re at a loss on how to celebrate the holiday, then here’s our list of the top ten horror games that will send shivers down the spines of even the most fearless of gamers.

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All of the games here are playable and available right now, but while you’re here, this is one of my most anticipated horror games that’s currently in development. Take a look at Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals here! 

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10. Mundaun

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We’re kicking things off with a wicked indie title flaunting a haunting approach to horror. Inspired by The Shining, Mundaun transports the player to a pencilled portrayal of the Swiss Alps following the death of the hero’s grandfather. As soon as they set foot in the village, it’s clear that something sinister is simmering under the surface and horrifying creatures emerge from the shadows to stalk the player. A “uniquely eerie” experience, this is a must for fans of the genre who want to expand their palette.

Mundaun / Credit: Hidden Fields
Mundaun / Credit: Hidden Fields

9. Returnal

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Not strictly a horror, no, but why don’t you stare down one of the Eldritch terrors that our hero Selene battles and tell me it belongs in a petting zoo? Housemarque, which is known for its frenetic and colourful titles, served up the scares with the unsettling and oppressive architecture of Atropos. While the pace of this third-person shooter propels you from fight to fight, the mix of survival and psychological horror as well as the disquieting mystery that traps Selene on the planet earns it a spot here. 

Returnal / Credit: Housemarque
Returnal / Credit: Housemarque

8. Dead by Daylight

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Curled up on the sofa, wrapped in blankets, watching through your fingers, you’ll always root for the heroes in the horror movie. Unless it’s Dead By Daylight, and you’re having an absolute whale of time stalking your friends in the forest, picking them off like the last red Skittles at the bottom of the bag. 

Crossovers mean that you’re able to step into the shoes of Freddie Krueger, Michael Myers, Ghost Face and more with their own abilities, as well as unique Killers to the game. Or, you could be one of the Survivors trying to escape and foil the Killer’s plan… either together or every man out for himself. 

Dead By Daylight / Credit: Behaviour Interactive
Dead By Daylight / Credit: Behaviour Interactive
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7. Until Dawn

While games like Man of Medan, Little Hope and House of Ashes were spawned from its foundations, I'll argue that Until Dawn surpasses them all, dropping players straight into a spine-chilling yet self-conscious slasher film. Following the deaths of two of their friends one year ago, a group of teenagers gather to honor their passing. However, as the snow sets in for the night, it seems that someone or something is watching. 

As the game swaps from character to character, allowing the player’s previous choices to spell out the fates of these tropey and obnoxious chumps, it's perfect for couch co-op. Or, couch catastrophes. Just keep an eye on those quick time events and. Don't. Move. 

Until Dawn / Credit: Supermassive Games
Until Dawn / Credit: Supermassive Games

6. Amnesia: The Dark Descent

If horror games were characters from the cartoon Recess, Amnesia would be Miss Grotke. Adored, yet very able to deck you in the face with some scary stunts that you didn’t expect, if the occasion arises. 

Awakening in the shadows of a strange castle, the player travels deeper and deeper into the darkness and discovers mutilated monsters that deplete the character’s sanity if looked upon. With an endless number of ruined rooms and cold corridors composing the castle, it feels like the only way out of this nightmare is to keep calm and carry on. Well, we wish you luck with that mantra when there are these things and an omnipotent, otherworldly entity that is hunting you and oozing through walls to reach its prey. 

Amnesia: The Dark Descent / Credit: Frictional Games
Amnesia: The Dark Descent / Credit: Frictional Games

5. Little Nightmares

This game is simply an eye-popping example of how presentation is the key to success, not only in The Great British Bake Off but in horror games too. The protagonist, Six, is a young girl trapped on a ship called The Maw, and the monstrous passengers swipe and claw at her scurrying from corner to corner like a cat hunting a butterfly. 

The tangible clay-mation art style of Little Nightmares lets it stand out against other horrors and physics-based platformers, but it also acts to blur that boundary between you and the terrifying world of the game. It all looks a little too real. I won’t spoil the ending, as there’s a sequel that continues the haunting experience of the first game, and Ewan Moore definitely recommends you play that one too

Little Nightmares / Credit: Tarsier Studios
Little Nightmares / Credit: Tarsier Studios

4. Outlast

Outlast, in its mechanical simplicity, offers horror in the spine-chilling feeling of helplessness created in exploring and escaping Mount Massive Asylum. Equipped with a camcorder with a night vision switch, Miles Upshur's task is to illuminate the abhorrent treatment of the patients here, yet it's clear that the institution is a cover for sinister experiments. One point will see you sprinting through corridors to hide from a hulking mass murderer, another is a suspenseful cat and mouse in the darkest depths of the hospital. 

Developer Red Barrels uses the contrast of light and dark to a dizzying effect where you eventually become much more comfortable in the shadows. After all, what can't see you, can't hurt you... right? 

Outlast / Credit: Red Barrels
Outlast / Credit: Red Barrels

3. Resident Evil 7

The less said about Resident Evil 7, the better. Of course, at this point in the list, that’s hardly going to be a negative sentiment. 

Choking and unsettling, the sprawling Baker homestead riffs off Resident Evil’s roots while siphoning off the terror of being a trespasser in a hostile house. That sound was definitely the groan of floorboards under the character’s weight. Definitely. And that shivering whisper must have been plaster crumbling from the ceiling in the room across from me. 

Resident Evil 7’s horror shouldn’t be summed up in pithy statements here, it should be traversed in your own playthrough, holding Ethan Winters’ other hand throughout his torment. If you’re really really really brave, give the game’s VR mode a whirl. 

Resident Evil 7 / Credit: Capcom
Resident Evil 7 / Credit: Capcom

2. Alien: Isolation

One Christmas, I got the Alien series on DVD, and I couldn’t wait to watch the iconic horror that my parents told me scared the living daylights out of cinema goers in the ‘70s. 

Spoiler — it did not achieve the same effect in our living room in the 2010s. However, Creative Assembly’s Alien: Isolation reinvigorates that debilitating fear that the crew of the Nostromo felt as the creature stalked their every move. 

While Isolation offers the player weapons to defend themselves, their best bet is to hide from the Alien as they try to outsmart it and escape the space station. The thing is, it’s learning from your encounters, and it’s working out the most savage way to divorce your spirit from your mortal coil. Good luck! 

Alien: Isolation / Credit: Creative Assembly
Alien: Isolation / Credit: Creative Assembly

1. Resident Evil 2 2019

Weaving the 1998 game through the imaginations of its players to awaken the fear that burrowed its way into their brains more than 20 years ago, Capcom shows in this game the tack that remakes should opt for. It hooks out the tank controls, polishes the visuals to a sticky sheen, and lets Mr. X loose in the police station, meaning that you might be only a few feet away from his rampage at any point.

In its modernisations and its faithfulness to the original, Resident Evil 2 curdles the blood with realistic gore and textures, pulling you in by your collar into this apocalyptic and futureless world. There’s a mix of multiple genres — action horror, survival horror and a little dash of silliness to anchor the whole thing together. 

Resident Evil 2 / Credit: Capcom
Resident Evil 2 / Credit: Capcom

Et fin. Hopefully you’ll have found a new spooktacular title to try out this Halloween, or you’ve been validated in your opinions of the cream of the crop when it comes to creepfests. Tell us about your favourite horror games in the comments! 

Featured Image Credit: Capcom, Housemarque, Tarsier Studios

Topics: Resident Evil, PC, PlayStation, Xbox

Imogen Donovan
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