During Halloween, it’s usually suggested that we play a good horror game, or one that has elements from the genre, to put us in the mood. Three years ago, Robin wrote a list of his top ten horror games to play during the Halloween and November break (because it’s hard to cut off Halloween so short), and we think it’s time for a sequel.
This time around we have twenty horror games on our Halloween 2018 list, both new and old entries to scare up the night. These games are in no real order of how scary they are (since everyone has a different phobia or twenty), but I figure we start with the more tamed ones.
#1 – Luigi’s Mansion (2001-2018 – Nintendo – GameCube, Nintendo 3DS)
It’s not really a scary title, but it’s still a good ghost busting game from Nintendo. Luigi needs to push through his coward nature and use the Poltergust 3000 to suck up some ghost with some fairly easy fishing-esque controls.
However, in order to feel good about busting ghosts back into portraits (a lot safer than an Ecto-Containment System) you’ll need to explore a haunted mansion to unlock areas while figuring out ghostly gimmicks to expose their cores. “Luigi’s Mansion” was recently re-released for the Nintendo 3DS so it should be easy to get if you don’t have a GameCube at your disposal.
#2 – Zombie Vikings (2015 – Zoink Games – PS4, Windows)
Inspired by Tim Schafer’s works “Zombie Vikings” is about a group of undead Vikings sent off by Odin to get his (only) good eye back from Loki. Of course, he raised the ones with the most wits and sarcasm back from the dead.
I figured if there needs to be a co-op game that has zombies but isn’t a “Left 4 Dead” title you should try this beat’em up. It’s a local player only game, but it would make a nice couch game for friends for a post Mischief Night party.
#3 – Severed (2016-2017 – DrinkBox Studios – PSVita, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, iOS, Nintendo Switch)
“Severed” is an RPG where you play as Sasha, a young warrior looking for her family in a vibrant nightmarish world filled with bizarre monsters that want to tear her apart. She may have lost her arm, but she returns the favor by slicing their limbs off to use as upgrade materials for the epic gear she collects.
So not only must she become stronger, but she must also be sharp and wise if she wants to exploit their weakness while searching for her family, whether they are dead or alive.
#4 – Cursed Castilla (2012-2018 – Locomalito, Gryzor87 – PS4, Xbox One, Windows, Linux, Nintendo 3DS, Ouya, IBM PC)
“Cursed Castilla” is a hard action/platformer/adventure game to beat (I would know, because I have tried), but it makes it on the list for having the right kind of dark atmosphere and grotesque monsters to have the horror theme we’re looking for.
As the knight Don Ramiro you fight your way through demons and difficult platforming in order to seal them away to save the kingdom. Inspired by games such as “Ghost & Ghouls”, “Black Tiger”, “Tiger Road”, and “Trojan” this is a tough title available on multiple platforms and worth a playthrough while the night’s young.
#5 – System Shock 2 (1999 – Irrational Games – Windows, Linux, Macintosh, DOS, Dreamcast)
This is a game that was supposed to be more of a SciFi FPS RPG but turned out as one of the most memorable horror games. You find that after waking from cyro everything on the Von Braun has gone to hell: people have become hybrid monsters, there are monkeys with psychic powers, and you keep getting visions of past events.
The training you get with the military corps you pick at the beginning is a start to help you survive, but you’ll need to upgrade to keep yourself alive on a ship drifting nowhere in space.
#6 – Resident Evil Remake (2002-2019 – Capcom – Gamecube, Wii, Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
The original “Resident Evil” was a campy game. However, its remake not only upgrade the graphics, gameplay, and voice acting, but it also made it into a scarier experience. Spencer Mansion is now full of new horrors within what was once familiar walls, with along with changes to throw fans off. So yes, there are things more disturbing than dogs jumping through windows.
#7 – Resident Evil #7 (2017 – Capcom – PS4, Windows, Xbox One)
While “Resident Evil Remake” reworked the original game into something great “ Resident Evil 7” went back to its roots but overhauled how a Resident Evil game would be played.
“RE7” is in first-person so you can’t see what’s behind you at all, meaning that you’ll have to look out for raving lunatics, disturbing mold monsters, and essentially anything that would lead to death. Furthermore, for a really good scare you can hook up your VR headset and become even more immersed in the survival horror experience.
#8 – Duskers (2016 – Misfits Attic – Windows, Linux, Macintosh)
As the only person alive you need to hop from ship to ship, system to system, to find resources to stay alive while piecing together where the hell everyone in the entire galaxy went.
However, your only window to this seamlessly empty universe is an old-fashioned computer monitor used to navigate the ship(s) you commandeered as well as control and command drones that will explore ghost ships of interest. The drones are your eyes and ears, but you can only receive information how they interrupt their surroundings. So you won’t fully know what’s really around every corridor.
#9 – Parasite Eve (1998 – Squaresoft – PS1, PS1 mini, PSP, PSVita)
“Parasite Eve” is a true action/RPG/horror PSOne classic and sequel of the novel “Parasite Eve” (by Hideaki Sena) that combines survival horror with Squresoft’s (back in the day) ATB system. “Parasite Eve” is a fantastic horror game with a suspenseful story with realistic characters, horrid mutations of everyday species of animals (and more), and an EX mode to find the true ending. However, if you miss the chance to play it between October and November, then you can play it as your Christmas game instead.
#10 – Alien Swarm (2010 – Valve –Windows)
Before “Left 4 Dead” was the go to Source engine game with four player co-op against hordes of nightmarish creatures, there was “Alien Swarm”. The game also has a leg up with its cast of characters because aside from personalities (not as much, though) they have classes with varying degree of skills, some of which need to survive if you want the rest of the team to get to the next level.
So, what could possibly be worse than having a swarm of aliens rushing towards you in dark corridors on another planet? That would be the possibility having your teammates killing you in a friendly fire. Nevertheless, if this game isn’t enough there’s the updated “Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop”. Both games are free on Steam, so you can’t go wrong until you miss fired.
#11 – Outlast (2013-2018 – Red Barrels – PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows, Linux, Macintosh)
Most survival horror games at least gave you some method to fight back but when you’re a journalist such as Miles Upshur that’s only armed with a video camera… you don’t have much of a choice but hide and record (which is more integrated in “Outlast 2”). Using the camera to record events and see in the dark (via night-vision mode) you need to case an asylum with crazies that want to kill you and some supernatural phenomenon going on.
#12 – Doom 3 (2004-2012 – ID Software – Xbox, Windows, Linux, Macintosh, Xbox 360, PS3, Android)
Personally, I think the “Doom” games wouldn’t be considered as horror games without the level design and the sense of dread knowing there are demons hiding somewhere. “Doom 3” takes it to another level with a more grotesque revision of demons and reducing even more light compared to the first two titles.
Sure the “BFG Edition” gives you an armor mounted flashlight. However, before that, the flashlight was a “weapon,” meaning it was either visibility or shooting at the darkness. On top of that there are events and sequences that screws with you by having some bizarre visions and having someone, or something, moving past you.
#13 – F.E.A.R. (2005 – Monolith Productions – PS3, Xbox 360, Windows)
In this John Woo versus Army of Psychic Vampire and Little Ghost Girl simulator (“F.E.A.R.”) you play as the Point Man, the recent recruit for the First Encounter Assault Recon team, to stop the telepathic commander Paxton Fettel.
That’s of course easier said than done though. Because in-order to get to Paxton, you have to fight against a battalion of replica soldiers, which can be difficult even with Woo powers because the A.I. in these enemies doesn’t screw around. They will use actual tactics to gun you down before you turn on bullet time. And to make things more horrifying you have Alma, a ghost that will haunt you with disturbing visions and jump scares.
#14 – Bioshock (2007 – Irrational Games – Windows, Xbox 360, PS3)
Robin may have “System Shock 2” as his personal pick when it comes to FPS/horror games, but I personally think it’s spiritual successor is scarier. You see, in “Bioshock” you’re stuck in the underwater city Rapture, where it’s always damp, dark, and full of crazy Splicers from the basic Thuggish Splicer to nut jobs like Dr. Steinman, a doctor obsessed with “beauty.”
Furthermore, there are the man-made monsters called Big Daddies who patrol around the city protecting Little Sisters who filter out Adam (the stuff that makes Plasmids) by guzzling down blood. A man’s ideals for true freedom have created an underwater asylum.
#15 – Gorky 17 (1999 – Metropolis Software – Windows, Linux, Macintosh, Amiga)
Gorky 17 was a secret city that many assumed to be a training ground for Russian spies, but that wasn’t the case. Leading a team of NATO troops you’ll investigate what happened at a secret Russian base that a town was built around and fight off horrid mutations. Will you find out what really happened at Gorky 17 in this strategy survival horror game?
#16 – Apparition (2018 – MrCiastku – Windows)
In this new first-person horror game, you explore a haunted forest to find evidence of the paranormal. Record all sorts of ghosts, ghouls, demons, and other apparitions while trying to escape with the evidence. To help you with your job you’ll need to communicate with spirits via Ouija Board and find materials for crafting.
This may sound like a camping trip from hell, but I’m sure it beats watching “Ghost Hunters”.
#17 – Corpse Party (2010-2017 – GrisGris – Windows, PSP, PSVita, iOS, Nintendo 3DS, Android)
There are two lessons to learn from video games when dealing with the supernatural: never use Ouija Boards (even though you need to in the last entry) and never perform the “Sachiko Ever After” ritual. In “Corpse Party,” a group of friends performed this ritual, so they could stay as friends to the end. Needless to say it didn’t go well.
Now they must find a way out of an alternate reality of Heavenly Host Elementary, the institute that was torn down and, naturally, the site where their school was built over. There are spirits roaming these halls, but none of them are so friendly.
#18 – Silent Hill (1999 – Team Silent – Playstation, PS3, PSP)
It’s disappointing, if not a crime, that only the first of the three classic “Silent Hill” games are on the PSN store. In “Silent Hill” Harry Mason was driving to the resort town Silent Hill with his daughter Cheryl for a little vacation, but he finds out that the place is anything but a resort.
After a car crash due to an apparition of a girl crossing the street, Harry sets off to find his daughter in Silent Hill, but unfortunately he finds his fair share of dark secrets and monsters in the foggy town.
#19 – Dead Space (2008 – Redwood Shores – Windows, PS3, Xbox 360)
Personally, I shouldn’t endorse an EA title publicly with all the shenanigans considered, but this game is worth mentioning on this list. After receiving a distress signal from the Planet Cracker Ship USG Ishimura the Concordance Extraction Corporation sent Isaac Clarke and the crew of the Kellion to investigate.
However, after a bumpy docking procedure, they come across something worse than zombies. Isaac will have none of it as he needs to find his girlfriend Nicole on board, by any strategically dismemberment means necessary. Even so, remember, headshots are usually a bad idea.
#20 – The Evil Within 2 (2017 – Tango Gameworks – PS4, Xbox One, Windows)
If the events from the first “The Evil Within” wasn’t enough, Sebastian Castellanos still has to deal with his nightmares from his traumatic loss of his family. When asked to investigate another STEM world, he declined without hesitation.
However, when he learns that not only his daughter is alive, but she’s a part of the new STEM project he reluctantly accepts. Sebastian must now investigate another nightmarish world but can you handle this case and the horrors that come with it?
So, that’s our 20 Horror Games for the Halloween/November break of 2018. Enjoy your Halloween or whatever day you’re reading this 😉 And remember, lock the doors, check the closets, turn off the lights, and keep the audio up as you play these games. Bonne nuit to you all.
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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