Halloween is only a few days away from now and that means you’re likely to come across some special themed events while playing some of your favorite online games like Overwatch or World of Warcraft. If you’re looking for a more genuine experience, however, you’ll probably want to play some scarier titles in order to make the holiday truly memorable. With that in mind, we’ve picked some of the scariest and most disturbing horror games around that you might want to play or perhaps relive again this Halloween. It’s worth mentioning that we’ve excluded most hybrid games that focus a lot on action or RPG elements like Bioshock or the Souls series. While very good, these titles are unlikely to give you a good scare, which is what this list is all about.
First Encounter Assault Recon, or F.E.A.R. for short, is a survival horror FPS launched in 2005 by Monolith Productions and Sierra Entertainment. The game revolves around a supernatural phenomenon and features a main antagonist that comes in the form of a little girl known as Alma. Admittedly, the character is highly reminiscent of Samara from The Ring so not all that original, however, the story itself is very different. Taking on the paranormal entity will not be a simple task but luckily for the you, this horror game allows you to play as a badass Point Man that has a few superhuman powers of his own to even things out a bit.
The Suffering is a third-person psychological horror launched in 2004 by Midway Games and Surreal Software. Some might see this one as more of an action game than a traditional horror but it all depends on how you look at it. While it does rely on a lot of jump scares and making the player feel like an action hero, The Suffering also features some of the most disturbing and twisted enemies found in horror games. In addition, the story is chock-full of dark moments that come to life in a major way thanks to the top-notch voice acting found throughout the game.
Outlast is a first-person survival horror launched in 2013 by Red Barrels. At this point, the game might be best known as a popular choice for a lot of “Let’s Players” on Youtube and Twitch but don’t let that keep you away from this title. Outlast is definitely far better and scarier if you play it alone in a dark room instead of simply watching other people play it and yelling incomprehensibly every couple of minutes. If you do manage to beat the main game, you may want to look into the Whistleblower DLC as well or play them back to back this Halloween in preparation for Outlast 2, which launches early next year.
Silent Hill 2 is a third-person survival horror launched in 2001 by Konami. Ideally, you would probably want to play the entire series if you’re looking to get your fill of horror games for the rest of the year in one go. Since that’s probably not an option, though, you may want to just go directly for the second installment. Often regard as the best entry in the series, Silent Hill 2 has a lot to offer even after more than a decade and is still one of the greatest horror games ever made. Sure, the graphics look a bit dated by today’s standards but if you’re the type of gamer that focuses on the gameplay above everything else, the visuals shouldn’t bother you too much.
Soma (often stylized as SOMA) is a first-person sci-fi survival horror launched in 2015 by Frictional Games. Seeing as how this is one of the most recent games on this list, you’re likely already familiar or have at least heard a lot about this title given that everyone was talking about it last year. Frictional Games is the same company that made Amnesia and you’ll find that the two horror games are quite similar in some regards, particularly in terms of the gameplay, which lacks any sort of combat. In terms of its setting, however, Soma is very reminiscent of Bioshock but features even more disturbing themes. Needless to say, that’s a pretty good combination of styles.
Alan Wake is a third-person psychological horror/action-adventure launched in 2010 by Remedy Games and Microsoft Game Studios. While it’s not nearly as gory or disturbing as some of the other entries on this list, Alan Wake’s physiological elements and suspense are likely to give you at least a couple of nightmares this Halloween. Similar to other titles developed by Remedy, Alan Wake feels just as much like a movie as it does a video game. Unlike Max Payne or Quantum Break, however, this time you can feel like the star of your very own horror flick. Also recommend getting the DLCs for the full experience.
Dead Space is a sci-fi third-person shooter survival horror launched in 2008 by Visceral Games and EA. This one I’d recommend in particular if you’re looking for huge amounts of gore and violence coupled with impressive visuals and a disturbing storyline. In short, Dead Space has it all and is a must play for anyone who enjoys horror games. Even though we’re only listing the original on this list, the sequel is just as good and possibly even more unsettling while the third installment makes for a great co-op experience.
Resident Evil 4, also known as Biohazard 4, is a third-person survival horror launched in 2005 by Capcom. This is another instance where you would probably want to play the whole series but if you only have time for one game, I’d go either for Resident Evil 4 or Resident Evil HD Remaster. If you’re familiar with any of the movies that were based on this franchise you already know what to expect in terms of the game’s zombie-infested world. Having said that, the games are far superior to the movies and feature entirely different characters – for the most part- so make sure to grab one of the aforementioned titles this Halloween if you liked the movies.
Alien: Isolation is a sci-fi first-person survival horror/action-adventure launched in 2014 by Creative Assembly and Sega. It’s no secret that there have been plenty of bad Alien games over the years and only a handful of good ones. Well, this is part of the second category and is arguably the best one so far. In terms of gameplay, Alien: Isolation differs a lot from other entries because it focuses more on avoiding and outsmarting enemies instead of simply shooting them. In addition to humans and androids, the game only features one xenomorph that hunts the player, however, anyone who has played Alien: Isolation knows that this single enemy is more than enough to give you the willies when combined with the claustrophobic atmosphere.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a first-person survival horror launched in 2010 by Frictional Games. While most horror games like to rely on jump scares and disturbing imagery, Amnesia manages to invoke true feelings of dread by placing players in situations where they feel completely helpless while they slowly start to descent into madness. Indeed, The Dark Descent is a very fitting subtitle for this game. Amnesia is quite possibly a correct representation of what it would be like to actually go insane while being chased by monsters inside a haunted castle. Definitely not for the squeamish but a great pick if you’re looking to stare darkness in the eye this Halloween. Also recommend checking out the Justine DLC and the sequel, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.
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