The witching month is upon us!
Get your favorite black cat, your loosest anthropomorphic skeleton, and your best pumpkin carving tools out from storage – it’s time to get wild in the streets. If nothing else, it’s time to listen to Tim Curry classic, “Anything Can Happen on Halloween.”
Wait! Where are you going? Come back! We’re not trying to scare you away.
We’ve put together the 19 scariest games for you to play in the lead up to All Hallows Eve and the subsequent Halloween festivities on October 31!
19: ‘Silent Hill: Shattered Memories’
“Silent Hill: Shattered Memories” is the most interesting entry in the long-running “Silent Hill” series – a series that largely revolves around third-person puzzle solving and the occasional action bit. What’s different about “Shattered Memories” is it has a huge, crazy story twist, and it’s available on the Nintendo Wii. If you dare!
18: ‘Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem’
- Silicon Knights / Nintendo
Though you’ll need a Nintendo GameCube to enjoy “Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem,” we can’t suggest it enough. It takes your expectations for a horror game and contorts them in exciting, unique ways. On its face, it’s just a third-person action game. But in reality, it’s a terrifying exploration of player agency and unreliable narrators.
17: ‘Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water’
The newest entry in the “Fatal Frame” series has been out for some time in other parts of the world, and it’s heading to North American Wii U game consoles on October 22nd. If you’ve ever wanted to carefully snap photos of ghosts before they’re able to murder you, this is your big chance.
16: ‘Dead Space’ and ‘Dead Space 2’
The “Dead Space” series is action and suspense and horror, all wrapped in one. Sure, there’s a third one, but the first two are the real gems in the series. Even though you’re playing as a relatively powerful engineer armed with a variety of weapons, the terrifying enemies and eerie atmosphere are what make the first two “Dead Space” games such must-plays, especially during this spooky month.
15: The ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ series
- Scott Cawthon
“Five Nights at Freddy’s” may be the most well-known series on this list. It’s hilarious and full of character and available to play on your tablet. What’s not to like? Oh, right, the terrifying animatronics. Of course, if you shut them down first as night manager of a “Chuck E. Cheese”-esque establishment, you’ll be fine.
14: ‘Alien: Isolation’
Despite there being dozens of “Alien” games, it took years before a game really nailed the feeling of the original film. “Alien: Isolation” is the game that finally did it, and it’s available on modern consoles to boot! Will you survive the murderous, brooding patrol of the alien? Almost certainly not. But it’s fun to try!
13: ‘Alan Wake’
- Courtesy of Duncan Harris
“Alan Wake” is the “Twin Peaks” of video games. Explore the Pacific Northwest woods as an award-winning writer who’s stuck in a nightmare of his own making. If that doesn’t sell you unto itself, nothing will. (Sadly, Log Lady doesn’t make an appearance, despite its similarity to “Twin Peaks.”)
12: The ‘Condemned’ series
The “Condemned” series is full of horrific events and psychological trauma. It’s also ultra-violent, so players beware. Fighting murderous hobos and the occasional bear in third-person is fun for awhile, but it quickly becomes overbearing. Watch your back! That dude’s got an improvised weapon!
11: ‘Slender: The Eight Pages’
“Slender: The Eight Pages” is a fan-made game based around the popular online character “Slender Man.” Will you escape the relentless Slender Man? Because he’s coming. And coming. And coming. And won’t stop until you’re scared out of your mind. That the game is all in first-person makes the situation that much scarier. If you’re into that kinda thing, this is the right “Slender” game for you.
10: ‘Dying Light’
When you’re tired of suspenseful moments and sneaking around in the dark, “Dying Light” affords you the opportunity to run – parkour, even – away from hordes of the undead. And if you wanna hit them in the face every now and again, go right ahead. Consider this a moment of catharsis with first-person action.
9: ‘Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon’
Yes, this is a Nintendo game. And yes, it’s a goofy Nintendo game. But also it’s a great, spooky romp through a haunted house with your favorite fallback plumber. He’s got a flashlight! But ghosts are terrifying and he’s a coward. Help out your pal Luigi, won’t you? Oh, and it’s blessedly inexpensive at this point on your Nintendo 3DS. Bonus!
8: ‘Tomb Raider’
- Crystal Dynamics
Strictly speaking, “Tomb Raider” isn’t a horror game. It is a game about survival in third-person, and much of that survival is suspenseful and intense. It’s also available on modern and aging game consoles, making this one of the most accessible titles on the whole list.
7: ‘Until Dawn’
- Sony Computer Entertainment America
On the opposite end of things, “Until Dawn” is a straight up old-school horror game. It plays out like a classic horror film, actually, with a group of teens alone in a cabin in the woods. Guide a group of friends through a series of morbid decisions that almost certainly result in failure for everyone. And yeah, there’s a terrifying murderer on the loose. This one’s a PlayStation 4 exclusive – apologies to anyone without a PS4!
The Wii U has a surprisingly large library of exclusive horror games between the new “Fatal Frame” and the not-so-new “Zombiu.” It’s an excellent horror game that uses the Wii U’s gamepad in fascinating ways that we won’t spoil here. Bonus: it’s inexpensive at this point!
5: ‘The Evil Within’
- Bethesda Softworks
“The Evil Within” is a new game from a classic horror game master in Shinji Mikami. If you’ve ever played and enjoyed a “Resident Evil” game, “The Evil Within” is right up your alley.
4: ‘Amnesia: The Dark Descent’ and ‘Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs’
- Frictional Games
The “Amnesia” series established a new paradigm in terrifying games. Between enemies that you can’t look at without losing your mind and straight up pig men (in the sequel), there’s a lot of terrifying moments to be had in the “Amnesia” series.
3: ‘The Last of Us’
- Naughty Dog / Sony Computer Entertainment America
Yes, the worst monster of all is people. You knew that all along, right? That’s the tale of “The Last of Us,” an emotional journey of two apocalypse survivors. Yeah, you’ll hide from packs of marauding bandits, but the humans that are slowly transforming into zombie-like monsters are every bit as fearsome as the bad people.
- Irrational Games
Little girls who jab massive needles into dead bodies are the least of your worries in the underwater dystopia known as “Rapture.” That’s the world that “BioShock” is set in, and it’s an incredible character unto itself. But the guys with the massive drill arms known as “Big Daddies” are what you really need to watch out for.
“P.T.” or “Playable Teaser” is the culmination of a partnership between acclaimed game creator Hideo Kojima and acclaimed film director Guillermo del Toro. It was meant to be a teaser for an upcoming “Silent Hill” game, but that project was unbelievably cancelled. We say “unbelievably” specifically because “P.T.” is such an incredible proof of concept that we consider it the scariest, most impressive horror experience you can have with video games in 2015. Find a friend who downloaded it to their PlayStation 4 and ask to spend a few hours at their house – the game is outright no longer able to be downloaded, but it is very much worth your time.