Halloween is that wonderful time of year for horror, and what better way to celebrate than by popping in a scary game? Whether you have played these titles before or need a good scare, nostalgia or fear are surefire bi-products of playing these excellent games.
Seasoned Gaming is not responsible for any ruined underwear, spontaneous fear of the dark, or the cost of adult diapers. Play at your own risk, and, for the best experience possible, play with all of the lights off, alone, in the creepiest room of your home.
Dead by Daylight
The notorious asymmetrical horror game has gone from indie game to full-fledged cult classic with a strong fanbase and continuous content and updates from Behavior. If this would be your first time in the fog, a glimpse of what you can expect is to either fill the roles of four survivors, or the killer (where YOU do the scaring). If you are one of the survivors, your goal is simple: survive! If you are the killer, exterminate the survivors! First-time players will be susceptible to plenty of jump scares in the title’s player versus player matches, which can provide an enjoyable experience when you try to survive with friends!
The game features a robust roster of characters, featuring icons like: Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Pin Head, Sadako, Ash Williams, Pyramid Head, Albert Wesker, and Nemesis, with unique abilities and styles for each. If you haven’t tried this game yet, it may well be worth a test drive! You’d be in luck, too, because currently the game sits in Game Pass and is available on all platforms.
This game takes cinematic experiences and cranks it up a notch. The experience is much like a horror film, with an all-star cast featuring the likes Rami Malek, Hayden Panettiere, and Brett Dalton. The story follows eight young adults who have to survive in Blackwood Mountain, and the choices you make in game often have heavy consequences, shaping your experience going forward.
The title’s story is also shaped to your fears, making the jump scares and the atmosphere a little bit tense with surprises behind every corner.
Resident Evil 7
Resident Evil has become a horror staple over the years, spanning multiple titles and likely being responsible for some jump scares in your childhood. Resident Evil 7 marks when the series makes that its mission again. The notorious survival shooter makes its comeback with a first-person setting, with claustrophobic environments, limited resources, and a chainsaw toting hillbilly trying to introduce you to the rest of the family.
You play as Ethan Winters, and you are searching for your wife in Louisiana. Upon discovering that nothing is as it seems, however, your next goal is to survive!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a Ghost-Hunter and solve hauntings? Now you can! Phasmophobia is a first-person horror puzzle game where you and three other friends show up on scene to a “haunt,” where you have to determine what kind of ghost plagues the environment.
This may not sound scary at first, but the title’s excellent use of ambience, sound, and environment paint a very creepy picture for you to go investigating the paranormal. You also get quite a surprise if you don’t solve the case the quickly enough, which often captures players screaming in terror.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
With the premise being waking up with amnesia, this series is a first-person survival horror game with the sole intention of making you scream. I found this title in the franchise to be the scariest with its use of sanity in conjunction with your health bar and its environments, bolstering everything that can and will kill you. With no way to fight back and your only goal being to survive and learn the truth, this title is quite a fun ride, and it sets the stage for other horror games.
Some great news with this one is that you can experience this franchise on Game Pass as of this month!
The Evil Within
This third-person shooter was made by the creator of Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami, with sole intensive purpose of being a twisted, grotesque, ride of dark, macabre terror. The game’s protagonist is Sebastian Castellanos, a Detective in Krimson City, and he is tasked with investigating a blood-soaked mass murder at the Beacon Mental Hospital, which begins your violent and bloody adventure. With shape-shifting levels, barbed wire, and gallons of blood, the game presents plenty of anxiety-filled opportunities that will have you waking the neighbors with your shrieks of terror. If you don’t think it’s scary at first, just wait until you meet Laura.
The franchise spawned a sequel that is very enjoyable, too, but it isn’t quite as scary as the first game. But, if you decide that you need more of The Evil Within, you can always check out the sequel, too.
This is probably my favorite game, and it was my true introduction to horror. Dead Space is about Isaac Clarke and his crew as they receive a distress signal from the planet-cracking Ishimura. The sci-fi third-person survival horror game makes the best use of its ambient sound, blood covered walls and vents, and absolutely scenic environments. The title utilizes linear storytelling to best convey its lore-filled tale, and, without spoiling too much, it puts an awesome spin on games like it. Dismember, Dismember, Dismember, shoot the limbs, and maybe catch some of its gore-filled death sequences.
This game did spiral two sequels, with the second game being just as amazing as the first. So if you can’t get enough after all of the madness from the first game, I highly recommend diving into the franchise.
This first-person survival horror game series single-handedly based its entire personality on terrifying players. You can’t fight back; all you can do is run, hide, and survive. I find the first game the scariest, but the second is equally terrifying. What really makes these games so scary is their use of sound and environments, as we’ve seen with other games on this list.
These games excel at creating the freaky environments, and then implementing enemies that will hunt you endlessly, checking hiding places in the vicinity once you break line of sight. These experiences create a sense of dread and anxiety that’s hard to replicate. Definitely play this one with all of the lights off.