It’s the season to be scared, and as usual, the video game industry has plenty of games that will make you wish you’d left the lights on. Some horror games stand out from the rest, though, because they have both tricks and treats. If you don’t plan to go out this weekend, you can play 20 of the best of them here.
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From Bloodborne’s unsettling atmosphere to Resident Evil Village’s shocking moments, these games will make sure you never fall asleep again. What scary games are you going to play this fall? Share which ones you like the most in the comments.
Alan Wake Remastered
Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, PS4, PS5
One of the most recent releases on this list, Alan Wake Remastered is a stellar mystery game starring a writer who could have been pulled out of a Stephen King novel (Alan likes to quote King, too.) Remedy Entertainment’s excellent action-adventure game has aged quite well, giving players a riveting and winding story of nightmares that comes to life thanks to great performances, a chilling atmosphere, and top-notch pacing. In an age of huge open-world games, it’s also nice to play a well-made linear action game again. —Stanley Petite
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Mac
Alien: Isolation, which came out in 2014, wasn’t easy to sell as a scary game. The Xenomorph has been used as disposable fodder in other Alien games for a long time, most notably in Aliens VS. Predator and Aliens: Colonial Marines. In Creative Assembly’s survival horror FPS, it is now the boss. As a sequel to the first movie, it moved away from the shooting galleries and action-horror of the previous games and instead focused on dread, anxiety, and fear of the one alien creature that roams the halls of Sevastopol Station.
As a big fan of the first Alien movie, which I liked more than the sequel Aliens, I longed for a game that was more like the first movie, with its quiet moments of dread and low-tech sci-fi style. The thing I liked most about Alien: Isolation was that it not only stayed true to the first movie, but also got what made it so scary. As you desperately look for supplies in the corridors, those brief moments of peace will almost always bring you face to face with the Alien, which is all-powerful and smart in its plan to kill any human it comes across. — Fillari, Alessandro
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC
Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Justine, and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs make up what is still one of the best horror series of all time. The Amnesia Collection, which is available on the PlayStation and Xbox stores, has all three of them. Amnesia is the series that made me love horror games, and like many other people, I first played it through Let’s Plays by a YouTuber named PewDiePie who wasn’t well-known at the time. It’s scary enough to watch someone else play, but it’s a whole different thing to be the one behind the screen.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent came out in 2010, and it’s about a man named Daniel who wakes up in a dark castle without any memories of who he is except for his name. Daniel has to fight to stay sane while he looks around the castle and tries to piece together his past and stay away from the scary monsters that hide in the shadows. The first-person survival horror game was followed by A Machine for Pigs in 2013. The game starts with a rich industrialist waking up in his London mansion with no memory of the past few months and the feeling that something is very wrong. If you haven’t heard of Amnesia in the last ten years, wait for a dark night, put on some headphones, and dive in. — Jennifer Sitzes
Platforms: PS4 and PS5
From Software made the world of Yharnam, which is a place you’ll never forget, and it fits well with Halloween. Even though it’s not technically a horror game, the dark, gothic setting and the many evil enemies in it can be scary. Of course, Bloodborne is also hard, keeping the combat style of From’s best-known IP, Souls, in place. Bloodborne is a good game because it builds a world and characters, and its combat is hard but fun to master. As one of the best games on PS4, Yharnam is always a good place to go back to or visit for the first time. Still, this weekend seems as good a time as any. —Stanley Petite
Platforms: Switch, Xbox One, PC, Mac
Since John Carpenter’s classic movie “The Thing” came out in 1984, there have been a lot of games that are directly based on it. In these games, you play a scientist or soldier who has to fight off an alien threat. But it’s rare to find a game that puts you in the role of a monster. Carrion does just that. You are in charge of an undefined monster whose only goal is to eat everyone it meets, get bigger, and spread its mass around the world. You use your fleshy tentacles to crawl through each area and pull every person into your toothy mouth. As you slip through pipes and small crawl spaces to get to new places, the movement feels quick and fun. The humans won’t go down without a fight, so you’ll need to figure out how to outmanoeuvre and outsmart them as their arsenals grow from pistols to flamethrowers. If you’ve ever wanted to be a monster, you can do that in Carrion. — Matt Paget
Resident Evil 4 VR | Oculus Quest 2
Nearly 17 years after Resident Evil 4 came out, Capcom’s classic survival horror game just got a new twist on the Oculus VR platform. As the whole game has been redone in VR, you are now firmly in Leon Kennedy’s shoes as he fights through hordes of mutated monsters and chainsaw-wielding maniacs in a remote village. The original game does a good job of mixing action and horror, and the new VR interface adds some clever twists that build on those tense moments. If you have an Oculus Quest 2 headset, give Resident Evil 4 VR a try. It is surprisingly true to the original game and has some new ideas.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 | Nintendo Switch
Even though there are plenty of scary games to play on Halloween, Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the Nintendo Switch is one of the few games that captures the fun side of the holiday as well. Mario’s cowardly plumber gets stuck in a haunted hotel, and he has to use a special backpack that can eat ghosts to get through the hotel and find his friends. Each floor of the hotel has clever environmental puzzles to solve and tricky bosses to beat. Luigi’s funny reactions along the way give the adventure a light-hearted tone that makes it a great family-friendly alternative to some of the other games on this list.