Nathan's Top 5 Scariest Games for Halloween

Nathan's Top 5 Scariest Games for Halloween

With Halloween only a few days away, it’s the perfect time to stay up late, turn off the lights and experience the thrill of playing one of the many great horror games that have been released throughout gaming history. This list includes a range of games from the horror genre, with some that will have you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next jump scare to arrive, and others that will make you feel psychologically unnerved for days after you finish playing. It’s all a matter of preference, but the greatest horror games tend to mix these different aspects of fear into one exhilarating cocktail of spooky fun. Without further ado, here are my top 5 picks for scariest horror games you should consider playing this Halloween.

 

Alien

Alien: Isolation

From the moment you boot up Alien: Isolation, the loading screen instantly sets the stage. The hauntingly beautiful soundtrack kicks in and you’re met with the image of the lone, seemingly minuscule, space station floating next to a huge gas planet in the vast dark, emptiness of space. You’re instantly hit with a feeling of unease which is sure to stick with you throughout the game. Once you’ve had a chance to play the game and experience the chaos and terror that is taking place aboard the space station, it’s eerily reminiscent of the quote from the original Alien movie ‘in space, no one can hear you scream’. 

This game is not only one of the scariest, but also most fun survival horror games to date with stunning visuals, fantastic sound design, and an incredibly innovative Artificial Intelligence, that makes the Xenomorph which hunts you both unpredictable, and adaptable to your playstyle. Hide under the tables or in cupboards too often and the Alien will search those areas more frequently to find you, keeping you constantly on your toes and forced to adapt in order to survive. 

Unlike many games within this genre where you may expect to fight the monster you’re running from, there are no weapons on the station capable of killing the Xenomorph. Instead, you must move quietly, hide quickly, and check your motion tracker sparingly, as you play a heart-racing game of cat and mouse whilst trying to find some means of escape from the nightmare in Alien: Isolation. If you haven’t had the chance to experience this game, the author recommends this as the top pick for this Halloween.

Play on: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC

 

Inscryption 

Inscryption barely made it onto this list as it has only been available for purchase for 6 days from the time of this blog being written. Still, in those 6 days it has already amassed a huge following, and been met with critical acclaim as not just psychological horror but a truly enjoyable roguelite deck building game. 

Once again, from the moment you boot up Inscryption you’ll be on edge; the visual design and sound of the game are creepy to say the least. Oddly there is no option to start a new game, only to continue, from which point in the game you do not know. As the game loads up there is darkness, and the top of a dimly lit table which catches your eye initially, until a pair of ghostly eyes slowly open in the darkness looking directly at you. The eyes change into two hypnotic red spirals as text appears atop the screen, the entity across you declares “another challenger… it has been ages”. 

From here the figure begins to explain how to play the card game which starts off simple enough, but as you progress and begin to collect new cards, it becomes both enjoyable and challenging. You begin to form a relationship with the deck you have built and the real fear in Inscryption is losing, at which point the figure across from you kills you, and you must start over from the beginning as a ‘new challenger’ with only 4 cards in your new deck. 

As you begin to pick up and enjoy the game it is impossible to ignore the other factors at play, as it becomes evident that you must try and escape the room in which you are trapped playing. Inscryption’s story is a rabbit hole that I highly recommend diving into, though you may end up wishing you had stayed sat at the table playing a simple card game before it’s over.

Play on: PC

 

Doki Doki Literature Club! 

If you have not heard about Doki Doki Literature Club! then you may be thinking that this game has made it onto this list by mistake. The same confusion was felt by many Steam users who found this game and noticed the genre tagged as ‘psychological horror’. The 2017 game, which was met with critical acclaim upon release and gained huge popularity online, is advertised as a visual novel in which the player has the opportunity to court one of three out of four members of the titular literature club. The gameplay is simple, composed of dialogue between the player and literature club members, and mini-games in which the player chooses words to compose a poem with different words corresponding to different characters. The only character the player cannot choose to court is the club president, Monika. 

Things take a dark turn as the player is told that Sayori, one of the characters, is suffering from depression. The game becomes progressively more eerie, glitches increasing and eventually pushing the player to a point where they must go in and edit the actual game files in their computer. This gradual degradation of the game, as well as consistent, genuinely creepy fourth wall breaks throughout, peppered with some tasteful jumpscares, leads to a truly horrifying and disturbing experience for the player. With different endings and an array of extra unlockable content found in the game files and by playing the game in specific ways, even after the shock of a first playthrough, it maintains its replayability, and earns itself a solid spot on this list.

Play on: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC

 

Dead by Daylight

Dead by Daylight is a unique horror experience where you will either join 3 other survivors in an epic game of attempting to escape a map in which a killer attempts to hunt you down and hook you up on meat hooks like in the movie ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, or play as the killer hunting down the 4 survivors using abilities unique to every different killer in the game. Playing as a survivor with your friends is the ultimate Halloween party game where you all can share in the terror. Run for your life or work together and make hard choices between saving your friends or getting one step closer to escape. 

The sound design utilises an ever-increasing heartbeat signalling how nearby the killer is, transitioning to an adrenaline-pumping chase soundtrack should you be unfortunate enough to be seen by the killer. With this alongside the urgency of escape, and the added complication of helping teammates all comes together to leave you in a perpetual state of anxiety – relieved only by the pure bliss of a successful getaway. 

This game offers plenty of replay-ability, with distinctive killers and a variety of maps. The multiplayer element offers hours of fun to be had with friends and the relief of escape is so rewarding, it always leaves you craving another game. Whether you want to play as a killer or a survivor, this game is sure to be a Halloween party must this year.

Play on: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mobile

 

Five Nights at Freddy’s

If you know anything about the horror genre in gaming, you will have undoubtedly heard of FNAF, however it still warrants a mention on this list. Though the game has been criticised for an arguably too-simple design, it achieved massive success through YouTuber let’s-plays and the original game, along with the franchise that followed, altered the landscape of indie-horror, spawning endless copy-cat games due to its simple but incredibly effective design. It was the first of its kind to garner such widescale attention, and for that it deserves recognition. 

FNAF follows the player taking a night shift at a Chuck-E-Cheese style restaurant, with animatronics they have been warned to ‘keep an eye on’. The player is confined to a single room with no weapons other than the ability to keep watch on the animatronics through security cameras and hope to make it through the five nights. The AI for each animatronic differs, adding an element of personality to each, and increasing tension for the player as they learn to navigate the increasing difficulty of staying alive as the nights progress. The aim is simple, but terrifying all the same: don’t let the animatronics get to the room you’re in. No matter how many let’s-plays you’ve seen, playing FNAF for yourself remains an undoubtedly scary experience that will have you constantly on edge, whilst employing some serious strategy when playing on harder difficulty settings due to the character-specialised AI in the game. It’s inarguably a Halloween must if you’re looking for a fun horror game marathon this October.

Play on: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mobile

Honourable Mentions 

  • P.T.  
  • Phasmophobia 
  • Silent Hill 
  • Pony Island 

There’s my list for 5 scariest games that you should definitely consider playing this Halloween...

Disagree or think I missed one? Let me know!

Development and Marketing Consultant Nathan Adcock

Nathan is on a mission to find Game Developers and Marketeers their ideal job at some of the best games studios around – As his favourite animals, cats and pigeons are his most preferable candidates, but no matter who you are he’ll do what he can to get you settled into a role you love! Contact Nathan for his latest opportunities in games today!

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