Halloween is around the corner, and that means it’s the perfect time to break out horror games. With decades of options and a range of subgenres to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which games are the best fit for you. Here’s a variety of options condensed into the 10 best horror games for Halloween 2023 so that you can find the perfect spooky fit for you.
The 10 Best Horror Games for Halloween 2023
This list includes single and multiplayer games, ones that are more action-oriented, and others that focus on atmosphere with the intention to provide an option for any preference.
Resident Evil 2 Remake
Resident Evil 2 was remade and released in 2019 with an over-the-shoulder camera, refined controls rather than tank controls, and a revamped story. With Raccoon City as the setting instead of Spencer Mansion, RE2 feels more open than its predecessor. The story has more feeling to it with the personal stakes of Claire and Leon. Not to mention Sherry, who has to rely on them to survive.
RE2 is a survival horror game, so the gameplay gives you the ability to fight back. But it forces you to be considerate of the resources you have to do so. You’ll also encounter thrilling chase scenes as Mr. X tries to stop you from learning the outbreak’s cause. When it comes to horror, RE helped define the survival horror genre. RE2 then improved the formula to become a classic in both its original and remake versions.
Silent Hill 2
The longtime rival of Resident Evil, it would be a shame to not include Silent Hill 2. The upcoming remake and new entries make it a perfect time to revisit the original. The HD collection from 2012 that has remastered versions of both Silent Hill 2 and 3, and is your primary option to play these games today. In Silent Hill 2, James enters the eerie town of Silent Hill after the death of his wife. The result is a dark journey through his psyche while facing his feelings of guilt that have manifested as the monsters in the nightmare version of the town.
Between the soundtrack, the visuals, and the characters, Silent Hill 2 is disturbing and relatable in a way that adds to the unsettling feelings it gives you. We’ve all felt guilt or regret for something at one point or another. Luckily, we haven’t had to face Pyramid Head because of it.
Moving onto a game with a lighter tone, we have Phasmophobia. It’s perfect if you want to experience some scares with friends in a less violent setting. With up to three friends, you can go hunt ghosts in different settings, most of which are homes. Then you get the help of equipment like the Spirit Box or the classic crucifix to protect you from ghosts.
This is my personal favorite on the list because you can play it with friends. And that can lead to scaring each other more than the scares any of you during a hunt.
The ghost isn’t the same every time, so it’s not repetitive even if you select the same location each time. There are also a bunch of neat features like leveling up to access more equipment and using your mic to talk to the spirit in an attempt to increase its activity. What’s better than a night with your friends spent getting scared and hunting ghosts?
The Mortuary Assistant
A newer game, The Mortuary Assistant gives you a job that’s quite literally hellish. You spend the night performing your normal job of preparing bodies for burial. But you also have to protect yourself from being possessed by a demon. Your boss is kind enough to give you instructions on how to discover the demon’s name so that you can find which body it’s attached to and then burn it in a specific manner to send the demon back to hell. Look, it’s a lot to ask of a new employee.
The Mortuary Assistant isolates you by making you the only employee, and then surrounds you with bodies. It keeps you on edge because you don’t know when a body will move or you’ll hallucinate from the demon. Between the psychological element, mundane work tasks, and the randomization aspect, The Mortuary Assistant is perfectly terrifying for Halloween.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Amnesia: The Dark Descent has become a horror gaming staple since its release in 2010, and it holds up today, over 10 years later. There have been more games added to the Amnesia series since the original. However, the first one still has the dreary atmosphere and disturbing story that made it popular at launch. It’s fun to explore the castle and interact with random objects while your character tries to remember himself and avoids monsters. And having to monitor your sanity doesn’t make the game any easier.
I wouldn’t recommend this game if you have motion sickness, unfortunately. The screen effects that accompany low sanity or appear when you’re near enemies in the game distort the images. This could leave you with a headache or feeling a bit nauseated because of how blurred the screen becomes.
Five Nights at Freddy’s
Five Nights at Freddy’s has grown a lot since the first game. However, returning to where it all started with the first game can result in a Halloween that gives you an adrenaline rush between the jump scares and the dreadful anticipation that an evil animatronic is going to maim you.
For more scares, you could probably get a week of scares from going through all the games in the series. While FNAF can be a bit repetitive, it gets increasingly difficult and forces you to manage your power supply carefully. Plus, you can sit down and play one night at a time if you have limited free time available for games, letting you experience it in short bursts.
Outlast is a game that got a lot of attention at launch, but for good reason. You play as a journalist who received a tip about a psychiatric hospital. For the sake of journalism, you decide to sneak inside with your camera to see what’s going on. It doesn’t take long for this endeavor to go wrong. The hospital is full of patients being experimented on and brainwashed, some of whom are hostile towards you.
Outlast doesn’t pull punches, and some of the scenes are downright disturbing. It puts you in a dangerous environment where you can’t fight back against enemies. Instead, you have to hide and make use of your camera’s night vision to move in the dark. There are a few supernatural elements, but the true monsters in Outlast are the humans.
The Outlast Trials
The Outlast Trials is in early access right now, but you enter the middle of Murkoff’s horrible experiments as one of many subjects. You are in a program that’s working to create sleeper agents, and you need to earn your freedom by completing a set of objectives followed by a farewell mission that forces you to prove what you’ve learned.
To make it more fun, you can play The Outlast Trials with friends. You might think that would take away some fear, but it doesn’t. It also doesn’t make the game easier to get through as the game accommodates for more players, making tasks take longer or require more. Sometimes, your only choice is to leave your friends behind in order to pass the program stage.
Martha is Dead
This is a game for those of you who don’t want the fighting, hiding, or chase sequences from the other listings because Martha is Dead is a psychological horror walking simulator. You play as Giulia, who your mother misidentifies as your twin sister Martha after Martha’s death. Naturally, you take this opportunity to steal your twin’s identity because mother loved her more.
Martha is Dead makes you question what’s real and what’s the result of Giulia’s unreliable narration and unstable mind, and it’s set in Italy while World War II is going on. This game is full of heavy topics, but it keeps you on your toes because every time you think you know something about Martha and Giulia, you discover a new secret.
Visage is a horror game that emphasizes the use of environment in unsettling you. It’s set in a house where the deaths of entire families have occurred, and now you’re haunted by those spirits as you learn about the events that took place in the past. The pace is purposely slow to force you to absorb the space around you and notice how it changes.
Like a few other games on this list, Visage leaves you defenseless against the spirits who are after you. Light can help maintain your sanity and provide a temporary sanctuary, but to progress, you need to face the darkness. In a way, it’s similar to Fatal Frame where a camera can be your best weapon since its flash can give you a moment of protection. Overall, it keeps you in a tense atmosphere and forces you to pay attention to detail to avoid missing clues about how to progress.
BONUS: Into Roblox? Don’t forget to check out the Top 10 Best Scary Roblox Games to Play in 2023.
That covers our list of 10 best horror games for Halloween 2023, and hopefully at least one title has peaked your interest. I find that October is the perfect time to revisit favorites, and to take the chance to play games you maybe never got to in the past. Between past classics and newer nightmares, the horror genre is thriving, and there’s something to suit any play style.