With Halloween (the best holiday of the year) nearly a year away, you may be suffering from Spooky Withdrawal Syndrome (SWS).  Never fear! Sometimes you just feel like getting scared, and there, we’ve got you covered.  The horror genre for video games isn’t terribly expansive in comparison to others, but they do have some of the most memorable characters and stories. People’s obsession with Halloween is comparable with these type of experiences; players love scary games, because we love the things that make our hearts race. Being able to interact with concepts that would otherwise terrorize you is liberating and enlivening, and there’s just really so few ways to get a rush like the ones horror games like these give you. 

10) Slender: The Eight Pages

If you want a game to get you in the mood for the spooky season while invoking some of the feelings associated with games you played in the 2010s, Slender: The Eight Pages is the way to go. The era of Slender Man is one many of us won’t ever forget, and this indie-game absolutely helped cement this folklores legacy into the internet’s collective memory. For a rather simple indie game it’s very entertaining, and does well to build in its intensity as you travel around a forest in the middle of the night searching for notes and trying to avoid Slender Man. 

9) Phasmophobia

If the thought of hunting ghosts with friends was something that ever enticed you, Phasmophobia is a game you’ll really enjoy. It features a number of locations where you and a your friends/teammates can go and hunt for ghosts using state of the art tech. You’ll assess the evidence you get and use it to try and determine what type of entity it is that is haunting the location you’ve been dispatched to check out. The ghost however, hunts you as well. The game was created for VR but is also compatible with PC gaming and provides a lot of interactive gameplay for a game that has you hunting an NPC ghost.

8) Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation is a game that was released in 2014 as a love letter to the original Alien movie franchise. A survival horror game, you play as Amanda Ripley, the daughter of the infamous Ellen Ripley, who is tasked with finding out what had happened to her mother.  In an attempt to retrieve the flight recorder for the ship her mother was on, the Nostromo, she finds herself aboard another salvage ship, also apparently taken over by an Alien. You’re forced throughout the game to avoid and attempt to outwit the creature as you uncover more and more truths about the situation Amanda has found herself in. 

7) The Evil Within 2

The next game on the list is another survival horror game based around the experiences of a man named Sebastian Castellanos. Sebastian’s daughter, who was believed to have died in the previous game, is revealed to be alive and working with a secret agency by taking part of a simulation that was meant to imitate a small, American town called Union. The Evil Within 2 is the sequel to The Evil Within, and in a Black Mirror-esque way revolves around the potential terror found in the future of technology. The game itself was fairly well received, but still didn’t really get the exposure that it should have. 

6) Dead by Daylight

Another online multiplayer, Dead By Daylight is one of the best live horror games out currently. The objective in this game is to fix generators and help your teammates escape from a compound where you are locked with a famous killer from any number of famous horror films and television shows. Although, you also have the ability to play as the killer against four survivors, which is arguably more fun. The game is consistently bringing in new killers and survivors to play, and is a really fun and terrifying way to connect players favorite horror media with their love for gaming.

5) Little Nightmares ll

If you like puzzles and an almost continuous feeling of discomfort is what you like to get out of your horror games, Little Nightmares ll is for you (although contractually we must ask you play Little Nightmares first). In this game you play as a child named Mono who traverses a deeply unsettling place called Pale City and interacts with it’s even more macabre residents. He finds companionship in a character named Six, who he stays with throughout most of the game. This game is meant to be the prequel of the game that came before it, Little Nightmares, where Six is the main character. The antagonists you face are truly the stuff of nightmares, macabre and terrifying enough to burn their images in your brain

4) Silent Hill 2

The oldest game on this list, we have the survival horror game Silent Hill ll. The Silent Hill franchise currently has 17 games under it’s belt, but the second game it ever released still stands out as it’s best. At the time that it released it was an absolute marvel with graphic quality never before seen in the gaming world. In the game you play as James Sunderland a widowed man who receives a letter from his deceased wife telling him that she is in Silent Hill waiting for him. During his stay there he’s forced to navigate the town while dodging monsters and interacting with other people who had found themselves there one way or another, while beginning to understand part they all play in his torment. The game is psychologically stimulating and a piece of art in and of itself. 

3) Dead Space

Easily one of the more terrifying games out there, Dead Space rightfully takes the second spot on this list. While definitely a bit older than most of the games on this list, it’s a classic horror game and provides a nail biting experience even after multiple play throughs. The story here revolves around an engineer named Isaac, who is dispersed with a crew to find out why a “planetcracker” ship named the Ishimura, which was tasked with harvesting resources from an distant planet, had gone silent. Everything that could go wrong here goes wrong, and almost the entirety of his crew and the crew aboard the Ishimura is shown to have either died or gone insane. Terrifying creatures named necromorphs meanwhile have taken over the Ishimura, and Isaac has to fight them off while attempting to get the ship into a fixable state so him and the other survivors can go home. The tension in this game is palpable, as you walk through dark hallways, fearful of what afront to God will pop out next. 

2) Outlast

With most horror games you can distance yourself from the actual terror of the content it presents, mainly because it is fictional. Outlast is of course a game based in fiction, but the way that it’s story is presented down so in a very realistic way. In Outlast you play as an investigative journalist named Miles Upshur who is baited into following a story that inhumane experiments were being conducted at a place called Mount Massive Asylum. When he arrives there, he finds the place in shambles with all the staff slaughtered. You navigate the hospital gathering evidence while also attempted to escape. Some of the more terrifying aspects of the game are that you cannot fight off any potential assailants, you must run and hide to survive, and in the dark the only way you can see is using the night vision setting on your camcorder. This makes for some really terrifying scenes and images. 

1) Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

The Resident Evil series has certainly established itself as one of the go to horror video game franchises. While there are eight Resident Evil games to choose from, the seventh stands out as being the most frightening. Decay and plague are the main points that the game draws it’s fear from, with the main character Ethan Winters, finding himself on a plantation overrun by people infected by a psychotropic mold that has made them and everything around them decay. Having made his way to the plantation in order to find his wife who had been missing for three years, you must deal also with the trauma of interactions with her, who has also been infected. For a game that you may have to look away from at times due to the visceral horror it inflicts on the player, it’s an amazing game and one you should definitely play if you have the stomach for it.

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