Must-Play Horror Games | Amazon
October has officially begun and Halloween is just a few short weeks away. Many folks like to settle into the fall with a slew of horror flicks, but this year you should consider taking on a marathon of horror games as well.
Something video games have over their film counterparts when it comes to horror is the player’s agency. Sure, watching the slasher claim their next victim can get a jumpscare out of you, but you know what’s scarier? Knowing you had the power to stop it. Watching someone slowly open a door and enter a dark room is unnerving, but having to do it yourself will send shivers down your spine and paralyze you with fear.
This is how video games have proven to be an exceptional medium for the horror genre and there is a ton to check out from indie developers and big-budget studios alike. And if genuine scares aren’t what you’re looking for, but just some general cartoonish spookiness to get cozy with, we have some recommendations for that too.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 | $52
Starting off with one of the cozy ones, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is our green-outfitted hero’s first time exploring haunted domiciles on home consoles since the GameCube. It’s full of laughs, puzzles, and collectibles, and remains one of the best-looking games on the Nintendo Switch.
Resident Evil Village | $31-$33
While there were plenty of Twitter users simping over the 9' tall, vampiress Lady Dimetrescu, it’s easy to forget how genuinely frightening she is in the game. And Resident Evil Village is packed with interesting and terrifying villains covering a breadth of horror tropes in this love letter to the genre.
Little Nightmares I & II | $38
This puzzle-platformer series is as adorable as it is startling. In each game, you play as a child in an unsettlingly decrepit world too large for them, sneaking past monstrous adult figures in an engaging story that asks the player to figure out a lot on their own. And you get both Little Nightmares games bundled together.
Resident Evil 2 | $20-$26
You didn’t think there would be only one Resident Evil game on this list, did you? A few years back, Resident Evil 2 got a complete, ground-up remake to bring it into the modern era. Forgoing the static camera and tank controls and bringing in a familiar over-the-shoulder third-person perspective the modern gamer has grown accustomed to. And don’t worry, Mr. X pursuing you is just as frightening as ever before.
Inscryption | $20
This deck-builder rogue-lite is what I believe to be the best game to come out in 2021, hands down. The spooky setting has you playing a Magic the Gathering-esque card game of woodland critters against a creepy antagonist who has locked you in his cabin. Between sessions, you are free to get up from the table and explore what is essentially an escape room to find clues that will help you get a leg up against your sinister opponent. I’d also suggest avoiding spoilers at all costs. Inscryption has some turns best experienced firsthand.
The Quarry | $30-$50
As a spiritual sequel to Until Dawn, Supermassive Games gave us a new action-adventure game in The Quarry. Play as nine camp counselors in a cinematic story, making choices for them and sealing their fates. The game is $20 off so sit with some friends this Halloween and pass the controller around to see it all unfold together.
The Last of Us Part I | $70
While this game doesn’t give off the traditional October-themed horror, it’s still a survivor horror filled with scares around every corner in the form of infected and clickers. Kudos to the sound design team for what they accomplished with the sounds clickers make. It will haunt my dreams forever. It’s also a great time to play through this critically-acclaimed title as the remake, The Last of Us Part I, just released, and next year we have it coming to HBO as a television adaptation.
Bloodborne | $35
At this point, I wouldn’t hold my breath for a remaster or PC release of Bloodborne to ever come out despite fan outcry. The good news is the original release is perfectly playable even at 30fps. This gothic horror setting stands out as one of From Software’s best and the Game of the Year edition includes the DLC.