For one night of the year the ghosts and ghouls of yesteryear are resurrected, as masses of people dress up as their favourite horror characters. A wonderfully atmospheric feeling of joy and occasion fills the crisp Autumnal air. But beware, we mustn't ignore the darker side of Halloween, it isn't all toffee apples and fanciful costumes. The fable of Count Dracula arriving into Whitby disguised as a dog. Legends told of banshees wailing long into the night. And stories of the undead coming back to spread both fear and dread. You'll see a mixture of both sides of Halloween as I count down ten games to play when 31st October comes around…
#10 - SLENDER
This game has become a cult classic in recent years and it is one of the freakiest games I’ve played. In Slender: The Eight Pages, you are stranded in the woods and all you have for company is a torch and, of course, Slenderman himself! The moments when the screen crackles and Slenderman appears in the distance are terrifying, and when he jumps right into the forefront of the screen, the jumpscares are insane.
#9 - LEFT 4 DEAD
This game is a classic multiplayer horror title, and it features one of the scariest characters in gaming history: The Witch! Hearing her wailing from a distance made me hide countless times, and when I summoned up enough courage to confront her, she’d quickly make me regret it. Undoubtedly a classic, Left 4 Dead is a great game for playing locally with a group of friends.
#8 - ALIEN: ISOLATION
I'm yet to play Alien: Isolation, and it's the only game on this list where I can say that. But I've watched gameplay videos and gotten uncomfortably close when watching my brother playing it. The game starts off slowly, but once it gets going there are jump scares and frights around almost every corner. The feeling of dread is rife in this game, and it's undoubtedly a great choice for Halloween.
#7 - SILENT HILL
This game used to give me the creeps when I was younger, and I don’t think I’d fare much better today. Searching for ghosts in haunted houses is just downright scary, and the jump scares in this game are easily among the best in gaming history. The franchise has stood the test of time, and when Halloween comes around it becomes all the more poignant.
#6 - UNTIL DAWN
The game in which you carve out your own path and destiny, Until Dawn is a superb single player game. Similar to Outlast, this game is ideal for playing in the dark with headphones on. I love how every choice you make impacts the game in a different way, with the Butterfly Effect being an omnipresent feature in the game. Add to this the incredible story and eerie visuals and you’ve got yourself a superb tonic for Halloween.
#5 - DEAD BY DAYLIGHT
This is a game I bought recently, and I’ve been hooked on it (no pun intended) since. Playing as four survivors against one killer or vice-versa, Dead By Daylight has a simple premise and core gameplay that makes it instantly enjoyable. The maps have varying weather conditions and have a spooky, overpowering feel to them. If you’re after the perfect game to play with friends this Halloween, look no further.
#4 - LUIGI’S MANSION
Okay, we’ve had some pretty scary and intense games on this list, so let’s go with something a little milder. Luigi finally stepped out of the shadow of Mario when he won a mansion in a contest, but unfortunately for him there were some unwanted guests who refused to leave. It was GameCube’s most successful launch title and with good reason. If you have a GameCube and if you’re not feeling brave enough to play any of the other games on this list, why not opt for something lighter this Halloween?
#3 - RESIDENT EVIL
Be it the 1996 classic or Resident Evil 7, this series has produced some of the scariest and most memorable moments in gaming history. The franchise has grown and evolved over the years, but the one thing that has remained (apart from RE6) is the sheer horrifying thrill you get when playing it. Resident Evil 4 was a true classic and playing it when I was younger made me feel petrified. The intensity of these games are what make it a necessity for some Halloween gaming.
#2 - OUTLAST
The archetypal horror settings of Mount Massive Asylum and Temple Gate are the perfect horror games to play on Halloween. You can’t fight back, and relying on getting away from the scares that hide around almost every corner is what makes the game truly terrifying. Close the curtains, turn the lights out, put your headset on, and see how far you can make it. For what it's worth, Outlast is my favourite horror game of all time.
#1 - FRIDAY THE 13TH
There's little doubt that Jason Voorhees is one of the most iconic horror characters in history. Once this franchise transitioned over to the videogame sector, you knew fans would flock in droves to create an instant cult classic. Certainly, the game is lacking in some areas, but when it comes to Halloween, how can anyone argue that this game isn’t the perfect horror game to play on 31st October?
There you have it, my list of games to play this Halloween. Let me know if I’ve missed any games, or if there are any underrated horror titles which would be perfect for the 31st October. The likes of F.E.A.R and Five Nights at Freddie's haven’t been included in this list as I am yet to play these games, and I’m generally less familiar with them. P.T has also been omitted as it wasn’t released as a full game, otherwise that would have made this list!