If you’re stuck at home on Halloween weekend, we’ve got the lineup for you
Halloween is all about zombies, ghosts, goblins, witches and everything spooky. Every year in the United States, as tradition holds, children dress up in costumes and go around asking for candy as they mutter the phrase, “Trick or Treat” and hold out a bucket or pillow case hoping for some major goodies.
For gamers, Halloween signifies something different though. Not only does it often mark the beginning of the holiday season, and with that, an influx of new AAA games, but for most it also means cold weather, bundling up inside and sitting down to enjoy a great game.
Those in the mood to sit on the edge of their seats have plenty to be terrifyingly thankful for because horror games have been around pretty much since gaming became a thing. Even Pac-Man was chased by ghosts!
Whether you’re looking for a paranormal experience, a survival-horror fright fest or a more casual treat of shooting zombies in the face, we’ve got the top 10 games and/or series to play on or around Halloween.
10. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS — or any older Animal Crossing title)
This one may seem strange to those not in the know, but Animal Crossing has a unique system for celebrating holidays and Halloween is no exception. Players can collect costumes and candy and exchange them for a spooky furniture collection that can only be obtained this time of year. If you’re an avid Animal Crossing enthusiast, this is a must-play on Halloween.
9. Silent Hill (series, multiple platforms)
Silent Hill started out on the original PlayStation in 1999 and has scared gamers ever since. The creepy atmosphere, perfect ambiance and satisfying story in the games over the years have been a great way to whet that appetite for living out a classic horror film.
In recent years, the series hasn’t seen many entries, unfortunately, and the cancellation of the Silent Hills reboot by Konami left fans of its interactive teaser/demo, P.T., disappointed and frustrated, but that doesn’t mean the older games aren’t still extremely enjoyable.
The early games in the series are a bit graphically outdated now, but if you can look past that, it’s an excellent series to play through.
8. Luigi’s Mansion (Nintendo platforms)
One of the more obscure Nintendo series, Luigi’s Mansion features an interesting take on the horror genre. Luigi is lost in a haunted mansion, and players are tasked with saving Mario by unlocking the secrets of the mansion and taking out ghosts along the way.
This series is excellently well-crafted and offers up challenging enemies and lots of exploration for a Halloween night gaming marathon.
7. Resident Evil (series, multiple platforms)
Resident Evil is probably one of the most classic series in the survival-horror genre (it even coined that phrase!). Though the series has veered from this formula a bit in recent years, it has mostly stayed true to its roots by offering players a platform to kill infected citizens while the mystery of how they got infected unfolds around them.
From the terrifying opening moments of the first game to the most recent entry in the series, Resident Evil has, for the most part, offered consistent gameplay, spooky environments and characters that deliver on the promise of taking the player on an undead adventure they’ll never forget.
To get an idea of which ones are and aren’t worth your time, check out GameSpot’s video above.
6. Dead Space (series, seventh generation platforms)
The Dead Space series takes the killing of hideous creatures to outer space and offers unique gameplay focused on challenging enemies as opposed to the typical pushover zombies that are usually killed with a headshot in most games.
The trilogy takes players on an edge-of-the-seat journey as Issac Clarke battles reanimated corpses of the members of earlier space expeditions.
The first two games were met with critical acclaim, and though the third game wasn’t as solid, this is a series that’s worth checking out.
5. The Last of Us (PlayStation platforms)
The Last of Us is one of the most-awarded and well-received games in recent memory. Sac City Gamer called it, “not only a masterpiece, but one of the best games ever created,” in our review of the PS3 version.
While it may not be the first game that comes to mind when you think of Halloween, it’s definitely a journey that is worth a play through, to say the least.
The game features zombie-like infected citizens in a post-apocalyptic setting, so it’s more than qualified to be on this list. We’re always looking for excuses to recommend this game more because the real draw here is the amazing story.
4. Zombi (PS4, Xbox One, PC)/ZombiU (Wii U)
Zombi/ZombiU is one of the best survival-horror games out there today because when a character dies, they’re dead.
Players come back as another survivor and are tasked with picking up the trail of the earlier character in an all-out, brutal zombie-survival kill fest. We’d recommend playing the Wii U version as it features one of the best usages of the game pad.
If you don’t have a Wii U, the digital release on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC is a good alternative as it features updated gameplay and visuals.
3. The Evil Within (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
We’ve all seen that commercial that was shown on TV far too often back when The Evil Within launched, but this game truly is a worthy Halloween adventure.
It’s got great ambiance, fun gameplay and a story that will keep players guessing. Oh yeah, and it’s pretty damn scary too!
2. Outlast (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
We here at SCG can definitely say this is one of the few games we stopped playing because it was just too terrifying. Okay, it was more so because we had way too many games to play when this gem dropped as a free PlayStation Plus title in February 2014, but we were still extremely scared.
We eventually picked it back up and can testify to the fact that this is a perfect example of an October game.
It was also nice playing a game in this day-and-age that didn’t have the protagonist wielding a gun. The story in this game is fun to unravel and if you can survive the evil creatures lurking around every corner, the game has a satisfying ending too.
We hear the DLC is also a great time.
1. Costume Quest (series, PlayStation platforms, Xbox platforms, PC)
Costume Quest 1 and 2 are both excellent downloadable titles to play on Halloween. I mean, where else can you play as a kid and actually go trick-or-treating? It’s basically Trick-or-Treat Simulator!
Just be careful, the games put a LOT of emphasis on that “trick” part of the popular Halloween night begging tactic.
With a magically-cute art style, great music, fun characters and excellent classic turn-based RPG style gameplay, the Costume Quest games are our pick, without a shadow of a doubt, for the best games to play during the month of October.
So, what do you think of our list? Agree? Disagree? Anything we missed? What will you be playing this Halloween? Let us know in the comments and be sure to LIKE us on Facebook and FOLLOW us on Twitter.