We’re celebrating Halloween here at High Ground Gaming, and we’ve got a treat for you! As long-time fans of scary media, we’ve put together a list of 25 must-play horror games for you to enjoy at the witching hour.

Each of our picks includes a “Fear Factor” that discusses what kind of scare you can expect from the game. The entries themselves aren’t ranked in any particular order, so we hope you find something in our list of the best Halloween video games that scratches that seasonal itch.

Let’s get spooky!

1. Back 4 Blood

Back 4 Blood

The spiritual successor to the wildly successful Left 4 Dead series currently tops the Steam charts, and for a good reason. The originals paved the way in the horde multiplayer genre, and are considered all-time classics. Back 4 Blood continues that trend, but with a sleeker, more modern look. Turtle Rock Studios has shown an aptitude for interesting multiplayer design, and that’s where this game excels.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃

Do you like screaming with friends? That’s where Back 4 Blood shines. If the best way for you to have fun while scared is to yell about it over the mic, then Back 4 Blood is the perfect way to experience Halloween multiplayer madness and is our #1 best Halloween video game pick.

2. Little Nightmares 2

Little Nightmares II

The prequel to developer Tarsier Studios’ original 2017 title, Little Nightmares 2 is full of spooky puzzle platforming goodness. Players assume the role of Mono, a small boy wearing a paper bag. The game becomes a type of rescue mission after they encounter the protagonist from the first game, Six.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃

The impressive part of the Little Nightmares series is how it captures the horror of being a child in a scary world. Most enemies are vastly larger than the player character, forcing them to rely on stealth and cleverness to overcome obstacles. This, coupled with creepy world and character design make for an atmospheric experience that’s fun in groups and terrifying alone.

3. Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon The Color of Madness

An indie roguelike darling from 2016, Darkest Dungeon by developer Red Hook combines challenging turn-based combat with punishing resource management. Set in an accursed hamlet, the player must launch expeditions of adventurers, the caveat being that these heroes are just another disposable resource. While notoriously difficult, the game has an iconic art style and a strong fanbase even after five years and two DLC’s.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃

Though I said that the heroes you utilize in this game are expendable, seeing one you’ve spent time and effort into leveling and equipping at death’s door is a harrowing experience. This, coupled with the game’s dark themes and hideous enemies, creates an overall uneasy yet thrilling atmosphere.

4. Dead by Daylight

dead by daylight

If you’ve ever wanted to play as the killer instead of the opposite, then Dead by Daylight by developer Behavior Interactive is the game for you. An asymmetrical 1v4 multiplayer game, one player assumes the role of a horror movie villain, complete with special abilities, while the other four play as the victims. It’s possible for either side to win, but nonetheless scares will be had.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃

I mentioned before that being scared with friends over voice chat can be thrilling. Well, Dead by Daylight makes the prospect terrifying. The psychological aspect of the game really shines in its moments of horrific cat and mouse. Will you prefer to outsmart the killer as prey? Or will you become the apex predator?

5. Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village

The latest in Capcom’s acclaimed Resident Evil series, Village combines the grotesque horror of the franchise with an increased focus on action gameplay. While the shift might not be in the desired direction for some, what Village seeks to accomplish, it achieves in spades. Protagonist Ethan Winters finds himself searching for his kidnapped daughter amongst the howling hordes of lycanthropic villagers. The direction is clear and the setting intense.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃

Though I mentioned that the game’s focus has shifted away from horror, the village itself nearly makes up for it. The sheer diversity of enemies and settings within this gothic hellscape means that every player will find something they gravitate toward. This variety is bolstered by the amount of customization within the game, which also encourages player exploration.

6. Visage

Visage cover art

Developed by Sadsquare Studios and released in October of 2020, Visage is a psychological horror game that deals with the effects of mental illness on its protagonist and vis a vis the player. In many ways, the game is a piece of long-form storytelling with its gameplay serving the narrative. Visage will test the limits of your detective skills and logical endurance as you navigate its four disturbing chapters.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Some games on this list seek to scare you, others to disturb or horrify you. Visage will do all of these things — it’ll even make you question yourself. This game is incredibly difficult, as the puzzle solving gets more and more difficult the deeper into the madness you get. Despite this, it’s a rewarding experience that, by the end, pays off in a big way.

7. Alien: Isolation

Alien Isolation Cover Art

Back in 2014, Creative Assembly released its first-person survival horror gem, Alien: Isolation. Despite the age, the game absolutely holds up especially for fans of the film series. Players assume the role of Amanda Ripley, daughter of film protagonist Ellen Ripley as she investigates her mother’s disappearance. Quickly though, the story becomes one of survival after the titular alien appears.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Where this game truly shines is the play between the player and the xenomorph AI. If you make any noise while dealing with the various problems you encounter on the ship, the alien will find you. Escaping is a matter of resource management and getting a little lucky. Stealth gameplay usually isn’t my favorite, but this game does it so well that it’s hard not to enjoy it.

8. Bloodborne

Bloodborne Cover Art

Also released in 2014, Bloodborne was “Souls” series creator FromSoftware’s divergent entry in its line of dark fantasy role playing games. Bloodborne took the formula of Dark Souls’ difficult third person combat, revolutionized it, and themed it with some of the best Gothic and Lovecraftian inspired mythos in gaming. If you own a PS4, I truly cannot recommend getting this game more.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃

Bloodborne truly has a special way of absorbing you into its world. The lore isn’t ham-fisted, yet as a player, I found myself increasingly interested in the mystery around me. Equally, the horror felt like I had choices with how I chose to engage with it. There’s a terrifying moment when a boss you’re struggling with enters its final form, and Bloodborne makes those epic conflicts special and grotesque.

9. Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi's Mansion Cover Art

Looking for a family-friendly Halloween video game? The latest entry in Nintendo’s spookiest series, Luigi’s Mansion 3 presents the most immersive experience yet as players navigate a haunted hotel. Returning are the trademark vacuum as well as various gadgets that assist Luigi in ghost hunting. Also included is a fairly robust multiplayer mode, great for any Halloween party.

Fear Rating: 🎃

Well, actually, it isn’t very scary. And that’s okay! Sometimes you just want to enjoy the spooky flavorings of the season without feeling dread or terror. Luigi’s Mansion 3 provides that experience in spades, much in the same way as watching a classic children’s Halloween movie. If you’re looking for a break in the scares or just want an incredibly well-made puzzle game, look no further.

10. DOOM: Eternal

Doom Eternal Cover Art

The fifth game in the all-time classic DOOM series, DOOM: Eternal is id Software’s latest entry in the series and perhaps its best so far. Combining tight gameplay and beautifully horrible visuals, players will maneuver through levels and enemies alike. Additionally, the multiplayer “Battlemode” allows players to control either the Slayer or demons in an inversion of the asymmetrical formula.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃

The phrase, “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster…” must have never resonated with the Doom Slayer. Instead, players are encouraged to become more monstrous than the demons spewing out of hell itself. Though not the traditional kind of horror, the maniacal madness that DOOM encourages cannot be ignored.  

11. Subnautica: Below Zero

Subnautica Below Zero Cover Art

The icy standalone expansion to the original Subnautica, Below Zero offers players a chance to explore the undersea environment of an alien planet. Developed by Unknown Worlds Entertainment, Subnautica: Below Zero offers players challenging survival mechanics and undersea base building.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃

Thalassophobia is a type of fear that involves a persistent terror of deep water. Despite being a beautiful game, Subnautica: Below Zero acknowledges the inherent terror of the ocean, providing the player with several horrifying creatures they must learn to avoid if they want to survive the hostile alien planet. Additionally terrifying is the inclusion of a creature that will even follow players on land.   

12. Return of the Obra Dinn

Created by one-man game developer Lucas Pope, Return of the Obra Dinn is an atmospheric mystery/puzzle game set aboard a formerly lost trading vessel. The ship, the titular Dinn, disappeared for five years before reappearing off the coast of England. The player investigates the circumstances of the incident, equipped with a magical pocket watch that allows them to see the moment of a person’s death.

Fear Rating: 🎃

Return of the Obra Dinn has an atmosphere unlike any other game. Rendered entirely in 3D 1-bit graphics, the game looks different to anything you’ve ever played. Somehow, this retro style combines with the mood and purpose of the game to create a feeling of sadness and unease. Slowly, the human tale unravels as you investigate each crew member’s demise, and eventually the even scarier truth comes to light.

13. Poppy Playtime

Poppy Playtime Art

The newest game on this list, Poppy Playtime, developed by MOB Games, has started to make waves in the puzzle horror genre. Only the first chapter of the game has been released so far, but if you enjoyed other indie horror darlings like Five Nights at Freddy’s or Bendy and the Ink Machine, Poppy Playtime may be up your ally.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃

A combination of thoughtful puzzles, a moody atmosphere and an unsettling main monster means that Poppy Playtime will always have you on edge. If you’re interested in just an episode of spookiness instead of a full experience or want to follow a new horror hype, be sure to check this title out.

14. Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2 Cover Art

The remake of the original 1998 game, Resident Evil 2 is a Capcom classic and the only game series featured twice on this list. Players return to Raccoon City and select to play as either police officer Leon Kennedy or college student Claire Redfield. Despite being a remade game from the 90’s, Resident Evil 2’s remake has all the graphical polish you’d expect from a game in 2019. In many ways, the combination of two eras gives the game an entirely unique feel.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Unlike Resident Evil: Village, which appeared earlier on this list, Resident Evil 2 feels more like the traditional zombie survival games of yore. Supplies are limited, moments are tense and the zombies are some of the best in all of gaming. Seriously though, if you like shooting zombies, you should give this game a try.

15. Dagon: by H.P. Lovecraft

Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft

Released in September 2021 by BitGolem, Dagon: by H.P. Lovecraft is a free interactive narrative horror game. Unlike most other games on this list, you don’t really play Dagon as much as you experience it. You click things to advance the story, but there are no puzzles. Instead, the game encourages you to awash yourself in the literature and the visuals it provides.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃

Lovecraft’s influence on games has been clear in prior entries on this list, so it felt necessary to include something that more directly dealt with his work. The tone of Dagon is one of a world so incomprehensible that it inspires an insanity both pure and absolute. In many ways, this fits in with Lovecraftian themes far more than the Cthulu-esque enemies in other games.

16. SOMA

SOMA Cover Art

SOMA is a survival horror game released in 2015 by Frictional Games. Players take the role of Simon Jarret, a protagonist who finds himself in an underwater research facility. SOMA uses elements of survival horror and puzzle solving, but creates a greater focus on psychological horror rather than jump scares.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Nothing in SOMA is made clear to the player, and its up to you to find out what’s happening and why. The two most important parts of this game are the story and the horror, with less emphasis placed on the other gameplay elements. If you’re looking for a game to take scary to existential heights, give SOMA a try.

17. Blair Witch

Blair Witch Cover Art

Based on the film series, Blair Witch is a 2019 survival horror game from developer Bloober Team. Tasked with finding a lost boy, the story follows former police officer Ellis Lynch as he searches the woods of Black Forest Hills. Along the way found cassette tapes and strange wooden effigies point towards a more sinister conspiracy.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃

With a very simple premise for its survival horror scares, Blair Witch doesn’t ask much more of the player than to be terrified. Your tools are also simple; objects like a camera, a flashlight and even your dog are what you’ll rely upon in your journey. The dog itself, Bullet, is one of the best (and most adorable) mechanics in any horror game to date.

18. Observer

Observer Game Art

Another Bloober Team title, Observer is a 2017 psychological horror game set in a sci-fi Krakow, Poland. The player protagonist, Daniel Lazarski, is a detective who hacks into the minds of those he interrogates. The device he uses, the Dream Eater, is central to the plot of Observer and to the dystopian environment ruled by the megacorportation Chiron.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃

The most compelling parts of Observer are certainly the hacking sequences. Essentially, Daniel is able to access the consciousness of murder victims in order to gain clues about their demise. These moments create unexpected environments and scares that linger for long after they’ve been completed.

19. My Father’s Long, Long Legs

My Father's Long Long Legs Art

 A free piece of interactive fiction, My Father’s Long, Long Legs is a 2014 Twine game by Michael Lutz. The simplest game on this list, players select options and read as the story unfolds in front of them. Beyond that, it’s just text scrawl and background noise. Despite this minimalistic approach, My Father’s Long, Long Legs is utterly terrifying.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃

Sometimes the scariest thing is what you don’t see, and My Father’s Long, Long Legs succeeds in this buildup of tension. The human imagination can conjure all sorts of horrors, and the scariest things can sometimes be the unseen. Keeping on this theme, Lutz directs attention to the bizarre; a strange task oft repeated, a secret kept by a suburban family and something with unnatural dimensions.

20. Pathologic

Pathologic Cover Art

Pathologic is a survival horror game released in 2005 by Ice-Pick Lodge. The game got re-released in 2015 with an HD remake and most importantly a new translation from the original Russian. Players choose from between three characters, dubbed as “Healers” and their only main objective is to survive the city for twelve days. None of the other goals are intrinsically necessary.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃

Pathologic is a strange game in that its graphics are bad in an early 2000’s kind of way, but it’s dingy appearance adds to its atmosphere. Everything in the game is mildly off-putting, which at face value doesn’t sound too scary. However, when you combine it all, it creates an uncanny valley experience unlike anything else I’ve played.

21. System Shock 2

System Shock 2 Cover Art

Designed by Ken Levine and co-developed by Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios, System Shock 2 is a 1999 survival horror game classic. Considered by many to be far ahead of its time, it received enough critical acclaim to inspire an updated release in 2013. System Shock 2 put into place the kind of FPS and RPG mechanics that may seem commonplace today, but it has enough intriguing gameplay and narrative punch to hold up.

Fear Rating: 🎃

The “horror” element of older games doesn’t translate as well into our modern idea of visuals. System Shock 2 instead thrills with how impressive its bones are, as traces of it can be found in so many other games. That being said, System Shock 2 and its iconic villain still have their moments of glory.

22. The Room (Series)

The Room Cover Art

The Room series is a sequence of puzzle games developed by Fireproof Games. At the time of writing there are four main entries; The Room, The Room Two, The Room Three and The Room: Old Sins. Players complete three-dimensional puzzles within the confines of a house, often times unlocking a box to find another puzzle inside. Also present is the otherworldly material “Null” which helps divine clues for the player.

Fear Rating: 🎃

While not a horror game like some of the other games on this list, The Room instead places most of its emphasis on the puzzle gameplay, and for that, it’s first in class. Despite that, the creepy background and the author character’s slow descent into madness frame the experience as decidedly spooky. The positive is that players who want to solve puzzles without a monster breathing down their neck can find respite here.

23. Stories Untold

Stories Untold Cover Art

A unique episodic horror game, Stories Untold is indie developer No Code’s 2017 release. Split into four parts, each is a text-based adventure that tie back together to form a cohesive whole. For those not familiar with text-based adventures, they require specific text commands and historically aren’t the most user-friendly game genre. Stories Untold does a solid job, though, and the atmospheric experience is truly one of a kind.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃

Though the genre implies a lack of visuals, that notion does Stories Untold an injustice. The game takes the text console and places it within the game, allowing for the player to experience the environment outside of it. As the narrative takes twists and turns, the horror is made manifest in interesting and decidedly frightening ways.

24. The Cat Lady

The Cat Lady Cover Art

The Cat Lady is a 2012 puzzle horror game made by Harvester Games. The game is entirely played using the arrow keys, making it a simple game in concept, but incredible to experience. Fully voice acted, the story draws you in with a combination of tight dialogue and surreal visuals. Additionally, the game tackles some incredibly difficult issues, making it a cult classic.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃

Depression is a heavy topic, and one that The Cat Lady doesn’t shy away from. Many times people can be their own worst enemies, and the exploration of these themes and ideas separates The Cat Lady from the rest.

25. World of Horror

World of Horror Cover Art

Inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft (again!?) and Junji Ito, World of Horror is a 2020 early access project made by developer Paweł Koźmiński, and published by Ysbryd Games. The game features artwork created in MS Paint and turn based combat reminiscent of classic RPGs. In addition to that genre blend, it contains mechanics from roguelikes, and adventure game inventory and puzzle solving.

Fear Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

The 1-bit, two-dimensional style depicts the art as if the player was reading a horror manga. Monsters appear in their disturbing glory, forming the collection of enemies for the player to exorcise. All the while, the clock ticks as most actions propel the story closer and closer to the eldritch end of the world.

Join the High Ground

That’s it for our list of the best Halloween video games to play this holiday! What are you playing this season that’s spooking you? Let us know in the comments below!   

Happy haunting!