If you’re spending this Halloween at home, the following 13 relatively new video games will creep you out after the last trick-or-treaters have rung your bell. There’s something for everyone, whether you like jump scares, eerie atmosphere, or multiplayer murder.
Resident Evil Village (2021)
One of the best games — fight me — in this long-running franchise, Resident Evil Village puts you in the centre of a haunted little town and confronts you with a rogue’s gallery of over-the-top villains like Donna Beneviento and her living doll, the half-man, half-fish abomination Salvatore Moreau, and Lady Dimitrescu, the very tall, very unforgettable Vampire ingenue who stole the internet’s heart.
Available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
The Evil Within 2 (2017)
If you like everything-but-the-kitchen-sink horror, The Evil Within 2 is for you: The monsters, story, and setting are just bat-crap crazy. The open-world style encourages exploration of the haunted STEM world (an alternative reality where monsters are real), and, unlike the original Evil Within, the boss fights are a highlight instead of a frustrating mess.
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Little Nightmares 2 (2021)
Little Nightmares 2 is the perfect combination of platforms, puzzles, and horror. While the levels and obstacles are engaging, Little Nightmares 2 really shines in its creepy details. Every aspect of its design, from the smallest corner of a map to the largest, most frightening boss, is lovingly crafted for extreme creepiness.
Available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
This immersive online horror game came out of nowhere last Halloween and took over the online space and Twitch. It’s a ghost-hunting game where you’ll be exploring creepy locations, discovering clues, and jumping out of your skin when a ghost finds you. Best of all, you can can do it with your friends.
Available on: Microsoft Windows
The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan (2019)
If you’ve ever screamed advice at the dimwits in a horror movie, Man of Medan is for you. You make plot decisions that have real consequences for all the characters in this grim, serious story. The “choose your own adventure” style is particularly fun when playing co-op, where you can make hidden choices that can either help or completely screw over your neighbour — but they can do the same to you.
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
What Remains of Edith Finch (2017)
While not strictly a horror game, Edith Finch’s connected narratives of strange deaths and family secrets veers into the surreal and horrific frequently and to great effect. It’s story-driven, thoughtful, and unlike any other game ever made. A great choice for fans of elevated horror.
Available on: PlayStation 4, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Dead by Daylight (2016)
There are a ton of asymmetrical multiplayer games out there, but this is (arguably) the first to get the balance right. Dead by Daylight is like a slasher movie come-to-life: One player is the powerful killer, everyone else is a less-powerful potential victim. The game plays totally differently, depending on which role you get, but both are amazing.
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, Android
Friday the 13th: The Game (2017)
Who hasn’t dreamed of being Jason Voorhees and offing annoying camp counselors? Friday the 13th: The Game gives you the chance. While it owes a lot to older asymmetrical slasher game Dead by Daylight (which owes a lot to the Friday the 13th movies), it’s far from an inferior copy. F13 features a lighter, more “meta” tone, more victims, and tons of easter eggs for fans of the iconic movie series.
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
The Medium (2021)
In this innovative third-person horror game, you control Marianne, a psychic who can see both the “real” world and the spirit realm. The split-screen sections where you control your character in both Poland circa 1999 and the World of the Dead open up intriguing narrative and gameplay possibilities.
Available on: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows
Mundaun is all about creepy atmosphere and maintaining a sense of foreboding and dread. Set in a haunted village in the Alps and illustrated by pencil drawings, this indie horror game is uniquely disquieting, like the video game equivalent of the original Wicker Man or The Lighthouse.
Available on: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Mac OS
Outlast 2 (2017)
Where most video games are power-fantasies, Outlast 2 is a lack-of-power fantasy. You never get bigger guns to kill worse monsters; you just get to run and hide from the horrors that want you dead. While not as focused and impactful as Outlast, the sequel will definitely creep you out, especially if you like messed-up stories and hiding from terror.
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
Stories Untold (2017)
A dreadful tale told through four connected mini-stories, Stories Untold does the seemingly impossible: It brings text adventures back from the dead and makes them Stranger-Things-cool. It’s best played on a PC (“typing” with a controller is no fun) but if you have a little patience, you’ll be rewarded with a uniquely unsettling experience.
Available on: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Classic Mac OS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
A Plague Tale: Innocence (2019)
Set in plague-ravaged France in 1348, this stealth-horror game tells the intriguing story of Amicia and Hugo, two children of nobility on the run from the zealots of the Inquisition and legions of black-death infected rats. If you like narrative-driven horror that avoids the common tropes of the genre, you’ll love A Plague Tale: Innocence.
Available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Amazon Luna