When most people think of “horror”, films such as The Exorcist, Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, and Poltergeist all come to mind. However, the video game industry has been just as influential in raising the bar on “scare” in entertainment.
The 15 games listed here didn’t make the cut simply because of the scare factor, but each title’s overall ability to liven a room up with the Halloween spirit.
15. F.E.A.R. 3 — Warner Bros. Interactive Studios (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
The ever-rising first-person shooter genre meets horror thriller. The F.E.A.R. series takes an action based tactical shooter and places you in frightening scenario that no World War II setting could ever pull off. Add the use of abilities like telekinesis and possession, and F.E.A.R. 3 becomes a game like no other.
14. Friday the 13th — LJN (NES)
In this NES classic, you play as a group of teenagers on an eerie campsite called Camp Crystal Lake. Anyone who has a remote idea of how 80’s horror storytelling goes knows where this one is going. More often than not, you will find yourself lost in the woods and praying a maniacal killer named Jason Voorhees doesn’t appear from out of nowhere. It’s a recipe for scary goodness. Unfortunately, Friday the 13th wasn’t very well made and has aged for the worst. Even for its time, it’s hard to see anyone over the age of 5 getting their pants scared off by this one. However, it is worth a revisit simply out of respect to the type of games that paved the way for the games we have today. You got to have some wrong before you get something right, right? Plus, the laughs you and your friends will have for popping this in at a Halloween party should be worth something.
13. Zombie Apocalypse — Konami (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Arcade-style co-op action sums up Zombie Apocalypse. You fight off zombies with up to four players and rack up points. Surviving through rounds is the name of the game. If you ever played Smash TV released over 20 years ago, you should have a pretty clear picture of what to expect.
12. Dead Rising 2 — Capcom (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
The Dead Rising 2 takes everything you think would be fun in a zombie infested world and puts it into a videogame. You can grab ANYTHING and use it on a zombie. They don’t even have to be deadly! Pushing a zombie around in a wheelchair? There is no need to do that except for the pure enjoyment of the player.
11. Dead Nation — Sony Computer Entertainment (PlayStation 3)
This top-down shooter game has you and a partner take on a world overridden with zombies. The concept is simple enough and has been done many times before, but Dead Nation does it better than most. When a game gives you ridiculously cool weapons like blade cannons and flamethrowers, and you still feel unsafe at every turn, you know you got something great on your hands. Especially as a budget-priced downloadable game, Dead Nation is a solid outing for anyone looking for some zombie action.