Top 7 Scary Video Games to Play This Halloween

1. Resident Evil
The whole survivor horror genre partially owes itself to Resident Evil, which when released in 1996, was possibly one of the most influential games, and kickstarted a “survival horror” golden age.
While the later iterations of Resident Evil have morphed into action shooters with zombies, the first was a true haunted house game. You are part of a team of elite police trapped in a mansion after a helicopter accident, and to solve the mystery behind some strange murders you have to survive zombies, vicious dogs that jump through windows, the traps of the house, and a traitor.
If all of this doesn’t sound like enough to pique your interest, add survival horror staples like limited ammo and clues being left on maps. It also spawns one of the best evil corporations in game history: The Umbrella Corporation, which plays a role in all other Resident Evil games.
Note: this trailer is from the updated GameCube release in 2002.

2. Dead Space
Dead Space, available on Xbox 360, plays on all the fears of anyone who ever watched the movie Event Horizon. In space, no one can hear as reanimated aliens chase the crew of a mining ship down.
The hero, Isaac, arrives to a barely functioning ship with a barely living crew, and must try to rescue them, as well as the woman he’s in love with. Because Isaac is an engineer, you’re using modified mining tools to fight off the reanimated aliens, as well as trying to solve the mystery of what happened to the ship. While there have been sequels, none can hold up to the original in inventiveness and scare factor.

3. System Shock 2
Before there was the formidable BioShock franchise, Ken Levine created System Shock and System Shock 2.
When you play System Shock 2, the similarities to BioShock are unmistakable. The setting, a futuristic space ship on an alien planet, is immersive, dark and unsettling. The ultimate enemy you face, SHODUN, an AI gone mad who is controlling an alien hive mind, is scary to the core, and even when she enlists your help, you feel like you can’t entirely trust the evil puppetmaster.
Combine this with limited ammo and monstrous enemies. This game is also neat because you can build character stats similar to an RPG, and that includes skills like psionics and hacking.
Levine said that BioShock was the “spiritual” sequel to the System Shock games, but it was arguably much less scary than the other games (though still psychologically intense).

4. Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill is a series with a long history, but I'm only highlighting the second game simply because it is the best and scariest.
Many of the game's sequences involve exploring almost totally dark spaces, with only a flashlight in your shirt pocket to light the way. You will have limited weapons: either a gun with very few bullets, or just a wooden bat you've picked up along the way, so the possibility of an encounter is truly frightening. One of the most brilliant things about this game is the audio mixing, which uses creepy, ambient music, along with a radio squawking to indicate incoming monsters. There are also lots of great riddles mixed in with the scary sequences.

5. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Amnesia is the only really independent title on this list, though its creators, Frictional Games, also created another horror game, Penumbra. It was released last year and is available on all computer operating systems.
In the world of Amnesia, your character has fittingly lost his memory, and is trying to recover it while exploring a dark, twisting nightmare castle. The most interesting – and frightening – aspect of this game is that you have no weapons. When you hear monsters coming, you have to hide, either by barricading a monster’s path or by hiding in the shadows. The second option drains your sanity, and the first-person perspective will visibly shake and breathe heavily when your character is stressed. This teaser trailer is scary enough on its own.

6. Doom 3
If you like more action-packed shooters, Doom 3 is one of the more white-knuckle games on this list. Released in 2004 by id Software, and still available today for PC and Mac, it was meant to reboot the original Doom game with updated graphics and an award-winning game engine.
You play an unnamed space marine stationed on Mars, but someone has accidentally opened a portal to Hell, letting in all sorts of monsters. The game is scary again because of excellent audio editing, mostly from the sounds that come from the character’s radio that allude to what is happening on the base. It also forces the player to often choose between carrying a flashlight as the only light source, or carrying a weapon; shooting your gun could mean the only light in the room comes from the gunfire. It makes for some scary moments as you enter new areas or hear monsters coming.

7. Fatal Frame III
Fatal Frame III was released in 2005 for Playstation 2. Like many of the other games on our list, it takes a unique approach to combat.
The main character Rei is only armed with a camera that she uses to capture ghosts' spirits and defeat them. The main gameplay takes place when Rei is dreaming in the nightmare world, but as the game progresses, the nightmare world begins creeping into her real life, and she begins to see ghosts in her home.
Like many Japanese horror films, the game is not violent or gory, but especially psychologically effective. The creepiest element of the game is that Rei is haunted by a ghost that curses her with a tattoo, which spreads over more of her body as the game progresses.

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