This article originally posted around Halloween 2011. But we've updated it a bit by adding a few more spooky gems for this year's holiday.
The one time a year when it’s socially acceptable to play dress-up is finally upon us! In celebration of Halloween, we here at CraveOnline decided to form a list of our favorites games to play around this glorious holiday when the ghosts and ghouls come out to feast on the flesh of the living. However, keep in mind, these aren’t our picks for the scariest games of all time (we’ve already done that), but instead games that fit the holiday like a glove, whether they’re horrifying or not.
Vampires and zombies are cool and all, but nothing is more terrifying than dinosaurs. Capcom understood this fact, and in 1999 they released Dino Crisis, a Resident Evil knockoff where the slow, lumbering zombies were replaced with quick, agile dinosaurs. As expected, Dino Crisis was absolutely horrifying when it first released. Sure, the game don’t really provide the thrills it once did, but blame that on the advances of our medium over the years. But if you yearn for a classic throwback to a once terrifying game this Halloween, dig out your copy of Dino Crisis and relive the magic.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
This classic SNES/Genesis title may be hard to come by the legal way, but know that it’s one of the best top-down games ever built. The zombie theme makes it an obvious choice for our list, but it also comes in based heavily on its nostalgia factor. We loved this game growing up, and any excuse to play it is good enough for us.
The Walking Dead
Even though Telltale's The Walking Dead is not finished yet (there's still one episode yet to release), we have no problem recommending what's available so far. Telltale absolutely gets what makes Robert Kirkman's original comic series so special — it's about how, when faced with extinction, human will tear each other apart. Truthfully, the zombie apocalypse is just the catalyst. But since zombies are involved somehow, The Walking Dead becomes a perfect recommedation for Halloween gaming.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
Whenever we talk scariest games out there, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem always factors into the conversation. This title, developed by Silicon Knights, ranks as one of the most frightening games ever created, mostly because it constantly toys with your mind. When your sanity meter ran low you were greeted with messages of your save files being corrupted, or your TV turning off. Most of the scares in Eternal Darkness came not from enemies jumping out at you in the game, but from Silicon Knights constantly playing with the fragile minds of gamers. Brilliant.
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Marston takes on a horde of the undead, you say? Unicorns, Sasquatches, Four Horses of the Apocalypse? All in one of the best DLC packs to release in 2010?
Red Dead Redemption was incredible. Undead Nightmare took that experience and made it all zombified. The gameplay works exceptionally well as Marston moves from town to town in order to rid the land of its newest, most horrendous plague.
An RPG built by Double Fine that gives gamers the ability to build and slap on unique costumes and then transform into massive, real versions of said costumes in turn-based battle. This Halloween game is charming, clever, funny and a lot of fun to play. Double Fine is known for their ability to build creative games, and Costume Quest is no different.
Left 4 Dead 2
As zombie killing goes, it doesn’t get too much better than this. Valve did well by gamers when they created a new host of campaign levels and a variety of zombie types worth slaying in this year-later-sequel. Left 4 Dead 2 is a well made, frantic, frenetic zombie shooter that will make any one Halloween get together awesome.
Dead Space 2
We included the original Dead Space on our list of the scariest games of all time, and for good reason. But with Dead Space 2, Visceral Games upped the ante in every way possible, managing to scare us with not only external threats, but psychological ones as well. Dead Space 2 is a true mindf**k of an experience, one that we love from top to bottom. If you seek scares this Halloween, Dead Space 2 is a solid choice.
What better way to celebrate Halloween than by revisiting id Software’s classic, which recently re-released as part of the Doom 3: BFG Edition. Believe us, the game is still absolutely horrifying, full of monster closets that will make you shit your pants while waiting for the children of the neighborhood to come by for candy. And since Doom 3 is now roughly eight years old, most standard computers can run it exceptionally well. So turn off the lights, crack up your speakers and fire up Doom 3. You’ll regret it, but in the best way possible. Have fun trying to fall asleep without a night light.
InFamous: Festival of Blood
This downloadable title on the PlayStation Network is for InFamous what "Undead Nightmare" was for Red Dead Redemption. Festival of Blood plays off the season nicely, turning the city of New Maraas into a vampire-infested wonderland. Well, technically, that’s not really a wonderland, so to speak. Furthermore, InFamous lead protagonist, Cole, has been turned into a bloodsucker, and has less than 24 hours to kill the head vampire and find a cure (sounds like he needs the help of the Frogger brothers!). If you love InFamous as much as you love Halloween, Festival of Blood is a perfect game to celebrate the holiday with. Plus, the game is only $9.99!
Slender: The Eight Pages
This game takes the cake for being probably the scariest video game to release in years. The concept is quite simple: wander around a dark forest and collect the eight pages, or "notes," scattered around the landscape. However, there's a super creepy man wearing a suit with indistinguishable features pursuing you. Stay away from him at all costs. Slender doesn't try to wow with spectacle or scare with cheap tactics. It scares because it plays with your expectations like classic slasher films such as Halloween. So download the game for free on your computer, turn off the lights and prepare yourself for one of the most terrifying experiences you'll ever have. Good luck.
Batman: Arkham City
Is this cheating? Maybe. We don’t care. We love Batman so much that we’re totally willing to put his newest, greatest game up at the top of our Halloween list. If you’re looking for justification, try this: too embarrassed to dress up as the Dark Knight for Halloween? Do it from the comfort of your couch.
The game is amazing.