This past year has been amazing when it comes to horror games, for fans of the genre, it has truly been one of the best years in some time. The addition of the new consoles has elevated what games can do. Ultimately the $500 12 teraflop Xbox Series X, the 3D audio on the PS5, and solid-state storage have evolved games. The removal of loading screens has increased suspense and pacing. Plus Spatial audio and HDR have dramatically improved immersion. Hence, we have rounded up our favorite games from the past year you should be playing this Halloween.
Back 4 Blood
The spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead, Back 4 Blood is the perfect Co-Op Halloween game in 2021. Get together with up to three friends you take on hordes of zombies in check-point-based objectives. Getting together with friends has become more challenging than ever. Thankfully Xbox Game Pass subscribers can play Back 4 Blood as part of the subscription on console and PC. Not to be left out, players who buy Back 4 Blood will be able to raise hell with friends on other platforms as B4B supports cross-play.
Resident Evil: Village
Resident Evil: Village is a game we will be talking about all year. From this spring’s launch to its importance around Halloween, leading up to Game of the Year awards. Resident Evil: Village is the ultimate horror experience in 2021. The enhancements brought on by the PS5 with spital audio make it a must-own title on the platform. Not to leave out the game’s unbelievable visuals and world-class environmental design.
A Plague Tale: Innocence
Action Adventure stealth game A Plague Tale: Innocence, is available on nearly all platforms. PlayStation Plus users that claim the games every month received the PS5 version in July as part of their subscription. Xbox Game Pass subscribers can play A Plague Tale: Innocence on Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC platforms today. While it did come out in 2019, an update to prepare for the sequel, A Plague Tale: Requiem, was launched on PS5, XSX and Nintendo Switch this July. With that, there are a few cost-effective ways to hop into A Plague Tale: Innocence across nearly all platforms. The game’s strong narrative, centered around 14th century France and the Black Plague, won it over 10 awards.
While nearly too sweet and charming to be considered a horror game, Death’s Door is one of the best indie games of the year. The top-down Metroidvania has you playing the role of a crow, filling in for Death as his new desk job. Fans of classic SNES and NES Zelda titles are going to fall in love with the gameplay. The steller combat is just gravy to one of the year’s best stories. Death’s Door is available on Xbox and PC for less than $20.
A complete remaster of the classic horror game Alan Wake was released this month. Originally an Xbox 360 exclusive in 2010. Alan Awake is playable for the first time ever on PlayStation. Fans of the cult classic horror game can pick it up for $29.99 on PC and all Xbox or PlayStation platforms. Alan Wake is a psychological thriller where you uncover the mystery behind your wife’s disappearance in the small fictional town of Bright Falls, Washington. The third-person action game is developed by Remedy, the creators of Max Payne and Control.
Just like in Death’s Door, in The Medium, you play as Marianne, a shepherd of spirits to the afterlife. The Medium is a psychological horror game that borrows from classics like, Silent Hill. In conjunction with an interesting new technique of rendering the levels twice as you traverse through the dual planes of existence. Unfortunately, that will limit some of the audience as the game requires PC, PS5, and Xbox Series hardware. Fear, not Xbox Game Pass subscribers, you can stream The Medium on nearly anything with a web browser this Halloween.
Death Stranding Directors Cut
Death Stranding Directors Cut launched on PS4 and PS5 last month. While the meat of Death Stranding is based on delivery and world-building, both the action and story are deeply rooted in horror. As you make deliveries and rebuild the United States, you will encounter B.T.’s non-living entities trying to carry you over to “the other side.” Each encounter is terrifying and punishing, especially if you make any mistakes. While Death Stranding is not for everyone, fans consider it to be another Kojima (Metal Gear, P.T.) masterpiece. If restoring America is part of your Halloween plans, Death Stranding is for you.
Chernobylite is a game that has been sitting in early access on PC for some time now. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, Chernobylite was officially released on July 28th for PC and September 28th for PS4 and Xbox One with an MSRP of $29.99. The science-fiction survival horror game takes place in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone as you search for remains of a lost loved one 30 years prior. There is a nonlinear story, where your choices impact the outcome.
Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes
The third game in the Dark Pictures Anthology, a collection of short horror stories, House of Ashes takes place in 2003 during the Iraq War. The interactive narrative adventure game has you play five different characters trapped in a temple where dark forces have awoken. The non-linear story has multiple endings, where the player’s actions determine the outcome. Fans of PlayStation games like, Until Dawn and Hidden Agenda will be familiar with how House of Ashes plays out. House of Ashes was released on October 21st of this year. It is able on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox platforms for $29.99.
For those looking for a challenge this Halloween, Demon’s Souls is a must-own PS5 title for accomplished players. The console-exclusive just passed 1 million units sold, meaning that nearly 10% of all PS5 owners have taken home a copy of Demon’s Souls. Although there is a lot to fear here, less than 30% of players have vanquished every boss. Demon’s Souls is the ultimate Halloween challenge for sure.
BONUS: Resident Evil Code Veronica X
Of course, the game is not new at all. Yet this month Resident Evil Code Veronica X is the free Xbox Live Games With Gold Game. If you are a subscriber to Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Live, you can download and own Resident Evil Code Veronica X this month for free. Once one of the must-own Dreamcast titles, Resident Evil Code Veronica X has been remastered for the Xbox 360. Not to be left out, owners of the Xbox Series consoles will see added HDR features to enhance lighting. This is a 2011 remaster of one of the best Resident Evil games.