Video games can be a great way to put us in a certain mood. They can foster a sense of wonder with adventure, they can make us feel closer to our friends when we play cooperatively, and with horror, they can get our pulse racing. With Halloween 2023 rapidly approaching, we want to focus on the spookier side of the equation.
Embracing ghouls, ghosts, and Ghouls and Ghosts, we've taken the time to explore 12 of the greatest Halloween video games you can play today. From Halloween video games set on the spooky night to those that capture the spirit of the holiday, there's something here for everyone.
So, put on your brave face, and let's jump into the best Halloween video games to enjoy this trick-or-treat season.
We had to lean into this one to make our above joke make sense, but make no mistake, this is a great retro game too. Ghouls and Ghosts launched on multiple systems back in 1988, quickly earning a reputation among Halloween themed video games as an extremely challenging title. Ghouls and Ghosts is an easy game to emulate and challenge your family on, just don’t expect to survive very long on your first try.
While we’ve got the clock turned back, no list of Halloween video games would be complete without mentioning 1983’s Halloween for the Atari 2600. As close to the first video game to embrace the theme, this title is a great look back at gaming history and how far we’ve come. Believe it or not, this once counted as cutting-edge (similar to all of the first video games ever).
Horror isn’t confined to our planet, as the Dead Space remake brings Halloween video games to deep space. Featuring adventure, action, tension, and body horror, the Dead Space remake is not a game for the faint of heart. Play with the lights off and with headphones on, and you'll see what we mean…
One of the most popular games right now, Dead by Daylight is a multiplayer experience that sets survivors against a range of mythological, movie, and original killers. You can even take the shoes of Halloween’s Michael Myers, to see how he’d compare against the likes of Evil Dead’s Ash Williams or Resident Evil’s Leon Kennedy.
Speaking of Leon Kennedy, Halloween video games saw a long-awaited entry into their fold with the remake of this title on current-gen systems. The original title combined horror and action in a game that massively influenced the direction of 3rd-person gaming, and the remake manages to capture this charm and gameplay on a gruesome and more detailed level.
The game that brought the Metroidvania genre to the masses, Symphony of the Night set the standard that Halloween video games still follow decades later. Collecting every type of monster from the Western zeitgeist in depositing them in one huge and spooky castle, this 2D game puts you in the shoes of Alucard, a vampire and a vampire hunter.
Following in the footsteps of Until Dawn, The Quarry is a slower-paced game that’s equally accessible and horrifying. If you’re looking for Halloween video games that the whole family can enjoy, this might be the perfect fit. Try to stay alive, have your family shout wrong directions at you, and then pretend you're not actually affected by the game's numerous jump scares.
If Halloween video games to play with your friends sounds exciting, then Dying Light 2 remains a fantastic choice. This first-person parkour and zombie fighting game has seen multiple patches and upgrades since last year, the most important of which makes the night even more terrifying.
The Soulsborne games are some of the newer video game genres, and they’re also some of the best to capture the spirit of Halloween video games. Bloodborne takes a gothic style and combines it with Lovecraftian influence to create a challenging experience that many consider the most atmospheric title ever released. Let's just hope rumors of a PS5 remake prove true, so we can begin the dungeon crawl all over again.
For our last three Halloween video games, we’re going to focus on titles that keep the spooky ideas of Halloween but aren’t scary themselves. There’s no better place to start than Luigi’s Mansion 3.
Working as a ghost-buster, Luigi in his third mansion adventure takes a light-hearted but engaging wander through 17 floors while cleaning out the ghost infestation. Few Halloween video games feature the fun minigames of this title either, making it a great party game for players of all ages.
One of the most celebrated Metroidvania titles, Hollow Knight is atmospheric and beautiful, but it never drifts into scary territory. This is among the more challenging Halloween video games, so if you’re a fan of Bloodborne, then this could be exactly what you’re looking for. Maybe avoid fighting the Absolute Radiance boss though, just for your sanity’s sake.
To round out our list of Halloween video games we have Vampire Survivors, the easiest title to play and jump into. A low-cost game (free on mobiles), Vampire Survivors wears its inspiration from Castlevania on its sleeves. Select a character, choose your upgrades as you level up, and try to survive until the 30-minute mark before Death arrives. Bright, colorful, and chaotic, this game can be just as fun in multiplayer too.
Whether you’re talking about the movie series, the holiday, or the mood, the answer is - there are plenty. There are many Halloween video games out there that you can play, covering broad enough themes that nobody has to miss out. From MOBA games with seasonal events to FPS titles, your appetite for the spooky will be satiated.
There is a wide range of titles that could be considered related to Halloween video games. Some are direct, while others adopt Halloween style for certain characters or events. Halloween might be an American staple, but the rest of the world can't help but get excited at the potential on offer either!