With Halloween just around the corner, it's about time to stuff your spooky stockings with some real scares. While our list of the top 10 retro horror titles has you sorted if you're feeling a bit of nostalgia, we know what it's like to want to live in the moment. Check out what we reckon are the top 10 current-gen horror games to scare the pants off a loved one, or even yourself.
Top 10 Current-Gen Horror Games for Halloween - The Evil Within
The Evil Within draws plenty of inspiration from its spiritual successor, Resident Evil 4, in part due to the influence of Shinji Mikami. It's sprinkled with a light touch of brutality, creativity, and while it stumbles a little along the way it still manages to deliver a remarkably tense horror experience (perhaps in spite of its last act). Sure, the narrative doesn't give you much new material to work with, but this familiar skin means that you can focus on the thrills and spills of being a detective in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Top 10 Current-Gen Horror Games for Halloween - Until Dawn
Cannibalism, mythology, beautiful characters in perpetual terror - Until Dawn really struck the horror trope jackpot here and it's a wild ride from start to finish. "Survive til dawn," they said. "It'll be fine," they said. The unfortunate souls in Until Dawn definitely know better by the end of the night, and the difficult choices that you have to make are just the tip of the iceberg. If you can get through it without a scream, well, you're braver than we are.
Top 10 Current-Gen Horror Games for Halloween - Little Nightmares
For a decidedly Tim Burton-esque twist on what goes bump in the night, check out Little Nightmares. Here, you assume the form of a young child in a macabre house where others of your kind are, well, being harvested to be eaten. The adults are absolutely unfit to parent, and your job is to free yourself in a world where everything is much too large and much too terrifying, often both at the same time. The stealth-based gameplay really tops it all off.
Top 10 Current-Gen Horror Games for Halloween - Prey (2017)
Taking plenty of cues from the likes of Dead Space, Prey (2017) is perhaps a less conventional horror game but one that trades in the business of being highly unsettling. When the very environment on the abandoned space station that you occupy is both amorphous and lethal, it's hard to get your bearings and to feel like you can trust anyone, let alone your own judgment. This keeps the stakes high in Prey (2017), and the game reaches some dizzying heights when it asks questions about existence and morality.
Top 10 Current-Gen Horror Games for Halloween - P.T.
If anything was going to put us off babies, well, it'd be P.T. This collaboration between Guillermo del Toro and Hideo Kojima has earned itself a cult following for many reasons, and perhaps first and foremost being its take on supernatural horror. Sure, we could probably take or leave the puzzles, but P.T.'s way of always keeping us guessing when it comes to jump scares and straight-up horrifying apparitions has never gotten old.
Top 10 Current-Gen Horror Games for Halloween - Layers of Fear
Layers of Fear is a late entry to the list, but it tells a dual tale (if you purchase the DLC) if a struggling painter and his daughter, and how they interact with their home that's definitely cursed. The scary thing here is the way the game portrays a very inevitable and claustrophobic slide into madness. You're forced to recover memories, but do you really want to? That push and pull between our intrinsic thirst for knowledge and wanting to protect oneself from the worst parts of the human psyche is a dominating tour de force.
Top 10 Current-Gen Horror Games for Halloween - Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
This one makes our list for obvious reasons. Released to critical acclaim, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has a leading family that makes Christmas reunions seem tame. Is Uncle Keith a racist? Well, at least he's not a cannibal. What starts off as a jaunt to find your missing loved one soon becomes the worst episode of Wife Swap ever, and you'll be lucky to get out alive with all your limbs and your sanity intact.
Top 10 Current-Gen Horror Games for Halloween - Grey Dawn
This is a bit of a twist, but it's a religious one. Grey Dawn invites you to don the robe of a priest and to take a rather tortured look at the practice of Christianity. You've got your fair share of demons, and it's up to you to decide whether or not these demons will manifest in deadly ways, or if you can come to terms with them. It's got an incredibly artistic (if Gothic) flair, and we definitely haven't played a game quite like it.
Top 10 Current-Gen Horror Games for Halloween - Death Mark
Don't let Death Mark's anime aesthetic fool you. Part visual novel and part detective jaunt, it tells an arresting collection of folkloric horror stories, replete with some gruesome art and jump scares to boot. If you get major Perfect Blue vibes from this game, we definitely won't blame you. There's a big focus on dialogue and decisions, which are a nice break from every time we've had to wander around an abandoned school fighting back screams when a dark shadow flits by.
Top 10 Current-Gen Horror Games for Halloween - Outlast
Outlast has courted a lot of controversy, but that has also enabled it to firmly cement itself in the annals of horror greats. It's not just the shock value of the title that puts it on our list, because honestly, other titles accomplish that with more finesse. Outlast's focus on encapsulating the player experience in pure suffering is honestly impressive. It's mostly about creeping your way through a remote asylum, armed with only a camcorder, and by god does that make you feel absolutely helpless in the best ways.
Now that you've got our recommendations for current-gen horror titles locked down, it's time to go visit a couple of them to see if you go weak at the knees. Looking for more of our Halloween content? You can check out our list of the top 5 creepiest Destiny 2 guns.