Scary games thrive when it gets to Halloween. Dead by Daylight this, SOMA that, Man of Medan the other. Scary games are the perfect way to while away a dark evening in a scary season, and we have a list of the best Halloween games for you to sink your fangs into. But I also look forward to seeing some of my favourite games get Halloween reworks. How can you condense a scary atmosphere into a game that doesn’t ordinarily accommodate it?
These games are some of the best at celebrating the coolest of holidays in a spook-tacular fashion. From creepy character skins to new murderous modes, from lethal lore building to *checks notes* dance emot-… Wait sorry is that right? Yeah that’s definitely right, dance emotes.
If you were wondering which games celebrate Halloween or how, here’s your rundown. You might even find a few surprises – there are probably PC games in your Steam account right now that have had some sort of Halloween makeover, or are running some sort of spooky event – so even if you don’t want to go looking for new horror games to play, you can get in on the festivities. And look at that, some of them are free games too!
What are the best Halloween events?
Overwatch loves a good seasonal event. In fact, seeing the game in its vanilla format almost seems less likely than in a festive getup, and Halloween is no exception to the rule. Each year, publisher Blizzard rolls out our old friend Dr. Junkenstein as he tries to take revenge, yet again. This event isn’t exactly new – the same four-player PvE game mode comes back exactly the same every year, but hey it’s fun and it’s the only time you get to play it. I also love, love, love it when the Hollywood and Eichenwalde maps get reskinned to be particularly spoopy. And of course the skins for the Overwatch Halloween events are always pretty ace. My girl Ashe got one with a couple hiccups, but for the most part they’re enjoyable and a nice twist to turn some of your favourite heroes into villains for a short while (see Witch Mercy). Also this Halloween event revealed Zenyatta can walk. Blizzard confirmed it with a new emote – it was all very upsetting, I don’t want to talk about it.
Apex Legends is a live game, therefore it’s no surprise that developer Respawn wanted to get in on the Halloween fun. Spooky season on the Frontier is called Shadowfall – it starts sort of like the base battle royale experience, except the first 25 players to die come back as ‘shadows’ and hunt the remaining ten legends. The shadows have no guns and low health, but they’re lightning fast and will ruin your day if you let them get close enough. These shadows don’t even permanently go away if you kill one – they are put on a naughty step, told off for not killing you, and sent back into the fray. The last ten legends have but one hope, an evacuation ship which proves almost impossible to get to. As a mode goes, it might be the slightest bit unbalanced but it also does a good job in making a zombie horde-like mode out of a PvP battle royale.
Oh, and then there are the skins. Caustic, living his best creepy life, is a sinister clown, Crypto gets a Dracula reskin, and Gibraltar is a Frankenstein’s monster. (Not a Frankenstein – that’s a common misconception, I’ll have you know.)
Hallow’s End in World of Warcraft isn’t the most exciting event on this list, as it’s been happening for years and years (and as such helped to popularise the tradition of live games doing seasonal events in the first place). We must give further credit for WoW having really built out the lore around why it is happening. Most other games on this list sort of just accept Halloween as something in their universe, but the people of Azeroth say ‘No! We have a reason we put pumpkins and treats out.’ In the universe of World of Warcraft, Hallow’s End is the day the undead Forsaken broke free of the Lich King’s will and regained their own. They celebrate the day with effigies, treats, and basically everything we do here on Earth.
Other perks of the season include costume sets, battle pets, and loot from the Headless Horseman. It deserves a place on this list because there is something so cosy about the way autumn comes to World of Warcraft – the aesthetics just fit so nicely together that one can’t help but feel at home.
As if radiation wasn’t scary enough, I’ve thrown in some Halloween Fallout mods to our list. These aren’t official reskins by Bethesda, however all the mods listed are the favourites of the developer. And why not include some fan content? Modders’ hard work doesn’t always get enough recognition. These Fallout mods can add some Halloween decorations to your wasteland, or if you’d prefer, you can try out a CoD Zombies-style horde mode with 50 waves of ghouls coming at you.
Thinking of something a little more chill, or maybe you’re not even that into Halloween at all? You can add a massive cleaver to the game. That’s the entire mod. You get a massive, and I quote the maker, if you’ll pardon my language, “f*** off” cleaver. It also does a bunch of damage, making it a pretty fun addition to your world. The best Fallout 4 mods are the ones that make the wasteland a little more nonsensical, so these Halloween additions fit the bill nicely.
Festival of the Lost is Destiny’s take on Halloween events. The Haunted Forest game mode is back and as stressful as ever as you try to fight your way as far as you can through this spooky version of the Infinite Forest before it disintegrates. As it’s the same event as last year, what players are really looking forward to is new gear like the Braytech Werewolf, scary masks, and the very cool new glow-in-the-dark skeletal skin bundles.
As the lovely Eva Levante remarks when you talk to her, Festival of the Lost is a “holiday about death and loss, yes, but also… candy.” Thanks Eva. I’m also happy to report that this year, you can grab a broomstick in place of your Sparrow. That’s pretty cool and really all I want out of a Halloween event if I’m honest – to be the witch I’m destiny-ed to be.
I’m a scaredy-cat. I admit it. When someone breaks through a wall in Siege I’ll jump a little bit. This isn’t helped by Siege’s Halloween mode ‘Doktors Curse’ giving the attackers morning stars and hammers with which to tear you apart. It’s less ‘tactical shooter power fantasy’ and more ‘me screaming as I flail through a map looking for a place to hide’.
Rainbow Six Siege’s Halloween events have often been overlooked, which is why this year’s has been a breath of fresh, crisp October air. I might get hit in the head with a hammer a lot, but at least that hammer is original.
With the new mode comes some really cool skins for some of our best Siege operators. Smoke is a “hybrid creature” (think human interpretation of the Plants vs. Zombie Peashooter), Kapkan is the Grim Reaper, Frost is a demon, Lesion a zombie, and “Ela wants your skin as a patchwork revenant”. Charming.
Where would we be if we didn’t mention Fortnite for events, eh? Of course Fortnite is getting another edition of its Halloween event, Fortnitemares. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Fortnite has always been a battle royale, but its original format was a co-op zombie hunting horde game, so its link to all things Halloween is certainly strong.
This year you’ll go up against the The Storm King, have access to new skins, and – because Epic knows what Fornite does best – plenty of emotes and dances. The event only went live yesterday, probably due to Chapter 2’s arrival, so if you want to try it out, you’ll want to get on the battle bus sooner rather than later.
Fantasy is what Final Fantasy does best (funny that, eh?) so of course Square Enix has sprinkled a Halloween event into FFXIV. All Saints’ Wake adds a new quest and, more importantly, a neat new mount. The quest is open to all players level 15 and above – complete it and as a reward you’ll receive a Circus Ahriman mount. The Ahriman sort of looks like Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc had a really bad day, but I guess that’s why it appeals to me so much.
All Saints’ Wake has been running since October 17, and only continues until midnight tomorrow, so if you want to get your keyboards and/or mice on some cool stuff, you might want to get a move on!
Remember the whole Area 51 meme that was floating about a couple of months ago? Looks like GTA Online developer Rockstar is getting in on the action with its Halloween event, Alien Survivals. Starting today, the event will allow players to take up arms as extraterrestrials against Marines, NOOSE teams, and FIB agents across seven different maps. There are also a tonne of new game modes – bear with me while I try to remember them all *ahem* Slasher, Slashers, Lost vs. Damned, Condemned, Come Out to Play, and Beast vs. Slasher – I think that’s all of them. Oh and double reward payouts are available during Alien Survivals.
The event also welcomes the Western Rampant Rocket, a new vehicle for you to cruise around the streets of Los Santos – and admire their Halloween decorations – in style. If you get in on the action before November 6 you’ll get free stuff – because everyone likes free stuff – in the form of either a ‘Choose your side’ or ‘Invade and Persuade’ T-shirt. And if you don’t like free stuff, there are discounts on some of the coolest gear in GTA Online. Lit bruh.
Those are the best Halloween events and reskins I can think of for this spooky season. They’re a great way to get seasonal without buying a whole new game, so go and enjoy yourselves! No tricking here, just a bunch of treats.