Of course, Halloween is the perfect time to pick up a horror game – but horror comes in so many forms. One person may be in the mood for the sultry, sickening delights of a vampire tale, while others might be looking for the pulse-quickening terror and gore of a slasher story.
Thankfully, Xbox Game Pass doesn’t just have a plethora of interactive horror stories to get you in the mood for Spooky Season – it has horror games of all kinds, and even games that might not feel like horror to play, but draw on some classic tropes. No matter how you want to celebrate the darkest day of the year, we’ve got something for you.
In this list, you’ll find games spread across 10 different genres of horror, all available with a Game Pass membership – we’re sure you’ll find something to chill you or thrill you.
When you think of horror movies, you probably think of the slasher genre first. Recreating the panic and adrenaline of the kill is what drives the likes of Halloween, Friday the 13th, and more. In recent years, developers have realized that letting players play on both sides of the slasher and victim coin is a very fun way to recreate that thrill in a game.
Dead By Daylight (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) began as Behavior Interactive’s original take on the slasher genre, pitting teams of human Survivors against a range of Killers. As it grew in popularity, the game began bringing in beloved characters from your favorite horror films and video games. Play as the Xenomorph, Ghostface, the Demogorgon and many more classic on-screen Killers, helping you create the slasher line-up of your nightmares.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) offers a similar set-up, but expands the line-up – this co-op/competitive frightfest has three members of Leatherface’s family chasing down teams of victims. It shouldn’t be fun to be this evil… but it really, really is. – Joe Skrebels
Over the years, the term “zombie” has evolved, and often encompasses other disturbing human-like mutated monsters – but typically speaking, zombies are reanimated corpses that have been turned into mindless creatures that feed on human flesh or brains. They are a popular foe in horror video games, and Game Pass has some great zombie games for you to play!
If you ever wondered what it would take to survive the zombie apocalypse, look no further than State of Decay 2 (available with Xbox Game Pass Core, Xbox Game Pass for Console, PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate). Battle through hordes of zombies and guide a community to scavenge precious resources and fortify your home base from attacks. For those players who want the thrill without the existential dread, check out Green Zone (a friendlier apocalypse!) or play co-op with up to three friends and fight to survive together. With frequent new updates (including one earlier this month), you’ll regularly find new challenges and ways to play.
The Walking Dead series of video games (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate), based on the iconic comic books by Robert Kirkman, are essentially choose-your-own-adventure stories with some quick time events sprinkled in. They are gritty and bleak, and require you to make extremely difficult decisions with life and death consequences. Grab a tissue or two, you may need it.
If you’re after something a little more action-packed, Zombie Army 4: Dead War (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console, PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) takes place in a reimagined 1940s Europe during WWII, as you fight to save humanity from an army of undead soldiers hell-bent on unleashing Armageddon. Forget storyline, base building, and survival planning, mowing down hordes of zombies with awesome weaponry and enhanced melee combat is the only thing that matters in this first-person shooter! – Rich Dickinson
We’ve come a long way from fearing little green men in their aluminium-clad flying saucers. The fear today isn’t so much worrying about visitors from another world, but that something wants to consume us in many possible (and incredibly grotesque) ways. Throw a little bit of humankind’s hubris into the mix to make these situations significantly more dire, and you have a recipe for some excellent extraterrestrial horror.
Few have captured this better than the now-classic Dead Space Trilogy, and again with the excellent Dead Space remake (available with EA Play as part of Game Pass Ultimate). In both instances, it’s a tale of mankind reaching too far into that alien darkness of space and then not being able to contend with what happens when it grabs back. The “planet cracker” USG Ishimura, a gigantic starship featured significantly in the first game, is a great metaphor of humankind’s constant interference in nature (with them being the alien invader this time around). All the games in the series are brilliant examples of the survival horror genre as well and are must-plays for fans of sci-fi, horror, and alien-born plagues.
Prey (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) is also a great example of humankind’s unfortunate encounter with hostile aliens. In this instance, it’s the alien Typhon that hold a significant upper hand over the player from the onset. The game’s iconic Mimics will haunt your dreams and your days, as you repeatedly ask yourself “Is that a mug, or is an alien in disguise trying to kill me?” Again, hubris is at the core of what kickstarts this adventure as the Typhon break containment, but the aliens also serve to be key to your player’s survival – you can utilize their powers to fight back. The push and pull dynamic of relying on the power of your alien enemy, and in a way having to become an alien yourself (if you hope to survive), is an incredibly unique gaming experience you don’t want to miss from the master game designers at Arkane Austin. – Mike Nelson
As expected, there’s no shortage of poltergeists in Ghostwire: Tokyo (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console, PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate). Nearly everyone in bustling Shibuya has mysteriously vanished leaving a Tokyo overrun by Yokai, vengeful supernatural forces that prowl the streets. The game provides a whistlestop tour of Japanese folklore and urban legends; possessed salarymen, scissor-wielding femmes fatale, and so many murderous schoolgirls. While Ghostwire: Tokyo is more about atmospheric creeps and tense action/combat than outright scares, when an evil Yokai shows up, prepare to jump out of you chair. After particularly intense moments, I found myself heading to a nearby (in-game) konbini to visit the proprietors, most of whom have been turned into adorable merchant cats. – Jeff Rubenstein
Cronenberg movies, Akira, that scene in Alien – film creators have been imagining twisted ways to, well, twist the human body for decades, and it’s not a surprise that games would follow a similar path. On Game Pass, look no further than Scorn (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console, PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate), a queasy first-person puzzler in which everything looks as though it’s some horribly warped version of what was once recognizable flesh. Scorn draws its power in making its world as repellent as its puzzles are compulsive.
While we can’t say too much about Inside (available with Xbox Game Pass Core, Xbox Game Pass for Console, PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) and its approach to the subgenre for fear of spoilers, just know that it contains one of gaming’s all-time best body horror reveals – a feat of grotesque imagination, incredible animation, and wondrous storytelling. You’ve never seen an ending quite like this, I assure you. – Joe Skrebels
While there are many levels of horror that tap into the paranormal and make-believe, perhaps none can be as frightening as those that come from within your own mind.
Darkest Dungeon (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) utilizes this idea brilliantly in the form of “Afflictions” that can impact your party members ability to function at their highest level. After all, wouldn’t you be impacted by watching your friends get torn to shreds, or feel some effects after venturing through damp, dark dungeons while battling hunger? If these stresses are not adequately treated in time, it may not only spell doom for your party member, but your entire adventure itself. – Mike Nelson
So much of horror draws on the supernatural, but Cyberhorror’s fear comes from reimagining the tools that help us everyday, usually in a sci-fi context. When technology becomes the villain, you can’t trust anything but your own eyes. Signalis (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console, PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) is a perfect example – a retro-inspired survival horror that sets up an entire sci-fi universe, but uses it to tell a very human, very frightening tale. Entering an abandoned research facility, you’ll find that technology has horribly warped the androids that once filled it – but will it do the same to you?
SOMA (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console, PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) comes with a similar set-up, but a very different execution. In this haunting tale of intertwining human and AI consciousnesses (and the blurry lines between the two), you’ll need to survive physical and mental horrors alike to discover the secrets of the mysterious PATHOS-II base. – Joe Skrebels
If there’s one monster that stands the trials of time – both figuratively and literally – it’s the not-so-humble vampire. Often decadent, sometimes violent and never boring, these elegant creatures of the night have kept us endlessly enthralled, and boy do they make excellent video game additions. Here’s a couple of games to sate your thirst.
In the titular setting of Redfall (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console, PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate), vampires do not do things by halves. A legion of the creatures have blocked out the sun, and it is up to you to take them down and reclaim the town, by any means necessary. With its blend of stylish settings, moreish combat and arsenal of cool weaponry, this first-person, co-op shooter will have you up all night brawling with the blood suckers. – Danielle Partis
There are a lot of spooky games that place you in the depths of a nightmare with no way out, but Doom asks, what if *you* were the nightmare to an unrelenting army of Demons? Armed to the teeth with big guns and bigger tunes, this seminal first-person shooter sets you off on a quest to blitz through as many abominations as you can, and it always feels incredible to return to. After all, the best way to deal with your demons is to take them down with unreasonable velocity.
With Game Pass, vengeance can be served in a number of ways – from the original 1993 Doom, to Doom II, Doom 64, and Doom 3 (all available with Xbox Game Pass for Console, PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate), all the way up to the devilishly excellent (and extremely gory) 2016 reboot of Doom (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) and its incredible sequel, Doom Eternal (available with Xbox Game Pass Core, Xbox Game Pass for Console, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate). – Danielle Partis
Gothic horror is often defined as much by what you can’t see, or comprehend. The Amnesia series has built itself on some of those principles, and earned a reputation as one of the most frightening gaming series of all time in the result. With Game Pass, you’re spoiled for choice on how to freak yourself out here – Amnesia: Collection (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate), Amnesia: Rebirth and Amnesia: The Bunker (both available with Xbox Game Pass for Console, PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) are all available for a true marathon of scares – maybe just give yourself a break between games…
If you want something a little less intense, The Last Case of Benedict Fox (available with Xbox Game Pass for Console, PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) bakes Lovecraftian vibes into its detective-infused Metroidvania set-up – investigate a murder and dive deep into the mystery (and other people’s nightmares) as you aim to crack the case. – Joe SkrebelsXbox Wire]