There’s nothing that says Halloween quite like haunting entertainment that compliments the season. Horror games are likely at the top of everyone’s playlist for October. And thankfully, we live in an age where horror games have seen an uptick in output due to the genre’s popularity.
Horror elements aside, however, there are many games that actually celebrate the frightful, ghoul-filled holiday. This isn’t a reference to the countless live Halloween events that developers inject into their games at this time of year. Many games recognize the modern-day festival of Samhain within their story or campaign.
10 Costume Quest
The quirky turn-based RPG developed by Double Fine is all about Halloween. Players choose between twin youngsters Wren or Reynold and embark on a quest to save the other twin from certain doom at the hands of a witch from another dimension. The game occurs on Halloween night as monsters called Grubbins are ransacking neighborhoods for candy as an offering to their master.
Go trick-or-treating from house to house to collect candy or face off in a battle against the troublesome Grubbins. During the heat of battle, the children take the actual forms of their costumes which include a robot, a knight, Lady Liberty, and many more to do battle in a simple turn-based environment. It’s a fun game that has become a holiday tradition for many fans of the game.
9 Spider-Man (PS4)
PlayStation 4 players are likely no stranger to Spider-Man which has seen sales on an incredible scale for an exclusive title. During that web-slinging adventure, Peter Parker is seeking to uncover the mystery behind the Demons’ assault on New York City.
At one point, the case leads Spider-Man to a college Halloween party complete with jack-o-lanterns, creepy decorations, and plenty of fun costumes themed after Spider-Man and his enemies. So swing on in, enjoy the party, and take a few selfies while you’re at it.
8 Batman: Arkham Knight
The epic conclusion to Rocksteady’s Batman trilogy takes place during Halloween. Players get the chance to prowl as the Dark Knight on a holiday that suits his persona perfectly. Scarecrow decides that this is the time to begin his assault on Gotham using his many agents of fear to drive citizens out of town as he asserts total control.
Throughout much of Gotham, Halloween decorations are seen littered around the environment adding to the festive nature of this game during Halloween season. It surely must be Scarecrow’s favorite day of the year!
7 Borderlands 2: Bloody Harvest
Borderlands 2 was the crowned king of downloadable add-on content. At one point, Gearbox released small holiday-centric content for the title that proved to be rather popular with fans. Bloody Harvest was the Halloween-themed DLC.
The content featured a new area with ghouls, skeletons, and jack-o-lanterns galore as vault hunters seek to end the terror of the Pumpkin King. Players should be sure to pick up candy loot along the way as each piece of candy offers benefits to player actions.
6 The Last Of Us: Left Behind
This is another piece of exquisite downloadable content that didn’t necessarily feature the actual day of Halloween but highlighted all the fun that the holiday represents. This DLC explores Ellie’s relationship with Rylie, a close friend from a time before meeting Joel and embarking on the adventure of the main storyline.
It’s here that we learn of a relationship that runs deeper than two adolescent girls rebelliously fooling around in an off-limits abandoned mall. It is in the derelict mall that they come across a store filled with Halloween costumes and decorations. Players can have Ellie put on masks to spark fun dialogue and banter between the pair. It’s truly a scene that underlines the fun spirit of the holiday.
Bully was yet another Rockstar title that sparked controversy due to its violent and real-world depictions of life in the social circles of teenagers. Despite this, however, the game has proven to be popular and is widely reminisced by the gaming community to this day.
Of course, fans of the game are familiar with the mission simply titled “Halloween” where Jimmy and crew dress up in costumes and head off for a night full of pranking and mischief. For some, Halloween pranks are one way to celebrate the holiday.
4 Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge
Jack Skellington and the denizens of Halloween Town had another shot of glory after the '90s claymation film. This time, however, their adventure was in the form of a video game.
Having not exactly learned his lesson, Jack gets bored with Halloween once again and seeks thrills within his world to attempt to change that. Left to their own devices, the trick-or-treaters Lock, Shock, and Barrel revive Oogie who begins shaking things up for Jack just as expected. Like the film, the game is certainly a festive treat for the season.
3 Costume Quest 2
Costume Quest received a worthy successor in the form of Costume Quest 2. And just like the original, the game takes place during Halloween. Only this time, the kids embark on a time-traveling adventure to stop a rigid dentist and time wizard from ending Halloween entirely.
The same fun game mechanics return as players do battle by taking the form of their costumes to lay waste to mischievous monsters within the world. Simply put, fans of the original Costume Quest will not want to miss out on its sequel.
2 Kingdom Hearts
Just like Oogie’s Revenge, any game featuring the gang from Halloween Town lends itself to the holiday naturally. In Kingdom Hearts, players control Sora and his Disney pals, Goofy and Donald, as they embark on an adventure to stop the heartless across a handful of Disney-themed worlds.
One world is, of course, the very setting of The Nightmare Before Christmas – Halloween Town. This is your chance to partner with Jack Skellington and battle the heartless across the greyed hills and graveyards of Halloween Town!
1 Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Ubisoft’s surprise hit Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle has a fun, spooky surprise waiting in the latter part of the game. The vibrant strategy game features many odd locales with a mix of Mario and Rabbids elements that tend to catch the eye in between battles.
In the third world of the game, however, Jack-o-lanterns and ghosts dot the landscape as Mario and crew race to fight the conniving Bowser Jr. and the many Rabbids that stand in the way. The Halloween theme of the world makes a great setting for festive play within the turn-based strategy game.