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Hell Is Empty And All The Devils Are Here!

Happy Halloween! It's that special time of year when all the plant-life withers up and dies, when everything is pumpkin flavored, and monsters and candy are as far as the eye can see! 
Gamers like us know every holiday must be celebrated properly... with video games! Whether you are all alone in the dark, coming home from trick or treating, or throwing a costume party of your own, there's something here for everyone! 

Silent Hill

Year: 1999 
In the 90's, the king of Survival Horror was the Resident Evil series. After its commercial rise, plenty of developers used the formula to varying degrees of success and failure. Konami's entry however, was easily one of the greatest survival horror games of its generation.
The original entry in the series put you in the shoes of a father who crashes just outside the titular town, and you go in searching for your daughter who's gone missing at the crash scene. Things get weird really fast though, and the game never ceases with its disturbing imagery and sense of dread. 
Silent Hill brought some interesting concepts to life, such as the 'other side' coming through and changing your surroundings, but it also excelled at bringing out your sense of dread as you open a door to an unknown area, thinking about how all you have is 3 bullets and a single health item. While its graphics are certainly dated, its low-polygon monstrosities will still haunt your nightmares. 
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The Suffering

Year: 2004
For most of the 90's, horror in games was associated almost exclusively with the 'survival horror' genre. When The Suffering came around though, its setting of a haunted prison during a demonic outbreak carried the scares, tension, and even story that you'd expect from a survival horror game, and applied it to a third-person shooter format. 
The result was one of the best action-horror titles of its generation. It was a thrill to not feel completely powerless with an arsenal of different weapons, but its horrifying creatures (most of which are based on prison execution methods) lurking in the dark were unique and terrifying all on their own. 
If you're after a monstrous bloodbath, this is a great entry to come back to for the Halloween season again and again. Another incentive is that the game has multiple endings, and even the 'good ending' is pretty disturbing all on its own. There's even a sequel subtitled "Ties That Bind", but the first one is often seen as the scarier title. 
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Castlevania - Symphony of the Night

Year: 1997 
As a celebration of monsters, no series could fit Halloween better than Castlevania with its near countless amounts of monsters to fight. Certainly then, there's no better one to list here than the series most beloved entry where you get to play as Dracula's son Alucard.
Symphony of the Night was the first entry in the series to really incorporate RPG style elements like inventory, equipping weapons, changing armor, and buying/selling at shops. It allowed you to level up when you got more experience, and you'd see your stats grow as you dived deeper into the castle. This, coupled with its Metroid-like level-design (Leading to the term 'Metroidvania') gave players the biggest experience in the series to date. 
There's also a version for the game on the Japanese Sega Saturn. It comes with a couple extra areas, and you can play as 2 other characters: Richter Belmont and Maria. However, it's all in Japanese and it's often viewed as a graphically inferior port. 
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House of the Dead, The - 2 & 3 Return

System: Nintendo Wii 
Year: 2008 
The House of the Dead is an extremely straight-forward game. Pick up the gun, shoot the zombies, don't die. Its simple gameplay is beautifully coupled with the cheesiest dialogue you can imagine! Which means if you're a fan of campy old horror films, this might be the entry for you. 
The House of the Dead's entire series is more or less the same thing from a gameplay perspective, so any version is recommended. To play it right you will need to have 2 light-gun accessories, which also require a CRT TV to function. The Wii version of 2 & 3 however makes this an easy entry to pickup, thanks to those wii-mote controllers. Having this game running in the corner is a great addition to any Halloween party for some quick arcade-style zombie shootouts. 
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Zombies Ate My Neighbors!

Year: 1993
If you're looking for something a little lighter, maybe something you can play with the kids after they finish Trick or Treating, then you'll want to checkout "Zombies Ate My Neighbors!" for either Genesis or Super Nintendo. 
The game is a top-down co-op adventure where you and a friend are tasked with rescuing survivors from a cartoonish zombie apocalypse. It has some great campy presentation, and a simple, but fun set of game mechanics making it great for pickup and play fun for anybody wanting to gather around the TV and eat candy.
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Systems: Sega Genesis 
Year: 1991 
DeCapAttack is a weird game. You play as a headless mummy, whose face is in his torso but doubles as a powerful headbutt-punch attack for anyone who gets too close. The roster of enemies is an assortment of creatures like ghosts, werewolves, and other odd little monsters all out to get you. 
You'll traverse the skeleton shaped islands of this game, picking up potions and power-ups along the way. Including a power-up that lets you throw a boomerang like skull at people, destroying all in its path. Eventually reaching the end where every section culminates in you taking on a large monster-boss for the area. 
DeCapAttack is just the sort of quirky, monster-filled fest-of-fun that is another great choice for someone looking for a retro game that fits the season, but wasn't designed to haunt your dreams until Thanksgiving. 
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Whatever kind of Halloween festivities you're planning on enjoying this year, we hope you stay safe, and that you're able to find the perfect games to go with the fun. Perhaps you have a different game that you play every Halloween, or maybe you've played something scary that would have been a great addition to this list? Create your very own Halloween Game List and share it with us via Facebook or Twitter!
Keep it Retro!
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