Horror games have historically been single-player, with the player facing horrific enemies alone, without allies or assistance. It is not a universal norm. Some horror games, particularly in recent years, have expanded into multiplayer gaming.
Some of these multiplayer horror games are competitive, while others are cooperative, but they demonstrate that the presence of people does not make a scenario less frightening.
It’s always possible to get into the spooky spirit and bring out some fun and scary games to play with pals. Fortunately, game developers have done a wonderful job creating unique horror co-op experiences in recent years, so there’s something for everyone.
The best multiplayer horror games should be able to keep a few friends interested and frightened, whether they are seeking survival experiences, shoot-em-ups, or building to fend off enemy action. And here we are going to make a list out of it!
What are Multiplayer Horror Games and Why do they Have an Appeal?
A multiplayer horror game is a video game based on horror fiction and meant to scare players. These gaming experiences, when done right, stay with you long after you’ve finished playing.
The horror video game genre is thriving more than ever. With Capcom reintroducing the iconic Resident Evil franchise to its horror roots, more gamers than ever are eager to test out – and fall in love with – horror games. However, multiplayer horror games appear to be doing far better than their single-player counterparts.
Across genres, finding the next adrenaline rush is usually more enjoyable when done with company. However, when it comes to multiplayer horror, playing with others serves to lessen scares while still retaining that adrenaline, opening up the horror genre to even more players than ever. So, why is multiplayer horror so popular, and what should you try your hand at?
➡️ They are Great with Friends
Whether you enjoy or despise scary video games, playing them with friends is another experience. It’s more about being afraid together and joking about it, talking about how different things terrify each of you, and seeing how each person reacts to what the game has to offer.
Group play-throughs are ideal for games like Until Dawn or Supermassive Games’ other effort, the Dark Pictures Anthology. Playing multiplayer horror games with friends is both entertaining and reassuring. Though this should not work in the horror genre, it still does.
➡️ They have Interesting Stories, Modes and Themes
So, horror video games give thrills, are dense with atmosphere, and have outstanding sound design. What more could you ask for?
If you want to explore interesting characters, concepts, and storylines, multiplayer horror video games are for you. These games allow you to dig into dark character studies, subjects that showcase the more uncomfortable side of humanity, and concepts that you may be grappling with, such as sadness or forgiveness.
Even they can be of different subgenres. Survival horror, stealth horror, action horror, and possibly the most widely respected (and frequently misunderstood) psychological horror are the four major horror subgenres in games. You can also subdivide these into sub-subgenres, but these cover most of what the genre offers.
These multiplayer horror games can also be competitive or cooperative, yet they show that the presence of humans does not make a scenario less frightening.
➡️ The Horror Atmosphere is Second to None
Good multiplayer horror games, and good horror in general, keep us playing not only through a series of scares but also through the atmosphere they create.
Creating the right atmosphere is critical for horror games since it can distinguish between an unsettling experience and a ridiculous one. It’s proof that, no matter how disturbing, unpleasant, or spooky they can be, we still want to immerse ourselves in a good, terrifying game atmosphere.
➡️ They Allow Us To Experience Danger In A Controlled Environment
One of the main reasons we are drawn to horror video games is that they allow us to experience and engage with fear without putting ourselves in real danger.
Because of their interactivity, video games excel in this area. Enjoying a scary movie while knowing you’re safe is one thing. It’s another thing to be in the driver’s seat of a horror video game and keep reminding yourself that you’re not in any danger.
Multiplayer horror games can be even more horrifying, causing no harm to the players. It permits you and your friends to experience all the traits of frightening games you find fascinating.
You can concentrate on creature design, sound design (more on that later), gameplay, story, and genuinely being afraid, all while remaining entirely safe. You receive all the perks of a good scare with almost no risk, much like on a rollercoaster. Isn’t that good?
➡️ They Create a State of Suspense
The sense of suspense exists in multiplayer horror, but playing alongside others helps alleviate it. In other words, if you were going ghost hunting at a derelict prison for whatever reason, you’d feel much more at ease knowing you were surrounded by other ghost hunters, right?
That is precisely why multiplayer horror games have such a strong appeal, even among those whose primary genre isn’t remotely horror. It broadens the scope of multiplayer horror to include those who don’t necessarily appreciate being afraid but yet want to experience the horror adrenaline rush.
Scaring yourself senseless with others becomes a far more entertaining experience than one that may give you nightmares, so multiplayer horror has a much wider reach than single-player horror.
Not to say that horror games aren’t entertaining; they certainly are; they’re simply not for everyone, and that’s fine. However, with the rise of multiplayer horror, there is now something in the genre for every player. Let’s take a look!
If you want to set up a scary game night with friends but don’t know where to start, we’ve compiled a list of the best multiplayer horror games, including classics!
So, let’s get started!
Dead Space 3
Dead Space 3 received a lot of criticism for being more action-oriented than horror, but its multiplayer more than compensated. Two players can work together to defeat the Necromorphs on Tau Volantis, and the co-op campaign follows the same plot as the solo campaign. It also includes an intriguing gaming mechanic that causes one player to see things differently than the other.
It is a terrific game to play this Halloween if players want to witness their companion freak out and shoot at empty air or wonder why their partner also can’t notice the blood-soaked walls. These elements make Dead Space 3 one of the best co-op horror games to be played today!
Developer: Visceral Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release date: February 5, 2013
Evil Dead: The Game
Evil Dead: The Game is a perfect instance of asymmetric multiplayer, which has been increasingly popular in recent years. Four players control heroes seeking to halt the Deadites’ invasion, while one player controls the bad demon aiming to thwart their efforts.
Evil Dead: The Game is a loving tribute to the original film series. It’s chock-full of references, in-jokes, and easter eggs aimed towards Evil Dead fans. Nevertheless, it is a gratifying experience for individuals new to the franchise. Despite its limitations, the game offers a unique blend of cooperative gameplay, PvP, and a superb action-horror mood.
Developer: Boss Team Games
Publisher: Saber Interactive
Release date: May 13, 2022
Friday the 13th: The Game
In reality, while Friday the 13th: The Game may not have a vast fan following, current gamers are extremely committed. The gameplay is identical to the other games on the list, but the fear of the Friday the 13th curse and the fact that your teammate replaces the killer Jason and has a terrifying appearance keeps the game playable for a long time.
|Friday The 13th: The Game Ultimate Slasher Edition – Xbox One||$29.90||Buy on Amazon|
It was impossible to replace Jason in prior game versions, but with the current version launched in 2017, you or another teammate can play the killer. If you’re Jason, your aim in the game is to kill people; if you’re camping victims, your goal is to escape as fast as possible.
Publisher: Gun Media
Release date: May 26, 2017
No More Room in Hell
Playing a game inspired by a different age of zombies is interesting among the several fast-paced action shooters that have become increasingly prominent in the zombie genre. No More Room In Hell accomplishes this admirably, considering it’s free.
No More Room In Hell is a fun time with friends and an excellent addition to the zombie genre. It takes a new approach to the standard zombie shooter, which makes it exciting. While it may not be the most mind-blowing game you’ve ever played, it’s a damn excellent game for a free title.
Developer: No More Room in Hell Team
Publisher: Lever Games
Release date: October 31, 2011
➡️ Check it out on Steam.
Resident Evil 5
Many people are divided about Resident Evil 5, but the two-player co-op mode is fun. Two friends can fight through the campaign together or enter a brief Mercenaries Mode, which plays similarly to horde mode but on a timer. Suppose a player can get beyond the cumbersome inventory management system.
|Resident Evil 5 – Standard Edition – PlayStation 4||$19.99||Buy on Amazon|
In that case, they will discover that RE5 has much to offer those who want to fire through hordes of the undead while still experiencing a decent story. The Mercenaries Mode can be excellent if you only have a few minutes to play. Despite its issues, RE5 is still one of the best Resident Evil games available right now.
Release date: March 5, 2009
SCP: 5K by Affray Interactive, formerly known as SCP: Pandemic, has been making waves, to be fair. An intelligent squad shooter in which you and a group of pals play as troops of the Anti-Foundation Alliance. It is your responsibility to shut down the SCP Foundation when it turns wild and develops weapons capable of annihilating all life on Earth.
Missions entail sieges on several Foundation black sites worldwide, during which you must break in, breach the labs, gather data, or complete other critical duties. Ghouls, various SCP-themed hazards, and some enormous facilities to investigate will slow you down. There’s more weapon customization available, and despite the lengthy baking time in Early Access, the finished dish will be fantastic.
Developer: Affray Interactive
Release date: February 22, 2022
➡️ Check it out on Steam.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope
The story is one aspect that makes horror games enjoyable to play. One of the best multiplayer horror games, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, hits the player right in the heart with its tale, and the stories you see and the horrific things that happen to you during the game are addictive.
The game aims to escape the haunted village of Little Hope by collaborating with your companions. Although it is easy to say, the evil spirits of the witches who were burned to death and the little girl who repeatedly jumps in front of you during the story do not leave you, and you become unable to think straight due to heart palpitations.
Developer: Supermassive Games
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Release date: October 30, 2020
Cry of Fear
Cry of Fear is a psychological horror game for single-players and co-op in a deserted town full of terrifying creatures and nightmare thoughts. You play as a young man desperate for answers on the chilly Scandinavian night, making your way across the city as he progressively sinks into insanity.
The atmosphere in Cry of Fear is fantastic; from dark corridors to eerie forests to a cramped classroom, the varied surroundings do a superb job of getting you in the mood and into the game. Overall, Cry of Fear is an incredible package; you get so much content and a fantastic game created by such a small company!
Developer: Team Psykskallar
Publisher: Team Psykskallar
Release date: April 13, 2013
➡️ Check it out on Steam.
The Escape: Together
If you want to spend hours of horror in a house with your pals, Nightstuff Games’ The Escape: Together game, which up to three people can play, has much to offer.
The main purpose of this psychological horror game, in which you play as brothers being hunted by ghostly creatures, is to escape at all costs. You will search the house for the necessary tools for your escape plan. If you wish to survive this suburban horror, you must work together. You can’t afford to miss this one, as it’s one of the best horror games on Steam you can play right now!
Developer: Nightstuff Games
Publisher: Nightstuff Games
Release date: January 13, 2023
➡️ Check it out on Steam.
Whether played alone or with a friend, horror games provide an experience unlike any other. The fact that your phone, tablet, or PC is a part of the game adds to the joy of playing these games. Your phone or tablet vibrates and makes sounds that heighten the suspense as you move around, jump, or even scream.
These games are incredibly popular among users owing to their entertaining and engaging gameplay. So, why wait? Try out some of the best multiplayer horror games with your friends today!
If you’re into Japanese folklore and urban legends, don’t miss out on our list of the best Japanese horror games!