Some love walking down lonely halls, the flickering of a lone fluorescent light their only accompaniment. They enjoy the isolation, the tense, slow-paced trek to an unknown destination where unspeakable horrors await. Others may not be so brave, instead preferring to combat their fears with others at their side. Multiplayer horror games weren’t as abundant as they are today, but the following titles have proven that there is a place for a communal effort in a terrifying setting.
Looking to settle in for something scary but don’t want to go it alone? Consider buckling in with a friend (or two or three) with these best multiplayer horror games.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
A Call of Duty game first on a game for multiplayer horror titles? Clearly I’ve lost my mind, right? Incorrect! Let’s not forget that coveted “zombies” mode that’s been a staple of the series since World at War. Despite more action-oriented gameplay, Call of Duty’s zombies has always been freaky and well-designed. The undead cretins that swarm in hordes are terrifying, rotten foe that are as relentless as they are ugly.
Black Ops 3 surpasses previous versions for one big reason – the “Zombies Chronicles” DLC. This robust content pack calls forth remastered versions of classic maps. Along with a visual overhaul, the maps also feature gameplay elements from Black Ops III, so they don’t feel shoehorned back into the series.
Up to 4 players can tackle this nightmarish mode in split-screen for a devilishly good time.
Cry of Fear
What happens when a Scandinavian town goes full-on Silent Hill in one night, and unstoppable nightmares flood the streets to prey on the innocent? You call upon your friends to tackle the threat – or die trying – together. Cry of Fear started as a mod for the original Half-Life, but has since taken off in the form of a stand-alone title thanks to Steam Greenlight.
While you can play Cry of Fear alone, its 4-player co-op multiplayer offers the experience you’re here to find. With the multiplayer, you play through a unique campaign that’s a bit more fast-paced than the 8-hour slow-burn single-player playthrough. Whereas the solo journey is more relentless with cheap jump scares and atmosphere, the co-op campaign equips you with high-power firearms to blast through a slew of different monsters across a variety of environments.
Dead by Daylight
Are you tired of running from the enemy? Do you want to know what it’s like to be on the other side of the machete? Dead by Daylight gives you the chance to step into the shoes of the persistent killer in a 4v1 asymmetric multiplayer experience. Four hapless survivors scramble to escape the grasp of a deranged or supernatural killer that’s equipped with a host of deadly skills and perks. If captured, the survivors become fodder for The Entity, the overseer of this demented game of cat and mouse.
Dead by Daylight is a balanced experience regardless of who you’re playing as, so there is some merit to being the one running from danger. Survivors enter the desolate arena with perks and items that help them on their quest to boot up generators and find an exit. Of course, it’s a bit tenser to play as a survivor and is sure to give you that multiplayer horror feeling you’re looking for.
The gallery of killers includes serial murderers, vengeful specters, and even familiar faces like Michael Myers, Ghostface, Leatherface, and Freddy Krueger.
When your plane crashes on a forested island and your son goes missing, there’s only one thing to do – survive long enough to try and find him and escape. While The Forest can be played alone, the co-op experience helps enhance the experience, especially as some crafted devices require 2 players to work.
In the wake of a surge of survival games, The Forest stands out due to its effective use of its environments and the overtones of horror. Oh, did I forget to mention you’re being hunted by tribes of cannibals, some mutated in horrifying ways? That’s the quirk of The Forest. As you’re trying to build a base, navigate the mysterious island, and locate your kin, there is always some howling fiend watching you from the shadows of the forest.
When you think you’ve built up a base that can withstand the few cannibals watching from a distance, you’ll be overrun by an army of monstrosities looking to take you as their trophy.
Friday the 13th: The Video Game
How many times have you found yourself watching a Friday the 13th movie and thought about how cool it must be to be one of those counselors? You know, the fodder for Jason Voorhees that enjoy one night of debauchery before receiving a machete to the face? Well, Gun Media is giving you that chance with Friday the 13th: The Video Game.
Oh, and you can play as the man himself, but that’s not quite as exciting, right?
Return to Camp Crystal Lake as either a camp counselor or Voorhees and see if you have what it takes to survive or kill your way to victory. As the lumbering slasher icon, players maneuver through various Friday the 13th locations using a variety of inhuman skills and perks. Catch a counselor, and you’ll be able to maim them in classic Jason fashion.
Counselors are tasked with escaping the masked killer, either by phoning the police, repairing a broken-down car, or waiting out the game timer. Items and weapons help stave off Voorhees, but there is plenty of strategy to evading Camp Crystal Lake’s resident murderer. Friday the 13th: The Video Game is a multiplayer love letter to the franchise, with ample Easter eggs like playable Tommy Jarvis and the ability to “kill” Jason by using his mother’s torn sweater.
The Hunt: Showdown
Picture yourself in an Old West setting, equipped with antiquated firearms that wouldn’t stand up to the devastating weapons of today. You’re a bounty hunter, set out to capture the most fiendish monsters that have taken up residence in Louisiana. While the fanged and clawed monstrosities will make for great trophies, there’s another threat to be wary of – other hunters.
The Hunt: Showdown can be experienced in a single-player environment, but it’s with other players in your world that you get the full breadth of what Crytek was trying to accomplish. Though not quite as polished as Crysis was, The Hunt: Showdown delivers a thrilling multiplayer experience set in a world filled with horrors coming at you from all angles.
Left 4 Dead 2
Video game zombies have generally been slow-moving, stalking empty, dimly lit hallways. The Left 4 Dead series swapped the classic version of the undead for something a bit more terrifying – entire hordes that come rushing at you mercilessly. Both games are worth playing but Left 4 Dead 2 is just the most polished and complete version.
With up to 3 friends, you’ll play through a series of campaigns, battling through hordes of the undead to reach safehouses. It’s a mad dash to the finish, but your path is blocked by rotting flesh, gnashing teeth, and a variety of undead types that up the challenge. Equipped with firearms and melee weapons, your only option is to fight.
Even with a few friends by your side, Left 4 Dead 2 is a tense experience as the blood-soaked terrors never stop coming thanks to the relentless AI director that procedurally generates your foe. If you’re not keen on fighting alongside friends, you can control one of the Special infected to impede the paths of human-controlled survivors.