The best scary games to play with your friends

Looking to get spooked? These are the best multiplayer horror games you can play with mates in 2021.

Friends who scare together, stay together. After all, splitting up is just bad form when a monstrous killer is out to get you! If you’re looking for some spooky or terrifying games to enjoy with your mates, we’ve done the unsettling research for you. Below you’ll find our roundup of the best scary games to play with your friends in 2021.

The best scary games to play with your friends

The best scary games to play with your friends in 2020
 
© Behaviour Interactive

Phasmophobia

Available on: PC (Steam)

Explore a haunted house! Hunt for the unsettling signs of spirits! Get murdered by a revenant as your friends hide in a closet! Phasmophobia is like every haunted house TV show you’ve ever seen, only here the ghosts are very real and likely to have you for breakfast if you aren’t careful.

Along with VR support, Phasmophobia makes the genius decision to detect your microphone inputs. You can ask the ghost questions as you attempt to capture occult footage, but make it angry and you’ll need to hold your breath while it stalks the house for prey. The game has received a wealth of updates over the last year, adding more spirits, new equipment, and gameplay improvements.

Forewarned

Available on: PC (Steam)

Haunted houses proving a little too pedestrian for your tastes? Forewarned puts the "arg!" in archaeology (sorry) as you and up to three friends wander through ancient egyptian temples in search of relics. If the spike traps and swinging axes weren't enough, these tombs are infested by mummies, mean spirits, and a few things far, far more terrifying.

Much like Phasmophobia, the aim is to pick up on clues to identify the grand horror residing within the chamber. But if you successfully guess it here, you'll then need to leg in back to safety with your loot before the mighty undead menace you've roused gobbles you up for dinner. It's also got full VR support, if you're brave enough to delve into the dark.

Dead by Daylight

The best multiplayer horror games dead by daylight
 
© Behaviour Interactive

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam)

Work with three friends to escape from the clutches of an unstoppable killer bent on stringing you up and watching you suffer. The problem? That killer is one of your mates, or sometimes even you! Dead By Daylight’s Survivors are weak, but with stealth and numbers on their side, they might be able to activate the generators necessary to open up a path to freedom.

Behaviour Interactive’s 4v1 multiplayer release remains one of the best online horror games to date. Since release it’s been updated numerous times to add new Survivors and Killers to scamper around as. The huge success of the game has seen official partnerships with Stranger Things, Silent Hill, Ash vs Evil Dead, Halloween, and more. That means you can enjoy seeing classic horror movie icons like Freddy Krueger mixed in with gaming big bads like Resident Evil's Nemesis.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC (Steam)

Supermassive Games has proven itself as the master studio when it comes to recreating cinematic horror in gaming. The Dark Pictures Anthology – the previous entries to which include Man of Medan and Little Hope – sticks you in the boots of typical horror movie protagonists, making key decisions and attempting to keep them alive during tense quicktime segments. Find yourself shouting at horror movie protagonists and declaring how much smarter you’d be? This is your chance to prove it.

Supermassive Games' original hit Until Dawn is still an absolute corker, but the Dark Pictures titles offer shorter bursts of tense terror that a group can enjoy in one or two sittings. The latest entry, House of Ashes, is set in an ancient Sumerian temple beneath modern-dar Iraq. US and Iraqi soldiers find themselves lost in the dark corridors beneath the earth, but they're not the only living things down there. It's up to you to keep them alive through decisions and quick-time events, and a single slip up could see someone lost to the catacombs forever. Good luck!

Back 4 Blood

Horror games to play with friends Back 4 Blood
 
© Turtle Rock

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

If you're after something with horror set dressing but without heavy scares, Back 4 Blood's co-op zombie shooting is a blast to play together. Despite the waves of monstrous creatures trying to tear you limb from limb, this first-person shooter keeps things cheery by and large. Characters natter back and forth with sometimes entertaining, sometimes contrived dialogue as you bat, bludgeon, and blast your way through the monstrous hordes.

If you want to step up the fear factor, Back 4 Blood's harder difficulties are utterly ruthless. Waves of mutated Ridden dealing massive damage will force your team to work as a precise unit if they want to avoid a total party wipe. It's not horror in the classical sense, but it'll put you under some serious pressure.

The Forest

Available on: PS4, PC (Steam)

Reckon you’re a wilderness survival expert? Got Bear Grylls skills? Well you might have what it takes to keep your friends alive when the monsters start calling in The Forest. This open-world survival game is one of the most unsettling on the market, as enemies often prefer to keep their distance, watching from afar before striking when you least expect it. And once you start delving into the caves and depths of the woodlands, the humanoid figures stalking your camps will be the least of your concerns. 

Those were our picks for the best scary games to play with your friends. Got any other spooky suggestions? Let us know your co-op horror game picks in the comments below so we can all have a harrowing time together! We also have a roundup of all the big gaming Halloween events for 2021, just in case you were feeling like an extra dose of spooks.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video game journalism stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at henry.stenhouse@allgamers.com, or catch him on Twitter.

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