Retro Horror Games Perfect for a Halloween Date

The movie date, more specifically the horror movie date is a long standing tradition. Even in the early days of horror cinema, Dracula actor Bela Lugosi suggested that the best way to your date’s heart was to take them to a showing of Dracula!

As technology progressed, horror came to the video game industry with early titles including adaptations of films such as Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. More recent inclusions in the horror gaming genre included now massive franchises Resident Evil and Silent Hill. But what are the best games from the archives to dig out for a date this Halloween? We’ve picked out a few retro horror games for you to share with your date on October 31st. Geek dating for horror enthusiasts starts here.


One of the oldest names in horror gaming, Castlevania set the scene for hundreds of games to come. The series first entry was for the Japanese Famicom disk system, but it really gained popularity when it was released on Nintendo Entertainment System cartridges in the USA. Based loosely on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the player controls Simon Belmont, aiming to slay the vampire Count.

The series began in 1988 and continues to see new additions to this day. While there are plenty of more recent Castlevania titles, we recommend going back to the classic that started it all with your date this Halloween.


Slasher horror movies have been date destinations for decades. In fact the earliest slasher flicks often screened at movie drive ins, venues synonymous with young couples and dating. This brings us to Splatterhouse, one of the first video games to be inspired by the slasher trend. Originally released in arcades, a number of home console and PC ports have been made available.

Splatterhouse is an arcade-style sidescrolling beat ’em up that caused controversy when released in 1988. The main character is very remenisent of Jason Voorhees, wearing a hockey mask while fighting off various scary creatures. The gore is insanely over the top, think along the lines of Evil Dead 2 levels of blood and guts. If you and your date are fans of slasher movies, this retro arcade game is perfect for Halloween.

Ghosts and Goblins

Even if you’ve never actually played Ghosts and Goblins, it’s aesthetic will probably look familiar. The graveyards, the main character of Sir Arthur, the sound effects – are all engrained in video game pop culture.

The platformer also debuted in arcades, and was then made available on multiple home systems including the Nintendo Entertainment System and Gameboy. Even today, current versions of the original game can be found on mobile platforms.

The game is remembered for it’s punishing difficulty with many players never making it past the first stage. So if you’re looking to impress single gamer girls, make sure you’ve practiced at this challenging retro classic.

Night Trap

Although the SEGA CD wasn’t well received or particularly popular in the mid 1990s, one title for the system became more well known than any other. That game was Night Trap, and it became infamous after it was used as evidence in a public enquiry into violence in games. Lawmakers, political figures, psychologists – everyone was out to see Night Trap pulled from shelves it seemed.

Nowadays its difficult to see what all the fuss was about. Night Trap is no more shocking than a B-Movie teen horror with a bit of campy slapstick thrown in. But there is something to be said for bad movies, especially so bad, they’re good movies. Night Trap is a similar experience to watching Plan 9 from Outer Space or The Room. You and your date can laugh at the terrible acting and bizarre plot if you take on Night Trap this Halloween.

What are you you’re favorite video games for playing with your date? Let us know what other retro classics you love!