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The 5 Best Halloween Fighting Games

Looking for a scary time beating up your friends? We've got the best horror-themed fighting games to send a chill through your fight stick this Halloween season

Spooky season is here and that means it's time to take a look at some games that can get you in the mood for a scare. But since this is Esports Illustrated, we’ll take a look at some of the fighting games you can start up with your friends that might inspire you for costumes or just give you creepy crawlies. So here are the five great choices for a Halloween hitfest.

Weaponlord (1995)

Weaponlord gameplay

This Super Nintendo throwback is a testament to 1980s dark fantasy classics like Conan The Barbarian and Heavy Metal. When it was released, Weaponlord was following in the footsteps of the original Mortal Kombat’s ultra-violence and tried its best to take it a step further.

With Weaponlord instead of fatalities at the end of a fight, you could end your rivals with a series of Death Combos which minced your opponents until they became bloody chum on the floor. In many cases, you could even juggle their severed heads multiple times. It’s very long in the tooth, but the art style is pretty vibrant and the gore was impressive for 1995.

Mortal Kombat X (2015)

Mortal Kombat X combat

While MK1 is fresh in our minds, MKX represents one of the pinnacles of the series. Building on the foundation that MK9 laid out, MKX sped the gameplay up and introduced a litany of new characters that remain series favorites to this day. While all Mortal Kombat games have copious amounts of blood and guts, MKX has a special relationship with the Horror genre.

Over the course of its life, MKX released new fighters from the horror/sci-fi scene that felt right at home in Mortal Kombat. Jason Vorhees, Leatherface (of Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Predator and the Xenomorph (from Alien) are all playable in the game. In the case of Predator and Alien, they’ve also been strong characters at the pro level as well.

Thrill Kill (1998)

Thrill Kill combat

In the wake of Mortal Kombat and the founding of the ESRB, Thrill Kill made history. It was the first game to receive an “Adults Only” rating for a video game. In 1998, this effectively was the kiss of death for a game, meaning no major retailers would ever carry it.

The game’s theme from the jump was steeped in mature themes. Nearly every character is a murderer of some sort. There’s a dominatrix character who suggestively pokes other’s with a cattle prod and that’s just the start of it. While some of the elements of Thrill Kill may seem tame to modern sensibilities, in the 90s, it was one of gaming’s first truly subversive products.

Skullgirls (2012)

Skullgirls title art

It might be strange to see Skullgirls on a list about Halloween, but when you break it down, it’s a very disturbing game. There are a number of dark and horrific themes it touches on like possession, human experimentation and body horror. All of this is hidden behind the veneer of a 1920s-inspired art style.

When it comes to some of the more bizarre elements of Skullgirls, you can easily look at characters like Miss Fortune, who can dismember herself at will. There’s also Eliza who’s host to a parasite that allows her to manipulate her own blood. Then there’s the character Double. Skullgirls looks cool, but under the surface, it’s a very gory and unsettling game.

Darkstalkers 3/Vampire Savior

Vampire Savior splash art

It’s nearly impossible to think of monster-based games of any genre and not think of Darkstalkers. The sister series to Street Fighter, Darkstalkers’ characters are based off of all your traditional Halloween stables. There’s the wolfman, Jon Talbain, and the mummy, Anakaris.

To this day, there are Darkstalkers characters that stand as some of Capcom’s best designs ever. The succubus, Morrigan, remains one of the most popular fighting game characters ever. There’s also the bounty hunter, B.B. Hood who’s a grimdark version of Little Red Riding Hood with a basket full of guns and grenades.

The third installment, Vampire Savior, is the most bizarre of the three. The newest addition to the franchise, Jedah, is a vampire with the ability to weaponize his own blood. This results in a number of gross-out moves, one which includes signing a contract with the corpse of his foes. That’s without even mentioning the horrific, Akira-inspired “Fetus of God” stage.