One thing that we can all agree on is violence in video games is synonymous with success in the industry. Violent video games have been a constant source of frustration for parents, governments and commentators everywhere, while at the same time they’ve been a channel of satisfaction and enjoyment for others, including myself.
While the controversy is something that will always exist, the boundaries of violence loosen while gaming technology grows. Therefore, this list of the top 10 violent video games consists of titles that made their violent mark on the gaming world but by no means will it be complete, there will always be violent titles that are more sadistic lurking in the shadows…..
10 – Carmageddon
The violence in Carmegeddon comes from the sheer ability to run people down in the most imaginatively brutal ways with multi-purposed vehicles. Ramming pedestrians into steaming piles of bloody flesh, hitting massive roadside bombs and obliterating rival vehicles with copious amounts of unnecessary weapons and power-ups — these are just a few of the items on the menu. Perhaps the tagline of Carmageddon says it best: “The racing game for the chemically imbalanced.”
9 – Soldier Of Fortune
Developer Raven Software shocked the gaming masses at the turn of the century with Solider of Fortune, one of the most violent video games ever created. The first-person shooter which features a plot detailing a mercenary’s attempt to stop terrorists from unleashing stolen nukes upon the world, the result? A game in that features disembowelments and limbs that can be blown clear off torsos. In fact, Soldier of Fortune was so violent that the game was placed on Germany’s Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons index. A 2002 sequel Solider of Fortune: Double Helix continued the carnage.
8 – God Of War II
As Kratos, a former member of the Spartan army, you become the ruthless god of war in the pantheon of Greek gods. Sounds simple enough? Probably, but the tale also includes erasing your tormented past, and that includes cutting a violent and deadly path to get your satisfaction. It’s going to take a lot of blood, sweat and tears along the way. Did I mention blood yet? God of War 2 promotes ruthless weapon use, stylized and gory finishing kills to enemies and brutal cut scenes that would make Quentin Tarantino blush (including one final kill where you continually slam a door on another god’s head numerous times). The mythological back story of the game serves to soften the blow of equating it to modern-day street violence, but then again, ruthless gods probably didn’t settle matters over a cup of tea either.
7 – Gears Of War 2
slicing a foe with a chainsaw from the groin upward is gruesome enough; but getting to use a corpse as a human shield when taking fire takes the cake (not to mention the obtuse and unashamed use of blood that accompanies these techniques). Either way, Gears of War 2 gives the third-person adventurer just enough violence to keep him or her satisfied, even when between a barrage of bullets (when blood is spilled, it shows up nicely on the screen, obscuring your battlefield view — just like in real life!)
6- Mortal Kombat
The uproar and backlash was unprecedented at the time, as players engaged in 2-D combat with a variety of moves that induced blood loss, explosions and all things gory. While it was a game designed to peeve mums off everywhere, kids loved the “fatality” finishers, including uppercutting your opponent only to have him land torso-deep in razor-sharp spikes. “Finish him” also became one of the most recognizable one-liners in the short history of video gaming.
5 – Thrill Kill
Thrill Kill is a cancelled and unpublished 1998 fighting video game for the Sony PlayStation. While the technical feat of allowing four players to fight simultaneously in the same room was to be a major selling point, this was overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the game’s depictions of violence and sexual content.
4 – MadWorld
What’s black and white and red all over? Your victims as they’re splattered against the wall after being skewered on a lamppost. Or perhaps the answer could include disposing of your enemies in a meat grinder, or playing darts using only your opponents and a baseball bat. Whatever the stylish kill, this game means serious business on the violence factor. Maybe the blood splatter on a black-and-white backdrop really highlights the ferociousness and gratuitous violence, but any game with flavors of The Running Man and a protagonist with a chainsaw on his arm usually have violent potency.
3 – Manhunt
As history would repeat itself every time a controversial new video game was introduced to gamers, Manhunt and its producers ran into constant battles with game classifications, angry parents and censorship laws that stirred a fury among critics upon its release. The player is rated at the end of each level, dependent on the gruesomeness of the killings and the speed of completion, from one (unimpressive) to five (extremely competent) stars. Executions are preferred in order to gain a higher score, thus encouraging players to play as violently as possible. The controversy surrounding the game stems from the graphic manner in which the player executes enemies. The game has three ‘levels’ of executions, and the executions get bloodier as the levels of execution progress.
2 – Grand Theft Auto 3
As the title suggests, you’re out to make a name for yourself by accomplishing missions in a third-person environment, and stealing cars is the most light-hearted crime you can commit. From massive gangland-style beat downs to barbecuing prostitutes with flamethrowers, nothing is too vile or unrealistic in the face of death, blood and mayhem. Following this was increased violence from later sequels (including GTA: Vice City, GTA: San Andreas and GTA IV) which was simply adding more fuel to the fire. Once the franchise hit the 3-D third-person perspective, all hell broke loose, and you can blame GTA 3 for all of it.
1 – Postal 2
Taking the throne of video game violence is a mantle often reserved for only the elite titles, and Postal 2 easily captures the top spot. This is a game in which it is not uncommon to drop-kick grenades and whip scythes at unsuspecting civilians if they refuse to participate in your everyday life story (which is, after all, the plot behind the game). Of course, this includes using cat carcasses as silencers on your gun, hitting people with anthrax-laden cow heads and playing “fetch” with dogs using the severed heads of your dismembered victims. Postal 2 is the epitome of senseless, over-the-top video game violence