Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Has You Play As A Terrorist Firing On Civilians


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

Although the Call of Duty franchise has never been afraid to shy away from portraying controversial themes, the “No Russian” mission from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 might have overstepped the line. The level had players acting as an undercover CIA agent who has to participate in a terrorist attack in a Russian airport, opening fire on dozens of civilians.

The issue proved to be contentious as soon as it became public knowledge. In order to avoid censure in both Japan and Germany, the developers altered the mission so that shooting the civilians would fail the mission. For Russian releases, the scene was removed completely. For the rest of the world, players are given the option to skip a “disturbing or offensive” mission, meaning you can still play as a terrorist and shoot up innocents in a CoD game as a US soldier.

The Goal Of Custer’s Revenge Is To Rape A Native American Girl

The Goal Of Custer’s Revenge I... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

Though it may seem like a rather crude flash game, Custer’s Revenge was a fully-fledged title that was released on the Atari 2600 in 1982 by Mystique. It is arguably one of the most offensive games to have ever been released. Set in the American frontier, players have to get their fully erect character across a field while avoiding obstacles such as flying arrows. The target is a naked Native American girl tied to a pole.

The fact that Custer’s Revenge is basically just a rape game caused outrage. Atari sued the creators for damaging their brand, rights groups representing women and Native Americans protested it, and the publisher eventually pulled the game from store shelves.

Bully Rewards You And Encourages You To Be Cruel To Your Fellow Peers

Bully is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

Rockstar’s open world adventure game, Bully, was released in 2006. It is essentially a Grand Theft Auto game set in a prep school. As is the case with many of Rockstar’s games, the title received a large amount of criticism almost immediately upon release for its depiction of violence and the apparent trivializing of bullying. Parents were also concerned that a game by Rockstar was seemingly being marketed to younger audiences. Charities and organizations around the world condemned Bully and certain stores even refused to stock the game on their shelves.


Night Trap Was Misrepresented In A Senate Hearing As A Game Promoting Violence Against Women


Night Trap is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

Night Trap was a relatively small release for the Sega Mega-CD. It was a full motion video title, meaning it was more of an interactive movie rather than a traditional game. Players must protect a group of teenage girls from being murdered. Although no acts of realistic violence or nudity were ever shown on screen, a US Senate hearing into violence in video games misrepresented the content. Major newspapers covered the hearing and the game was subsequently accused in the national media of being violent towards women, leading to retailers removing it from their shelves.

Manhunt Has Players Kill People In Very Graphic Ways


Manhunt is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

Created by the same team behind the Grand Theft Auto series, Manhunt is arguably the most controversial of all the Rockstar franchises. The main problem with the game is the sadistic and graphic ways in which the player has to kill his opponents. Many felt that these violent acts would encourage copycats, and some even blamed the game for a murder in the UK. Despite protests by politicians around the world, the developer even went on to create a sequel that was just as controversial.


Duke Nukem Forever Depicts Women As Sex Objects


Duke Nukem Forever is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

It would be reasonable to expect that if gamers were going to get upset over Duke Nukem Forever, it would be because of its decade-long development cycle, rather than the content. That was not the case, though. Many users were put off by the striking sexism present in the game.

Not only are women treated as nothing more than sex objects, but one game mode seemed to promote violence against them. The “Capture the Babe” mode has players carry females to their base. It also gave players the option of slapping them on the bottom if they freaked out. Despite the series always having a somewhat immature attitude towards women, some critics felt this went too far.


Postal 2 Permits Players To Kill Hundreds Of Innocents And Has Racist, Sexist, and Homophobic Themes


Postal 2 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

The sequel to the equally controversial Postal, the sequel released in 2003 across a range of PC platforms. The first-person shooter attracted criticism from the media and charities due to its inclusion of hyper violence. It allows players to murder hundreds of civilians. Outrage also stemmed from the apparent racist, sexist, and homophobic themes present in the title.

Several countries have banned the sale of Postal 2 and New Zealand has even made it an offense to be in possession of the game. The Office of Film and Literature Classification said, “The game is designed, and has the capacity, to allow the player to test how much violence and humiliation he or she can inflict on human beings.” Anyone caught with the game faces a fine of up to $1,400.

Leisure Suit Larry Treats Women As Sexual Objects To Obtain

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

The Leisure Suit Larry series may seem like a jovial relic of a time when political correctness was less important, but the game was still able to cause a significant amount of controversy. Several stores refused to sell or advertise the title and some employees did not even want to work on the project at the development studio. The issue? The misogynistic tone of Leisure Suit Larry. The game treats women as nothing more than sex objects to be won over and this led to disapproval from many players.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Has Mini Sex Games Hidden In The Code That Can Be Unlocked With A Mod

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

Considering how much violence is present in every Grand Theft Auto game, it might surprise you to learn that the biggest controversy for the series came from a sex act. The “hot coffee” mode gave PC players the chance to unlock mini-games present in the code of San Andreas. These centered on sex scenes that users could play through between the main protagonist and other women. While they were inaccessible during normal gameplay, the fact they were still technically in the game led to the ESRB opening an investigation. Some stores also refused to sell the game.

Mortal Kombat Triggered The Creation Of The ESRB


Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

When Mortal Kombat first became available in 1993, it instantly became known for its ultraviolent finishing moves. Players are able to commit a series of horrific and brutal killings, such as ripping out a competitor’s heart, at the end of matches. A lack of a rating system meant that children would be able to buy and play the game, creating a huge uproar from politicians and parent groups. The outrage caused the gaming industry to create the self-regulated Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) just five months later.


Mass Effect 3 Caused Debates About The Inclusion Of LGBT Relationships In Games


Mass Effect 3 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

Not only does Mass Effect 3 contain one of the most contentious endings of all time, it also allows players to explore a wide range of relationship options. Many organizations, such as the Florida Family Association and the Family Research Council, protested against the inclusion of gay relationships in the game. EA received thousands of letters of complaint and the topic was debated on national television. The publisher flatly refused to censor any of the content and continued its efforts of attempting to bring equality in the workplace for LGBT people.


Doom Started Controversy The Moment It Was Released For Violence And Demonic Images


Doom is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released
Photo: id Software

When Doom released in 1993, it essentially brought the first-person genre to the attention of gamers for the very first time. Despite bringing a new type of game to the forefront, id Software still faced criticism from those who felt that the “realistic violence” contained within the game was too offensive. The combination of having a huge arsenal of weapons available to kill enemies and the satanic imagery of demons meant that it became a lightning rod for outrage. None of this stopped it from becoming one of the most popular games of all time.


Death Race Looks Like You’re Mowing Down People With Your Car


Ranker Videov

Death Race is based on the equally outrageous movie of the same name. Players drive their cars around to kill gremlins. The problem? Many felt that the gremlins were actually humans. This largely came down to the fact that the gremlins rendered in the game were just simplistic humanoid-shaped stick figures. Images of the grim reaper and skeletons throughout the game and arcade cabinet reinforced this idea.

Death Race was subsequently the subject of much debate. It was featured on 60 Minutes and on national newspapers about the violence contained within the game. When it became clear that the developers had originally intended to call it Pedestrian rather than Death Race, it just made matters worse. Fortunately for the company behind the game, the media outcry led to sales of the game more than doubling.


The First Trailer Of Resident Evil 5 Offended Some People With Its Potentially Racist Portrayals Of African Natives


Resident Evil 5 is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

Video games generally attract criticism for their violent content or sexual themes. However, Resident Evil 5 was labeled as a potentially racist game almost immediately after the first trailer went public. Critics argued that the imagery used to portray African natives was offensive. The tribal imagery and the general appearance of the characters could be seen as portraying all Africans as savages. The backlash from the media surprised Capcom, but the company claimed it changed nothing.


The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings Triggered Media Uproar Because It Used Sex As A Reward


The Witcher 2: Assassins of Ki is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Most Controversial Video Games That Have Ever Been Released

The Witcher series has been praised for its open-world setting and innovative role-playing elements. Yet the second game in the franchise drew media attention before release as some people felt that a particular quest rewarded the player with sex. Although all of the games in the series have featured consensual relationships, it was the prize-like way it was presented in The Witcher 2 that caused controversy. Eventually, the developer had to change the ending to the mission so that the protagonist would automatically reject the offer of sex in order to see an Australian release.

No comments

Leave a Reply

SSWI GameNation YouTube

MAD Funko YouTube