Top 10 Games Banned For Violence

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
In celebration of the PlayStation Classic, let's travel back to 1999! For this list, we’re looking at the video games that helped define a generation on the PSOne and made us fall in love with blocky polygons and pre-rendered backgrounds.

To have your ideas turned into a WatchMojo or MojoPlays video, head over to http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and get to it!

Top 10 Games Banned for Violence

Is there ever such a thing as too much gore? Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 games banned for violence.

For this list, we’re only looking at games which were outright banned and rendered impossible or illegal to purchase in at least one country. If a game was censored and released, it doesn’t count.

#10: “MadWorld” (2009)

If “MadWorld” had been released on any other console, it probably would have had no problems whatsoever; unfortunately, this ultraviolent hack-and-slasher came out on the Nintendo Wii, shattering the Wii’s family-friendly image. Its core gameplay revolves around the gruesome gameshow DeathWatch, where the bloodier your kills are the more points you earn. Horrified parents lobbied for the game’s total ban, worried about the effect it may have on their kids – despite it certainly not being marketed towards them. It was completely banned in Germany, delayed in Japan, and received the highest-possible rating in the UK.

#9: “Silent Hill: Homecoming” (2008)

The “Silent Hill” franchise has always dealt with especially dark subject matter, but it was the fifth instalment, “Silent Hill: Homecoming,” that really drew the ire of the Australian censors. Their main gripe with “Homecoming’s” content was the use of a drill as a weapon – presumably worrying that this may encourage people to use drills as weapons in the real world – and the volume of dismembered bodies and blood spray. While it was finally released almost a year later, for a while it was completely illegal to sell after being refused classification down under.

#8: “Carmageddon” (1997)

It’s been unceremoniously dubbed the “most controversial video game of all time” by some outlets, and upon its release in 1997 became the first game refused certification in the United Kingdom. The antihero of “Carmageddon” is Max Damage, a psychotic criminal who gets behind the wheel of a car and runs over as many people as possible – and the more you do this, the more points you rack up. While it was eventually released in the UK after 10 months of appealing, in Brazil it was banned completely as well as in the city of Buenos Aires.

#7: “Dead Rising 3” (2013)

Perhaps bizarrely, the law in Germany prohibits video games with “human-like enemies”, meaning that any and all games involving zombies are pretty much a no-go area. Because of this, the highly-anticipated “Dead Rising 3” was not allowed to be released by Germany’s Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons, worried about the effect the game could have on the country’s youth. But this hardly came as a surprise even to Capcom themselves, as both the first and second “Dead Rising” games were also banned from this corner of Europe.

#6: “Postal 2” (2003)

New Zealand went all out in 2004 to stop people from getting their hands on this violent shooter. Postal 2 is still considered one of the most offensive games to ever be created, and for good reason. One of the scenes cited specifically by the country’s Office of Film and Literature Classification was a moment where the player can, if they so choose, urinate on the dismembered bodies in a “terrorist training camp” – it’s not hard to see why they took so much issue with it. To this day, even owning the game in New Zealand is completely illegal and could see you getting a fine of $1400. And for retailers selling or promoting the game, it could land them a massive $38,000 fine.

#5: “Counter-Strike” (2000)

For two decades, it seems this is one franchise that has never been able to escape controversy – but it may be surprising to some to hear that the original “Counter-Strike” was made outright illegal in Brazil, a whole eight years after it was first released. This is because it allegedly promotes “the subversion of public order” and attacks “the democratic state and the law.” According to the Brazilian arm of Kotaku, this was more specifically because “Counter-Strike” is said to teach war strategies, and because of its portrayal of Rio’s favelas.

#4: “Duke Nukem 3D” (1996)

Love it or hate it, it’s hard to deny that the “Duke Nukem” series is overflowing with violence. Duke’s never been particularly conservative or gentle when it comes to defending Earth from armies of invading aliens, but this entry didn’t go over well in Brazil. They wound up banning it as part of a crackdown on violent video games in the late 1990s, which also saw other acclaimed first-person shooters like “DOOM” take a hit. “Duke Nukem 3D” was even censored in the United States, and in Germany it was illegal to advertise it.

#3: “Mortal Kombat” (2011)

The very first “Mortal Kombat” was so controversial for its intense violence that it led to the introduction of the ESRB ratings system, but for the next eighteen years some people in Australia were desperate to have it totally banned; finally, when the 2011 reboot was released, they got their wish. The Australian authorities refused classification to “Mortal Kombat”, making it illegal to sell or import copies of the game, citing the trademark fatalities as their reason. Their statement said, “despite the exaggerated conceptual nature of the fatalities […] impact is heightened by the use of [realistic graphics]”.

#2: “Manhunt 2” (2007)

Few titles have reached the level of infamy of Rockstar Games’ “Manhunt 2.” No stranger to pushing the boundaries to see just what they can get away with, it seems that back in 2007 the studio went just a little bit too far with its gratuitous gore. It was banned in Germany, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and even the UK to name just a few. The British Board of Film Classification refused to give it a rating after a murder in 2004 was linked to the first “Manhunt.” It remains one of the goriest and most violent games in history.

#1: All Violent Video Games & Toys

In 2009, the Venezuelan authorities proposed a frustratingly vague bill to ban all “violent video games”, which – despite contention – went into effect the following year. This law specifically states that people may not “import, manufacture, sell, rent, or distribute violent toys or video games,” which they define as anything seen to “promote or incite violence.” Getting caught doing any of those things can land you an incredible five years in prison along with hefty fines, as video games – namely the likes of the “Grand Theft Auto” and “God of War” series – have been blamed for rising crime rates in the country.