Violence is what drives some of the most popular games on the market today. As with any other form of media, controversy arises when the violence in these games rains down too hard. For some of these games and publishers, the goal is to push the envelope and cross the line when it comes to violence. For others…there is no line. This list contains ten of the most violent video games ever made. Many, if not all of these games, have caused massive amounts of controversy.
10. Resident Evil 4
This top ten list kicks off with a game many have praised for all its zombie goodness. While the early entries in the series pushed the limits of zombie gore, the fourth title hits the nail on the head when it comes to violence. Not only is Leon battling regular zombies in this adventure, but he is also dealing with a strange alien parasite that can wipe out humanity if given the chance. Some of the zombies’ bodies are twisted and crushed when the alien parasite bursts out of them. Add in a healthy mix of death scenes for Leon and Ashley, a monster who is blind and has long, sharp blades protruding from its hands (there’s a Wolverine joke here somewhere), and you’ve got one of the most violent zombie games ever made.
9. Fallout 3
RPG fans all have some sort of relationship with the Fallout series. Most love the games, known for their fantastic RPG elements and engaging open-world environment. In 2008, when Bethesda Studios released Fallout 3 for a new generation of consoles, the landscape of the series changed. Switching from a top-down strategy RPG, Fallout 3 became a first-person affair. With improved graphics and a first-person perspective, the violence factor is ramped up. While the game carries some of the standard violent gameplay inherent in first-person shooters, the level of violence skyrockets when using the V.A.T.S system in the game. Basically, this system lets the player freeze time, take aim at certain body parts, and blow them to smithereens. The gore is also prevalent using the V.A.T.S. system, as there is a perk the player can gather that makes these same body parts explode when shot. Yes, body parts do fly everywhere and torsos and heads are left lying on the ground.
8. Grand Theft Auto V
While there have been numerous games in the GTA franchise, the powerful visuals laid out in the fifth installment (released in September, 2013) have earned the game a spot on this top ten list. From having the ability to ram people with your car to shooting random civilians, GTA V has it all when it comes to violence. However, one of the reasons the game has made many of these lists as of late, stems from the torture scene that occurs in the middle of the game. In the scene, one of the protagonists has a chance to torture an enemy, using varying techniques to extract the information he so desires. Water boarding and electric drills are just two methods of torture at your disposal during this gaming sequence. With the open world and a vast number of opportunities to kill people, GTA V slinks into the list.
A game many may not have heard of, NeverDead was released in 2012 on the Xbox 360 and PS3. With a unique gameplay concept, Konami’s game looked to make waves in the gaming world. Though critics thought less about the game, NeverDead is still remembered for one thing: its violence. Though the game is comical, the levels of violence in the game are crazy. The basic premise of the game is to fight your enemies…while getting blown apart. When enemies attack you, sometimes they’ll shoot off one of your limbs or even your head. When this happens, you still control the avatar. That’s right, you control a dismembered head. With many violent explosions and a countless number of dismemberments, NeverDead has taken the eighth spot on this list.
6. Soldier of Fortune
A game released in 2000, Soldier of Fortune follows the story of a mercenary who is hired to obtain stolen nuclear weapons…with extreme prejudice. This game depicts violence in a way many others do not (not even other first-person shooters). Running on a specific game engine, GHOUL, the graphics and physics of bodies behave closely to their real-life counterparts. When the player shoots at an enemy’s arm, the enemy’s arm will get blown off. When aiming at the head at close range, the player can blow off an enemy’s head, not leaving much to the imagination. With the realistic level of violence, the game’s rating has been reclassified in some countries and even banned in others. Soldier of Fortune proves that realistic violence in fictional worlds doesn’t exclusively belong to movies anymore.
5. Dead Space
If you mix science-fiction and video games, you’ll more than likely end up with a game involving aliens and slaughtering these enemies of humanity. That’s just what you get in Electronic Arts’ third-person shooter, Dead Space. Violence is afoot in waves in this game, as you play as an engineer who is left alone…on a ship…with an alien life form who takes human bodies and vastly warps them for its own needs. One of the more violent scenes comes in the series’ second installment, when the player encounters many, many exploding alien babies. Along with all of the body mutating, limb hacking, and overall blood and guts on the ship, Dead Space easily makes this list.
4. Mortal Kombat
The Mortal Kombat franchise has spanned over two decades and seems to get more violent by the title. Controversy has followed the franchise ever since the first iteration had players ripping spines from bodies. However, this list focuses on the newest title in the MK series. What could possibly enhance the violence factor for Mortal Kombat? Try the “X-ray” move. In the game, once a meter is charged up, the player can unleash an “x-ray” move, which slows down time and allows the player to see the bones breaking and organs shaking as blows are delivered to the opponent. It may not have zombie-level gore, but this instalment definitely shocks the player with its graphic violence.
One of the most controversial games of all time, Rockstar’s foray from the GTA series generated a large amount of buzz due to its graphic violence. While not embellishing on gore, Manhunt’s violence stems from the direct brutality the player doles out on their enemies. A couple of examples of the merciless executions include beating someone to death with a hammer and suffocating enemies with a plastic bag draped over their heads. The game is so violent that it has been banned in New Zealand. Though a sequel was released in 2007, the series has been quiet ever since.
2. Dead Island
A franchise started in 2011, the Dead Island series has impacted many players around the globe when it comes to on-screen violence. The most unique aspect of Dead Island is the physics of the game. While hacking into a zombie with a hatchet, the body is sliced and diced in a way that is uncannily realistic in its movements. With the ability to hack off heads and limbs, this zombie fare is gory to say the least.
1. Dead Rising 3
With the ability to display hundreds of zombies on screen at one time, this zombie game takes the top spot on this list. The Dead Rising series has it all when it comes to violence. Not only do you rack up thousands and thousands of kills in the game, but the creativity in which you can dispatch your undead enemies opens up the level of violence. You can run them over with a huge monster truck with blades on the front. If you choose this option, blood and limbs will be flying everywhere. Maybe you want to burn them up instead. Or, you could just go with the classic shots to the head. Whichever way you choose to dispose of your enemies, Dead Rising 3 brings the violence up to a whole new level.