Violent video games and their developers have historically had a tough time. Even now, when video games have been a part of the mainstream media for the good part of four decades, they are still blamed for violent events. Certain games and series’ will always take the brunt of the controversy, but there are some which took things a step too far, and were outright banned in some countries.
Here’s a list of 10 games that were banned in one country or more, some you may know, others you may never had the chance to.
10. Manhunt 2
Where: The UK among others
Manhunt 2 was a victim of its predecessor’s violence. In the UK, Manhunt had been linked to a murder, leading the media to create a storm just two days after the second instalment was announced. It was subsequently refused classification by the BBFC – effectively banned – once footage of the game showed it to be even more violent than the original, and the same decision was made across several other countries.
Rockstar censored some of the violence, and the edited version was eventually released, a process they became used to with Grand Theft Auto. Yet the controversy surrounding Manhunt 2 cemented its place as one of the most graphically violent games of all time.
9. Postal 2
Where: New Zealand
Developer Running With Scissors took black comedy to a whole new level with Postal 2, the sequel in an already twisted series. The game portrays a sickening level of violence and animal cruelty, which forced the New Zealand censorship board to ban the game in 2004. It’s still illegal to sell, purchase or possess the game, and doing so could land you a whopping $50,000 fine.
It didn’t help that in 2006, the game was linked to a shooting at Dawson College, Montreal. Like many violent games before and since, many cited its graphic depiction of violence as a motive behind the killing. None of this stopped the game getting widespread release across other countries however, including the U.S.