List of controversial video games
Table of controversial games 
|1973||Gotcha||Arcade||Atari||It was controversial due to the controls being perceived as pink rubber bulges that were meant to represent breasts and were squeezed in order to control the action.|
|1976||Death Race||Arcade||Exidy||Violence (running over stickmen "gremlins", who then scream)|
|1982||Custer's Revenge||Atari 2600||Mystique||Nudity, rape, and racism|
|1986||177||NEC PC-8801||dB-soft||A bishoujo game revolving around rape, it ignited a public furor that reached the National Diet of Japan.|
|1991||J.B. Harold Murder Club||TurboGrafx-16||NEC||Sexual themes, including reference to an unsolved rape.|
|1992||Wolfenstein 3D||DOS||id Software||Violence, gore, and Nazi symbols.|
|1992–present||Mortal Kombat series||Arcade||Midway (later Warner Bros. Interactive)||Blood, violence and gore. First fighter to introduce "Fatalities" to finish off opponents. When released for home console formats became the first 'big budget' game to raise the issue of violence in the medium. Possible catalyst to the implementation of a rating system.|
|1992||Night Trap||Sega CD||Digital Pictures||Violence, child abuse and sexual themes.|
|1993||Doom||PC||id Software||Violence, gore, and Satanic themes|
|1996||SimCopter||PC||Maxis||A programmer named Jacques Servin introduced unauthorized "himbo" characters into the game, who would appear on certain dates and kiss.|
|1996||Duke Nukem 3D||PC, Sega Saturn, PlayStation||3D Realms||Violence, sexual themes, nudity.|
|1996||Tomb Raider||PC, PlayStation, Sega Saturn||Eidos||An unauthorized software patch nicknamed 'Nude Raider' was created which allowed players to play as a nude version of Lara Croft.|
|1997||Carmageddon||PC, Mac, N64, PS1||SCi, Interplay Entertainment||Violence against pedestrians and animals|
|1997–present||Grand Theft Auto series||PC, PS1, PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360||Rockstar Games||Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was originally rated "Mature" in the US, but was re-rated "Adults Only" after controversy surrounding a fanmade Hot Coffee mod which unlocked a hidden sex scene (which was in the game's code, but left out of the final version). It was re-rated "Mature" after Rockstar Games removed this scene from the game's code. Grand Theft Auto IV was referred to as a "terrorist simulator" due to the fact that the city was loosely based on New York City.Sexual themes, drug use, racism, nudity, language, drunk driving, violence (against civilians and law enforcement officers; in Grand Theft Auto 3, there is also a cheat called 'Extra Gore Mode' in which, if you shoot at someone you can blow off their limbs), criminal behavior.|
|1999||Kingpin: Life of Crime||PC||Interplay Entertainment||Violence|
|2000||Daikatana||PC||Ion Storm||A highly controversial advertisement regarding John Romero's involvement with the game, which caused a highly-publicized outrage.|
|2002||WTC Survivor||PC||A black and white abstract art game where death (game over) is inevitable; it was the aim of the developers to place players in the victims' shoes, rather than trivialising the tragedy. However, it was considered tasteless and inappropriate. New York Defender, which plays like Missile Command but with planes attacking the Manhattan skyline, was another game to come under heat for similar reasons. In 2008, developed from an Unreal mod, Survivor was considered somewhat tasteless as it puts the player in the scenario of clearing up the mess of the World Trade Center attacks. Replay Studios later cancelled it in 2009.|
|2002||Ethnic Cleansing||PC||Resistance Records||Racially-motivated violence, white supremacist themes|
|2002||State of Emergency||PC, PS2, Xbox||Rockstar Games||Contains Columbine-style violence, including political assassinations and coup d'états. Additionally, the game caused controversy in Washington due to the game's similarities to the World Trade Organization riots in Seattle.|
|2003||Postal II||PC||Running with Scissors||Violence against civilians (including police officers), sexual themes, drug use, racism, language, animal abuse, and references to past and current events of terrorist attacks. Banned in New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.|
|2003, 2007||Manhunt and Manhunt 2||PS2||Rockstar Games||Violence and gore. Gained significant controversy after it was alleged that the game inspired a teenager to commit a murder. Banned in Australia.|
|2003||Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball||Xbox||Tecmo||Sexual themes|
|2004||The Sims 2||PC||EA Games||A player-made mod allowed for the blur effect that appears when a character is nude to be removed. However, the nude Sims are featureless. |
|2004||Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas||PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox||Rockstar Games||ESRB, but had a "Mature" rating reinstated after Rockstar Games removed this scene from the game's code in a different version.An unauthorized Hot Coffee mod unlocked a hidden sex scene left out of the game's final version. Was briefly re-rated "Adults Only" by the|
|2005||Super Columbine Massacre RPG!||PC||Danny Ledonne||The game simulated the events of the Columbine High School shootings.|
|2005||The Punisher||PC, PS2, Xbox||Volition Inc.||Interrogating, torture, gun fights, drugs, and killing with no mercy.|
|2006||Bully||PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii||Rockstar Games||Violence and sex (notably bisexual themes) in a school setting|
|2006||The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion||Xbox 360, PC||Bethesda Softworks||Re-rated by the ESRB after a third-party mod revealed a nude topless graphic hidden in the game's data files. While the graphic did not warrant a re-rating of the game in and of itself, upon review, the ESRB noted that the game contained much more explicit violence than had been submitted to them in the original rating submission.|
|2006||Hitman: Blood Money||PC, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360||IO Interactive||Violence and assassinations; magazine ads for the game featured pictures depicting murder victims.|
|2006||Mind Quiz||Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable||Ubisoft||Recalled in the United Kingdom due to use of the word "spastic", which is considered highly offensive in the UK.|
|2006||Left Behind: Eternal Forces||PC||Left Behind Games||Accusations that the game promoted religious "convert or kill" violence, sexism and racism. Some reviewers denied that the game contained any truly controversial gameplay.|
|2006||Resistance: Fall of Man||PS3||Insomniac Games||Church of England objected to the game's use of Manchester Cathedral's interior as a backdrop during a gun battle, and called for the game to be withdrawn or for the cathedral to be removed from the game.The|
|2006||RapeLay||PC||Illusion Soft||Rape forms a core part of the gameplay, leading to controversy raised in the UK Parliament and elsewhere.|
|2006||Rule of Rose||PS2||Punchline||The mayor of Rome called for the game to be banned from Italy, saying children "have the right to be shielded from violence". The then European Union justice and security commissioner wrote an open letter condemning the game for "obscene cruelty and brutality". An Italian magazine, Panorama, claimed that in order to win the game players must bury a girl alive, which the game's European publisher disputed. On the UK release day, the publisher announced that Rule of Rose would not be published in the UK, despite the game being approved for release by the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) and Video Standards Council regulatory bodies.|
|2007||BioShock||Xbox 360, PC, PS3||2K Games||An article in The Patriot Ledger, the local paper of developer Irrational Games, argued that the game is "testing the limits of the ultraviolent gaming genre with a strategy that enables players to kill characters resembling young girls." The game presents an ethical choice to players, whether to kill 'Little Sisters' for extra abilities or save them and receive less. President of 2K Boston Ken Levine defended the game as a piece of art, stating "we want to deal with challenging moral issues and if you want to do that, you have to go to some dark places". Jack Thompson took issue with advertisements for the game appearing during WWE SmackDown's airtime, writing to the Federal Trade Commission and stating that M-rated games should not be advertised when large numbers of under-17s are watching.|
|2007||Mass Effect||Xbox 360, PC||BioWare||Falsely accused by evangelical blogger Kevin McCullough of containing "rape and sodomy", which later led to the removal of McCullough's blog entry on Townhall.com. The game was featured on the Fox News Channel following the controversy, with Fox News host Martha MacCallum, which included the headline "full graphic sex". In actuality, the game's most explicit content is an indirect "sideboob" shot of a humanoid alien breast.|
|2007||Mario Party 8||Wii||Nintendo||Use of the phrase "Turn the train spastic! Make this ticket tragic!" by the character Kamek caused controversy in the United Kingdom, where the word spastic is considered offensive. This led to a recall of the game; it was later re-released with the word changed to erratic.|
|2008||Silent Hill: Homecoming||PS3, PC, Xbox 360||Double Helix Games||Was banned and refused to get a rating in Australia and Germany for extreme violence and disturbing images which included copious blood spray in the game, decapitations, partially dismembered corpses, and numerous scenes of attacks, fights, torture, and death."|
|2008||Muslim Massacre: The Game of Modern Religious Genocide||PC||Eric 'Sigvatr' Vaughn||The game's contents and subject have been the subject of strong negative response; a spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain said "The makers of this 'game' and the ISPs [Internet service providers] who are hosting it should be quite ashamed of themselves. Anti-Muslim prejudice is already on the increase and needs to be challenged and not reinforced through tasteless and offensive stunts like this."|
|2008||LittleBigPlanet||PS3||Media Molecule||Lyrics from a licensed song, "Tapha Niang", were removed due to fears that Muslims would be offended as it allegedly contained words from the Quran. This led to controversy about the removal itself.|
|2009||MadWorld||Wii||Platinum Games||Violence and gore. Described by the Daily Mail as the "most violent video game ever".|
|2009||Resident Evil 5||PS3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows||Capcom||For a pre-release trailer that contains scenes of racism, according to Newsweek journalist N'Gai Croal in an April 2008 interview. He also stated that organizations and retailers would object to the game and that it would cause controversy on release.|
|2009||Saw||PS3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows||Konami||Several news publishings stated that the game's only purpose was to torture and kill people in violent ways with no sense of restraint or morality. Some editorials called it "depraved and inhumane" and stated that "Konami should be ashamed". It was also listed in the "Top ten most controversial games of 2009".|
|2009||Left 4 Dead 2||Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows (Steam)||Valve Corporation||The cover art in the UK had to be altered due to a potentially offensive hand gesture being depicted. The game was banned in Australia for its excessive violence and gore. The game's New Orleans setting so soon after Hurricane Katrina was considered "a bad call".|
|2009||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2||Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3||Infinity Ward||
Central Intelligence Agency agent, joining a group of Russian nationalist terrorists in enacting an airport massacre. The player is given the option to skip the level at any point. The game was discussed briefly in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom after the issue was brought to the attention of MP Keith Vaz, a longtime opponent of violence in video games, with fellow Labour Party politician Tom Watson arguing that the level was "no worse than scenes in many films and books" and criticising Vaz for "collaborating with the Daily Mail to create moral panic over the use of video games". The mission was made optional before release and removed from the game entirely.
A cut level in the game entitled "No Russian" has the player assume control of a deep cover |
Activision later removed the Favela multiplayer map from Modern Warfare 2 following complaints from Muslim gamers, which shows picture frames on the second floor bathroom of one building within Favela. When viewed through a scoped weapon, the frames contain a quote from the Prophet Muhammad that translates to "Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty", according to Islam Today. One of the paintings is located directly above a toilet.
|2010||Six Days in Fallujah||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360||Atomic Games||The game was opposed by both the public and critics alike for "glamorizing" and "glossing over" the real-life Second Battle of Fallujah. This caused the former publisher, Konami, to oppose the game and stop publishing it.|
|2011||Bulletstorm||PS3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows||Electronic Arts||Fox News Channel called out the title as the "Worst Video Game in the World" due to the extreme amount of violence; claims made in the original article were dispelled by video game journalists including Rock Paper Shotgun, but Fox News continues to assert the game as too violent.|
|2011||Portal 2||PS3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows||Valve||CBS News has deemed the game offensive to adopted children because Wheatley insults the protagonist by saying "Fatty fatty no parents". The daughter of the parents who reported this is in fact, adopted. |
|2011||Call of Juarez: The Cartel||PS3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows||Ubisoft||Residents of Ciudad Juárez and Mexico protested the announcement of the game, believing it to highlight the Juárez Cartel, who are believed responsible for over 3000 homicides in the city in 2010.|
|2011||Dead Island||PS3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows||Deep Silver||After a development build of the game was released on Steam by mistake, it was revealed that the skill 'Gender Wars' (which the character Purna uses) was called 'FeministWhorePurna' within the game's code. Developer Deep Silver apologised and released a patch for the game to replace the offensive name.|
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