5. Mortal Kombat
The one that started it all. While it may seem pixelated and dated now, it was undoubtedly the most violent video game of its time. Spawning a huge fanbase, a movie, and a plethora of sequels, most of us have probably played Mortal Kombat in at least one form of another.
Who can forget pulling in a victim with Scorpions snapping beak; ‘Get over here!’ while following it up with a gruesome uppercut. The game used real life actors and mapped their faces onto sprites, creating a pretty strange yet realistic effect which made it all the more awesome when Sub Zero ripped someones head off, leaving their spine dangling below. Fatality!
Originally released in 1997, this is an oldie but goldie. It’s still a thoroughly enjoyable game and was a breakthrough in its time with video scenes from inside the car and real world physics.
Think Mad Max on steroids and you’ll start to get a feel for Carmageddon which is set in a post apocalyptic world where the car rules. The idea is to race against a handful of other modified death cars through various levels, including deserts, industrial areas and populated cities, all to the tune of Fear Factories Demanufacture album (hell yes!). However, if you don’t feel like racing you can hunt down and destroy your enemies one by one until you’re the only survivor. Amongst all this, not only can you run over pedestrians, but you’re actively encouraged to do so, gaining extra time and credits for combo bonuses and ‘artist impressions’ (which you get by utterly mangling a pedestrian).
Carmageddon caused media scandal when it first launched and in most countries a ‘safe’ version was released with zombies, robots or aliens instead of people. In some countries the game was banned completely. None of this stops it from being an absolute classic and the first go-anywhere 3D driving game which spawned 2 successful sequels.
3. Thrill Kill
Originally called S & M for Slaughter and Mutilation, Thrill Kill for PlayStation was never released, it was axed 2 weeks before it was due to go out. EA said that they didn’t want to ‘publish such a senselessly violent game’ and stated it was so offensive that they wouldn’t sell the game to another publisher either. Fortunately for us former employees of EA released it onto the internet which are still available.
Incredibly simple, Thrill Kill consisted of only a single room where up to 4 opponents fight to the death. The usual life bar is replaced with a kill meter, which grows as you do more damage to your opponent, eventually you’re able to activate Thrill Kills which were always awesomely brutal, sometimes sexual, moves like dismemberment, mutilation, cattle prods down the throat or crushing skulls with stilts. Oh yes. One of Cleetus’ lethal finishing moves was to tear the head off his opponent and drink the blood that leaked out of his victim’s severed neck. The story goes that the 8 characters all led devious lives and died in various ways, have gone to hell. A modern day hell which reflects todays real life. Marukka, the God of Secrets has pitted them against each other, promising to give rebirth to the one survivor. Each character is battling for self-preservation and the hope to be born again.
Cleetus, for example, is a redneck cannibal. The only victim that he didn’t eat escaped minus a leg, which Cleetus carries around for good luck (and occasionally uses as a weapon). Dr. Faustus, a master surgeon, died from an infection after installing his stainless steel jaws, made from a bear trap.
Oddball was a top FBI agent who hunted down serial killers. He began to admire them and slowly slipped into insanity. Oddball is extremely intelligent, cunning, and without remorse. Pity, sympathy, and compassion have no meaning to him. Although his arms are bound in his cozy little straight jacket, he has learned to adapt, as any good predator should.
2. Postal 2
One feature in Postal 2 is the ability to pick up cats as an inventory item. When used, the player shoves the barrel of the currently equipped firearm into the cat’s anus, as a ‘silencer’. Every time a shot is fired, the cat meows in apparent agony, and the gunshot is muffled. After several shots the cat will be killed and will fly from the end of the weapon.
Any game where you can use a cat as a silencer has to be worth mentioning. Highly violent, both Postal and Postal 2 met with much protest from various activist groups. However, the Running With Scissors software company who created the series responded by saying that the amount of violence in the game is entirely dependent upon the player. In fact, it’s actually possible (though very difficult) to complete the entire game without harming anyone.
The game is split from Monday to Friday and the tasks are simple things on a to-do list like ‘Cash Paycheck’, ‘Confess sins’, ‘Get milk’, etc. To accomplish these seemingly simple tasks, the player can chose to be peaceful or utterly, all out violent with unique gameplay changes for each choice.Some violent features include the ability to decapitate people with shovels, and then kick their heads around or play fetch with a dog, cops who beat innocent NPCs to death with batons, even if the NPC surrenders and begs for mercy and setting fire to people with gasoline, matches, napalm and moltov cocktails.Not content with just being violent, Postal 2 is also pretty disgusting. You have the ability to urinate on people, causing them to vomit in disgust. You can also urinate on food items which are then eaten and regurgitated by cops. Using an Antrhax-filled cow’s head as a weapon causes victims to vomit blood. Oh and you can also stun gun people til they cower in fear and urinate themselves..Featuring ATF, SWAT, the National Guard, psycho butchers, religious cults, the Taliban and Gary Coleman, Postal 2 has earned itself a violent and revolting reputation and is illegal in at least 3 countries.
Quite possibly the most violent game in the list, Manhunt revolves around James Earl Cash who has been sentenced to death by lethal injection. His injection is replaced with a sedative and Cash is abducted by a wealthy Hollywood director. The director has a thing for Snuff flicks and sets up Cash as his latest star, butchering local gangs on film in the most violent and horrific ways possible.
The director communicates with Cash via an earpiece and security cameras record his murders. For extra points the player must carry out more gruesome kills. These range from suffocation by plastic bag, decapitation, jamming a crowbar in the enemys skull, etc.
Manhunt was banned outright in several countries when it was launched and later in the UK the game was linked to an actual murder case of a 14 year old, Stefan Pakeerah by a 17 year old, Warren Leblanc. Stefans mother claimed that Leblanc had been obsessed with Manhunt after he pleaded guilty in court and as such most vendors in the UK removed Manhunt from their stocks. This led to a significant increased demand from other retailers and internet auction sites. Police denied any link, but it still strikes a chilling cord. Especially when you consider that Leblanc murdered his friend by stabbing him with a claw hammer, identical to an execution shown in Manhunt.