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The 6 Most Infamous Videogames Ever

Denis Murphy Denis Murphy
June 21st, 2014 3:00pm EDT

manhunt postal 2 mortal kombat gta

Warning: The following list contains graphic, adult material

Just like Film and comic books before it, videogames have been the go-to scapegoat for politicians for the past two decades to blame on many of society's ills. From blaming them on underachieving students to more serious, sadly often school based tragedies, videogames are under the microscope of many. While there's plenty of proof out there to suggest that videogames are harmless, now and again a game will crop up that sends the country- and sometimes the world- into a frenzy.

There have been many, many games out there that have arguably pushed the boundaries of taste and decency too far, with a number of them being banned by various countries, never to see seen again. From car jacking to electrocuting someone, and burning someone alive to beheadings, these are the games that give moral ammunition to the naysayers. This is the 6 most infamous videogames ever...

Manhunt- PS2, Xbox, PC

manhunt execution

What is it?: Developed by Rockstar North and released in 2003, Manhunt is set in the rotting, dilapidated city of Carcer City. It's a place that is quite literally tearing itself apart, and in Manhunt you are thrown right into the heart of it. You take the role of James Earl Cash, a murderer sentenced to death by lethal injection.

However, while the outside world is convinced of his death thanks to a little smoke and mirrors, his true fate is far, far worse. He awakens in a room to hear a voice coming from a nearby earpiece. The voice at the other end of the earpiece claims to be “The Director”, and offers Cash his freedom, so long as he can tape. However, freedom isn't free in Carcer City...

Why is it infamous?: Manhunt rocked the world when it came out. In fact, U.S. Representative Joe Baca, said about Manhunt. "it's telling kids how to kill someone, and it uses vicious, sadistic and cruel methods to kill." Though his insinuation that kids were learning to kill was way over-the-top, Manhunt does contain some incredibly violent scenes.

Playing as Cash the player must use every weapon at hand in order to kill Hunters, which are effectively enemies sent to take out Cash himself. From beheading a foe with a machete, using a crowbar on their skull, hitting them in the face with a baseball ball and using an array of firearms, Manhunt is possibly the most violent videogame ever created.

Postal 2- PC

postal 2 dude running with scissors

What is it?: Developed by Running with Scissors and released in 2003, Postal 2 is the sequel to the highly controversial title Postal. Postal 2 once again puts you in the role of the foul mouthed, woman hating Postal Dude. Throughout the game you are given various basic tasks to complete between the days of Monday to Friday.

The tasks are simple and cover things such as buying milk, confessing sins and meeting Gary Coleman... you know, the usual! But while every other game on our list requires you to kill or maim people, Postal is a little different. The game doesn't force you to kill anyone, because as the tag line to the game reads, "Remember, it's only as violent as you are!"...

Why is it infamous?: Yeah, Postal 2 doesn't force you to be violent, but oh boy, is this game pretty out there. While there are far too many obscene acts in Postal 2 to name them all, some of the worst that come to mind is urinating on people until they vomit, using a cat as a silencer, decapitating civilians, playing fetch with dogs using human heads, and using a stun gun on people until they soil themselves.

However, that's not to mention the rampant Homophobia and various racial slurs throughout the game. You know, I'll defend every other game on this list, but Postal 2? No thanks.

Carmageddon- MS-DOS, PC, PS1, N64, GBC

carmageddon

What is it?: Developed by Stainless Steel and released in 1997, Carmageddon is probably the most tame title on our list by today's standards, but back in the day it caused quite a stink. As expected from the deliciously over-the-top title, Carmageddon is a racing title with a twist. While most racing games require the player to coolly overtake other vehicles and focus on skill, speed and maneuverability, Carmageddon was a little different...

Why is it infamous?: Compared to other titles in the racing genre, Carmageddon gave players perks for not only smashing into a wrecking other drivers, but also for knocking down and killing pedestrians. The gore is not that intense, but it led to the game being both banned and altered in various countries.

However, they say there's no such thing as bad publicity, so before releasing Carmageddon publisher Sci sought to have the game rated by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) for an 18+ rating. However, the plan backfired when the BBFC refused to give the game a rating, which halted the game for an additional 10 months. But the unaltered version was released in all its cheesy Death Race 2000 inspired glory.

Mortal Kombat- Every console ever

mortal kombat

What is it?: Developed by Midway Games are originally released on Arcade in 1992, Mortal Kombat was groundbreaking in the games industry. While it did have its controversial elements, Mortal Kombat was an excellent fighting game first and foremost.

Set on the fictional island of Earthrealm and blending a great cast of fighters that must do battle against the evil Shang Tsung, Mortal Kombat's brilliance was and still is sadly overlooked next to its more sensationally violent elements...

Why is it infamous?: The inclusion of the “Fatality” is what made Mortal Kombat infamous. For people not in the know, a Fatality is a finishing move in the Mortal Kombat that would come in many, violent and disturbing ways. From uppercutting a foes head right off, tearing someones heart out of their chest to incineration, Mortal Kombat -despite pushing the violence much further in the sequels- caused an uproar upon release.

Though it faced plenty of lawsuits over the years, Mortal Kombat was deemed so violent that it led to the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). So violent they had to create a ratings system for it. Badass, right?

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Photo Credits: Rockstar Games, Whiptail Interactive, SCi, Interplay, Midway Games, EA, Rockstar Games