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Top 5 Most Controversial Games Of All Time

8 months ago By AI Smith

Throughout gaming history, there have been releases that courted controversy and pushed the boundaries of what was deemed acceptable. These games sparked debates, faced backlash, and even led to the creation of governing bodies to regulate the industry. 

While some controversial games were poorly received, others garnered a cult following. Check the top 5 most controversial games of all time and the impact they had on the gaming landscape.

Hatred (2015)

Developed by Destructive Creations, Hatred caused a stir with its dark premise. Players assume the role of a character on a genocidal rampage, driven by misanthropy and a desire to eliminate humanity. This game received criticism for its unapologetic violence, lacking a clear motive for the protagonist’s actions.

Hatred found itself banned in several countries and was met with mixed reviews. While some viewed it as gratuitous and tasteless, others appreciated its subversive take on societal norms. The controversy surrounding Hatred highlighted the ongoing debate about the role of video games as art and their impact on players’ attitudes and behaviours.

Pokemon Red and Blue (1996)

Despite not being directly controversial, Pokemon Red and Blue became the target of baseless accusations. Because of its likeness to a racist caricature, the Pokemon Jynx’s design sparked controversy. But the design was influenced by Yuki Onna, the Japanese ganguro fashion trend, and the Valkyries.

Accusations of satanic worship were also thrown at the game, linking elements like evolution to creationism. Despite these controversies, Pokemon Red and Blue proved to be a cultural phenomenon, captivating players of all ages. The allegations levelled against the game were large without merit but served as reminders of the need for critical analysis and understanding in the face of unfounded claims.

Postal 2 (2003)

The Postal franchise as a whole courted controversy for its graphic and violent content. In Postal 2, players control a mentally unstable protagonist who can freely engage in acts of violence against law enforcement and civilians. The game was banned in several countries, and criticized for its excessive violence, insensitivity, and offensive portrayal of protected groups.

While Postal 2 shocked and offended many, it also found a niche audience that appreciated its unapologetic nature. It raised questions about the limits of artistic expression and the responsibility of game developers to consider the potential impact of their creations. The controversy surrounding Postal 2 underscored the importance of balancing artistic freedom with ethical considerations.

Night Trap (1992)

Night Trap, released during the early ’90s, became a lightning rod for controversy due to its depiction of violence and sexual aggression towards women. The game’s use of full-motion video was still a relatively new concept at the time. Senate hearings led by Joe Lieberman and Herb Kohl brought attention to the game’s content.

While Night Trap itself was not exceptional in terms of gameplay, its controversial content led to significant discussions about the portrayal of violence and sexuality in video games. This game’s controversial nature ultimately played a role in the establishment of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which provides ratings and content descriptors to inform consumers about the nature of games.

Mortal Kombat (1992)

Mortal Kombat, developed by Midway Games, revolutionized the fighting game genre but also courted immense controversy. With its unprecedented levels of violence and graphic fatalities, it pushed the boundaries of what video games were deemed capable of depicting. The game faced court cases and garnered public scrutiny, primarily due to concerns about its influence on young players.

The controversy surrounding Mortal Kombat prompted a pivotal moment in the industry. It led to the creation of the ESRB, ensuring that games were appropriately rated and labelled for their content. Mortal Kombat’s impact extended beyond controversy, shaping the ongoing dialogue about violence in video games and influencing the subsequent development of age ratings and content guidelines.

Also Read: Top 10 Esports Games By PlayStation 4 In June 2023

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