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The Most Violent Video Games of All Time

Updated October 9, 2020 10.1k votes 1.9k voters 143.7k views27 items

List RulesVote up the games that are really, seriously violent.

What are the most violent video games ever made? Video games get a lot of flak for being "too violent," but like it or not, some of the most important and memorable titles in video game history are filled with blood, guts, and machine gun fire. Some games are violent just for shock value, but some are really hellbent on unhinging you. Video games have been shocking people with their violence since the 1970s, back when games were still confined to nickel arcades. Violent racing games, violent shooters, and violent punch-out games like Mortal Kombat have been proliferating ever since. Console and PC gaming have only increased the popularity.

Whether you're a fan of bloody fight-to-the-death battle games, open world crime games like Grand Theft Auto, or still have nostalgia for the DOOM series, vote below on the goriest, most brutal, most cartoonishly violent video games ever.

  • Mortal Kombat
    Photo: Mortal Kombat 11 / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
    No other game series (besides, possibly, GTA) has caused as much outrage as the Mortal Kombat series, and for good reason - those finishing moves are just as hilariously, wonderfully, gross and over-the-top now as they used to be. An equal amount of controversy has been ignited over attempts to censor the came, but its legendary status endures.
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  • One of many games where you stalk around secret locations, cornering people and murdering them in various horrific ways, Manhunt caused a huge stir when Rockstar games first launched it for the PS2.

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  • Though it's full of gore, Dead Space is unusual in that the actual horror is suspense-based. Rather than cutting bloody rivets through a wall of enemies, your goal is to avoid death at the hands of a host of lurking predators who want to rip off your head or tear open your torso. (It's a shooter, but the violence your character inflicts on others is far more tame by comparison.)
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  • If you thought old fashioned street violence was bad, try this game on for size. In God of War II, you play as a former member of the Spartan Army trying to ascend to a status in the ancient Greek Pantheon as the God of War. To do this, you have to brutally slaughter a lot of people using a variety of tricked out, terrifying weapons. It gets pretty intense.
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