Some of the best PC games have also been extremely controversial. Being controversial isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, “being controversial” is what made many of these games commercial successes.
With that in mind, we decided to celebrate some of the most controversial PC games ever made. Without further ado, here is our top 5 list:
Between 1986 and 1997, United States Postal Service (USPS) workers experienced a number of mass killings. Over 40 people were killed in cases of “workplace rage” where employees simply lost their minds after years of delivering mail – or something like that.
Hence, the term “going postal” was born.
In 1997, a company called Running With Scissors decided to celebrate the act of going postal with a game called “Postal”.
Postal let gamers control The Postal Dude who “went postal” and killed everyone around him – civilians, animals, fellow employees, whoever.
Making matters worse was that you could vomit on corpses and pee on them. The game also featured lots of racism and homophobia. It was banned in several countries and remains one of the most controversial games ever made.
Grand Theft Auto III was one of the first massively popular “violent video games”. It spawned an entire generation of critics who believed video games were solely responsible for mass murders.
Grand Theft Autos I and II were tame compared to III. In the first two games, players controlled cars in a top-down perspective as they drove through a city.
Grand Theft Auto III made the game world 3D and let players run around a city wielding weapons, destroying vehicles, and causing mayhem.
One of the most controversial and hated features of the game, however, was the ability to pick up prostitutes, “use their services”, (which restored your health to ‘full’), and then kill them and steal their money.
In today’s Grand Theft Auto games, such practices seem tame. In 2001, however, it caused a bit of a stir.
Manhunt may have been the first video game to graphically simulate murder. It was also the most violent and gory game ever released up to that point in time (2003).
In Manhunt, players used a variety of household weapons to brutally murder enemies. From crowbars to knives to plastic bags, murder was a gruesome art in Manhunt.
Don’t believe me? Check out this compilation below, set to some heartwarming music:
Nasty, right? Anyways, the game was controversial enough when it was first released but became significantly more controversial when a 17-year-old boy from the UK murdered a 14 year-old. Manhunt was found in the 17-year old’s room.
Of course, that didn’t stop Rockstar from making Manhunt 2 in 2009.
JFK Reloaded can still be downloaded today on the internet. It calls itself a “historical simulation” game. Released in 2004, JFK Reloaded quickly faced huge criticism – despite its genuine attempts to educate players on an important historical event.
JFK Reloaded starts just before JFK’s limousine comes into view. Players have about 30 seconds to fire the perfect shot into the president, although you “only” have 39 rounds.
Players receive scores based on their accuracy.
Immediately after the game was released, it faced severe criticism from people like Ted Kennedy – JFK’s brother, who called it “despicable”. The whole issue was overblown in the media and there was even a Law & Order: SVU episode dedicated to the game.
Out of all the games listed here, this one is easily the tamest of the bunch. The point of the game was to “establish the most likely facts of what happened on 1963-11-22 by running the world’s first mass-participation forensic construction”. Basically, the game wanted to prove the findings of the Warren Commission and show that Lee Harvey Oswald could certainly have shot JFK in Dallas.
Custer’s Revenge was made in 1982. It’s the only game on this list that would absolutely not be allowed to be published today.
In Custer’s Revenge, your goal is to rape a Native American woman who has been tied to a cactus. The game was released on the Atari 2600 and apparently made twice as much revenue as any other Atari 2600 title.
Gameplay elements are minimal. Basically, your goal is to dodge arrows until you reach the woman and then “stay on” that woman without being hit with arrows.