12 Best (& Weirdest) Nukes You Can Launch, Disarm Or Unlock In Video Games

Apocalypse Simulator 2000 [DEFCON]

DEFCON is a stark reminder of the reality of nuclear war — and it’s also a fun game that’s about the end of the world. In DEFCON, you’re in control of your country’s nuclear arsenal. You target each strike, select the types of nukes to use, and try to destroy as much of the enemy’s population as possible. You’ll see a number that rolls up in real-time of the number of predicted deaths for each bombing.

How do you win? Just cause more deaths (counted in millions) than your opponent. No matter what, millions will do on both sides. The stark, vector presentation of the conflict puts a pit in my stomach. This game is an extremely simple and effective demonstration of the horrors of nuclear war.


Because A Regular Nuke Just Isn’t Enough [Mercenaries 2]

Let’s swing back to something fun. Mercenaries 2 isn’t exactly the greatest open-world action game. It suffers from some pretty huge problems, but a lack of nukes isn’t one of them.

To squirrel out the evil dictator of a country, your main mercenary needs to acquire a Bunker Buster Nuclear Missile. This is the only weapon that can crack open the enemy’s base, and due to how it burrows underground, it isn’t nearly as dangerous to use while you’re standing 100 yards away.

After acquiring the nuke, you can use it freely on anything! There’s really nothing else worth using it on — and it’s so expensive, why would you want to waste it? Getting to purchase and use your own nuke in an action game is a monumental achievement in open-world gaming, no matter how you slice it, so this example belongs on our list.


Enjoy the biggest booms or lessons on the nature of deterrence on the next page.