Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- #25 Ghostrunner 2
- #24 Mortal Kombat 1
- #23 Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun
- #22 Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty
- #21 Lies of P
- #20 Maneater
- #19 Tomb Raider
- #18 My Friend Pedro
- #17 Blood Trail
- #16 Harvester
- #15 The Darkness Series
- #14 Sleeping Dogs
- #13 Carrion
- #12 Killing Floor 2
- #11 Prototype Series
- #10 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
- #9 Manhunt Franchise
- #8 Serious Sam Series
- #7 Max Payne 3
- #6 Hotline Miami
- #5 Left 4 Dead Series
- #4 DOOM Series
- #3 Gears Of War Franchise
- #2 Dead Space Remake
- #1 Mortal Kombat Franchise
The ESRB exists because it felt some games were “too violent” or “too suggestive” for certain gamers to play. Fast forward to now, and violence is a key part of certain video games and franchises, like these ones here.
#25 Ghostrunner 2
Platform: PC PS5 XSX|S
Release Date: October 26, 2023
If you enjoyed Ghostrunner, then a sequel might be well worth the pickup. Players can expect the same style of gameplay as the first installment but with a few additional tweaks. It’s still a very futuristic cyberpunk setup where you’re dropped into this world as essentially a glorified ninja. With that said, the game does take place after the events of the first installment. With the Keymaster taken care of, a new AI cult has emerged outside of the Dharma Tower, and it’s up to you to save humanity. This is a fast-paced game where only one hit is required to either take out your opponent. Unfortunately, the same can be said about you. On the bright side, with several checkpoints throughout the level, you’ll be right back in the action in a matter of seconds.
#24 Mortal Kombat 1
Platform: PC PS5 XSX|S Switch
Release Date: September 19, 2023
You know precisely what time it is! It’s time for MORTAL KOMBAT!!!!
Mortal Kombat 1 continues the legacy of the beloved fighting game franchise while also building upon something fresh and new. Liu Kang has rebuilt the world and its people and is attempting to bring balance to the realms.
However, there are flies in the ointment, as it were. Now, you’ll have to figure out the truth and see how past, present, and future collide so that you can undo the harm to the realms and bring order to it people.
With intense fighting mechanics and plenty of modes to play, gamers won’t be lacking in content.
#23 Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun
Platform: PC PS4 PS5 Xbox One XSX|S Switch
Release Date: May 23, 2023
If you’re familiar with this franchise, you’ll know that its universe is deep and that its gameplay can be very dark and brutal. In Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun, they continue that trend in some ways but also change up the feel to resemble some of the classic games of generations gone by.
For example, the title has you playing a Space Marine who is tasked with wiping out evil across the galaxy. But as you look at the game, it embraces the “boomer shooter” visual style and desire to just shoot everything in sight.
So load up your weapon and prepare to watch the blood fly!
#22 Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty
Platform: PC PS5 XSX|S
Release Date: September 26, 2023
Are you ready to go back to Night City? If so, get ready because Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is here and is ready to make up for the misadventures you likely had when the original title came out in 2020.
That’s right. CD Projekt Red has been working for three years to not only fix their past mistakes but give players an expansion that they could truly be proud of. In the DLC, you’ll go to the mysterious section of Night City called Dogtown. You’re tasked with saving the President after their convoy crash-landed there.
Doing so many ensure your future. Or it could get you killed.
#21 Lies of P
Platform: PC September 18, 2023
Release Date: PS4 PS5 Xbox One XSX|S September 19, 2023
We all know the story of Pinocchio, but as with all tales, they sometimes can be changed drastically depending on who’s telling them. In Lies of P, you are a very different version of the legendary puppet, and Pinocchio’s journey will be much more intense this go around.
In the game, you are on a quest to find your maker in the city of Krat. The city is corrupt to the core, and monsters are everywhere. You’ll have to build up Pinocchio so he can stand up to the threats that await. But that’s not all. How the puppet handles truths and lies will affect both him and the world around him. So be careful what you choose to do and say.
In most media, when a monstrous shark is involved in the plot, the goal is to kill it because it’s “too big or powerful to be out in the world.”
But in Maneater, the script has been flipped, and now you are the shark that is terrifying the population, and it’s your job to eat every human possible!
Sounds easy enough. So swim through the various waterways and see the unique ways you can get to the humans and kill them with a single bite. You can even evolve your shark to do more damage, be more dangerous, and become something the world has never seen.
#19 Tomb Raider
You might be surprised to see Lara Croft on this list, but we want to be clear. We’re not talking about her franchise as a whole, especially since many of her games were from an age where violence could barely be shown on screen.
However, in the reboot games by Crystal Dynamics, they weren’t afraid to show Lara Croft in serious peril. Heck, part of the game’s fun was seeing all the gruesome ways that Lara could die! They came up with plenty of ways to do her in.
That’s not even counting the ways you could kill enemies. So yeah, the game is violent.
#18 My Friend Pedro
How many of you have a friend you would do anything for? If so, we hope you’ll draw a line somewhere, unlike a certain someone did in My Friend Pedro.
In the game, you play as a man who wipes out scores of people in the underworld because his friend named Pedro told him to. But who is Pedro? He’s a banana that talks. No, really, that’s the gimmick. You’re listening to a banana as you blast your way through thugs and gangs.
The action you’ll go through on the way to victory will be high-octane and over-the-top. So prepare yourself for a wild ride!
#17 Blood Trail
When a game literally prides itself on its “realistic gore system”? Then yeah, it deserves a spot on this list. Blood Trail is a VR title, believe it or not, that’ll have you blowing away people in the first-person to make you feel like you’re the one making things happen.
In the game, you play a contract killer named Wendigo, who is hired to take out a cult.
With your weapons on hand, you’ll mow through them left and right and watch the blood splatter and fly on the walls.
Plus, there are multiple modes of gameplay to try so you can test your skills further. Think you can handle it all?
Do you want to know what the tagline is for Harvester? It’s the “most violent adventure game of all time!” That’s definitely a title you wouldn’t expect from an old-school title that has real-life people portraying the events of what’s going on in the plot.
But what is going on? Well, you’re a regular guy in a regular town with a very regular life. But then, in the blink of an eye, everything changes. First, your fiancé goes missing, and there’s a bloody mess in her bed. You’re then asked to join a secret group that runs your town. But can they be trusted?
Work through this twisted tale and see if you want to witness the ending.
#15 The Darkness Series
We will have several “series” on this list because it’d be wrong to list them individually outside of special circumstances.
With The Darkness franchise, you’ll see a comic book world come to life through the eyes of a man “blessed” with darkness. Specifically, he has the power to control an ancient power called “The Darkenss,” and through these dark appendages, he’ll be able to tear apart enemies in various ways and have lots of fun doing it.
Across two games, you’ll face numerous threats and attempt to get revenge for those who’ve wronged you. But will you survive long enough to enjoy the power you receive?
#14 Sleeping Dogs
If you watch a lot of TV or movies, you’ll know that there are cops who go undercover to help get dirt on some of the worst organizations possible.
In Sleeping Dogs, you’ll take the role of a Hong Kong undercover cop who’s determined to take down the vile organization known as the Triads.
But doing so will test your core and code to the limit. So will you ensure you do all you can to complete the mission? Or will you walk the line to try and protect those you care about as you do the job?
Jump into the game and find out!
Plenty of monster movies are based on the premise that humanity has gotten hold of something “unspeakable,” and the goal is to keep it locked up. But, of course, nothing says locked up forever, and panic ensues when the walls go down.
In Carrion, you’ll be the monster that gets out. You’ll destroy all you see and absorb anyone trying to stop you.
The more you do, the more you’ll be able to grow and evolve your abilities, making you an even fiercer opponent.
Your path to freedom is also your path to revenge. So are you ready to be a monster?
#12 Killing Floor 2
So what happens when an experiment goes wrong, zombies run rampant all over Europe, and everything falls apart? Bad things happen. Lots of bad things. So much so that all semblances of the government and order are gone, and people are trying to survive and nothing more.
But in Killing Floor 2, you’ll be part of a group seeking to change the balance of power once again. You’ll enter “hot zones” and attempt to rid the spaces of zombies, monstrous clones, and anything else lurking within.
Team up with five other players and venture into each area. Work together to stay alive, or else you’ll get picked off one by one!
#11 Prototype Series
Our second franchise on this list, the Prototype games were ones that hit the ground running but sadly fizzled out due to mistakes from their developer.
But you can still play both titles and experience the insane combat that awaits you! In the games, you’ll play as two men who have been imbued with insane powers that you don’t fully understand. They allow you to shapeshift your body to become whatever you need to be to mow down your foes.
Venture through the open world of New York City, find clues that’ll help you achieve your goals, and absorb people to use their memories!
#10 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
We’re making an exception for this series because, with the original and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, you will get some of the most insane and violent experiences told through the perspective of an old-school top-down shooter.
You’ll become engrossed in the underworld through different factions and find out how the stories of the first game come together to weave a new dark narrative.
Combat is more intense than ever, and you’ll need to think fast and strategically to overcome all obstacles and threats.
Where will this tale of violence end? You’ll need to play to find out.
#9 Manhunt Franchise
As we’ve shown you, there have been many violent video games throughout history. But with the Manhunt franchise, these games were so violent and M-rated that some wondered if they were even beyond the M-rating.
You might recall that the games walked a dangerous line that led them to the “AO” rating, or “Adults Only.”
The games feature you trying to survive a deadly blood sport where everyone is trying to kill you, and you must kill them first.
Use stealth and whatever weapons you can to get the upper hand. Danger could lurk around every corner, so always be careful about what you do next.
#8 Serious Sam Series
Let’s be honest with ourselves for a bit. There’s nothing serious about these games. But that’s the point. They are over-the-top action games meant to make you feel nothing more than ecstasy as you blast aliens apart over and over again.
Seriously, the whole point of the franchise is that the Earth keeps getting invaded by aliens, and it’s up to the man known as “Serious Sam” to save them all alongside his allies and a host of over-the-top weaponry.
Plus, you can play the game with friends and crank up the violence to another level. So let’s not get serious and enjoy the games.
#7 Max Payne 3
You have to feel bad for Max Payne. He’s a man who lost everything, fought to get closure, and yet life refuses to give it to him.
In Max Payne 3, Max is on the edge of losing what’s left of his life. So he goes to Brazil to help protect a wealthy family and soon finds himself in an even bigger mess than before!
Max must rely on his skills and instincts to make it out alive in unfamiliar surroundings. Why are events conspiring against Max Payne once again? Will he be able to make his way out of another impossible situation? Strap in and find out!
#6 Hotline Miami
One could argue that the world wasn’t ready for a game like Hotline Miami to come out in 2012. But when it did, those who played it were obsessed with what was before them.
The game was an epic mix of stylized visuals, limitless brutality, and a twisting story that you had no idea where it would go next.
You were a man on a mission. That mission was to wipe out the underworld of an alternative universe version of Miami. Guided by your answering machine, you must take it to the thugs and get out alive. But what is the reason behind all this? Jump in and find out.
#5 Left 4 Dead Series
Valve turned the co-op world on its head with this set of games. So much so that when they didn’t make a third one, fans were really mad, and a terrible knockoff came out to try and fill the void. It didn’t work out that way.
But we can still revel in the fact that the Left 4 Dead series had two incredible games full of violence, gore, and trying to get your friends to save you while you were halfway across the map!
The fun of making it through each level with your teammates intact was worth the challenges put ahead of you. So if you haven’t played these games yet, you should change that.
#4 DOOM Series
Yep, you knew that these games had to make an appearance. They’re arguably one of the franchises that helped fully set the tone for violence in video games, and recent entries helped take that desire to insane levels.
As the Doomslayer or Doomguy if you prefer the original titles, you’ll work your way through the demons and monsters of the underworld as they try to invade Earth.
You’ll use various weapons to blow them to kingdom come or rip them to shreds. No need to be gentle. They don’t deserve your mercy.
So you could say you’re doomed if you don’t play these titles.
#3 Gears Of War Franchise
Do we really need to explain why the Gears Of War franchise is on this list? It’s a franchise that prides itself on having a gun that’s also a chainsaw, and you can use it to kill enemies in gory fashion! You could argue that it’s the “signature move” of the series!
Regardless of that, the games tell a dark and gripping story of humanity’s attempt to get rid of the Locust threat that has consumed their world. These monsters want to end humanity, so you must end them without mercy or consciousness.
Plus, the multiplayer modes further allow violence to unfold, especially against your friends.
#2 Dead Space Remake
It’s ironic that a recent game enters our list at such a high rank. But the fact is that the Dead Space Remake is a perfect example of taking a dark and twisted game and making it more violent, thanks to upgraded graphics and systems.
In the title, you’ll play Isaac Clarke once again and have to go to the Ishimura to see what has happened to the crew and your partner.
But when monsters appear, it suddenly becomes a fight for survival. One that will test how well you can use the tools on hand to dismember vicious aliens!
Some grisly sights await you, so be ready for a fight!
#1 Mortal Kombat Franchise
There could be much debate about which game franchise deserves to be on top. But if you recall our intro, the Mortal Kombat series was one of the reasons the ESRB came to exist in the first place.
From the moment the series arrived decades ago, Mortal Kombat wasn’t afraid to showcase blood, violence, gore, and, of course, Fatalities!
As the games grew, so did the level of violence. People got blown apart, eaten alive, cut in half by hats, eaten by trees, and so much more!
You could argue that part of the fun with each new entry is seeing how the dev team will work in the violence to make it even gorier.