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This chapter is from the book

Ultra-Violent Games: The Ten Bloodiest Games Ever

Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not going to get on a soapbox about violent video games or use this as a pulpit to rage against the machine about censorship. But whenever the news cites DOOM as a violent game, I always think, "DOOM? Guys, have you seen Carmageddon?" So seeing as how the mainstream media only wants to talk about games when a tragedy happens, I figured I’d make a quick list of some of the most violent, over-the-top video games ever made, just so the six o’clock news can get their facts straight.

Of course, there are a lot of games that could have made the list, so feel free to make your own choices. In this business, there’s enough blood to go around.

One last thing before we begin: Not all of these games are good games. Some of them are terrible games that just happen to be violent.

Blood (1997–1999). A series of first-person shooters that used the old Build engine (Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior); they weren’t particularly pretty, but boy were they bloody. Any game where you see people dangling and twitching from meat hooks deserves a Violent Video Game Stamp of Approval.

Carmageddon (1997). I never understood why Carmageddon didn’t catch more public flak than it did. A game where you earn points by running over and graphically killing pedestrians? This game was insane, and I have to admit, a lot of fun.

Grand Theft Auto (1997–2005). Wow, 1997 was a pretty violent year, eh? Anyway, what can I say that hasn’t already been said about this series? It’s the current poster child for all that is wrong in American society. It’s also a kick-ass game.

God of War (2005). With buckets of blood and gore, God of War makes this list because it’s such a visceral game. Sure, you’re killing mythological creatures, but you’re doing it in such a vicious manner that it makes some cringe just to watch.

Kingpin: Life of Crime (1999). Not necessarily any more violent than your run-of-the mill first-person shooter, but I include it here because it was one of the first games to have audio with language right out of a Martin Scorsese movie. "Hey, did you hear that? He said $#@!"

Postal (1997; 2003). This series was all hype built on the back of a couple horrid games. The Postal series garnered a lot of media attention because it was violent just for the sake of being violent. When all you are selling is the fact that you can shoot innocent people, it’s not enough to warrant a purchase.

Mortal Kombat (1993–2004). One of the early targets for groups that wanted to ban video games, the classic fighting series just keeps chugging along. Can you say, Fatality!

Resident Evil (1996–2005). I hate to add a game like this because after all, you’re killing the zombies! I think it’s much more "violent" when you are shooting real people (unless they are Nazis; they don’t count). Still, any game that allows zombies to cannibalize you deserves a golf clap.

Soldier of Fortune (2000–2003). Not only do you get to shoot humans, but you get to target specific body parts! Head shot! These were actually really good games that just happened to be extremely violent.

State of Emergency (2002). Another member of the hype machine, it tried to be Grand Theft Auto but instead it was just an over the top violent game that was pretty lousy.

One of the first games to catch heat over its violent content was a 1976 arcade coin-op game called Death Race, where the idea was to run over "gremlins" (stick figures) in your car. When they died they were replaced with little tombstones.

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