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Top 10 Video Games that Were Banned

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Josh Schasny Outlawed! Removed from shelves! Taken out of the stores! Banned by whole countries! Made illegal by governments! Pearl clutchingly explicit! Whether it was for violence, sex, swearing or just public decency, is counting them down in the Top 10 BANNED Video Games! Special thanks to our users “derfboy00”, “Denis Seres”, “MrMultiLegos” and many more for suggesting this controversial topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Banned Video Games

You can’t play that here! Welcome to and today we will be counting down our picks for the top 10 banned video games.

For this list, we will be looking at an array of video game titles that were given the axe in one or more countries for reasons that range from the understandable to the downright crazy.

#10: “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2” (2007)

Banned in Mexico

This tactical shooter welcomes you to Mexico in a pretty intense way. Pitting the player in a do or die battle with insurgents along the U.S.-Mexico border, the landscape is chock full of real life locations in towns like Juárez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas. Finding the violent narco terrorism-driven storyline mixed with images of the American military engaged in combat on Mexican soil, it did not take long for the Mexican government to declare Advanced Warfighter 2 an unsavoury depiction of their country and a threat to Juárez’s tourist industry. Both the mayor of Juárez and the governor of the Mexican state of Chihuahua banned the Quote “insulting” game from touching Mexican soil.

#9: “Homefront” (2011)

Banned in South Korea

Video games and politics are strange bedfellows that actually go well together, and Homefront is no stranger to that mix. This 2011 first-person shooter took liberties with current global conflicts in showing a unified Korea under real-life dictator Kim Jong-un. The only problem was that nobody asked South Korea if they were okay with depicting North and South Korea as one country. Considering the global tensions already in place with North Korea entering the nuclear arms race, South Korea’s outraged reaction might not have seemed all that alarming. Needless to say, while the video game went on to receive generally “meh” reviews around the world, it never saw the light of day in South Korea.

#8: “Football Manager 2005” (2004)

Banned in China

Sometimes video game news is worthy of a double take reaction. The gaming world surely got to experience this when this Sega-produced sports business simulator was banned in China for political reasons. By stating that Tibet and Taiwan were independent countries outside of the Chinese Republic, a threat to China’s sovereignty was made. Although the developers quickly resolved the problem for Chinese release, this little blip of video game history was highly talked about, as it is one of those rare games banned for reasons beyond violence or sexual content.

#7: “Grand Theft Auto” franchise (1997-)


No stranger to controversy, this flagship franchise from Rockstar Games has been fighting the censors with almost every installation since the 1997 top-down shooter days. I mean it is called “Grand Theft Auto!” Featuring extreme violence, crude humor, and amoral storylines, it seems that almost every GTA title has met with public backlash. The most popular example came with 2004’s GTA: San Andreas and its “Hot Coffee” mod, a playable sex mini-game made available via a PC-hack into the game’s code. This mod led not only to a countrywide ban in Australia, but also a U.S. retailer ban in major department stores after securing an “AO” (adult’s only) rating. Needless to say, the game was even more sought after.

#6: “EA Sports MMA” (2010)

Banned in Denmark

Corporate sponsorship is not always a good thing when it comes to the video gaming industry. This was made apparent in 2010 when Denmark famously banned this sports fighting title for promotion energy drinks, like Rockstarl, which are illegal in the Scandinavian region. While this might be controversial in its own right, EA flat out cancelled the release of the EA Sports MMA in Denmark, claiming that changing the sponsored content into something else would ruin the authenticity of the UFC experience for fans, leaving Danish gamers who wanted to ground and pound famous MMA stars hardly any options to find the game…that is, unless they went to Lithuania to find a copy.

#5: “Battlefield 3 & 4" (2011/13)

Banned in Iran and China

Can a video game be considered a threat to national security? Turns out it can! The Battlefield franchise, known for its multiplayer arenas featuring true-to-life combat scenarios bringing online communities together has steadily been churning out releases since 2002. However, the home console modern combat installations of Battlefield 3 and 4 met with heavy backlash in both Iran and China respectively for depictions of their countries under attack and ultimately conquered by enemy forces, leading to tactical warfare battlezones on their home soil. Much like Homefront, these game’s threats to national security kept Iran and China’s governments rallying to keep these games off their shelves.

#4: “The Guy Game” (2004)

Banned in the United States of America

Sex in video games has always been a touchy subject in the gaming world, and America got a wake up call when this sleazy trivia game hit the shelves. Four months after the unfavourably reviewed title was released, one of the game’s models filed a lawsuit against Topheavy Studios, Sony, and Microsoft claiming that she was underage when the footage of her was shot. This lead to the game being recalled and landed Topheavy Studios is serious hot water. It’s very rare for a video game to be banned in the US because of the country’s First Amendment, but it can happen and the heat surrounding the lawsuit eventually led to Topheavy being shut down.

#3: “Mortal Kombat” series (1992-)


You must know you have a landmark title when Congress tries to shut you down! Since its debut in the arcades in 1992, the Mortal Kombat franchise has been watchdogged and hounded for its graphic violent content and demonic imagery. While the U.S. government deemed the original trilogy of games a threat to society, paving the way for a video games rating system, countries like Australia, Germany, and South Korea have banned some of the more recent instalments of this popular franchise for reasons ranging from graphic violence to sheer cruelty. While some systems like the SNES acquiesced and toned down the blood and gore, Ed Boon and John Tobias’ love child still maintains its creative fatality-driven fighting franchise over 20 years later.

#2: “Pokémon” series (1996-)

Banned in Saudi Arabia

Cute and cuddly, but also threatening, the global phenomenon that is Pokémon has not always had a perfect track record in the outside of Japan and the Western world. Since its inception, the religious-conservative Islamic country has banned various games in this series on religious grounds. These range from the minigames that promote gambling which is forbidden in the country, to promoting evolution, and using symbols of other religions. There were also claims that the country issues a “Fawta” against Pokemon Go, and while this was proven to be false, as of December 2016 Niantic has still not made the App available in the country, despite it being available in other Middle Eastern Nations.

“Pokemon Trading Card Game”

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions.

“Postal 2” (2003)

“Saints Row” series (2006-)

“Far Cry 3” (2012)
Banned in Indonesia

#1: “Manhunt 2” (2008)


You all saw this coming…or did you? Another Rockstar upstart, the Manhunt series has had a rocky relationship with the public from the start. Depicting bad people doing bad things, the games have been openly discussed for its graphic violence and snuff-inspired killings. While the first Manhunt was released regularly, the sequel has been banned in almost every country that saw its release due to the amped-up violence and lack of redeemable characters. While censored versions of Manhunt 2 exist, uncensored “AO-rated” copies of Manhunt 2 are very hard to come by legally, as they have been removed from online services such as Steam and GameFly.

Do you agree with our list? What disputable video game or game franchise do you think should be on this list? For more envelope-pushing top tens published daily, be sure to subscribe to


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