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Top 10 Banned Video Games of All Time: The Best Banned Games Ever

Rui Carreira is a pop-culture–oriented individual and he loves all things cinema, anime, gaming, and entertainment.


Banned Games: What are the Banning Reasons?

Games can be banned by a lot of reasons and in there is an incident or two in almost every country. Some of the most common reasons why Video Games get banned are:

  • Psychological Concerns;
  • Violence and gore;
  • Religious beliefs;
  • Ideology;
  • Politics;
  • Racism and Xenophobia;

Generally the games don't stay banned: Gaming companies usually get it sorted out by replacing some characters, actions, or getting another way to counter the problem. That's why some games have different variations in different countries (note Carmageddon, where there is a version with normal pedestrians and another with zombies) - but more of that later on.

Nobody likes to lose money, and that's why gaming companies usually sort out the problems, sometimes in very comical ways, like with C&C Generals.


10 - Pokemon: Banned for Being Masonic and Inciting Gambling

Who would have thought that of all games available in the world, Pokemon would be banned?

Yeap! Pokémon was banned in some countries.

I know, it's one of the games you think will be alright in every corner of the globe.

Apparently some countries decided to ban the Pokémon game because it contained masonic symbols and incited kids to start gambling. I don't know if children were making their hamsters fight on those countries and betting on the winner, but I sure would like to know why the decision was taken.

Remember, don't make your pets fight to bet on them!

The gambling argument was made because of the Slot Machines in the Pokemon Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue, and the masonic symbols argument, well I don't know what to make of it.


9 - Carmageddon: Replaced by Zombies

On the original Carmageddon game, the goal was to run over pedestrians with your car. The violence was intense and you would win additional points by running over pedestrians "artistically", making combos and so on...

You would also win double the points if you would run over pregnant women - It's clear that this game had lots of banning potential.

So, Carmageddon was banned in a vast array of countries, and its developers had to replace pedestrians by zombies.

Now the goal was to run over zombies, and nobody cares about zombies right?

This fixed the game for most of the markets and allowed the game to be sold again, but if you played a version of Carmageddon that was full of zombies, know those were supposed to be pedestrians going happily with their lives until your country decided that it was too hardcore.

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It took some of its shock value off though.


8 - Championship Manager 05: Free Tibet

Championship Manager is another one of those games that you wouldn't thought that would get banned, yet it did get banned in a huge market - the Chinese Market.

Why? Turns out Championship Manager staff placed Tibet independent of China, and the Chinese didn't like it. The game was never admitted to China, as the free Tibet policy CM had wasn't altered.

To be honest, we all know China has a thing for banning stuff, and this is something that attacks the country politically so it's kind of easy to understand this was a clear game ban on their part. Very predictable.

If you want to conquer a market, careful with their politics - as they are ultimately the ones that decide who is selling what...


7 - Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction

Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction was about a coup in North Korea, and we all know how Koreans are with this kind of content. That's why Mercenaries never got to the shelves in any of the Korean states - not in the North and not in the South.

Koreans, both sides, argued that the game would make the populations' tension levels rise beyond measure and that the video game could make was erupt between the north and south side.

Do you think that could happen? Maybe they escalated a bit too quickly on the justification... either way, we will never know.

This reminds me of a certain game (C&C Generals), in which the main story has China winning and the game was still banned in China.


6 - Wolfenstein: Nazi Threats

Remember Wolfenstein 3D?

That game that marked a generation of players with it's graphic engine pretty much similar to Doom and Quake and that was all about thwarting the Nazi's plans to dominate the World? Yes! That one where the last boss was Hitler mounted on a Robot!

I'm not talking about that one though, Wolfenstein was the sequel to that game, it resembles Medal of Honor and Call of Duty in it's graphics - but the goal is still to eliminate the Nazi Threat.

That's why this game got banned in Germany, as the original Wolfenstein - turns out they really want to keep the Nazi symbols and memory away, and we can see why...

Germany has been very careful with their bad part of history, and this was a game then had to be bootlegged in order to experience properly as its original was banned from the German video game market.


5 - Manhunt 2: Gratuitous Violence

There is no way around the violence and gore that Munhunt 2 provides. It's clearly one of the most disgusting games ever made because of all the brutal and unjustified violence of it.

The methods in which you eliminate targets are barbaric and cruel to say the least and this game isn't for minors!

Well, if you have a strong stomach maybe you can go through the storyline, but don't tell me I didn't say it was violent.

Blood and Gore warnings are all over the cover and Manhunt 2 sits in the middle of our list because it was one of the most banned games ever.

If you love violence, gore, extreme graphic stuff, and stuff that makes you gag, then this is the game you should try as it is the epitome of violence in videogames.


4 - Postal 2: Racism and Homophobia

This game is just wrong.

I can detect a serious amount of Racism and Homophobia and that's why it was banned in lots of European countries. The U.S. is filled with tolerant people, and that's why you can find Postal 2 in every game store. However, this does not clean it, as it is one of the most Xenophobia filled productions up to date.

It is pretty violent too, but the belief system is - in my opinion - the most messed up thing.

Judge for yourself.

Postal 2 has become the poster boy for video game bans and it is present in every banned videogame list in the world for good reason. Regardless, its gameplay could be worse and I feel a bit bad to say it is probably worth a playthrough, so try it if that's your cup of tea... and if your country allows.


3 - Battlefield 3: Banned in Iran

Battlefield 3 - Everybody knows this game.

Turns out this very famous game wasn't immune to the ban hammer - it was banned in Iran.

You can understand it though, the game is all about eliminating terrorists in every neighborhood of Tehran and the Iranians weren't very fond of that idea.

Other than that, the game is actually pretty good, it's engaging and enthralling - packed full of shooting action. An understandable ban from Iran, but because this one is so famous it deserves the third spot on the list.

If you played Battlefield 3, you probably have an idea on why it is a forbidden title, especially in Tehran.


2 - Mass Effect: Homosexual Relationship

We had videogames in this list banned for being homophobic, and now we have a videogame banned for the exact opposite. Not only that, but it also is one of the greatest video games of all time... and it was banned, sad!

Mass Effect is a game by Bioware that has a lot of a relationship component. It's cool with Homosexual Relationships, but guess what? Many countries aren't as you know.

That's why Mass Effect got a Mass Ban (pun intended) and had to create a different version for a lot of countries. You see, the problem here was that two women were romancing, and the secondary version to get past the ban substituted one of them by a blue alien figure.

Apparently it's more natural for a woman to date an alien than to date with another woman.

I personally find this one hilarious on the fact that the blue alien really fixes things.

Mass Effect is a pretty famous game, so what version did you play? The woman on woman? Or the Alien on Woman?


1 - All Games Banned: Videogames in General Banned in Greece

This one is a funny one, and it had to take number 1.

Video Games were banned in Greece for a long period of time. Yes! I mean every single video game.

People could only play at home, and if - for example - you were caught playing game boy on the bus:

  • 12 Months of Prison to you Boy!

Glad it's all gone now... I plan to travel to Greece one of these days and I don't want to get into trouble for playing in Public.

I am not Greek so I don't really know the basis for the rule or if it was enforced or just one of those rules the country has but doesn't really enforce it, but if you're Greek do drop me a comment below as I'd love to know more.

Poll Time

The Poster Boy of Video Game Banning Due to Violence: Postal 2

© 2013 Rui Carreira


Rui Carreira (author) from Torres Novas on February 08, 2014:

Thanks! So nice to see you again on one of my hubs! :D

Sarah Forester from Australia on February 07, 2014:

Wow I had no idea so many games had been banned, love the Hub!

Rui Carreira (author) from Torres Novas on January 15, 2013:

Thanks phoenix, I'm sure they'll like it if they are gamers like me :D

Thanks for stopping by and commenting

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on January 15, 2013:

Very interesting collection. I've emailed this to my kids. They played a few of these games and I bet they'll like this.

Rui Carreira (author) from Torres Novas on January 13, 2013:

Thanks Miss Apprentice :D I'm glad you liked it!

Rui Carreira (author) from Torres Novas on January 13, 2013:

Yeah...Censorship is always wrong, but with each sale you're supporting who made the games, so I can understand some of these cases like Postal 2.

Ow well, I guess there's a market for everything.

Georgie Lowery from North Florida on January 13, 2013:

Interesting. I don't understand banning anything, really, except for kids. But Pokémon? Seriously!

Great Hub!

John D Nathan from Dallas, Texas. USA on January 13, 2013:

Great hub! I agree that some of these games are tasteless and wrong, however I don't approve of government-controlled censorship. If you don't like a videogame you don't have to play it.

Rui Carreira (author) from Torres Novas on January 13, 2013:

Thanks for stopping by! Yeap... inciting gambling and promoting Masonic symbolism xD

dailytop10 from Davao City on January 13, 2013:

Great list! Pokémon is probably the biggest surprise as it is designed for kids.

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