List of banned video games: Wikis


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This is a list of video games that had been censored or banned by governments of various states in the world. Governments have been criticized for banning games for many reasons, in that such bans violate rights, increase piracy, inhibit business opportunities, and that users can still purchase or download such games online.[1] This list is not exhaustive in total, nor is it exhaustive for any country mentioned in particular.



Video games in Australia cannot be rated R18+ as the rating only exists for film. This has led to the various following games being refused classification. Refused classification (RC) is more of a legal term and does not necesarily mean banned as an individual is still allowed to own RC games (with the exception being western Australia). But RC does mean that it is illegal to sell in Australia and must not be shown to a minor otherwise criminal charges will be laid out. There is currently a debate over the need for the introduction of an R18+ rating in video games fueled by research that indicates the average age of the Australian video gamer to be around 30 years old.[2]

The list depicted below are of games that are either still banned or has had been edited exclusively for Australia and not the majority of the world.

Name Reason
7 Sins Banned because of high impact of sexual references.
50 Cent: Bulletproof Banned because of high impact violence and cruelty.[3] A censored version was later released.[citation needed]
Blitz: The League Banned because of drug use related to awards.
BMX XXX Banned because of having the ability to play as a topless female character which was deemed as gratuitous.[4] A censored version was later released.[citation needed]
CrimeCraft Use of drugs as incentives or rewards.
Dark Sector Banned because of high impact violence. A censored version was later released.
Dreamweb Banned because of a scene of sexualized violence. However, the game was censored, and re-released with a luxrative M rating in 1996 for "Medium level animated violence."[5]
The Getaway Original released uncut with a MA15+, it was later resubmitted with more content being deemed too much for the MA15+ rating. A censored version was later released.
Left 4 Dead 2 Refused classification as it failed to gain a MA15+ rating. An edited version with all mutilations and questionable acts taken out has been released.[6] The game is now less violent the its predecessor which was released with a MA15+.
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Banned because of sexuality and nudity in relation to incentives and rewards.
Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure Orinally released with a MA15+,Federal Attorney-General Phil Ruddock used his power to later appeal the decision to get it banned for glorification of graffiti.
Manhunt Originally rated MA15+ but Federal Attorney-General Phil Ruddock later appealed the rating thus being banned afterwards because of high-impact violence and cruelty.
NARC Banned because of drug use related to incentives.
NecroVisioN Banned because of relentless gory violence. A censored version was later released with a lucrative M rating.
Postal 2 Banned because of gross, abhorrent content (urination, high impact violence, animal cruelty, homophobia, etc.)
Phantasmagoria Banned because of high impact violence, cruelty, and a scene of sexual violence involving rape. A censored version was later released.
Reservoir Dogs Banned because of high impact violence and cruelty.
Risen Banned because of sexual activity and drug use related to incentives.
Shellshock 2: Blood Trails Banned because of high impact violence.
Silent Hill: Homecoming Banned because of very disturbing content specifically drilling into body parts. Konami has since modified the game to meet MA15+ guidelines.
Singles: Flirt Up Your Life Banned because of sexuality and nudity in relation to incentives and rewards.
Soldier of Fortune: Payback Banned because of high impact violence involving dismemberment. Activision has since modified the game to meet MA15+ guidelines.
Voyeur Originally rated MA15+ but later appealed and banned because of a scene of explicit sexual dialogue involving incest.

The list below are of games that have been eventually released unedited, rating appealed, never submitted for rating or the worldwide edition later being released uncut and being identical to other countries.

Name Reason
Alien Vs Predator Banned because of violence involving graphic depictions of mutilation. Rating later appealed and overturned and now is rated MA15+.
Fallout 3 Originally banned because of real life drug references. Edited world wide due to the insignificant change that was done (the name of morphine being changed to Med-x). Therefore the same game that was rated 17+/18+ in other countries was rated MA15+ in Australia.
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Originally banned because of high impact violence, Warner bros. interactive later appealed the decision and received an MA15+.
Grand Theft Auto III Originally banned because of sexual violence involving prostitiutes. A censored version was later released. PC version was released uncut with MA15+.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Had its classification revoked following the Hot Coffee controversy. Edited worldwide with this version of the game also achieving a MA15+
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Pre-Censored before submission because of sexual violence involving prostitutes. PC version was released uncut with a MA15+.
Grand Theft Auto IV Pre-censored before submission because of sex scenes involving prostitutes. An uncut version was later released for the PC with a MA15+. A patch was later released to completely uncensor the PS3 version and the 360 version. All expansions are unedited with a MA15+.
Manhunt 2 Never banned as it was never submitted for rating in fear of it being banned.
Sexy Poker Originally banned from being released on WiiWare due to nudity used an incentive. Edited worldwide to rid nudity and this edition received a lucrative M rating
Shellshock: Nam '67 Originally banned because of high impact violence; however, it was re-rated MA15+ uncut when the game was resubmitted and objectionable content was shown within proper context.
Tender Loving Care Originally banned because of sexual references and nudity ; however, due to being more of an interactive live-action movie than a videogame, it was later submitted as an interactive DVD and was rerated MA15+.
The Punisher Originally banned because of high impact violence involving torture. Edited worldwide due to troubles with other countries as well (such as being rated with an AO18+ rating in America and threatened as being objectionable by the UK's BBFC) and this edition was passed through with an MA15+. Australia got the same version as America and Europe.


No games have been banned in Canada. However, there has been controversy surrounding the game industry and certain games, much like the controversy in the United States. Games such as Manhunt and Soldier of Fortune have been given "Restricted" film ratings, thereby preventing them from being purchased by any person under the age of eighteen in Ontario and British Columbia respectively, and under the age of seventeen in Québec.[7][8][9][10][11] As in the United States, games receiving an "Adults Only" rating from the ESRB have been edited for re-classification.

China (People's Republic of)

The government of the People's Republic of China often places a higher value on censoring content pertaining to political issues (such as the ostensible indivisibility of China) rather than moral concerns.

Name Reason
Command & Conquer Generals Banned for "smearing the image of China and the Chinese army" despite the fact that the game presents China as a quasi-protagonist.[12] Additionally, the Chinese campaign has the player destroy questionable targets such as the Three Gorges Dam and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Football Manager 2005 Banned for recognizing Tibet as an independent country. An edited version globally was later released.
Hearts of Iron Banned for portraying Tibet, Sinkiang, and Manchuria as independent countries and Taiwan as under Japanese control.[12]
I.G.I.-2: Covert Strike Banned because of "intentionally blackening China and the Chinese army's image."[13]


Censorship in France is very limited. Thus, as of 2009, no game has ever been banned in the country. Technically, the PEGI rating system is recognized, but its decisions are not legally enforceable in France.


A game can be considered banned in Germany if it has been confiscated by court order because it violates a section of the Strafgesetzbuch (criminal code). Private possession (and thus playing it) and acquisition (such as downloading a demo from the Internet) is still legal, but any dissemination is not. The seller would break the law if a sale took place, not the buyer. On December 10, 2002, however, one German court (Oberlandesgericht Hamm) decided that a single sale of a single copy does not qualify as dissemination.[14] Unlike indexing by the BPjM, which restricts the sale of all content-equal versions, the versions that are confiscated are enumerated in the court order. Being put on the index by the BPjM or, since April 1, 2003, being refused a rating by the USK does not equal a ban. Rather, it imposes strict trade restrictions on the title. While only very few games have been confiscated, the list of indexed games is very long.[15]

In December 2006, Bavaria and Lower Saxony proposed legislation, to be presented to the national parliament, that would make even playing games that feature "cruel violence on humans or human-looking characters" an offense punishable with fines or jail time of up to 12 months.[16][17][18]

§ 86a outlaws the use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations, § 130 Volksverhetzung (agitation of the people), and § 131 instructions for crimes. In the official lists, these three sections are always bundled, so that action games where the object is to kill Nazis (and thus contain swastika flags and/or any depiction of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler) are listed alongside racist propaganda pieces.

Name Reason
Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines (English version 1999-06-24) Banned because of Nazi references.
KZ Manager (1990-10-29/1990-11-19) Banned because of Nazi references.
Mortyr (2001-10-24) Banned because of Nazi references.
Wolfenstein 3D (PC 1994-01-25, Atari Jaguar 1994-12-07) Banned because of Nazi references.
Soldier of Fortune: Payback Banned due to high levels of gore (decapitations, dismemberments, and excessive blood-letting)

§ 131 outlaws representation of violence in media "which describe cruel or otherwise inhuman acts of violence against human beings in a manner which expresses a glorification or rendering harmless of such acts of violence or which represents the cruel or inhuman aspects of the event in a manner which injures human dignity."[19]

Name Reason
Condemned: Criminal Origins (Decision AG Munic February 2008) Banned because of high impact violence and cruelty.
Manhunt (all versions, 2004-07-19) Banned because of high impact scary violence and cruelty.
Mortal Kombat (all Sega platforms, 1994-11-11) Banned because of high impact violence and cruelty.
Mortal Kombat II (all versions except Game Boy, 1995-02-08) Banned because of high impact violence and cruelty.
Mortal Kombat 3 (Sega Genesis, PlayStation, SNES 1997-06-12) Banned because of high impact violence and cruelty.

Gears of War and Dead Rising were refused rating by the USK. Gears of War EU version was put on the Index (part A) on November 26, 2006, and therefore cannot be advertised nor disseminated to minors. Dead Rising was put on the Index (part B) and confiscated by Hamburg County Court's decision of June 11, 2007. Microsoft refrained from publishing them in Germany. In a recent announcement, Sega has confirmed that recently announced The House of the Dead: Overkill and MadWorld will not be distributed in Germany.[20] Sega will also not be publishing Aliens vs. Predator.[21]


In 2002, the Greek government banned all electronic games in public places in an attempt to fight illegal gambling. See Greek electronic game ban.

Currently, this law has been suspended, being deemed unconstitutional.


Because IFCO almost never rates video games, and leaves decisions to PEGI and BBFC, there have not been a lot of games banned. Only one game so far, Manhunt 2, has passed IFCO's rating of 18. But the ban was later lifted.

Name Reason
Manhunt 2 Banned for "gross, unrelenting, and gratuitous violence."[22]


On 2007, a ban was decided for Manhunt 2, blocking its distribution over Europe. Later, the ban was lifted.


Games are very rarely banned in Japan, as it holds a place as one of the top producers of video games in the world.[23]

Name Reason
Grand Theft Auto III Though not necessarily banned, sales are restricted in the Kanagawa Prefecture for violence and cruelty, citing "teens might try to mimic."[24]
Call of Duty: World at War Banned because of strong and gory violence and cruelty against Japanese soldiers.
Fallout 3 The name of a weapon in the game, Fatman, had to be renamed because fatman was the title of the atomic bomb used on Japan near the end of World War II.

Also the side-quest The Power of the Atom has been changed and the name of the bomb was changed because it was deemed inappropriate, while there is also reference to ghoulified Chinese soldiers.[25] (Ghoulification is a fictional skin condition caused by radiation that makes one look like a living corpse)


Malaysia will ban any high impact scary violence, cruelty and sexual content. In August 2008, Head of a Malaysian consumer rights organization, Mohamed Idris, called for a ban of Grand Theft Auto and other similarly violent games such as Manhunt Series.[26][27] However, the game still continues to sell.


Though no video games have ever been nationally banned, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 was banned in the state of Chihuahua due to Mexican Rebels being antagonist and stereotyping the city of Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez.[28] However, the game can still be found in shelves in other states.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, games are classified by the Office of Film and Literature Classification. If they are dubbed "objectionable" in all cases, then they are considered banned. In this case, the game in question is not only illegal to sell, but illegal to own, possess, or import.

Name Reason
Manhunt Banned because of high impact scary violence and cruelty.[29]
Manhunt 2 Banned because of high impact scary violence and cruelty.
Postal 2 Banned because of gross, abhorrent content (urination, high impact violence, animal cruelty, homophobia, racial/ethnic stereotypes, etc.)[30]
Reservoir Dogs Banned because of high impact violence and cruelty.


Despite high censorship laws, no games have ever been banned in Russia, although there was a pressure to ban Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. However, Russian authorities and Activision instead removed the mission "No Russian" (which includes massacring an airport full of civilians as an act of terrorism) instead of banning the game.

Saudi Arabia

Name Reason
God of War II Banned because of violence and cruelty.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Banned because of violence (including against Islamic soldiers) and cruelty.
Assassin's Creed Banned (for two weeks) because of violence and cruelty.
Grand Theft Auto (series) Banned because of violence and cruelty.[citation needed]
Pokémon series (trading cards only) Banned because of "promoting Zionism and gambling." [31][32] However, that ban only applied to the trading cards, as Pokémon video games are still sold today in Saudi Arabia.


Name Reason
Mass Effect Banned because of a lesbian encounter between an alien and a human.[33] The ban was later lifted.[34]
The Darkness Banned because of excessive violence.[35] The ban was later lifted.

South Korea

South Korea has typically banned any game that mentions a fictional war between North and South Korea in order to avoid tensions between the two countries. However, in December 2006, South Korea announced that these games will no longer be banned in order to comply with the principle of free expression. However, Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Manhunt, and Manhunt 2 are still banned because of "violence and cruelty." In addition, Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction was also banned, although this was later lifted.[36] All foreign media is banned in North Korea and there is no record of any video games being developed or even released in that country.

Name Reason
Grand Theft Auto III Banned because of violence and cruelty.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Banned because of violence and cruelty.
Manhunt Banned because of violence and cruelty.
Manhunt 2 Banned because of violence and cruelty.
Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction Banned to avoid increasing diplomatic tensions with North Korea. Later lifted.


Thailand will typically ban any games with sexual contents, such as many hentai games, with the same reasons as banning any pornographic films. However, most of the banned games can still be found sold in Thailand and the police do not generally close down those shops.

All video games of Grand Theft Auto video game series have been banned in Thailand since August 2008[37] because of violence and cruelty. The GTA games are banned because of a 19-year old Thai player who killed a taxi-driver similar to the gameplay in GTA.[38]

United Arab Emirates

Grand Theft Auto video game series is banned in the UAE. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is banned because of shooting of Islamic soldiers. Darksiders has also been banned in the UAE. The United Arab Emirates is also the only country where the PlayStation 3 game Heavy Rain has been banned.

United Kingdom

There is currently no legislation in force, owing to a legislative mistake in 1984. It is anticipated that the system described below will continue on a voluntary basis, and the legal structure enacted in November 2009.[39]

Games in the UK only usually receive a ban when they contain extreme and gratuitous violence; sex and nudity are not the main concern. Games are refused classification (RC) by the BBFC. It is illegal to sell (although not illegal to buy and play) a game that has not been classified by the BBFC in the UK. This only applies to games stored on physical media, not to downloadable media.[40]

Carmageddon and Manhunt 2 are the only games that have been refused classification by the BBFC. Both bans were later overturned; Manhunt 2 was allowed classification after edits.

Name Reason
Carmageddon Originally refused certification in its uncut form due to excessive violence against pedestrians. It was altered to replace humans with zombies in order to circumvent this.[41] The restriction was later lifted and a patch released to restore the original content.
Manhunt 2 Banned because of excessive violence.[42] Ban later lifted.

United States

No games have been banned in the United States due to excessive violence or nudity because of freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, although several have been refused a rating below Adults Only (AO) by the ESRB. Although these ratings are not law, console makers will not license AO or unrated games and most retailers will not stock them, forcing a sort of self-censoring on behalf of games manufacturers to obtain a lower rating by omitting content often available in other countries, such as the content left out of the US release of The Witcher or Indigo Prophecy. A rare game called Thrill Kill (of which most are reproduction carts) for the PlayStation was canceled shortly before its release, although with a mod chip a few select people still acquired the game. EA Games refused to release the game once a public outcry made it to the media because it was "senselessly violent".


In November 2009, the Government of Venezuela announced that it would ban all video games in which the objective was to shoot people. The ban was due to widespread violence in the country.

See also

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  1. ^ Asher Moses and Stephen Hutcheon, "Game site skirts censors' ban," The Sydney Morning Herald (March 15, 2007).
  2. ^ The Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia. "Top 10 Player Facts". IEAA. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  3. ^ Ramsay, Randalph (2005-11-29). "50 Cent shot down by Australian censors". CNET Reviews.,39029232,40058623,00.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-24. 
  4. ^ The Game Power Australia Team (2002). "Acclaim Australia: BMX XXX Interview". Game Power Australia. Retrieved 2006-08-24. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Ramadge, Andrew (2009-09-17). "Left 4 Dead 2 refused classification in Australia".,28348,26086374-5014239,00.html. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  7. ^ "Opinion Review: In the Matter of Manhunt published by Rockstar Games" (PDF). British Columbia Film Classification Office. February 6, 2004. Retrieved 2006-10-12. 
  8. ^ B.C. Film Classification Soldier of Fortune Decision from The Free Radical
  9. ^ B.C. labels 'Brutal' video game as adult film from The Free Radical
  10. ^ Company to appeal game's X-rating from The Free Radical
  11. ^ "Soldier of Gore: Excessively Violent Video Game restricted by B.C. Film Commissioner" from Media Awareness Network
  12. ^ a b "Swedish video game banned for harming China's sovereignty". Xinhua. 2004-05-29. 
  13. ^ "Computer game cracked down on for discrediting China's image". Xinhua. 2004-03-19. 
  14. ^ Beschlagnahmung,
  15. ^ Software for your Internet Cafe - Computer Games on the Index List, InterCafe
  16. ^ Germany to crack down on violent video games by Bertrand Benoit, 2006-12-06.
  17. ^ Germany Drafts Stringent Anti-Violent Game Law by Jason Dobson, Gamasutra, 2006-12-06.
  18. ^ German gov't considers jail time for gamers by Emma Boyes, GameSpot UK, December 2006.
  19. ^ German Criminal Code, Section 131 Representation of Violence
  20. ^ House of the Dead: Overkill and MadWorld banned from Germany
  21. ^ AvPvGermany? Sega Won't Be Selling Game To Germans
  22. ^ "Manhunt 2 Video Game Prohibited." Irish Film Classification Office.
  23. ^ "Game over? Not yet: Japan's video game industry appears vibrant despite a crisis of confidence" Daily Yomiuri Online.
  24. ^ "Japanese state to restrict sales of 'Grand Theft Auto III.'" USAToday.
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Malaysian Consumer Group blame it all on GTA
  28. ^ Gaudiosi, John (2007-03-26). "Locally-made "GRAW2" Banned in Mexico". WRAL News. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  29. ^ Manhunt: Reasons for Decision
  30. ^ New Zealand censor pulls Postal² by Tony Smith, The Register, 2004-11-30.
  31. ^ "Top 10 banned videogames." GamesRadar.
  32. ^ "Saudi Arabia bans Pokemon". BBC. 2001-03-26. Retrieved 2006-12-18. 
  33. ^ "Singapore Bans Game Over Lesbian Scene." ABC News.
  34. ^ "Ban lifted on Xbox game with sex scene." The New Zealand Herald.
  35. ^ The Darkness - Banned in Singapore (Game Axis)
  36. ^ Korea lifts game censorship by Emma Boyes, 2006-12-29, GameSpot
  37. ^ "สั่งแบนGTA ร้านเกมไหนมีโดนจับ". Daily News. 2008-08-06. Retrieved 2009-08-09.  (Thai)
  38. ^ "สลด! ม.6 แทงโหดฆ่าแท็กซี่ เลียนแบบเกมโจร GTA". Thai Rath. 2008-08-04. Retrieved 2009-08-09.  (Thai)
  39. ^ Loophole over DVD age rating law
  40. ^ The Digital Download BBFC Loophole by Phil Lee & Ray Coyle, 2007-11-28, (MCV)
  41. ^ "Banned But Still On The Road" The Independent.
  42. ^ "UK Manhunt 2 Banned - Rockstar Responds" Edge Online

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