Video games sure have come a long way from the days of Pong. Almost all of today’s major titles are backed by compelling narratives that used to only be seen at the movies. But as the industry has matured, so have many of the themes in the games. Just like that “R” rated film at the cinema your parents don’t want you to see, many of today’s most popular titles aren’t afraid to dip into sex and over the top violence.
While most parents probably don’t have a problem with their kids experiencing some amount of adult content, there are of course certain titles that intentionally push the envelope. Sometimes the extra sexual or violent content makes sense within the story of the game, but sometimes the developer is just trying to sell copies by catering to those with low brow tastes.
For those looking for the best of the worst when it comes to adult content in video games, here are the Top 10 Games Your Parents Don’t Want You to Play. Just remember to delete the browser history before Mom and Dad get home.
Grand Theft Auto V
This list might as well start with the most notorious franchise in gaming history, right? Grand Theft Auto has always been controversial. Former attorney Jack Thompson and numerous other moral crusaders have built their careers around attacking Rockstar Games flagship franchise. Players have been able to shoot the police, beat up innocent bystanders and get involved with prostitutes in just about every game in the series.
Things arguably escalated quite a bit though with 2013’s release of Grand Theft Auto V. The initial release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 featured strip clubs with topless dancers as well as full nudity for the first time. With the release of the first person mode on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One late last year, players are now closer to the action than ever. Things get especially raunchy when propositioning a prostitute using the new mode. In previous games, the player could see the car rocking back and forth while the protagonist got busy with a lady of the night, but first person mode actually shows what’s going on inside the vehicle. The following video is very NSFW.
Grand Theft Auto V brought the usual outcry from the usual people, but that didn’t stop the game from being one of the best-selling of all-time. If for some reason you still don’t have a copy, just tell your parents everyone else is playing it, so it can’t be that bad. It’s important not to laugh when saying this.
There are few gaming franchises that can compare to Grand Theft Auto when it comes to being a perennial punching bag for the moral police, but Mortal Kombat may come close. When the game first released in 1992, it shocked parents everywhere with its bloody combat and gruesome Fatalities. Of course, seeing blood in a video game today is par for the course, but back in the early 90s, it was highly controversial.
Future iterations of the franchise would continue to ramp up the violence, and each new release brought more hand-wringing from Mom and Dad. The Mortal Kombat reboot in 2011 brought back Fatalities with vivid modern graphics, but developer NetherRealm Studios didn’t stop there. The title also features something called X-Ray Moves, which allowed players to view their opponents bones literally breaking as they were pummeled with blows.
A form of X-Ray moves will returns in 2015’s Mortal Kombat X, but the most controversial aspect of this latest title may be the return of Brutalities. This finisher is designed to be more complicated to pull off but also more gruesome than a standard Fatality. Those with parents nearby may just want to stick with the 2011 game’s Babalities instead.
God of War III
If you’ve heard of but never played Sony’s popular God of War franchise, you might be surprised to see this game showing up on the list. While it’s true that God of War III does not set out to intentionally shock players with any particular aspect of the game, there’s still a pretty solid reason for its inclusion. In addition to the sometimes vicious violence that Kratos unleashes upon his enemies, the game’s protagonist also has a reputation for being a bit of a ladies’ man.
All of the God of War titles feature at least some sexual content, but God of War III is definitely the least shy about letting you watch Kratos get down and dirty. In fact, you actually help him do the deed.
Grand Theft Auto isn’t the only Rockstar title that’s drummed up controversy over the years. Back in 2006, the concept for Bully upset parents and educators as soon as it was announced. The game lets players assume the role of “Jimmy” Hopkins on his first day as a student at Bullworth Academy. Jimmy must navigate through the perils of high school as he goes back and forth between different typical cliques like the “preppies” and the “jocks”. At various points throughout the game, Jimmy is either bullied himself or must use physical violence against another student in order to achieve a larger goal. The game was mostly well-reviewed by critics, but a number of anti-bullying groups spoke out against the title.
Bully also stirred up controversy for some of its sexual content. Some interest groups did not like the fact that Jimmy can kiss both girls and boys in the game.
Rockstar and publisher Take-Two Interactive have teased the possibility of a Bully 2, including filing for a trademark for the game last year. Countless parenting groups are no doubt standing by to condemn yet another title before it’s even released.