There are violent games, there are bloody games. This is an inescapable part of gaming today. But once in a while comes a game that makes you go "Holy ****, that was BRUTAL!", a game that makes you cringe at the things happening on the screen before you. These are those games, games that go above and beyond just being violent and bloody and going for actual cruelty and sadism.

This series is definitely the bottom of the list, since there's no gore to speak of, just a little dramatic forehead blood, and it's a sports game(or sports entertainment, whatever) instead of a straight action game, but there's no denying that there's a certain delicious feeling when you start looking for weapons under the ring to pummel your opponent with, or look for environmental hazards to bring the pain. The Smackdown! series belongs in this list because of all the variety and freedom you have for making your opponent go down for the count. This game also ranks on this list because it encourages multiplayer play, so you'll probably end up fighting as much outside of the game as in.

Vehicular homicide is fun! Twisted Metal's always been a dark, nihilistically funny series, but Black goes beyond that and gives us a game with a story that's disturbing, an ambiance way scarier and cruel than past games, and some serious disregard for human life. Pedestrians are run over, run UNDER, shot, set in flames, and even(in the case of Brimstone) used as ammo!! And this is in addition to all the vehicular carnage on display.

Man, what a satisfying game this is. After so many games of being scared by even the lowliest critter, Resident Evil 4 lets you go "Screw you!" and proceed to blast and beat your opponents into a bloody mess. The many firearms you have at your disposal already do a great job of turning your opponents into swiss cheese, but those MELEE kills! Blow your opponent's head up with a well-placed spin kick or suplex him head first into the pavement. Or, with a well-placed shot, blow up a gas barrel and turn your enemy into a walking grilled steak. Resident Evil 4 also has the distinction of throwing the brutality YOUR way. From being decapitated by a chainsaw wielding maniac, to having your face burned off by giant bug vomit, and even being sliced into ribbons by a myriad of lasers, Leon will probably die brutally just as often as his enemies will.

This game was made famous for the brutality of its kills, and with good reason. This is the only game I put on the list in which the gunplay is what breaks the brutality scale. Magnum to the face? Say goodbye to that head! Shotgun to the stomach? Good luck picking those guts off the ground! Shotgun to the arm? What arm? Bazooka? I won't even talk about that one.

Manhunt was the first game to add novelty to its methods of committing carnage, and other games in this list(Yakuza, The Punisher, The Warriors) owe a lot to its innovations. This game also has probably the most brutal and dirty athmosphere of all the games on this list: it is nihilistic on a grand scale. The dark story is as much a part of the brutality in this game as the gore is.

Kratos is the absolute reigning king of badasses, and his two games(probably the finest gaming you'll ever enjoy on the PS2) are exercises in brutality. From those delicious mini-game kills to just wailing on enemies for hundreds, even thousands of hits, no other character in this list goes as crazy on his foes as the God of War. Bloody, gory, violent, sadistic, and oodles of fun.

Yakuza, as flawed a game as it might be, is still loads of fun, with an interesting and deep story, a pseudo-RPG leveling style, loads of interesting items to play with, and one of the most brutal fighting systems ever released. Yakuza is not very gory(although there are a few missing fingers, including a way for YOU to make said fingers go AWOL), but the fighting is brutal in the extreme, with loads of weapons and environment to use to dish out the hurt. As you level up, your character, Kazuma, will learn new techniques to pummel enemies with, and the variety of weapons is truly staggering, with a few being VERY cruel to attack enemies with (pliers + hand = missing fingers).

Kain is a bad, bad guy, and the ways he inflicts pain on his foes reflect this. For a first generation PS1 game, this game is INCREDIBLY violent. Blow people up with blasts of energy, use a Flay to rip off their skin, use Implode to squish them into a ball of blood and gore, use a Font of Putrescence to literally rot the enemy into a pile of maggotty goo, use the Soul Reaver to slice them into a bloody mess... you can even possess a foe to lead him to his doom, mind control them into fighting amongst themselves, and even use a spell to rip their soul out of their body to kill them instantly. Oh, and as a vampire, Kain will also be sucking blood right and left. This game also ranks this high because of Kain himself: he is truly a nasty piece of work. His disregard for human life is just beyond measure(even Kratos feels remorse for SOME past actions).

Yes, you shoot loads of people in this game. Yes, you can raise your adrenaline and go crazy with the combat knife. But the brutality in this game is solely focused on one thing: the Interrogation scenes, more reasonably known as TORTURE. It's one thing to shoot down an enemy with a hail of hot lead, it's another thing entirely to put his head in a pneumatic vice and pop it like a zit. The torture scenes in this game are truly off the hook, and quite varied, to boot. You CAN just break an enemies will and let him go, but where's the fun in that? Pushing an enemy face first into hungry piranhas, running his head through with an industrial drill, throwing him off the roof of a building, shoving him into a wood chipper("Makes for good mulch."), banging his head against a toilet bowl, throwing him down a well(he'll live, but badly broken!), and even the American History X-style curb tooth-breaking kick. It has already been known for years that Frank Castle is a bad man, and this game shows you that that reputation is quite justified.

This, IMHO, is THE most brutal game ever made. It is by no means gory, although it is quite bloody, but the ways to inflict pain in this game are just incredibly brutal. Like Yakuza, this game isn't so much about beating the enemy as much as it is about savagely beating them to a pulp. Every blow, weapon and use of the environment in this game is intended to seriously hurt your enemy. Slamming an enemy face-first into a concrete wall, breaking a kneecap with a thrown baseball bat, stabbing through the kidney and lifting your opponent off the ground, slamming him against the ground and jumping on his face, breaking a beer bottle on his face and THEN stabbing him to death with the broken handle... And those team-up attacks, oh man. Truly no game has you commit grievous bodily harm to your foes like The Warriors. While other games in this list have specific events which go for the cringing, The Warriors does this in every single battle in the game.

Well, there you have it, my Top Ten Most Brutal Games. Play them at your own risk, and go take a bath afterwards. Maybe even buy a puppy, or go to church to not feel like such a bad human being after playing them ;)

List by danny_valentin (05/01/2007)

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