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The 20 Most Controversial Video Games Ever Made

18. Hatred

An isometric shoot ’em up in which players control a misanthropic mass-killing sociopath on a “genocide crusade” to kill as many people as possible, the surprising thing about Hatred is not that it was deemed controversial, but that its detractors were largely video game journalists — not parent groups or politicians — who criticized it for not only being a poor reflection of the medium, but a poorly made game to boot.

Gamezone’s Mike Splechta worried that Hatred would become the “next scapegoat” for school shootings and other acts of violence in America, while Rock, Paper, Shotgun noted in their review that “Hatred fails in every way.” In light of the controversy, Valve decided to remove Hatred from Steam Greenlight, but ended up reinstating it after gamers labelled the move an act of censorship. These days, Hatred is mostly forgotten about because it simply wasn’t good enough to stay in the spotlight. Source:

17. Doom

One of the most influential video games ever made, Doom, along with Wolfenstein 3D, helped pioneer the first-person shooter genre and launch a franchise that has continued to stay relevant a quarter century after its conception. However, while Doom is a gaming mainstay nowadays, it faced quite a bit of heat in its early years due to its graphic violence and satanic imagery, which drew criticism from multiple groups.

The Genesis 32X port was one of the first games to receive an M for Mature rating from the ESRB and received increased scrutiny following the Columbine High School shootings on April 20, 1999, after it was discovered that the perpetrators, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, had both been avid Doom players. In fact, Harris even wrote in his journal that shooting up his school would be “like playing Doom,” which helped add up to Doom becoming one of the leading scapegoats for the ills of American society in the 90s.

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