10 Banned PS2 Games Too Controversial For Their Time

9. Manhunt 2

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Rockstar are no stranger to controversy. While they and their publisher, Take-Two Interactive, have been targeted by a number of lawsuits over the years (plenty of which have been ridiculous), arguably none of their array of titles have been as controversial as Manhunt 2, especially given the outcry met by its predecessor for its graphic violence.

In the sequel to the game that was banned in New Zealand and found itself wrongfully linked to a murder in England, Manhunt 2 sees players as Daniel Lamb, an escaped asylum patient and amnesiac attempting to piece his past together. Much like the first game's protagonist James Earl Cash, Daniel will spend most of his time hiding in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to execute someone in some truly horrific ways. It’s this excessive violence that saw the game come under heavy fire just days after its announcement.

To receive a release in the US and UK, the game had to undergo severe cuts by removing the scoring system and blurring executions, resulting in it releasing a year later in the UK. Nevertheless, Manhunt 2 was banned outright in Germany, Malaysia, and South Korea. It wasn’t even submitted for classification in Australia.

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Glasgow-based cinephile who earned a Master's degree in film studies to spend their time writing about cinema, video games, and horror.