10 Banned PS2 Games Too Controversial For Their Time

8. Rule Of Rose

Manhunt Thumb
Sony Computer Entertainment

From the likes of Silent Hill 2, Project Zero, and Resident Evil 4, the PlayStation 2 is home to some of the most influential horror games in recent memory. However, not every horror game received the same warm reception. One that wasn’t as lucky was cult J-horror title Rule Of Rose, which was pulled from UK retailers by publishers 505 Games following media backlash.

Playing as timid 19-year-old Jennifer, the game sees players, with the help of adorable canine companion Brown, explore the nightmarish world she finds herself in, completing tasks set to her by a cruel society of young girls. While the game was panned for its atrocious combat, it was praised for its thoughtful narrative and effective psychological horror.

Prior to its release, this game sparked moral panic when rumours of its alleged violence against children appeared in an Italian magazine, causing Rome’s then mayor to call for the game to be banned. These rumours were picked up in the UK media where it was accused of including “overtones of lesbianism and sadomasochism” and “underage eroticism”. Despite these claims being refuted as blatant nonsense, the damage was already done. The game is still unavailable in the UK today.

In this post: 
First Posted On: 

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