Some of us gamers out there look for that special thrill in games that involve the spilling of blood and/or generally darker and more violent material. The messier it is, the more appealing it can be to those of us out there that play what's intended for older audiences. Let's look at which ones really stand out in the history of gaming...

This is what everyone thinks about when they hear the term "violent videogames". Expected to be a short-lived project, Mortal Kombat was one of the first top-grossing games involving excessive violence, resulting in a huge fanbase and many sequels to follow which still run today. The first of the classic entries partly introduced the use of live actors for character sprites, giving it a very surreal effect, and with many vibrant and distinguishable characters with unique powers, but above all, the gruesome fatality system. Who couldn't describe the first time they saw Sub-Zero dismembering someone's head with their spine dangling off it or Kano ripping the still-beating heart right from his foe's chest as anything other than breath-taking, mind-blowing and eye-popping? Definitely one for the books.

Four years before the release of MK above, Splatterhouse, the birth of survival-horror games, graced the arcades and later early home consoles with side-scroll, beat-em-up, gore-filled action. The game revolved around a murdered parapsychology student who was revived by an artifact known as the Terror Mask, who then journeys further into the very mansion he was killed in to save his girlfriend. Many significant weapons were available for use, and various hideous creatures would attack the player, threatening a second gruesome death should they fail to fend them off. Without Splatterhouse, games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill would never be.

This game, while significantly better than it's movie counterpart (thankfully barely based upon it), retells the adventures of Marvel Comics' merciless anti-hero with no supernatural powers - merely the pinaccle of human ability and a wide arsenal of firearms. However, it is Frank Castle's rationale which separates him from the cliche vengeance-seeking vigilante - he defines his actions as punishment, with no limit to what he will do, as shown in this game. The Punisher uses whatever he can to threaten crooks with a gruesome death if they don't cough up information. ESRB required that these executions be partially censored by briefly going black and white, but the sound effects, voices and portrayal of the cruel torment is more than convincing.

The latest entry in the Hitman series is filled with many more killing opportunities than it's predecessors. Agent 47, our favorite killer for hire, disguises himself in various different ways and resorts to endless amounts of weapons to get the job done, no matter how nastily. The game even involves hiding the corpses from the naked eye as well as resulting effects based on the brutality of the killing. Very realistic concepts and with an extra helping of violence thrown in.

It was a tie for it's sequel Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, which includes a super-interactive but halfway disappointing Kreate-A-Fatality system, but Deception takes the gold. Though we all know it is impossible, bloodthirsty gamers will definitely be able to feed their hunger when a gallon of blood pours from their victim's face when receiving an uppercut, causing it to flow and drip down their entire body. The sound effects and voice acting sound painfully real with every blow delivered between the fighters, and players will not be disappointed. This had probably the most gruesome fatalities among the MK fighters - including quite creative ones for MK's ninja pioneers Scorpion and Sub-Zero, in which their victim loses limbs and actually begs for mercy before their life is taken - as well as agonizing death traps surrounding the environment.

Released in 2005, Shaolin Monks was MK's sole successful action/adventure game, and quite possibly the best MK game to date. Huge splashes of blood were accompanied with every single hit, and the intense boss fights included fatalities for both victories and losses, each one having grossly painful scenarios and quite cinematic execution which led to an exhilirating and satisfying experience. However, the more generic fatalities outside of boss fights were quite tormenting as well - Liu Kang crippling his foe with his bare hands, Kung Lao using his hat as a buzzsaw and pulling his enemy's legs to slice them in half, are just tiny bits of what's in store for whoever plays this.

This game, standing on it's pedestal as one of the best and most entertaining PS2 titles, is not only addictive and fun, but wholly gory. The cinematics especially are probably some of the grossest and most violent ones ever included within a videogame, and the many different kills Kratos can sport among the varieties of enemies he fights can make you quiver. Being able to swing the Blades of Chaos on chains branded to Kratos's skin allowed the spilling of blood to surround the environment since he could slash from so far away, but perhaps the most jaw-dropping feats were how Kratos would finish gigantic bosses.

Many people judge their games by how realistic the graphics are. Gears of War displays beautifully crips and believable environments, but is also full of extremely graphic depictions that nearly cross the line to how much people can take. The huge amounts of blood that splatter onto your screen when chainsawing someone apart alone is reason enough to place the game this high on the list. The loss of limbs and several other painful fates that the characters can experience and still keep going all the while calls for something ugly. This game will definitely treat you to a bloody, messy time.

This is the kind of game that makes you feel bad when you play it. Following the horrifying experiences of a ressurected individual that must survive the ones stalking him, the player is forced to use common, everyday objects to kill their enemies, even forced to apply more to their efforts as they struggle. From suffocating someone with a plastic bag and actually see them struggle to breathe as you persevere to stop their heart to the blood-curdling monstrosities you can commit with but a simple shard of glass, Manhunt is filled with many a violent and gruesome escapade that just sticks into your mind.

Has playing a videogame ever made you throw up in disgust? If not, this one should do the trick. Thrill Kill is indeed the most violent game you can find out there. Just thinking about it makes my heart leap to my throat. The game revolves around eight psychotic killers that die and go to hell and are given a chance to return to the mortal plane should they fight each other. This results in 30 second beatings that leave the victim but a red smear on the ground, shoving cowprods inside people's throats, brutal dismemberment, mutilation of the body and various other horrible fates that may make you scream just watching them. If Quentin Tarantino ever played videogames, this would probably be his favorite. Originally rated AO, the game was ultimately cancelled and released on the internet. That alone is proof enough that the content in this game is serious business.

There they are - the bloodiest games you can find. Have fun should you find any of them, and make sure you don't gross your friends, family, or yourself out!

List by Spider Fox (02/12/2007)

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