Most Banned Game Franchises Across the Globe

Remember the days when a highly anticipated video game was about to be released only to find that it has been banned in your country? Total bummer right!? According to Wikipedia, the following game franchises have been banned the most across the globe. I still remember geeks from all over the globe complaining that they were unable to get their hands on some of the titles mentioned on the lists, and some titles are still restricted and not available in retail stores.

Please note – The list is not exhaustive in total, nor is it exhaustive for any country mentioned in particular –

Check out the Most Banned Game Franchises Across the Globe



Grand Theft Auto


Mortal Kombat


Call of Duty




Dead Rising




Most titles have been banned because of high impact scary violence, cruelty, “gross, unrelenting, and gratuitous violence” and  violence against pedestrians.

Countries games were banned:

1 Argentina 11  Ireland 21  South Korea
2 Australia 12  Italy 22  Sweden
3 Brazil 13  Japan 23  Thailand
4 China 14  Malaysia 24  Turkey
5 Cuba 15  Mexico 25  United Arab Emirates
6 Denmark 16  New Zealand 26  United Kingdom
7 Germany 17  Pakistan 27  United States
8 Greece 18  Russia 28  Venezuela
9 Indonesian 19  Saudi Arabia 29  See also
10  Iran 20  Singapore 30  References


Country with the most banned games:

United Arab Emirates –

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Grand Theft Auto series
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Heavy Rain
Darksiders Injustice: Gods Among Us
Dead Island Mafia II
Dead Rising 2 Mass Effect 2 & 3
Dragon Age: Origins Max Payne 3
Dragon Age II Red Dead Redemption
Fallout: New Vegas Saints Row: The Third
The Godfather II Spec Ops: The Line
God of War series


Country with the least banned games:


No known games have been banned in Turkey.


In Russia, games are classified by the “On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development” Federal Law. No known games have been banned in Russia due to excessive violence, nudity, negative portrayal of people of Russia or expression of religious views of any kind because of the freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution of Russia. Media in America and Europe have falsely reported that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which features a storyline in which Russian “ultranationalists” take control of the country and invade the United States, was banned in Russia. Activision called these reports ‘erroneous’. However, the Russian version of this game was edited by removing the optional level “No Russian” where the player is given the option to shoot Russian civilians in an airport. The decision to remove the mission was made after consulting with local counsel. The only other body who have the authority to pass ratings on video games in Russian Federation is the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, who refused to comment on the controversy.


Though no video games have ever been nationally banned, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 was banned in the state of Chihuahua due to Mexican Rebels being antagonist and stereotyping the city of Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez. However, the game can still be found in shelves in other states.


In 2007, a ban was decided for Manhunt 2, blocking its distribution over Europe. Later, the ban was lifted.


No known games have been banned in Greece. A law banning all electronic games was passed on 2002, but it was eventually disregarded.


No video games have ever been banned in Cuba, but few games were sold in that country until 2007 when restrictions were eased. In 2010, the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops gained much controversy as there is a mission where the player attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, only to end up killing a double.

Games banned for the most unlikely reason:


Football Manager 2005:  Banned for recognizing Tibet as an independent country. An edited version globally was later released.

Hearts of Iron:  Banned for portraying Tibet, Sinkiang, and Manchuria as independent countries and Taiwan as under Japanese control.


EA Sports MMA: This game was not released in Denmark because of a law prohibiting marketing for energy drinks, which is a central part of the game.

Saudi Arabia –

Pokémon: Trading Card Game Banned because it promotes Zionism and involves gambling.