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Banned Video Games by Country 2024

Banned video games lists are pretty fluid and can expand rapidly. Many countries choose to ban video games based on specific types of content like graphic violence, gambling, sexual content and more. Of course, because the basis of what gets a particular video game banned and a country's preferences or moral standards are subjective, this means that only a small number might be officially banned by name. Many other games are unofficially banned because publishers of that game might simply neglect to release a game in a specific country merely to avoid future bans in the future.

What Nation Has Banned The Most Video Games?

According to numbers by the World Population Review, mainland China is the country that has consistently banned more live streaming content and video games than any other countries. As of publishing, an estimated 60 video games have been banned. China bans video games based on depiction of drugs, the presence of blood, defamation, organized crime or sexuality. However, because of the immense size of the Chinese video game industry, many video game makers and producers edit their content in order to meet the standards of the Chinese market.

China’s Banned Video Games, Along With Others

There are many video games banned by mainland China including Alliance of Valiant Arms, Command & Conquer: Generals, Devotion, New Horizons, and more, along with Fortnite and Animal Crossing surprisingly. Other countries have also banned video games as well based on specific elements they find offensive. For example, Pakistan has banned Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Medal of Honor based on the fact that the games portrays Pakistan as a failed state in which terrorist organizations can operate openly.

India also banned Clash of Kings, Fallout 3, Free Fire, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Rules of Survival and PUBG Mobile. These games were banned based on their violence and cultural sensitivities. In addition, India has banned 59 Chinese-owed apps. Brazil has banned Blood, Bully, Counter-Strike, Doom, Requiem, Mortal Kombat, EverQuest and more.These games were mainly banned by the Brazilian Advisory Rating, which every game has to be evaluated by, due to depictions of cruelty and violence.

No Banned Games

The United States does not officially ban video games as they are protected by Freedom of Speech. However, there have been a few that have been recalled via court order including Too Human and X-Men: Destiny, due to software copyright infringement as well as The Guy Game for underaged nudity. America’s Entertainment Software Rating Board does rate some games “Adults Only,” which is considered an unofficial ban.

  • Ban lists can expand rapidly. As such, the lists below should be viewed as guidelines rather than comprehensive lists.
  • Many countries ban games which contain a certain type of content, such as gambling, graphic violence, or sexual content.
  • As a result, while a small number of games may be officially banned by name, many additional games that contain similar content are unofficially banned because publishers decide not to release the game in that country (in an effort to avoid further bans).

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Simple Banned Games
Reasons for Ban
Afghanistan1996–2001: All videogames, 2001-onward: PlayerUnknown's BattlegroundsWestern technology and bad influence
Iran1979 Revolution: Black Friday, ARMA 3, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Mobile, Clash of Clans, Pokémon Go, and moreIran typically bans any game that contains excessive violence, depicts cruelty, features strong sexual content or nudity, or portrays the Middle East negatively.
MexicoTom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2Game was banned in the state of Chihuahua due to its depiction of Mexican rebels as antagonists and for stereotyping the cities of Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juárez. However, the game could still be found in shelves in other parts of Mexico.
SingaporeThe Darkness, Half-Life, Mass Effect (rescinded)Violence and homesexual content.
AustraliaSeveral hundred games and mobile appsNumerous video games have been banned from Australia due to receiving an RC rating.
GuatemalaRobloxIt can violate the safety of children and adolescents.
OmanRobloxBecause of online daters and scammers.
AlbaniaOnline gambling contentSince 2016
UkraineMortal Kombat 11Graphic blood and gore and depictions of communist symbolism, which is banned per Ukrainian law
IrelandManhunt 2 (ban rescinded)Was banned for "gross, unrelenting and gratuitous violence", but the ban was later lifted and the game was given a PEGI 18 rating.
South KoreaHomefront, Manhunt series, Mortal KombatSince 2006, South Korea has only banned video games on rare occasions. Even before this, games were very rarely banned unless they portrayed war between North Korea and South Korea. However, Manhunt, Manhunt 2, and Mortal Kombat are still banned because of violence and cruelty.
ThailandGrand Theft Auto series, Tropico 518-year-old Thai player supposedly influenced by Grand Theft Auto killed a taxi driver from Bangkok. Tropico was said to have the potential to "affect peace and order".
MalaysiaGrand Theft Auto series, Manhunt series, Mortal Kombat, and moreMalaysia tends to ban potentially offensive content such as extreme violence, depictions of cruelty, anti-Muslim content, sexual content, and nudity.
IraqFortnite, PlayerUnknown's BattlegroundsNegative effects caused by some electronic games on the health, culture, and security of Iraqi society
RussiaFor Freedom Ichkeriya: BAMUTLargely due to the game's' negative representation of the country. Contgrary to popular belief, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which contains a mission called "No Russian" in which Russians slaughter civilians in an airport, is not banned in Russia. However, the mission in question was removed from the Russian version of the game.
PhilippinesDefense of the AncientsWhile no video games are banned nationwide so far since 1986, at least one title, Defense of the Ancients, has been banned at a barangay in Dasmariñas, Cavite. The ban followed complaints of delinquency issues, and two murder incidents which resulted from brawls in relation to the game.
GermanyCommandos: Behind Enemy Lines, Condemned: Criminal Origins, Hatred, Mortal Kombat (2011), Wolfenstein, and moreA video game can be banned in Germany if it is confiscated by court orders because it violates a section of the Strafgesetzbuch (criminal code). StGB § 86a outlaws the use of symbols of unconstitutional organisations [Nazi imagery in particular]; representation of excessive violence in media which "describe cruel or otherwise inhuman acts of violence against human or humanoid beings in a manner which expresses a glorification or rendering harmless of such acts of violence or which represents the cruel or inhuman aspects of the event in a manner which injures human dignity." Blood is often removed from games for the German market.
IndiaClash of Kings, Fallout 3, Free Fire, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, PUBG Mobile, Rules of SurvivalCultural sensitivities, violence, and the Indian government's ban on 59 Chinese-owned apps.
ArgentinaCarmageddon, RapeLayViolent and sexually explicit content
United KingdomCarmageddon, Manhunt 2, Omega Labyrinth, The Punisher, Sex Vixens from SpaceGames in the UK usually only fail to receive a certification rating (effectively a ban) when they contain graphic sex scenes and/or gratuitous violence.
BelgiumCall of Duty: Mobile, FIFA 17, Gears of War 4, Mario Kart Tour, Phantasy Star Online 2, and moreDue to the usage of "loot boxes" (which constitute gambling under the country's existing laws) and their equivalents.
UzbekistanCall of Duty: Black Ops, Doom, Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat, The Sims, and moreAuthorities in Uzbekistan banned a number of games over concerns that they could be "used to propagate violence, pornography, threaten security and social and political stability".
PakistanCall of Duty: Black Ops II, Medal of HonorDue to their portrayal of Pakistan as a failed state where terrorist organizations openly operate.
BrazilBlood, Bully, Counter-Strike, Doom, Duke Nukem, EverQuest, Mortal Kombat, Postal, Requiem, and moreMainly due to depictions of violence and cruelty. The Brazilian advisory rating system requires that all video games be rated by the organization, where unrated video games are banned from being sold in Brazil.
United Arab EmiratesBlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Darksiders, Dead Rising 2, God of War series, Heavy Rain, Spec Ops: The Line, Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni, and moreViolence and sexual themes, nudity, gambling, contradicting with customs and traditions. These titles are banned from mainstream physical retail. Most of these games can still be seen on digital storefronts such as the PlayStation Store. However, Spec Ops: The Line, which depicts Dubai as decaying and ruled by a rogue military faction, is aggressively banned from UAE, to the degree that the government even blocks access to the game's website.
Saudi ArabiaBlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Darksiders, Dead Rising 2, Fallout: New Vegas, The Godfather II, God of War series, Heavy Rain, Mafia II, Watch Dogs, and many moreTypically banned for graphic violence, sexual content, or nudity. Most banned games can be found in many stores (often at a substantial price) due to a lack of government enforcement of bans. However, not all major stores will stock banned titles.
ChinaAlliance of Valiant Arms, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Battlefield 4, Command & Conquer: Generals, Devotion, Football Manager 2005, Fortnite, Paladins, and moreA very large number of video games are banned in mainland China. Games that depict drugs, sexuality, blood, organized crime or defamation of the Chinese government are almost always banned. Because of the large size of the Chinese video game market, many studios edit the content of their games to conform to the government's standards.
United StatesGames are a form of protected speech in the US and cannot be banned—although at least three have been recalled by court order: The Guy Game (underaged nudity), Too Human, and X-Men: Destiny (both for software copyright infringement), . However, the Entertainment Software Rating Board's highest rating, "Adults Only", is considered an unofficial ban, as most retailers refuse to stock games carrying the rating, and they cannot be published on major video game consoles due to company policies. AO-rated games include Thrill Kill, which was cancelled to avoid an AO rating, and the initial release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, whose rating was raised to AO upon the discovery of a hidden sex-themed mini-game. Known as "Hot Coffee", the mini-game was patched out of future versions of GTA:SA and the rating reverted back to M (Mature).
JapanVideo games are rarely banned in Japan, and it holds the place as one of the top video game producers in the world. However, Western game companies may edit or censor their games to avoid the potential to offend Japanese players. One example of this is the Japanese version of Fallout 3, in which the violence was made less graphic, a quest involving detonating a nuclear bomb was removed, and the "Fat Man" weapon was renamed to "Nuka Launcher".
TurkeyMany requests and recommendations have been made to ban games featuring violence (particularly against women) since as early as the 2000s. However, no bans have taken place.
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Which country has banned the most video games?

Mainland China has banned more video games and live-streaming than any other country -- an estimated 60 video games worldwide.

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