Raising the Stakes: Top 5 ‘M’ Rated Sequels to Tame Games

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Think Batman: Arkham Knight is the only sequel to be hit with an “M for Mature” after the series maintained an otherwise appropriate nature? Think again. Yes, the temptation by developers to push the boundaries of the ESRB has existed long before Rocksteady ever got its hands on the Caped Crusader, and some of them take it just a little too far. Here’s a look at the Top 5 M rated sequels to games with Teen or Everyone ratings.

5. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies

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Incidentally also my favorite use of punctuation in a title, using both a colon and a dash. Bravo. Regardless, Capcom’s latest installment in the Ace Attorney series was no cake walk. While its parent franchise often dipped its toes in more mature subject matter, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies took things a baby step further.

Why is it rated M?

Violence, Blood, Suggestive Themes and Language.

But really, why is it rated M?

(Spoilers) Probably because of the whole “child murders mother” thing. Get children involved in the violence, and it’s all bets off for the ESRB.

4. Conker’s Bad Fur Day

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This is probably the most extreme example on the list. The first Conker game was Conker’s Pocket Tales, a top down adventure game where you play as Conker and defeat enemies with your slingshot. It was rated E for Everyone. Conker’s Bad Fur Day was a whole other beast entirely, and it represents not so much a gradual progression to adult content as it does the developers collectively saying “F*** it.”

Why is it rated M?

Animated Violence, Mature Sexual Themes, Strong Language

But really, why is it rated M?

Seriously? Have you played this game? There’s a level entirely made up of feces.

3. Twisted Metal: Black

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Twisted Metal didn’t actually become twisted until Twisted Metal: Black. It was twisted enough that European standards deemed not a single bit of its story appropriate for any audience, removing every cutscene. While this may have been a bit of a stretch, we can’t argue the game isn’t more mature than it’s previous installments. However, Twisted Metal: Black remains the highest-rated entry in the series.

Why is it rated M?

Blood and Gore, Violence

But really, why is it rated M?

Disfigured axe-murdering farmer, demon baby, general violent nature. Take your pick, really.

Also See: Mortal Kombat X’s Australia Rating Must Have Pissed Off Hotline Miami 2 Devs

2. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

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So The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was an open-world action role-playing game with violent melee combat and mild adult themes. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was … well it was an open-world action role-playing game with violent melee combat and mild adult themes. And actually, Oblivion released in March of 2006 with a T for Teen rating, which the ESRB bumped up to an M for Mature two months later. All this raises the question:

Why is it rated M?

Blood and Gore, Language, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence

But really, why is it rated M?

Oblivion got slapped with an M rating after PC gamers created a third-party modification that allowed players to go through the game featuring only topless female characters. The ESRB, not realizing that the modification wasn’t actually in the game’s code and had nothing to do with the developers, decided they needed to do a re-rating where they bumped it up. Basically, the ESRB acted like complete idiots.

1. Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly

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So Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly was a rather terrifying game, to say the least, running the entire gamut of Japanese horror tropes. We got spooky girl ghosts, strangling rituals – the works. Although it should go without saying at this point, we have to ask:

Why was it rated M?

Blood, Violence

But really, why was it rated M?

The real question here is “why in the world was the first Fatal Frame rated T for teen?” You know what. I don’t really have a good answer for that. Despite the title of this article, Fatal Frame was certainly not a tame game. This is an odd example when the ESRB was too lax on a game when reviewing it. Oddly enough, the first Fatal Frame was rated T for “Blood and Gore, Violence.” I guess you take out the gore and it’s too inappropriate?

I’ll never understand the ESRB.