1. Doom (1993)
2. Death Race (1976)
If you actually play Death Race, it might be hard for you to figure out what's happening on screen thanks to the outdated graphics. But all official descriptions of the game give context: You're driving a car, and you get points for running over anthropomorphic "gremlins."
Of course, these "gremlins" are basically just stick figures due to graphical restrictions, so in essence the game looks a lot like cars running over people and leaving little gravestones in their wake. Understandably, this upset people at the time and made the game one of the earliest video game controversies due to violence.
3. SimCopter (1996)
4. Mortal Kombat (1992)
5. Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards (1991)
The first Leisure Suit Larry game, published in 1987, was a text adventure in the style of King's Quest, but with a twist: This time, your adventure was to lose your virginity.
Though the goal of the game — and just about every joke along the way — was sexual in nature, Leisure Suit Larry was never visually explicit. Any sex scenes were blocked with a comically large "CENSORED" box, and there was no nudity to speak of. Still, a number of stores refused to stock the game, fearing blowback from parents and watchdogs over the game's language and suggestive content. When the game was remade in 1991, the controversy surrounding it remained.
6. Wolfenstein 3D (1992)
7. Dance Dance Revolution Solo (2000)
8. Perfect Dark (2000)
Perfect Dark was always going to face some controversy, as it was the first Nintendo 64 game to receive an "M" rating. However, the game dodged even more furor as it removed a unique feature before the game's release.
Originally, Perfect Dark was going to work with the Game Boy Camera to allow players to map their own faces onto characters. However, likely due to the fact that the Columbine shooting occurred shortly before the game's release, developer Rare chose to scrap that feature, citing "technical difficulties."
9. Resistance: Fall of Man (2006)
10. Bioshock: Infinite (2013)
11. Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior (1987)
Barbarian was slightly controversial for its time due to the game's violent content, but it was the cover art that really caused a stir. Instead of a painting, as was the norm, Barbarian used a photo cover and hired Maria Whittaker, a model known her her Page 3 shoots in the UK's The Sun.
Whittaker's bikini-clad appearance on the cover actually sparked protests in the UK, and led to the game being banned for minors in Germany for a time. In spite of (or perhaps thanks to) the controversy, the game ended up being a commercial success.