The 10 most metal games of all time

Blacker than the blackest black, times infinity

In many ways video games and heavy metal go hand in hand, at least when their digits arent occupied with a multiplayer match and/or mind-melting guitar solo. A huge number of games revel in the savagery metal is known for, letting you eviscerate armies of enemies just as soundly as fierce riffs eviscerate mortal souls. Games like Gears of War, Manhunt, Dead Space, and Postal are all examples of carnage, violence, and destruction, so they're totally metal, right?

Well not really, actually. While brutality is the lifeblood of heavy metal, a game without a defiant soul and gloriously overblown theatrics is like a lead singer without long, raven-black locks. To be truly metal takes passion, nerve, a black hole of rage deep in the soul, and an incoherent roaring voice that can clear the stratosphere. But most of all it needs that indescribable spark, and when you look at it you just know that's metal as hell. That's a much taller order, and few games can live up to it, but I've combed the internet and found the most metal games ever for your raging pleasure. Go forth, metalheads. GO FORTH AND READ.

Twisted Metal: Black

You know this one's gotta be metal - it's right there in the name! And this game, about the exploits of psychopaths whose idea of fun revolves around vehicular manslaughter, has more than earned the title. Though it focuses on a pretty tired plot device - a ragtag bunch of characters come together for the chance to have their greatest wish granted - Twisted Metal puts a metal spin in it, having contestants compete in a savage death derby full of retrofitted ice cream trucks and mobile torture devices.

Sporting depraved characters like the murderous clown Sweet Tooth and the tortured beauty Dollface, Twisted Metal: Black shows that even when they get what they ask for, it usually results in horrible and brutal consequences. Even for the winners, a happy ending is out of the question.

Guitar Hero: Metallica

Rock Band and Guitar Hero competed fiercely for the title of Best Game That Will Make You Think You Can Play An Instrument, and both tried to win ground with the metal crowd in 2009. But the humble Rock Band Metal Track Pack quickly fell to the blood-soaked darkness of Guitar Hero: Metallica.

Sporting 28 Metallica songs and 21 more favorites from the band, this isn't just a Metallica game, but a full-on, righteous Metallica experience. Get inside the metal heads of one of the world's greatest bands, feel the power of that music, attempt to imitate the Master of Puppets guitar solo with a rainbow of plastic buttons! After all, you cannot kill the battery! I mean, unless your controller's wireless.

Doom

Hellish imagery is easily one of metal's favorite touchstones. Not only does Doom fit that theme perfectly, but it even gets the look down perfectly. Seriously, just look at that cover art.

Playing out like an Iron Maiden concept album, Doom centers on a nameless space marine as he thrusts himself into glorious, blood-soaked battle with hordes of demonic aliens, only to discover they're actually demons from the pits of hell and he must descend into the underworld to battle for the fate of humankind. And in case you aren't convinced the devs did all that intentionally, the game's soundtrack is the most metal thing you'll hear that side of MS-DOS.

Splatterhouse

When it comes to metal appeal, Splatterhouse has a little bit of everything. A damsel kidnapped by an evil scientist who plans to sacrifice her to the forces of darkness, a demonic mask that turns its wearer into into a hulking beast, and scenery just begging to be accented with gallons of blood and guts. Savage is a gentle word for all that.

Plus, the geeky protagonist has to make a thinly veiled deal with the devil (in a segment called, I shit you not, 'Satan's Masque') to get the mask in the first place. If you didn't mutter the world 'metal' at least once while reading that, I don't even know what else to say. Actually, I do: the music will blow your face off.

Robot Unicorn Attack Heavy Metal

I know what you're thinking: sure, robots can be metal as hell, but unicorns and their little dolphin friends? In a flash game about living in harmony, harmony oh love? But I'm talking about the Heavy Metal edition that's so goddamn metal you'll forgive its flash/mobile game status through tears of joy and blood. I mean, probably.

Taking the endless-runner premise from the original game, the Heavy Metal version turns its unicorn into a fire-maned hell beast fit to bear one of the horsemen of the apocalypse, racing across the gruesome piled skeletons of giant monsters. You'll spend the race collecting demon bats and shattering deadly pentagrams blocking your path, all while an intense power ballad. rages in the background. The most brutal flash game in existence? It's in the running.

Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child

If all of this unlicensed bullshit is beneath you and you won't touch anything that isn't personally endorsed by a real band, you're gonna love this game (and a certain brand of cherry soda). Based on the Kiss: Psycho Circus comic book series, the brutally over-punctuated Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child follows a KISS tribute band as they make their way through various realms collecting weapons and armor so they may attain their ultimate godly forms: the actual members of KISS.

To accomplish that, the rockstars-to-be explore various barren 3D locales ala Half-Life and easily defeating enemies, which fall apart like water balloons full of apple sauce when you take a swing at them. Fight hard enough, and you too may one day become Gene Sim - I mean The Demon.

Shadows of the Damned

Like Doom, Shadows of the Damned portrays a heroic main character descending to the pits of hell to defeat an overwhelming evil. Unlike Doom, Shadows of the Damned is rife with black humor, sexy ladies, and so many dick jokes. After his girlfriend Paula is kidnapped by the Lord of Darkness, heavily tattooed demon hunter Garcia "Fucking" Hotspur and his motorcycle / badass gun / devilish sidekick Johnson pursue them to the depths of the underworld.

As our hero redecorates the Land of the Damned with demon innards, both Garcia and the Dark Lord escalate their testosterone-drenched posturing, with Garcia's choice of weaponry growing increasingly phallic until things get way out of hand. The whole thing is a machismo-fest set somewhere between a road movie and a Judas Priest record, with Garcia's angel waiting at the end. Well, an angel that goes demonic with rage in a thoroughly metal fashion. Hell yeah.

Brutal Legend

Can you really make a list of awesome metal games and not mention Brutal Legend? That's like forgetting to mention Led Zeppelin or Slayer, because they weren't important or anything. A love letter to all things metal from the folks behind Psychonauts, Brutal Legend follows the adventures of Eddie Riggs (a roadie who is definitely not Jack Black) as he fights to save a land of living metal album covers with the help of a vicious battle ax and his trusty Flying V guitar.

The gothic scenery and huge genre-clashing battles sweat molten metal from every pore, and the game's soundtrack is full to bursting with over 100 songs from Ozzy Osborne to Motley Crue (with a little Dethklok tossed in there because why the hell not). Brutal Legend's the sort of silly and sincere homage that knows the genre perfectly - and too well not to poke a little fun.

Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-

Playing Guilty Gear is like marinating in a sauna of pure heavy metal. It permeates everything from the soundtrack to character design and the weapons they use to mercilessly destroy each other, to the point that you can almost feel the music seeping into your pores and filling you with glorious, pulse-pounding METAL.

A 2D (or is it?!) fighting game that focuses its attention squarely on the brutality of battle, it still slips in plenty of nods to metal's most influential figures (i.e. one guess who Slayer's named after) and a soundtrack that ups the savagery of every vicious victory. And if none of that is obvious enough for you, there's a hot lady who kills people with a guitar. And she has a rockin' theme song.

Bayonetta

I can hear your roars of rage for daring to suggest that a game full of J-Pop and suggestive lollipop licking could ever come close to being metal. Say that to Bayonetta's face though and she'd crush you under one hellish monster heel because she doesn't give a shit what you think she's so goddamn metal.

Like many games on this list, Bayonetta has a distinct motif about the struggle between Heaven and Hell, and a hero that will confront the powers of evil threatening to destroy the world - and even more metal, those powers of evil are grotesque angels that would fit right in on a Slayer album cover. The way she kills them is no less brutal, using drawn out Climax moves to rip them apart in uncomfortably sexual torture devices while gothic metal plays in the background. And to top it off, with hair like that, can you imagine her headbanging skills?

*INCOHERENT ROARING*

Those are the top 10 most brutal, indisputably metal games you will ever experience in your entire goddamn life. Am I speaking the righteous truth? Am I so fucking wrong it's making you vomit liquid darkness? What emotion does that convey exactly? Explain in the comments below, because a vibrant exchange of ideas is so metal.

Dying for more musical brutality? Check out the Top 7... Insane video game musical numbers no-one asked for and The goriest, nastiest moments of E3 2014.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Associate Editor at GamesRadar, lover of FPS's, horror games and stealth games. If you can see her, you're already dead.
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