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The 17 most gruesome decapitations in video games

Mortal Kombat 2011 - The mutually assured decapitation

Decapitation method: Kombat Kode. Enter the code 808 808 on the pre-match Vs. screen and both fighters will begin battle without heads.

Outcome: The heads come off. And if you're playing as Kung Lao--whose best special moves and fatalities are based around the throwing of his hat--you're screwed.

Resident Evil 4 - The iconic one

Decapition method: Chainsaw.

Outcome: The head comes off, by way of one of the most graphically shocking death sequences in video games. The entire game becomes immediately 300% more terrifying due to the simple knowledge that the chainsaw guys exist. Shinji Mikami laughs like a cruel emperor at all who complained that an action-driven Resident Evil wouldn't be scary, and the player involuntarily voids their bowels at the sound of a ticking engine for the rest of his or her life.

Aliens vs. Predator - The pinboard

Decapitation method: Speargun

Outcome: The head comes off and gets pinned to a wall. Obviously this defies the real-world physics of the situation, which would much more likely dictate that a small projectile moving fast enough to hypothetically tear a head off a neck would instead simply slice straight through the target's skull and out the other side. But it works regardless, based on the inalienable universal over-ride that anything is entirely possible if it's awesome enough and a Predator is doing it.

Timesplitters 2 - The bowling ball

Decapitation method: Shotgun or simple, enthusiastic face-punching. Like all good zombies, TimeSplitters 2's are made out of papier mache and decomposing meat, and held together with willpower alone.

Outcome: The head comes of rather neatly and rolls amusingly around on the floor for a bit. It's so satisfying that there's a whole game mode built around it.

Brutal Legend - The most triumphant decapitation

Decapitation method: Metaaaaaaaaaal. Eddie Riggs finishes off big bad Lord Doviculus with a horizonal swing of his axe blade, and then rightly celebrates with a righteous bellow of "DECAPITATIOOOOOOOOON!".

Outcome: The head doesn't come off. But then Eddie stamps his foot and the head comes off. Which is pretty badass.

Duke Nukem 3D - The final insult

Decapitation method: Duke completes the Lunar Apocalypse chapter, tears the boss' head clean off its shoulders, and then sits down upon its neck stump to read the paper.

The outcome: The head comes off, and Duke gains a thorough briefing on the week's global current affairs. By which we mean that he takes a massive dump.

Xmen Origins: Wolverine - The completely unnecessary one

Decapitation method: After disabling a helicopter and enforcing an involuntary, parachute-free skydive for its co-pilot, Logan then turns his attentions to the pilot. He quickly decides that overkill is a half-measure and opts for over-overkill instead. He grabs the hapless mook, lofts him out of the cockpit and sticks his head through the whirling rotorblades.

Outcome: The head comes off and Wolverine makes a nutritious neck smoothy in an instant.

Keep on rollin'

So that's our rundown of the finest and most creative skull removals in games. But what are your favourites? Have you seen another method of separating cranium from spine that you feel you just have to shout about it in the comments section of a video games web-site? Well do so below.

And while you're here, check out some of our related stuff. A history of videogame chainsaw killings would be a good start, and then maybe try out SkeleTONS: nearly every bony bastard in the gaming universe

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.