Geek Trivia

What Was The First Video Game To Receive a “Mature” Rating?

Lethal Enforcers
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Mortal Kombat
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Answer: Mortal Kombat

Once upon a time, there was no such thing as video game ratings. All of that changed with the widespread popularity of early 1990s fighting game Mortal Kombat. Prior to Mortal Kombat, there had been games with what was considered offensive content, but the combination of Mortal Kombat’s popularity, accessibility, and frequent bloody “fatality” finishing moves created the perfect storm and a moral panic ensued.

Congressional hearings were held and the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) was established in 1994, two years after the release of Mortal Kombat. Unsurprisingly, the game was the first to receive the Mature rating.