Recently, I was struggling through my weeklies for Destiny 2, particularly with going up against cheaters in Iron Banner and slogging through Crucible when all I wanted to do was literally anything else. I love the game, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes a break is needed. But I was so close to Legend and just needed a few more rounds, so I decided to blast Slayer’s Reign in Blood album from 1986 and go ham. Immediately, my attitude changed and I just started slaughtering other Guardians. It was pretty epic, not going to lie, but it got me thinking: What are some good games to play for heavy metal fans?
There are the obvious choices that literally incorporate heavy metal into the experience, but there are others that just pair well when needing that additional boost of motivation when looking to pwn. Some of the games don’t have actual metal in the title itself, so I’ve supplied a few band recommendations for those in particular. So, without further ado, here are my 10 games to play for heavy metal fans!
Top 10 games to play for heavy metal fans
Raining blood, from the bowels of Hell? Honestly, I think it’s pretty obvious that any of the Doom games are perfect for metalheads, and not just because of the ramped-up music that the games have. Doom, especially in later years, is a hodgepodge of fast-paced action, hand-banging music, and weapon mechanics that make you truly believe that you can conquer any foe. Listen to the organic game’s soundtrack while ripping and tearing, or put on some Otep to provide some juxtaposition; one thing is for certain: This game was made for heavy metal fans.
Plus, could you imagine Doomguy in the pit with all of his armor? Talk about bringing the heat.
Coffee Crisis is one of my favorite games over the last decade. This indie title comes from Mega Cat Studios and honestly? It’s bats— bonkers regarding gameplay. So what is Coffee Crisis? It’s a neo-rogue brawler that basically has players take on the role of the few remaining baristas left on Earth. Even better? They have enough heavy metal pumping through their veins to throw aliens into the mosh pit of annihilation. It’s a fun game to play solo but infinitely more chaotic with its co-op, so I can’t recommend this enough.
Plus, coffee. That’s just paradise.
Killing Floor 2
Killing Floor 2 is a 6-player co-op game that basically has players just slaughter through as many Zeds as possible. The addition of the 12-player Versus Survival mode too also ups the ante, actually letting players be the Zeds in an effort to claw their way through survival.
The combat in Killing Floor 2 makes the first game almost a distant memory. Much like Doom, this game is incredibly fast-paced and the combat relies heavily on building up a chaotic momentum. It’s also incredibly gory, so if I could recommend a band to check out whilst murderin’ some Zeds, might I suggest you check out 3 Inches of Blood?
Iron Maiden: Ed Hunter
Iron Maiden: Ed Hunter is an album and it’s a game, but its primary function is to be an album. With that in mind, don’t go expecting this to be a monumentally good game like the ones mentioned above (and the ones following this recommendation). It is comprised of just eight levels that can easily be seen as repetitive. I recommend this one because you’re getting a sweet album with the added bonus of some light gameplay. It’s a pretty bad setup, but it’s bad in a way that almost makes it good.
If you’re an Iron Maiden fan, this is a must, especially with the level 8 finale with The Evil That Men Do. Despite being metal, it’s also surprisingly enough a solid game to fall asleep to. It’s short, straight to the point, and has phenomenal music. The perfect calm before the storm that is the next day. Just… don’t expect it to be Game of the Year material.
Post Void is great for the more, uh, ‘seasoned’ gamers like myself that remember the joys of old-school mechanics and graphics. Post Void reminds me of Doom and Wolfenstein from back in the day and this game has a very metal OST and absolutely brutal combat. More than that, this game values speed before anything else, so kill as fast as you can and let the power of the metal gods flow through you so you can kick every butt in your way as fast as possible.
This game, because of its pacing, arguably feels like a video game version of a mosh pit. One warning though! This game has some serious epileptic triggers, so if you’re like me and have photosensitive epilepsy, it might be best to sit this one out. If you feel like braving it, please check out my Epileptic’s Guide to Gaming tips here to do so safely.
The Halo franchise has one of the most amazing soundtracks in gaming history and a lot of those tracks are soothing and audibly beautiful. So why is this on a metal list? Because the combat music is pretty epic, but taking on PvP in multiplayer is ramped up to 11 if you blast your favorite band in the background.
I’ve been playing Halo since it first came out in 2001 and my favorite way to dive right in, to this day, is playing some of my favorite bands while teabagging my friends after ruining their Spartan lives. Some of my favorite band picks to listen to while taking to the world of Halo include Arch Enemy, Kitty, Pantera, Gorgoroth, Cradle of Filth, Fear Factory, and Mastodon.
You can’t have a games list centered around metal and not include Brutal Legend. Not only is it just a phenomenal title in its own right, but the literal purpose of it is to pay homage to heavy metal as a genre. Tim Schafer brought this vision to life in an big way and honestly? Saving the world through the power of heavy metal is about as metal as it gets. With Jack Black taking on the role of Eddie Riggs, everything about Brutal Legend just feels right. Let’s be real, we all know metal has magic, even if some people aren’t quite ready for that conversation yet.
It doesn’t just have a stellar tracklist either. The game’s story is incredible and the gameplay expertly blends action-adventure and real-time strategy. If you pick up only one game from this list, please let it be Brutal Legend. You won’t regret it.
The name Rick doesn’t typically inspire fear and awe, but it definitely does with Splatterhouse. The hand-to-hand combat of this game alone makes it pretty metal, but what he can do with meat cleavers and other makeshift weapons? It’s art, man.
He can also regrow his limbs back if they are severed, so that’s something nifty. Collecting the blood of his enemies, Rick powers up and rolls out to cause mayhem, destruction, and an impressive killstreak that would make the devil himself jealous.
Splatterhouse is a pretty straightforward single-player experience that holds a deeper plot than one might think. Driven by the desire to save his kidnapped girlfriend, Splatterhouse is honestly made even better by jamming out to your favorite band.
Band recommendations for this treasure include Judas Priest, Motorhead (RIP Lemmy), Anthrax, Fear Factory, and Children of Bodom.
Quake / Quake Champions
We’ve already gotten the Doom franchise out of the way, but you can’t have that without a little Quake action too. Id Software knows a thing or two about crafting a perfected shooter experience and Quake’s quick-action combat and high-pressure level design pairs perfectly with thrasher and black metal. I have so many memories of staying up late, playing this game with friends with Black Label Society, Black Sabbath, Dimmu Borgir, and Bathory playing in the background. It’s a competitive experience, to be sure, but an easy one to tank hours into for no other reason than to just have a good time.
Bethesda tried to bring back the Quake name in its entirety with Quake Champions back in 2017, and while it has seen numerous updates since its release, it seems to have fallen into the abyss. There is a very devoted community, however, that appreciates Quake Champions for what it has to offer, and for good reason. This is an incredibly intuitive FPS experience with how it redefines the Deathmatch with its expert-level design, power-ups, and varying arenas. Quake Champions takes what made Quake so good and modernizes it without destroying the original experience’s integrity. Honestly? That game deserved better.
With a game that literally has the world “metal” in the title, you must have known this was going to make the list. Twisted Metal is about as extreme as it gets when it comes to action-packed racing, brutally unforgiving recklessness when it comes to coming out on top, and top-tier weaponry attachments that make crashing through enemies so much fun. Pair that with the twisted humor that the Twisted Metal series is known for, and you’re in for a hellish good time.
White Zombie, Absu, Deathspell Omega, Borknagar, and Sodom are all epic picks for headbanging your way to victory. This addition to the list is even better with the recent Twisted Metal TV series announcement.
As mentioned, playing Destiny 2: Iron Banner and Crucible is what inspired this list because metal helped boost me up when I needed it the most, so I want to include a few little honorable mentions:
- Call of Duty: Warzone
- Apex Legends
- Destiny 2: PvP
- Rock Band 4
- Guitar Hero: Metallica
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons (No, seriously, do it. You’ll thank me)
What did you think about our list of games for heavy metal fans? Any others you’d like to add? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! In the meantime, see you in the pit!