What Is An “M Rated” Video Game? (Gaming Terms Defined)

Learn what M rated games are, who should play M rated games and more in this detailed article.


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A woman holding guns faded next to a giant M rated ESRB logo
A woman holding guns faded next to a giant M rated ESRB logo

Today, I’ll be explaining what an “M rated” game is and what age M rated games are for.

M rated games are games meant for a mature audience that will include content suitable for older players such as blood, gore, sex, drugs, violence, and so forth.

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the M rating.

NOTE: This article includes video game screenshots that may be considered graphic. View at your own discretion.

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What Are M Rated Games?

Mature rated games (or M rated games for short) are games designed for a mature audience.

Who Rates The Games We Play?

ESRB logo on blue background
Image: ESRB logo

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The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (or ESRB for short) rates games based on their content.

Different regions have different ratings and rating guidelines.

  • ESRB rates game for the Americas.

The ESRB designates certain games as rated M for Mature.

  • The M stand for Mature.

Mature rating designates a game for a certain audience which will be discussed below.

The ESRB’s Rating System

A game is rated based on its content.

An icon is used on the game’s box to help quickly identify the game’s content

There are 6 possible ratings a game can have.

E 10+Everyone ages 10 and up
TTeens ages 13 and older
MMature ages 17 and older
AOAdults Only for ages 18 and older
RPRating Pending games that have yet been rated

Who Are M Rated Games For?

Mature rated games are for an older, mentally mature audience.

This is due to the type of content one can expect to be included in Mature rated titles.

Expect M rated game content to be similar to content you would see in an R rated movie.

Can Children Play M Rated Games?

The ESRB has designated M rated games to be played by those who are 17 and above.

These games are not suggested for children.

What Sort Of Mature Content Can Be Expected In M Rated Games?

A knight standing near a camp fire
Image: Dark Souls Remastered | Bandai Namco

Various strong and graphic content can be expected in M rated titles.

Mature rated titles can include

  • Intense violence
  • Blood
  • Gore
  • Strong Sexual content
  • Strong language
  • Nudity
  • Partial nudity
  • Revealing clothing
  • Crude humor
  • Mature humor
  • Simulated gambling
  • Real gambling
  • Drug references
  • Drug use
  • Alcohol references

A Mature rated game can contain one or more of these content types among others.

Keep in mind that no two Mature rated games will have the same type of content.

Visit the ESRB Website for a full list of content descriptors

What Games Are Rated M For Mature?

An old man crawling getting stabbed in the back by a boney looking dude with a scythe
Image: Darksiders 2 | THQ Nordic

Here is a list of 50 popular games rated M for Mature.

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Assassin’s Creed Origins
  • Bayonetta
  • Bayonetta 2
  • Call of Duty: Warzone
  • Counter-Striker: Global Offensive
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Darksiders
  • Darksiders 2
  • Darksiders 3
  • Dead By Daylight
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
  • Doom
  • Doom Eternal
  • Dying Light
  • Empire of Sin
  • Fallout 76: Steel Dawn
  • Far Cry 5
  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Haven
  • Hitman 3
  • Katana Zero
  • Mass Effect Legendary Edition
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection
  • Nioh 2
  • No More Heroes
  • Pay Day 2
  • Persona 4 Golden
  • Persona 5 Strikers
  • Red Dead Online
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Resident Evil 7
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Rust
  • Saints Row: The Third Remastered
  • Samurai Showdown
  • Tales From The Borderlands
  • The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • The End is Nigh
  • The Medium
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
  • Turok
  • Warframe
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Yakuza 3
  • Yakuza 4

Image Examples Of M Rated Games

Here are a few examples of content found in M rated games.

Game #1 – Bayonetta

A woman in a pink dress staring at gold monsters ina village during the day
Image: Bayonetta | Nintendo/SEGA

Bayonetta is an action game in which players control a female lead who is often portrayed in a sensual or sexual manner.

  • According to the ESRB, Bayonetta is rated M for Mature and includes Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, and Suggestive Themes

Game # 2 – Resident Evil 5

A man with his gun drawn at an approaching man holding an axe over his head with fire in the background
Image: Resident Evil 5 | Capcom

Resident Evil 5 is an action game about killing zombie-like civilians with guns and other weapons.

  • According to the ESRB, Resident Evil 5 is rated M for Mature and includes Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, and Strong Language

Game #3 – Mortal Kombat Armageddon

A blue man fighting a yellow man with blood on the ground
Image: Mortal Kombat Armageddon | NetherRealm Studios

Mortal Kombat Armageddon is a brutal fighting game that includes violence, fatalities, and blood.

  • According to the ESRB, Mortal Kombat Armageddon is rated M for Mature and includes, Blood and Gore, and Intense Violence

Read More Great Articles

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(Screenshots taken by me. Images sourced from product pages, websites, or social media and are credited appropriately. Logos, images, etc. belong to their respective owners. All information current at time of publication.)

ART: Bayonetta | Super Smash Bros. Ultimate official artwork; Nintendo/SEGA

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Wally GX

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