God of War

Common Sense Media says

Excellent game is dark, violent, and for adults.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kratos is an extremely complicated protagonist -- a power-hungry warrior cursed by memories of his brutality. His mixture of good and bad motivations may make him too complex for younger players to fully comprehend.

Positive role models

Kratos is a very violent character. He shows no restraint in executing innocents who are in his world.

Ease of play
Not applicable

Suicide, genocide, violence against women and children, rewards for killing innocents, and buckets of blood and gore. God of War has it all.


The game opens with Kratos kicking two naked women out of his bed after an implied group sex encounter. Also features a bevy of topless goddesses


No obscenities during gameplay, but included "making of" video features some foul-mouthed game developers.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Empty wine jugs imply drinking, but no one actually shown drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is an extremely violent game (cut scenes show severed and exploding heads, spears thrust through enemy throats, and buckets of blood). There are topless goddesses and an implied group sex scene. Also, the game centers around a complicated protagonist, a ruthless Spartan warrior haunted by his past actions.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In GOD OF WAR, players control Kratos, a warrior and commander of one of the most feared platoons of the Spartan army. He pledges allegiance to Ares, but is double-crossed -- and he vows to make Ares pay for the countless people he's killed in the god's name. Top-notch combat features dozens of special fighting moves and inventive magic skills allow players to turn enemies to stone with the power of the Gorgon or throw Zeus' lightening bolts. Puzzles require some inventive thinking, asking players to assess the environment for clues and solutions, and the platform elements require good timing and jumping skills to navigate creative settings like the Cliffs of Madness and the depths of Hades.

Is it any good?


Based on the library of Greek mythology, Sony's action platformer takes a really great idea and stretches it to its limits -- both in terms of high-quality gaming and stomach-turning violence. The result is a beautiful, compelling game that is, sadly, too graphic for even the most mature teens.

The game's creativity serves a dark, amoral hero who lives in a world of explosive gore and relentless brutality. The game shows no restraint when it comes to violence. Additionally, Kratos's total disregard for the innocents that share his world is very hard to accept, even though the game goes to great lengths to explain the reasons for his brutality. Add to that a casual sexual encounter with a pair of women and you have a game that's wholly inappropriate for kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Kratos's ends justify his vicious means. Do you agree with him, or is there something troubling about this view? He kills innocent people; is this ever an acceptable thing to do?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 2
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:March 22, 2005
ESRB rating:M for (PlayStation 2)

This review of God of War was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byvoiceofreason April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Second best game so far of this year. Teens should be able to handle it.

The only thing stopping God of War from being the game of the year so far is the perfection that is Resident Evil 4. The combo-heavy gameplay moves far beyond the hack and slash tedium of most action titles, the magic is varied without being needlessly complex, and your abilities improve based on your skill. The puzzles are excellent; even the typically cliched crate puzzles are different enough to be interesting. Now, on to the content. Yes, God of War features blood, gore, dismemberment, nudity, sex, and the slaughter of innocent bystanders. However, none of this is extreme or gratuitous; it all serves to explain Kratos' character. He is an animalistic hedonist, gone almost insane from the stress of battle, the pain of loss, and the desire for Aries' downfall. While they may not be able to understand the subtleties of Kratos' personality, most teens should be able to handle this game. Overall, God of War is a beautifully violent story told perfectly, and filled with some of the best gameplay I've seen in a long time. It will likely be the PS2's best game of 2005.
Teen, 16 years old Written byunderonehalo April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

a beautiful, bloody game thats harder than u think.

This is a mature game, for mature people. If you're not mature, skip this game, because it has it all. Brutal killings, sexual acts, mythological beings, good plot, deep character, it has everything. Parents constantly complain violent video games are what are driving kids to violence. Doing this is an excuse for bad parenting. Teach your kid some good morals, then buy them this game.
Teen, 15 years old Written byJdw3po April 20, 2013

Great Greek myth action game wrought with violence and nudity.

This is a great action/adventure game about the tragic story of kratos. A spartan warrior turned slave of the gods. The game is great but wrought with violence, blood, gore, and nudity. There are several goddesses that show thier breasts along with some harlots. Also a few monsters display breasts and butts but that doesn't really count to me. Issue number two is the violence/gore. There is plenty of it. Such as snapping the head off of a gorgon, ripping the wings of harpys and tearing undead soldiers in half. The game is loosly based on Greek mythology and does a good job of capturing the gritty combat of olden times. IMO the nudity although realistic, is unnessasary. This game is great but not for the weak of stomach or younger teens.


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