Parents' Guide to

The Punisher

By Raffi Kevorkian, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Intriguing but extremely violent shooter.

Game PlayStation 2, Xbox 2005
The Punisher Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 17+


Honestly, who wants these images and story lines in their kids minds? How do families benefit by playing games that center on killing people? These games were invented to desensitize military personnel so they could cope with the horrors of war. There are so many better options out there in the video game world.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 16+

Punisher game extremely violent

holy crap! this game is the most violent game (aside from Prototype) that i have ever played!!!! it is gory, bloody and literally spine tingling in it's violence! the player has the ability to push someone's head into a knife, a shark tank, a saw, a car tire while it's moving, the leg of a chair, a glass table and more! you can also kill men with a flamethrower, chop them up with a knife and shoot the crap out of them with an automatic gun!! HOLY CRAP!!!

This title has:

Too much violence
Educational value

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (5):

Deaths number roughly 70 to 100 people per mission by way of shooting, explosions, knife work, strangulation, and any number of creative deaths. There is also "slaughter mode," which allows the character to enter a psychotic haze of violence to get out of tricky situations. Victims gurgle, scream, whimper, and whine, especially when being interrogated. Interrogation is particularly disturbing because the player has an active hand in how much torture to inflict.

Violence aside, The Punisher has an intriguing storyline that overshadows the rather average graphics. There is a great deal of dialogue between the characters as well as the Punisher's inner monologue, which includes flashbacks to Vietnam, the death of his family, his attempt to lead a normal life, and so on. Even in easy mode, the game requires serious problem-solving skills to advance, but the challenges aren't unreasonable and the patterns are consistent. Overall the game is intriguing, but the violence overwhelms all.

Game Details

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