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List of dystopian music, TV programs, and games

This is a list of depictions of dystopian themes in music, TV programmes and games, including computer games and role-playing games.




The following lists musical artists whose discography prominently features dystopian themes.

  • Rock band Big Black with their stark portrayals of the underside of American culture.
  • Both albums from The Buggles, which borrow heavily from the cyberpunk portrayal of dystopia. One of the most notable dystopic singles was Living in the Plastic Age.
  • Various songs by pioneer punk band The Clash condemn a dystopian society in the real world, one that actually thrives in the nonfictions life accounts of Joe Strummer.
  • Deltron 3030 (2000) Del the Funky Homosapien, Dan the Automator, and Kid Koala work together on this Hip Hop CD about a future world of battle raps with aliens, government oppression, and space travel.
  • Dystopia is a misanthropic crust punk and sludge metal band from California, USA.
  • Many albums and songs by Godspeed You! Black Emperor deal with dystopian themes.
  • Immortal Technique, a rap artist, covers current political and spiritual issues related to dystopian oligarchy.
  • Albums by The Protomen are set in a robotically enforced dystopia loosely based on the Mega Man series of games.
  • Rage Against The Machine identified with rock, have lyrics referencing dystopian aspects of human society.


The following lists albums that prominently feature dystopian themes.


The following lists songs that feature dystopian themes.


  • 3%, 2016–present, a Brazilian, dystopian thriller TV series created by Pedro Aguilera. The show is set in a future wherein people are given a chance to go to the "better side" of a world divided between progress and affluence in the Offshore, and devastation and poverty in the Inland, but only 3% of the candidates succeed.
  • Aeon Flux, 1991-1995. Created by Peter Chung, this was a graphic cartoon television series seen on MTV and also the name of a movie produced in 2005 that foretells of an unknown period of Earth's future human society under the control of a man named Trevor Goodchild. His world, brought under the glaring microscope of the show's heroine, Aeon Flux, is a militaristic scientific socialist paradise, partially of his own making, although it functions as a dystopia. One episode from the short-lived series was entitled, 'Utopia or Dystopia?'
  • Almost Human, 2013-2014. Created by J.H. Wyman, this show featured the partnership between human and android police officers in a future where technology had advanced human life, but also future stratified society. The show follows the local police department solve crimes, and deals with the discussion of humanity with an emerging artificial intelligence debate.
  • Amerika, 1987. Created by Donald Wrye, this was an ABC TV miniseries about life in the United States after a bloodless takeover engineered by the Soviet Union.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender, 2005-2008. The city of Ba Sing Se, the capital of the Earth Kingdom (one of the four nations of the fictional world), has a very strict class system. Also, even though there is an ongoing war that has lasted for one hundred years, nobody in the city is supposed to talk about the war. If they do, they are captured by special forces known as the Dai Li and are hypnotized until they believe that there is no war. When the heroes of the show meet Long Feng, the true ruler of Ba-Sing-Se (the king is just a figurehead), he claims that Ba-Sing-Se is the last utopia in the world.
  • Avenger (2003), about a world where humanity is crushed under the heel of alien oppression until the Age Of Light (perhaps a nuclear or antimatter weapons deployment?) reverses fortunes.
  • Black Mirror, 2012–present. Created by Charlie Brooker, shows the dark side of life and technology.
  • Blake's 7, BBC, 1978-1981. An Orwellian space opera created by Terry Nation.
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (TV series) 1979-1981. Captain William Anthony "Buck" Rogers, a NASA pilot who commands Ranger 3, a space shuttle that is launched in May 1987. Due to a life support malfunction, Buck is accidentally frozen for 504 years before the derelict spacecraft is discovered drifting in space in the year 2491. He learns that civilization on Earth was rebuilt following a devastating nuclear war that occurred on November 22, 1987, and is now under the protection of the Earth Defense Directorate.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers, the episode "Utopia" from the second season. Kwame and his fellow Planeteers are fighting for survival in a surreal, gang-dominated world ruled by Verminous Skumm and Dr. Blight. When Dr. Blight turns the other Planeteers into punks, Kwame's only ally is Darian, leader of Utopia, the last unpolluted refuge on the planet. Just when things look hopeless and even Captain Planet can't prevail, Kwame awakens to find it was just a nightmare.
  • Charlie Jade, South Africa, 2004. A private investigator from an alternate universe controlled by a global corporate state discovers that the corporation, Vexcor, has opened a link to two alternate universes to exploit their resources, being trapped as a fish out of water in our own universe in the process.
  • Cleverman, Australia, 2016–present. A near future Australian city where people called "Hairies" attempt to live and co-exist in an ever increasing authoritarian police state.
  • Cold Lazarus, BBC, Channel 4 1996. A miniseries set in dystopian England.
  • Continuum (2012) - In the year 2077, the Corporate Congress has taken on the role of government after they bailed out the North American government. After a huge economic collapse, civil liberties were taken away to ensure a better future for the next generation.
  • Dark Angel, Fox, 2000-2002. A dystopian world set in Seattle after terrorists have set off an electromagnetic bomb which caused all electronic devices to stop working, disrupting life as we know it. A militaristic police force guards the "zones" which separate rich and poor.
  • Dark Matter Dark Matter is a Canadian science fiction series created by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, based on their comic book of the same name and developed by Prodigy Pictures in association with Space channel. An order for 13 episodes was placed for the first season of the series, which premiered on June 12, 2015 on both Space and Syfy.
  • Daily Mail Island, UKTV, Two comedy sketches derived from the cult website TVGoHome that portray a reality TV show (a parody of Castaway) where people are stranded on a remote island with only the Daily Mail, a right wing tabloid newspaper, as a source of information. It takes on a dystopian tone with a teenage girl executed for masturbating. The TVGoHome website credits a Dee Stopian as the producer.
  • Dark Justice, Playboy TV, 2000-2001. A sexually-themed computer animated sci-fi parody taking place in a dystopian future.
  • Doctor Who, BBC, 1963–1988, 2005–present. In some stories the technical, social or political forces that bind a dystopia on a planet are a central theme - and sometimes is a parody of contemporary situations.
    • The Daleks- On Skaro the inherent pacifism of the Thals leads to their domination.
    • Inferno-The Doctor arrives on a parallel earth ruled by a fascist regime
    • Genesis of the Daleks- The Doctor witnesses the creation of the Daleks on the planet Skaro by a scientific and militaristic regime.
    • The Sun Makers- On Pluto in the future humans are exploited by an oppressive tax system.
    • Vengeance on Varos- On Varos a plebiscite system kills any Governor proposing necessary but unpopular policies.
    • The Happiness Patrol- On Terra Alpha sadness is punishable by death.
    • The Long Game- On Earth the news is falsified to keep humanity frightened, ignorant and enslaved.
    • Rise of the Cybermen - After the TARDIS malfunctions, Rose, Mickey, and the tenth Doctor are thrown into a parallel universe with a strict class system, censored media, and a complete monopoly over everything by a single organization. Citizens are also forcefully upgraded into Cybermen.
    • Turn Left- Donna sees an image of what if she never met the Doctor as the Hospital only has one survivor, the Titanic crashes on Buckingham Palace meaning London was destroyed, America's population were wiped out by Adipose Industries, Torchwood gave their lives to save the Earth from the Sontarans, and the stars are going out.
  • Dollhouse (TV series), 2009-2010. Most of the series is set in the near future, where living dolls are filled with appropriate personalities and skills for the amusement and cathartic well being of the extremely wealthy. The two yearly finales, "Epitaph One" and "Epitaph Two" are set ten years in the future in a dystopian society as the technology runs rampant.
  • Electric City (web series). 2012–present. Created by Tom Hanks, the series begins after the world has ended. Electric City represents peace and security in the midst of rubble. Even though it seems to be an orderly utopia, there are still secrets, back-alley dealings, daring chases and murder.
  • Falling Skies (TV series), 2011–present. Set six months into a world devastated by an alien invasion. A former Boston University history professor Tom Mason becomes the second-in-command of the 2nd Massachusetts Militia Regiment which is a group of civilians and fighters fleeing post-apocalyptic Boston.
  • Firefly, 2002, 2003. In the year 2517, former members of a rebel political group butt heads with the corrupt interplanetary government known as the Alliance.[1]
  • Five Years Gone, 2007, an episode in the first season of Heroes. In this possible future, New York City has been destroyed and any evolved human is automatically doomed to execution.
  • Fringe (TV series), 2012, season 5 is set 21 years after the world was invaded by a civilisation from the future.
  • From the New World(Anime) Set in Japan a millennium from now, Six children have been raised in a utopian town; however we soon learn things are nowhere near as nice as they appear.
  • Invader Zim,2001-2003. This is set in a parallel universe where technology is much more advanced. Citizens are seemingly brainwashed and completely unaware of the dangers Irken Zim brings to their planet. No one questions anything despite how poorly Zim is trying to blend in with the others.
  • Island City, 1994, a made-for-TV movie (possibly a failed series pilot?) produced by Warner Bros. for its Prime Time Entertainment Network (PTEN) syndicated package. Set in a future where a youth drug caused most of humanity to devolve into a violent, caveman-like state, with the few remaining normal humans residing in the title city, a protected megalopolis.
  • Jeremiah, Showtime, 2002 – 2004. The year is 2021, 15 years after a plague has killed nearly everyone over the age of puberty (both the event and the virus itself are referred to as "The Big Death" and "The Big D"). The children who survived are now grown, and find themselves faced with two choices: either continue to scavenge off the diminishing remains of the old world, or begin trying to rebuild.
  • Jericho, CBS, 2006-2008. It is a dystopian series set in a fictional small town in Kansas called Jericho after a nationwide nuclear disaster plunged the entire country and the town into mass anarchy.
  • Luna (TV series) British Children television sitcom where bureaucracy has gone out of control, but with elements of black comedy, and absurdist theatre.
  • Max Headroom, 1987–1988, cyberpunk, oriented around an anti-corruption reporter and his artificial intelligence copy.
  • Nowhere Man, UPN, 1995-1996. A photojournalist's identity is stolen from him. One day, his wife and friends no longer recognize him. In the process of getting his life back, he discovers that a shadowy "Organization", more powerful than the government, is responsible for what is happening to him. Dystopian themes such as the erasure of identities, subliminal mind control, genetic testing, and government conspiracies are explored in various episodes.
  • Sliders, Fox, 1995–1997, Sci Fi Channel 1998-2000. Team of three or four people travel ("slide," hence the title) between dimensions, to alternate Earths, where history has taken a slightly different path. Most of these alternate Earths were, in one way or another, dystopian.
  • In Steins;Gate, a world led by SERN (fictional organization based on CERN) through dystopia determines John Titor to go back in time and attempt to change the future.
  • Survivors, BBC, 1975–77 and 2008-2010. British post-apocalyptic television series concerning the plight of a group of people who have survived an accidentally released plague – a genetically modified form of influenza– that kills nearly the entire population of the planet.
  • The Powerpuff Girls, In the episode "Speed Demon", the girls race each other home, but due to the intense speed of the race they're having, they end up flying fifty years into the future and eventually land in an alternative version of Townsville where as a result of the Girls abandoning the towns and its population, the town itself fell under was left destroyed and damaged while in their absence, Him has managed to gain control of the entire world so much so that he is capable of surviving being beaten by the Girls several times, hits that would normally weaken or defeat Him. In response, Him transforms into his true self: a demonic form and reveals the zombie townspeople who are angry at the Girls for abandoning them, claiming that it's the Girls' fault. Unable to take anymore, the Girls eventually return to their own modern timeline and upon finding everything the same as it was when they left, rush home to greet the Professor while also vowing to stay and guard Townsville at all costs to ensure that the horrific future they saw never comes to pass.
  • The Prisoner, 1967–1968 and 2009. A secretive ex-spy attempts to escape an idealistic yet controlled artificial town run by unknown inquisitive authorities. Most attempts to escape fail and "successful" escapes happen only when they are allowed.
  • Psycho-Pass, 2012-2013. A Japanese Animated Series, set in near future where society's brain activity is monitored in effort to maintain peace. However, strain to maintain this peace slowly becomes unraveled individuals undetectable by the computer control system.
  • Samurai Jack, 2001-2004 and 2017. In this animated series, a shape-shifting force of evil named Aku sends the protagonist, a Samurai, into the future, where Aku has taken over and turned Earth into a dystopian, high-tech society full of corruption, crime and alien immigrants. Jack's main objective is to get back to his own time period and defeat Aku to prevent this disturbing future from coming to pass.
  • The Sonic series, where either Dr. Robotnik has taken over the planet of Mobius or is planning to.
  • SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron, 1993-1994. The episode "A Bright and Shiny Future" from 2nd season has the SWAT Kats and the Pastmaster tossed during the Enforcer assault over the bridge into the future where the Metallikats have taken over and turned Megakat City into a dystopian, post-apocalyptic concentration camp with the kats serving as slave labor and the technokats serving as the arrogant and brutal law enforcements. As it turns out, the Pastmaster planned every bad thing that happened in Megakat City along with the Metallikats only to be betrayed by them and forcing to ally himself with the SWAT Kats and the other good guys to revenge himself against the Metallikats.
  • The Tribe, 1999-2003. This New Zealand series is set in a hypothetical near-future in which all adults have been wiped out by a deadly virus, leaving the children of the world to fend for themselves.
  • The Tripods, BBC, 1984-1985. Humans are enslaved by an alien race via mind control devices. Culture and technology have been suppressed, and the alien masters are worshipped with a religious fervour. A small resistance movement must fight both the alien threat and the human society that serves it.
  • The Twilight Zone, 1959-1964. Many episodes are set in futuristic and dystopian settings, as a warning to viewers about the dangers of certain aspects of modern society or culture.
  • The 1980s V science fiction franchise, inspired by Sinclair Lewis' novel It Can't Happen Here.
  • The Walking Dead, AMC, 2010–present, the United States is overrun by zombies.
  • Wild Palms, a mini-series, which first aired in 1993 on the ABC Network in the United States, about the dangers of brainwashing through technology and drugs.
  • The Worm that Turned, BBC, 1980, comical series within The Two Ronnies television show, in which women dominate men in England.
  • In the anime Yu-Gi-Oh 5D, the entire future world is destroyed by a combination of energy reactors that are powered by negative human emotions and huge robots called Machine Emperors that were brought out of trading cards to destroy all humans to, ironically, prevent the negative energy reactor from destroying the planet. The last four humans left alive, Bruno, Paradox, Aporia, and Z-one, travel back in time to destroy the home city of the main-protagonists, New Domino City, and kill the creator of the card game the Machine Emperors originated from to prevent the apocalyptic future, but are stopped by the main protagonists after they are assured by them that they will prevent the ruinous future from happening in a less murderous and destructive way.
  • The Leftovers, HBO, 2014–present, takes place three years after a global event in which 2% of the world's population disappeared.
  • The Last Man on Earth, Fox, 2015–present, is set in the year 2020, where Phil Miller is seemingly the only human left on Earth after a deadly virus swept the planet one year earlier.
  • Colony, USA Network, 2016
  • The Time Tunnel, episodes 12 ("The Death Trap") and 25 ("The Death Merchant").
  • The Wild Wild West episode "The Night of the Lord of Limbo"
  • C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, a mockumentary directed by Kevin Willmott.[2]
  • The Legend of Zorro (sequel to The Mask of Zorro, which is not Civil War-related)
  • Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
  • Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies
  • The Other Man
  • An Englishman's Castle
  • "The City on the Edge of Forever" (Star Trek: The Original Series)
  • "Zero Hour"/"Storm Front" (Star Trek: Enterprise episodes)
  • Misfits (Season 3, Episode 4)
  • The Man in the High Castle, based on the 1962 novel.
  • SS-GB, 2017 miniseries


  • A Mind Forever Voyaging (1985) by Infocom is set in the year 2031 where the economy of the United States of North America (USNA) is failing, great numbers of youths are dying in "Joybooths" and a new arms race involving nuclear weapons no larger than the size of a pack of cigarettes threatens to turn the USNA into a police state.
  • American McGee's Alice (2000) features a matured Alice who returns to Wonderland to free it from its twisted state, imparted upon it by the decade-long despotic rule of the Queen of Hearts.
  • Armored Core 3 by FromSoftware features a future where the mankind has receded underground from the effects of an intensely destructive global war. A city called Layered was formed that is totally controlled by an artificial intelligence referred to as 'The Controller', a computer that makes the important individual decisions of everyone's life for them.
  • Armored Core 4 and Armored Core: For Answer (2006 and 2008) both games take place in a future where the surface of the earth that is all but uninhabitable, rendered as such by pollution from a new defense technology vastly utilized during the corporate war of Armored Core 4.
  • Back to the Future: The Game (2011) In episode 3, Hill Valley is controlled by Citizen Emmett Brown and Citizen Edna Brown.
  • Beneath a Steel Sky (1994) by Revolution Software takes place at an unknown point in a dystopian future in Australia, where the Earth has been significantly damaged by pollution or nuclear fallout.
  • Beyond Good & Evil (a title which is a reference to the existentialist Friedrich Nietzsche) by Ubisoft is an action-adventure game conveying the grim world of Hillys, which has become a centre for capitalism and idealism forced onto its inhabitants by means of propaganda, censorship, and limited travel at the hands of its militant group, the Alpha Sections.
  • BioShock (2007) and BioShock 2 (2010) is set in a failed utopia. The game's creative director, Ken Levine, has stated in an interview that he had been obsessed with dystopic novels for all his life, especially Logan's Run.
  • Blood II: The Chosen is a 1998 first-person shooter developed by Monolith Productions as the sequel to Blood. It is set in the year 2028 and the dark cult called the Cabal has effective control over the whole world through its front mega-corporation CabalCo, which, following its founder cult, is engaged in murder, brainwashing, the development of deadly weapons, and general evil. The world under CabalCo's dominance is also in a shambles, with widespread disease, over-population, homelessness, and mass violence.
  • Borderlands set in a distant future on a once thought to be prosperous, rich in minerals planet, now a wasteland ruled by gangs and the remains of the colonizer megacorporation.
  • Chrono Trigger (1995) by Square, whose theme is time travel. One of the eras that the player can visit is a dystopian future caused by the destruction of Lavos. The main plot of the game resolves around going back to the past to stop Lavos. Another feature of the plot is the ancient world of 12,000 B.C., where magic users, known as the Enlightened Ones, live in a floating continent in utopian conditions, while non-magic users, known as the Earthbound Ones, live in a frozen wasteland below.
  • Command and Conquer is a real-time strategy video game franchise.
  • Crackdown (2007) is a third-person shooter developed by Realtime Worlds where a player plays as a super-cop developed by an idealist police state in order to combat a massive gang problem. The final scene of the game reveals that the government had funded and encouraged the growth of the 3 gangs of Pacific City in order to gain the submission of the citizens and to give them a mandate to form the police state.
  • Crusader, a video game series developed by Chris Roberts of Origin Systems, takes place in the 22nd century in which Earth is now ruled by the World Economic Consortium, a global government that united the world's economies and countries after an economic meltdown in the 20th century.
  • Deponia is a point-and-click adventure series, set in a world covered in garbage while the elite live above in a flying utopia.
  • Deus Ex (2000) by Ion Storm, is a first-person shooter set in a dystopian 2052. Economic collapse, rampant terrorism, an increasing police state, and a global pandemic result in a dark world on the verge of collapse.
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War (2003). Set after the events of the first Deus Ex in the 2070s, a collapse of the world's electronic infrastructure at the end of the first game's events have forced people into enclaves controlled by organisations with their own social agendas in mind.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011), The Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus appears in Adam Jensen's dreams as an allegory to this thought, and also—given that both Daedalus and Icarus were the names of artificial intelligences in Deus Ex—an intellectual bridge to the original game.
  • Dishonored is set in a fictional London-esque industrial city, controlled by a tyrannical militaristic government, and threatened by a mysterious rat-spread disease and the near extinction of whales for their properties as fuel.
  • Dystopia cyberpunk-themed modification of the 2004 first-person shooter Half-Life 2 it was released after 3 years of development on Saturday February 24, 2007.
  • Dystopian Wars Tabletop Game A Game made by Spartan Games, it is set in 1870 where the industrial revolution occurred years before it did in the ultimate "Utopia". It features specialist ships that could have been available to them.
  • EVE Online Video Game A game made by CCP Games, set 20,000 years in the far future where players must choose from one of four major factions; a hyper-capitalistic corporate society, an ultra-hedonistic and corrupt pleasure society, an oppressive theocratic regime, and a poverty stricken race of former slaves. Story developers for CCP often refer to the game's setting as "grimdark".
  • The Fallout games are set in a retro-futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, where various groups citizens are sealed into nuclear bunkers called Vaults, which are secretly social experiments, or fend for themselves in post-apocalyptic wasteland on the surface.
  • Final Fantasy VI, AKA Final Fantasy III in the USA; (1995) by Square is a world where the greedy Gestahlian Empire seeks to rule over the planet through the power of the Espers.
  • Final Fantasy VII (1997) by Square features a world in which a power company called Shinra controls most of the inhabited world through its "Peace Keeping Forces".
  • Forsaken, by Probe Entertainment (1998), a first/third-person shooter set in a future where Earth's surface and atmosphere were destroyed by a subatomic experiment, leaving a ruined planet for mercenaries to explore and raid.
  • Frontlines: Fuel of War, a first-person shooter by Kaos Studios, is set in a dystopian 2024 where humanity is plagued by dwindling fossil fuels, collapsed economies, global warming, and a war between the Western Coalition and the Red Star Alliance over the last oil on Earth.
  • G-Police (1997) by Psygnosis has a science-fiction setting, inspired by Blade Runner. The story takes place in the year 2097, on a colonised Callisto (one of Jupiter's moons). The game charts the protagonist Slater's attempts to discover the truth behind his sister's mysterious death while working for the titular G-Police. The game begins with the G-Police combating organised criminals before fighting the private armies of powerful corporations in an unfolding conspiracy-themed plot. The gameplay involves piloting VTOL aircraft resembling helicopters, engaging in combat with enemies and protecting allies.
  • Half-Life 2, which has an oppressive alien race known as the Combine ruling over the Earth. They gradually siphon the planet of its water and natural resources, as well as preventing human reproduction and turning them into slave workers and extremely loyal cyborgs.
  • Homefront: Set in 2027, the game features a world in which the economic downturn of 2008 continued, resulting in a collapse of US and European economies. Meanwhile, North Korea gains power in Eastern Asia which culminates in an invasion of the United States two years before the events of the game.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us (2013) is set in an alternate reality of the DC Universe where Superman takes the role of a fearsome dictator after killing the Joker for tricking him into killing his wife Lois Lane and their unborn child, resulting in the destruction of Metropolis, while Batman, whose secret identity has become public, leads the Insurgency (consisting of Harley Quinn, Lex Luthor, Deathstroke and heroes from the original dimension) in an attempt to defeat the High Coucilor's Regime.
  • Jak II (2003 by Naughty Dog) In this game Jak, an adolescent who explored the previous vibrant and colorful world of the first game (Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy), suddenly finds himself through a rift gate and hundreds of years into the future, where once a jungle and beach stood, a dark, dirty dystopia ruled by an evil dictator known as Baron Praxis now stands. The city's inhabitants are forcefully oppressed by the Krimzon Guard, the Baron's protectors, who take part themselves in crimes such as bribery, gamblings, and assaulting civilians.
  • Mass Effect (series) many planets and locations, such as the Citadel Wards, Illium, the Krogan DMZ, and especially Omega, have dystopian features.
  • Mega Man Zero series (2002-2005 by Capcom). A resistance force against a dystopian society called "Neo Arcadia," resurrects an ancient fighting robot called "Zero" to help them.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008) by Kojima Productions. In 2014, the world's nations are dependent on a war economy which fuels the need for private military contractors. These contractors are employed by several nations to bring order to the collapsing economic and social infrastructures of the world. Many governments by this time have become totalitarian in their rule. The shadow organization known as "The Patriots" are responsible for this dystopian future.
  • Metro 2033 (2010) and Metro: Last Light (2013) by 4A Games. A single-player post-apocalyptic-themed first-person shooter that takes place in the Metro system of Russia.
  • Mirror's Edge (2008) takes place in an unnamed city where a questionable regime monitors its citizens through invasive surveillance, tracking all forms of electronic communication in order to reduce crime and quell any challenge to its power.
  • Neocron (2002) takes place in a post-apocalyptic 28th century. In the mid-22nd century, tensions rose between an expanded Chinese Empire and a joint European/North American Federation. The unexplained apparent destruction of the first Chinese interstellar colony ship results in China launching devastating nuclear strikes with stealth missiles.
  • Oddworld, a quintology by Oddworld Inhabitants (1997–2005).
  • Oni by Bungie. The plot is quite similar to Syndicate's. The player controls Konoko, a female rogue agent subjected to an extreme experiment: an enhanced twin version of her was implanted in her body so that every time she gets hurt her "chrysalis" grows and makes her stronger. In her world the criminal organization Syndicate opposes the all-powerful government hiding the truth about the world outside the cities. Her mother died outside the areas protected by government, inhabited by deadly mutant creatures created by pollution.
  • In Orwell, players take the role of an investigator in a dystopian country called "The Nation", investigating the links between 3 terrorist attacks.
  • Paranoia (1984) by West End Games, which features every aspect of the above list of things typical of dystopias except for a protagonist who feels something is wrong.
  • Papers, Please (2013) by Lucas Pope, which places the player in the shoes of an immigration worker in a totalitarian state, much like the Eastern Bloc.
  • Portal (2007) and Portal 2 (2011) by Valve are both set in the same post-apocalyptic world as the Half-Life (series).
  • Red Faction and Red Faction II first-person shooter games. The first game talks about miners in Mars being used as guinea pigs for a technological experiment and the sequel talks about a resistance movement fighting against a totalitarian police state.
  • Remember Me (2013), set in a futuristic Paris, after advancements in memory storing technology led to a surveillance state controlled by the corporation behind said technology and a growing threat of mutated and insane "leapers".
  • Resident Evil series (1996–2009) by Capcom is a survival horror game set in a world where the characters try to prevent an outbreak of a zombie virus.
  • The Sega Saturn video game Robotica features an attempt by human rebels in the 27th century to destroy Daedalus, a massive space station in Earth orbit in order to end the supposedly corrupt and archaic rule of the W.S.S.S., a planetary government fielding a massive robot army across the globe.
  • Shadowrun (1989) by FASA, where corporations use magic and technology to create wonders but large swaths of the population have no rights.
  • Shattered Union (2005) a turn-based strategy game where America collapses into a second civil war in 2014.
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri deals with many dystopian themes and elements, and even technologies such as the Self-Aware Colony.
  • Simcity Societies is a city building simulator that allows the player to build various societies, including a dystopian, authoritarian state.
  • The Sims 3: Into the Future is the eleventh and final expansion pack for The Sims 3 series from Electronic Arts. The actions of your Sim in the present has the potential to influence future outcomes at Oasis Landing, including a dystopian state.
  • Soma (2015) is a science fiction survival horror video game set in an apocalyptic future where, in 2103, a massive comet had devastated Earth's surface, leaving PATHOS-II - an underwater remote research facility with machinery that begins to take human characteristics - as the last outpost of humanity.
  • The Sonic series, where either Dr. Robotnik or another worthy villain has taken over the planet of Mobius or is planning to. Most Sonic games, however, don't take place in a dystopia. Sonic and the Black Knight happens to be set in a dystopia. In the game, a country called Camelot in an alternate medieval world is ruled by King Arthur, who, after receiving the scabbard of Excalibur, turned into an evil, oppressive king.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow Of Chernobyl is a game set in the future, in the area around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, site of the world's worst nuclear accident in 1986. Also its prequel, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky is based on a dystopian society.
  • StarCraft/StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty a game that takes place in a colonial outer space setting. An oppressive government under the command of Emperor Mengsk, known as the Dominion, controls a majority of the Koprulu Sector. It is under the guise of a democracy after the Sons of Korhal overthrew the oppressive Confederacy and established the Dominion. It is really a ruthless and fascist empire that outdoes its predecessor.
  • Steins;Gate A game for Xbox 360 that was based on the Japanese visual novel. It takes place in 2010 where the protagonist, Rintaro Okabe claims that he is a mad scientist and meets a mysterious person, said to come from the year 2036 to prevent the future of a dystopian society from happening.
  • Syndicate (1993) by Bullfrog Productions. In the future, after the collapse of government, the world is harsh and polluted - corporate crime syndicates rule in place of national governments. The population of the world are fitted with "Utopia Chips" to mask the misery and squalor of the world around them. The player controls cybernetically-enhanced agents, out to further the cause of the syndicate. The sequel Syndicate Wars was similar.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay A futuristic universe where much of the population is plagued by crime, with whole planets being used as prisons.
  • The Worm in Paradise by Level 9 Computing - a text adventure game for the ZX Spectrum and other 8-bit platforms, set in a dystopian future.
  • The Last of Us (2013) by Naughty Dog - After a highly virulent fungal infection leads to the death or infection of 60% of the world population, humanity is forced to survive while under constant threat of infection via bites of infected individuals and airborne spores.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time by Nintendo. Although the game begins on good terms, there comes the point where Link, the main character is sealed away for seven years and awakens to a dystopian Hyrule after seven years of war by main antagonist Ganondorf.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past An alternate version of Hyrule, which was once known as the Golden Land, became a dystopian world known as the Dark World after Ganon gained the power of the Triforce.
  • The Moment of Silence by House of Tales - an adventure game set in 2044 New York, in a time when private information is becoming illegal.
  • Warhammer 40,000 (1987) by Games Workshop features interstellar races which are cruel and heartless. The Imperium of Man, for example, had conquered the galaxy but is currently fighting a defensive battle against mutants, heretics and aliens.
  • Wraith: The Oblivion (1994) by White Wolf, Inc., in which the world of the dead is run by the Hierarchy, a government with little compassion which seeks to enslave wraiths rather than help them "move on". Souls who do not agree with the Hierarchy and are caught are literally forged into money and goods.
  • Tropico 4 'Modern Times' expansion
  • End of Nations
  • Anno 2070
  • Aces & Eights: Shattered Frontier role-playing game, written by Jolly R. Blackburn, Brian Jelke, Steve Johansson, Dave Kenzer, Jennifer Kenzer and Mark Plemmons,[3] and published by Kenzer & Company in 2007.
  • Damnation by Blue Omega Entertainment and published by Codemasters.
  • Deadlands role-playing game by Pinnacle Entertainment Group
  • Dixie [hex and counter board game] by Simulations Publications Incorporated (SPI), the Union loses the Civil War and is trying to reclaim the Confederate States of America in the 1930s.
  • Doomtown collectable card game by Alderac Entertainment Group, Wizards of the Coast, and Five Rings Publishing Group
  • Doomtown: Range Wars, a Disk Wars game by Fantasy Flight Games
  • GURPS Alternate Earths (1996), a supplement of alternate realities published by Steve Jackson Games for the GURPS Third Edition, which includes the alternate world codenamed "Dixie", where the North American continent, circa 1985, is divided between the northern USA and the southern CSA along an extended Mason–Dixon line. An updated (current year: 1993) but truncated description of this world, now known as "Dixie-1, was included in the revised Fourth Edition version of the book (see history at GURPS Infinite Worlds#Dixie-1).
  • Gettysburg: Armored Warfare - A man from the year 2060 travels back in time to the Civil War, bringing weapons from his time, that he gives to the Confederate forces in the hope of changing the future of America.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Nutt, Christian. "EA's O'Brien: Mirror's Edge Takes Whedonesque Cues On Dystopia." Gamasutra. 6 June 2008.
  2. ^ Halter, Ed (2006-02-07). "The Second Civil War". Village Voice. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  3. ^ Blackburn, Jolly R.; Jelke, Brian; Johansson, Steve; Kenzer, Dave; Kenzer, Jennifer; Plemmons, Mark (2007). Blackburn, Barbara, ed. Aces & Eights. Kenzer, Jennifer; Shideler, Bev. Waukegan: Kenzer & Company. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-59459-086-3.