The second season of Marvel's The Punisher has finally hit Netflix, once again pitting Frank Castle against both legions of dangerous criminals as well as his own inner demons. If you've already binged the series and are looking for a video game to scratch that same dark antihero itch, we've got you covered.
The Punisher has generally gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to Marvel video games, with only a handful of installments that, aside from the classic '90s arcade game, weren't all that good. But there are plenty of great games out there that embrace The Punisher's key themes, whether you're looking for a violent shooter romp that makes you feel like the ultimate war machine or a more cerebral superhero adventure that delves into a character's dark psyche.
Here are the best games that fans of Frank Castle should check out right now.
Credit: Cara Howe/Netflix
Much like The Punisher, Batman: The Telltale Series is a gritty episodic adventure that twists the lore of an iconic superhero, with no shortage of tense moments and shocking deaths. And also much like The Punisher, Telltale's Batman series focuses just as much on the fractured psyche of its hero as it does on the cool superhero action moments. You'll play as both Bruce Wayne and Batman in this gripping choose-your-own-adventure title, with your choices having a ripple effect on what is one of the best and most unique modern Batman stories out there. You'll cross paths with the likes of Catwoman, the Penguin and The Joker, with nearly every episode ending on a cliffhanger that'll make it hard to put the controller down. — Mike Andronico
Frank Castle and Splinter Cell's Sam Fisher have quite a lot in common: They're both highly skilled military operatives who are no strangers to being betrayed and having to fight for their families. This parallel is particularly strong in Splinter Cell: Conviction, which sees Fisher take on drug runners and shady military organizations while seeking revenge for his daughter's supposed death. Conviction has all of the tactical stealth action you'd expect from a Splinter Cell game, while adding in a Mark & Execute system that lets you instantly target and pop off enemies in satisfyingly deadly fashion. — Mike Andronico
A third-person shooter about an NYC detective who becomes a vigilante after his family is murdered, Max Payne is dripping with parallels with The Punisher. This early 2000s pulp-action classic is famous for its "bullet time" mechanic, in which you can slow down time to land the perfect shot during dramatic action moments. Max Payne's gritty romp through New York's crime underworld is perfect for Punisher fans, though if you want a more refined experience, you should also check out the newer Max Payne 3. — Mike Andronico
Contest of Champions is one of Marvel's better mobile games, offering satisfying swipe-based fighting game action and a trove of iconic Marvel characters to collect and level up. That massive roster includes The Punisher, who dishes out his signature brand of justice with both his fists and his trusty shotguns (and has a special ability that lets him survive lethal attacks). You'll even get a special synergy bonus if you team him up with Daredevil. — Mike Andronico
Frank Castle could learn a thing or two from Agent 47, who never fails to find hilariously creative ways to dispose of his enemies. This open-ended stealth adventure lets you tackle each assassination as you see fit, whether you're going undercover as a tattoo artist, sniping from a distance, setting elaborate traps or tossing soda cans with deadly precision (seriously). Hitman 2 scratches that tactical-action itch you've probably gotten from watching The Punisher take out a bunch of bad dudes, but does so without taking itself too seriously. — Mike Andronico
Credit: Warner Bros. Interactive
When race, family ties and revenge mix in the 1960s American South, it's a heady recipe for bloody vengeance. Mafia 3 has you step into the war-weary shoes of Lincoln Clay as he returns home to a fictional New Bordeaux from the front lines of the Vietnam War. But before he can settle back down into the family business (racketeering), Clay's family is betrayed and murdered by the local mafia boss. Set on revenge, Clay recruits one of his old war buddies and starts dismantling the southern don's empire piece by piece. But just beneath all the inevitable violence is a story of racial tension that's just as relevant now as it was back in the '60s. — Sherri L. Smith
Credit: 2K Games
A steadily deteriorating mental well-being, tons of weapons and creepy criminals? Hotline Miami has a lot of what you love about The Punisher, but with a breakneck speed that beats every poorly paced Netflix series. In it, you play a hired gun whose missions are being handed to him in increasingly shady ways, and you view your mission from a top-down POV, so you can see a whole room at once. Just make sure to pace yourself and not get distracted by the game's bumping EDM soundtrack, because it only takes one hit to kill your mentally exhausted murderer. — Henry T. Casey
Credit: Devolver Digital