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Catharsis Factor

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"So that's Painkiller — more proof that the best way to blow off steam is to blow off someone's nadgers."

Catharsis is a purification or purging of the emotions (such as pity and fear) primarily through art — a factor first identified by Aristotle; it can bring about spiritual renewal, and it provides a release from tension.

In other words, it's stuff you do to relieve tension or get stuff off your chest.


Catharsis exists in all media — the term "catharsis" as applied to art comes from Aristotle's Poeticsnote —but for most of history, most people had to watch others suffer and triumph, and they had to use empathy to connect the dots. Now, even the empathy-deprived can experience catharsis — you can suffer and triumph personally through your favorite video game character. Since it's not in the real world, you will not be breaking any real-world laws, and your character will get extra lives if you mess up the drama. Everybody wins!

This trope is YMMV. Stress relief for one gamer can be frustration for another, even on things that people agree are calming: A 6 on one scale (1 - 10, 10 being the highest) can rate 37 on someone else's. The cathartic experience can also backfire when using human opponents, such as in online-enabled fighting games or first-person shooters, where a string of victories can be ruined by an upsetting loss from another player at the far end of the skill divide.


It's not just violence, either. Many games are just as capable of making you feel warm and fuzzy when you take a constructive option and help the pile of pixels instead. The existence of this effect, with both video games and other media, is sometimes cited by opponents of banning pornography and violent video games.

Note that, in Real Life, most psychology experiments suggest that catharsis is not as cut-and-dried as popularly supposed. While cathartic actions do make you feel better at the time — hence their popular appeal — they don't really make you less tense or angry and they don't actually let you "vent off" emotion, especially when you stop doing them and go back to whatever it was you were doing in the first place. Using such actions regularly or frequently will more often than not make you even more prone to stress and anger fits, since it becomes a habit that gets readily associated with tense situations. In other words, if you punch a pillow to deal with stress, you are more likely to hit something at an inopportune time when stressed.


Related to Video Game Cruelty Potential. Not to be confused with In-Universe Catharsis, though overlap is certainly possible. Or the webcomic Catharsis, for that matter. See also: Percussive Therapy.


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    Action Adventure 

  • During one part in Detroit: Become Human Connor needs a distraction to get to the evidence room, so Hank goes and starts a fight with FBI Agent Richard Perkins to draw some attention. Even though it only buys you about 5 minutes you never the less can spend about 60 seconds watching the fight, complete with special up-close camera angles if you hold L1. Wow it is worth it to spend the time as it is just that satisfying to watch Hank bust Perkin's nose. Even better, is if you've made the right choices you also get to confront Detective Gavin Reed in the evidence room, beat him unconscious, and finish with straightening your tie like a bad-ass.

    Fighting Games 
  • Street Fighter: How many people have felt better after a bad day by putting in the latest game and demolishing whoever was in your way (computer AI, opponent through internet, etc)?
    • Even better. When playing Street Fighter 4 online, breaking the countless hadouken/shoryuken-spamming cheap-ass players' pattern, and absolutely demolishing them... while using Dan.
    • Kat shows us how it's done.
    • Or for a new player finally defeating a more skilled opponent, by spamming the one move you can do.
  • Ah, Super Smash Bros.
    • What can be more cathartic than using Training Mode to turn whichever character has recently displeased you into your unmoving personal punching bag? How about spawning Smash Balls and mercilessly flattening them with Final Smash after Final Smash?
    • Hit them out of the ballpark with the Home Run Bat, perhaps? The resulting KREEEENG!!! is perhaps the singular most satisfying sound effect in Smash.
    • Then what character was confirmed for Smash 4? The annoying dog from Duck Hunt. Before the game was even released, a lot of gamers relished the opportunity to finally lay a beatdown on him. Ironically, finally beating him up ended up with him being Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
    • Speaking of hated entities, the Wily Machine VII is an Assist Trophy in Ultimate, and since you can thrash on, and ultimately KO, a large number of Assist Trophies, your childhood revenge fantasies can finally come to life in this game.
    • Have some strongly-worded objections with Adam Malkovich? Want to personally revoke Viridi's Karma Houdini Warranty? Has Tatsu been The Load one too many times? World of Light has you covered! All of these characters and more have been turned into "Spirits", characters that aren't actually playable, but are faithfully represented in-game as a sort of Event Match. This means that, if any character from any one game rubbed you the wrong way, beating the absolute crap out of them is just the simplest of joys.
    • None other than Sephiroth, one of the most famous examples of Love to Hate and Evil Is Cool in all gaming, joins the cast of Ultimate in the 2nd fighter's pass. Which boss does he fight in his Classic Mode? All of them. You will feel like a badass demolishing them all.
  • Beat Em Ups like Final Fight and Streets of Rage provide ample opportunity to grind Mooks into the pavement and feel good about yourself.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy has the appealing option of using your personal least-favorite character as a punching bag.
    • In Dissidia 012, a lot of people use Aerith against Sephiroth (if they can get it off, because Sephiroth is programmed to kill Aerith before anything else).
    • And long before Dissidia, beating the tar out of Sephiroth was done most gleefully in Ehrgeiz.
  • The easiest difficulty of Battle Arena Toshinden is called "Stress Relief."
  • Mortal Kombat and its Fatalities. Reducing a particularly hatable character into small, bloody chunks can be quite cathartic after a long day. Mortal Kombat 11 features The Joker as a Guest Fighter, meaning you can inflict all these horrible punishments on him.
    • Same sorta thing for Samurai Shodown and Guilty Gear with their finishers. The former has a Rage System, just perfect for letting off steam.
      • Or Killer Instinct and its Ultra Combos, especially in the 2013 game. Few things help blow off some tension like punching/kicking/etc. an annoying foe upwards of a hundred times while they're unable to stop you.
    • Especially great in MK: Armageddon in which the player gets to improvise a fatality, and is therefore allowed to commit all sorts of atrocities on their enemy before finishing them off. It allowed quite a few to fulfill a very long fantasy of theirs: ripping Goro's arms off and bludgeoning him to death with them.
    • And since Armageddon has the Kreate a Fighter feature, you could recreate whoever pissed you off recently and beat the snot out of them.
    • In Mortal Kombat X, those who truly despise Quan Chi for all the troubles he brought will be delighted that in Sonya's story, not only she beats him down, the player can make her deliver a boot to his groin, hard. Four chapters later, it's Hanzo Hasashi/Scorpion's turn and he outright cuts his head off. Of course there's the price of the release of Shinnok and the rest of the revenant kombatants cannot be restored anymore, but the Catharsis produced by beating the crap out of Quan Chi remains for his haters to enjoy.
    • This game also has downloadable Guest Fighters who tend to be Invincible Villains in their own franchises, like Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, Alien and Predator. In these games, where these characters are Not So Invincible After All, being able to beat the crud out of them is rather satisfying.
  • Everything about playing Terumi Yuuki from BlazBlue: Chronophantasma could be sorted into this category. Most of his attacks revolve around blatant dirty moves; he has two different moves to Kick His Opponents While They're Down and he has insane Super Meter gain. Of course, the reverse also works. If you're so sick at how evil he is, just put him as your training dummy for training and make him your personal sandbag to make you feel better. Same goes to Relius Clover. Also, for their evilness, it'll be a great catharsis to go online, find someone who uses them, then ASTRAL them.
  • Should you get to the second-to-last boss of Sonic the Fighters without losing a single round as the titular character, you'll be able to transform into Super Sonic, who breaks the game's difficulty over his knee. And who gets to be your hapless victim? Metal Sonic, the game's resident SNK Boss. Getting to absolutely destroy a character who's known for being ruthless in terms of difficulty feels amazing.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom and Injustice: Gods Among Us: pick your least favorite superhero/villain and pummel them to your heart's desire. And exclusively for Injustice, subject them to environmental hazards, like getting beaten up by Arkham Asylum inmates, getting tossed into space, or getting run over by a train to name a few...
    • Extra points in Injustice 2's story. In the second chapter, you play as Harley Quinn, who gets gassed by Scarecrow and faces one of her worst fears: Joker (who died at Superman's hands at the start of the first game). He almost tricks her into killing Batman (whom she now sides with) but she tells him: "Ain't no slick fella with a cheap suit and cheaper grin tellin' me who I am ever again! We had mad love once upon a time, but now that's over, Mr J!" The resultant fight is a dream come true who any who hate the Joker/Harley ship.
  • SoulCalibur: Finally defeated that one opponent you gave you so many headaches? Finish it off with a healthy dose of Kick Them While They Are Down! Also, like Mortal Kombat above, the game has a Character Customization option, so feel free to create someone you hate, then wreck them.
  • The second Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable has the Liese Twins as playable characters, allowing the player to intact vengeance for what they did to Hayate and the Wolkenritter in A's. Later games also included Precia Testarossa, but it ends up a subversion, since it was around this time the Nanoha series started making Precia more sympathetic.
  • M.U.G.E.N can take this trope Up to Eleven. Given how there are Loads and Loads of Characters, all you need to do is take the most overpowered character you can find, then take who or whatever has been displeasing you or simply your least favorite character, and then go. To. TOWN. And if you want to relieve even more stress, take an appropriate character and perform a Fatality, Fatal KO, Astral Finish, Hell And Heaven, Goldion Hammer, Rider Kick, Chuck Norris roundhouse kick, or whatever type of One-Hit Kill pleases you.

    First-Person Shooters 
  • In Borderlands 2, after you defeat The Warrior, a bloodied Handsome Jack starts going on a last, desperate Motive Rant. The game gives you the honor of choosing what weapon you wanna use to shut him up for good (or if you want, let Lilith do the honors). She even comments how satisfying that was if you let her.
    • In general, going back to an early area with your late-game equipment. It's immensely satisfying to be able to vaporize any enemy with a shotgun. Blasting a Badass grade enemy or a large cluster of bandits with a powerful rocket launcher is also always satisfying.
    • The Tiny Tina DLC has a sidequest where you must defeat Prince Jeffrey, a very thinly-veiled parody of Joffrey. After the "fight" with him, you're told that while you can't kill him since he's just a kid, feel free to "slap the bastard out of him".
    • Having a bad day? Load up a decent level Salvador or Krieg and just CUT your way through swarms of enemies with two of the most satisfying guns of your choice in a game loaded with them, or pick up a giant-ass buzzsaw on a stick and slice right through them with VERY meaty sound effects and blood spatter. You'll feel better after just a few uses of those character's signature skills.
  • Half-Life 2. Sure, you can blast your foes with grenades and rocket launchers, or pound them with a double shot from a shotgun, but the most fun thing everyone loves to do is using the Gravity Gun to pick up stuff and hurl crap at enemies, or pick up larger objects and people and fling those too once the gun is powered up. There is also always the option to smash faces or Headcrabs with the crowbar.
  • Any of the Left 4 Dead games. Start a round where you have a sniper rifle in the saferoom, but don't leave the saferoom. Just shoot off headshots from the safety of your safe house. The AI director even realizes that you're doing this and spawns more zombies for you to kill.
  • GoldenEye. Invincibility. All Guns. infinite Ammo. Pick a level.
    • Then try combining Invincibility with Turbo Mode, Tiny Bond and 2x Hunting Knives. No Spetznaz or Janus operatives can withstand the wrath of knee-stabbing midget 007.
  • Similarly, Nazi Zombies.
  • In Unreal Tournament, there are a lot of ways to blow off steam by blowing off heads, but the best by far are:
    • Using the official chainsaw mutator and going melee-only against the lowest-difficulty bots to 100 kills
    • Playing the beach Assault map and singlehandedly holding off the invasion with 15 minutes of sweet, sweet headshots.
    • Unreal Tournament 2004 + Conduit + Vampire + Super Berserk + Slow Motion Corpses = Your very own Matrix / 300 cutscene.
    • You want blowing off steam? Facing Worlds + Easy Mode AI + Sniper Rifle = The reason people play Unreal Tournament and HeadShot!!! every second.
    • Any 1v1 map that has the Flak Cannon and loaded with bots. Instant, fun, chaos.
      • For that matter, the Flak Cannon in general is an amazing weapon to use to let off steam.
  • Alien vs. Predator. Skirmish. Marine-Smartgun. Don't even have to aim. Just press LMB and watch the limbs fly.
  • What's that? You've played through every Marathon game on each difficulty, and countless fan mods, and think the edge has gone out of the game? Now that you've gotten really good, go back and play through on "Kindergarten" or "Easy" and watch as you effortlessly slaughter Phfor and save the galaxy without breaking a sweat.
  • BioShock. Fort Frolic. Waltz of the Flowers.
  • Postal 2. Especially with the AWP mod. And especially with AWP and the extra weapon mods
  • Modern Warfare: Few things in life beat flipping that switch or popping open a laptop to unleash a world of hurt on the unwitting fools facing you.
    • Modern Warfare 3, final mission. There's no better satisfaction than seeing Objective Completed pop up and knowing that Makarov is finally dead.
  • Painkiller: You have hordes upon hordes of mooks and some of the most creative weapons ever to reduce them to Ludicrous Gibs with. Arsenal and enjoyment options include (but are not limited to):
    • The titular Painkiller - a staff with a crown of rotating blades at the end (jumping with that in a horde of zombies), which can be launched at enemies, either pulling them toward you or shredding them to pieces.
    • Shotgun/freezer - freezing an invincible monster rushing at you and then blasting it to pieces with the shotgun (or freezing a flying one and watch it drop like a stone and shatter on the ground)
    • The epic Stakegun - a pneumatic catapult that launches metre-long wooden stakes which can pin enemies to walls, floors, ceilings, support beams and other enemies, combined with a grenade launcher for dispersing that pesky crowd that gets in the way of the above activity (this is the weapon that will chew off a big chunk of your time and you'll love it), or you can impale a grenade on a stake effectively turning yourself into a fully mobile artillery gun which can blow up almost anything anywhere
    • The famous rocket launcher/chaingun combo, often praised as the most practical gun ever, with one of the hardest but most satisfying activities - propelling enemies into the air by shooting a rocket at their feet, then blowing them apart in mid-air with a perfectly timed second one (seriously, watch a video of this)
    • The shuriken launcher/electrodriver - turning mooks into pin cushions, frying them, or the combo mode - charge and shoot the whole disc with shurikens which will electrocute everything around it.
    • Then there's Demon Morph mode.
  • Yes, there are days in Team Fortress 2 where things just won't go your way. And then there's the days when you're playing as a Demoman and a friendly Medic gives you a kritzkrieg, turning you into the anti-god allowing you to one hit kill every living thing that dared to spawn on the other team.
    • Or, in the same vein, playing the same Demo, going against the last point of any attack/defend map that just happens to have a ton of enemy Engineers. Generally, friendly Medics are often looking for a Demoman in these situations, so you're effectively guaranteed to get an Ubercharge. Waltz into the last point, and start laying stickybombs. You have eight seconds of Uber, and eight bombs. Detonate them just as the Uber ends, and watch as the entire enemy sentry-nest goes up in smoke. Then enjoy the worship from your team, because you just won the round in a single motion.
  • Wolfenstein 3D: Shooting up Nazis.
    • You even get to kill Hitler himself, he's the Final Boss. When you kill him, he screams and melts into a puddle of blood and gore, and then the game gives you an "instant replay" and lets you see it a second time. Very satisfying. Oh, and he's also a boss in Generic Man and has the same death animation there.
    • Featured in the two secret levels of Doom II, where the SS Troopers are deliberately placed on the map in groups of four. Perfect for shooting with a Rocket Launcher.
    • Wolfenstein (2009) has several extraordinarily over-the-top weapons: the Particle Cannon, a particle ray that disintegrates enemies on contact; the Tesla Cannon, an electric gun that sends enemies flying into the air when they're killed; and the Liechenfaust, a gun that fires a ball of energy that eliminates gravity in a small radius and strips any enemy within that radius right down to the bone. These guns exist only to make you giggle while firing them.
    • The New Order and The New Colossus dial this trope Up to Eleven, on the count of the game's setting taking place in a world conquered by the Nazis, allowing you to slaughter the bastards who enslaved the world with their totalitarian regime. The second game in particular had this trope singled out by developer MachineGames as a major theme for the game.
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 : Crouched beside a tree with a bead on a running enemy across the map, adjust for distance, lead the target, squeeze the trigger, and watch as the falling tracer round collides with the unsuspecting head.
  • And then there's Doom. After nearly 20 years, the sound of the shotgun pumping is still the most satisfying thing you will ever hear.
    • Brutal Doom takes things Up to Eleven. Punch an enemy to death while under the berserker power-up and be treated to an animation of Doom guy RIPPING AND TEARING their guts with his bare hands. The Catharsis Factor even applies in-universe as Doom guy regains a bit of health after each enemy killed this way, with stronger enemies giving more health.
    • And then DOOM (2016) comes around, which quickly became known as catharsis incarnate.
    • Russian Overkill is not a mod one plays for the challenge. It's a mod solely designed for the most over-the-top violence one can have. There's even a special gameplay mode that replaces all weapon drops with the game's six different BFGs, as well as upgrading most health kits to Supreme Healths. Combine it with Brutal Doom and you've got double the catharsis.
  • Bulletstorm. Oh, the numerous ways of destroying your foes. This might as well be Catharsis: The Game. Headshots? Yawn. Shoot someone in the nuts with a rocket, blasting him into the air, leash him into a carnivorous plant, then toss a random bomb in? Now we're talking. Have many bullets! And what are you going to do for an encore?
  • Perfect Dark: Go into multiplayer, set the number of sims to 8, disable shields, and add the FarSight. Now see how many you can pick off in the course of ten minutes. (Over 100 is a good goal.)
  • Halo: Reach with custom Firefight settings. Bottomless Clip + Invulnerability + InstaKill damage = Good times. Especially good if you just got done with a solo run on Legendary.
  • Singularity has the Deadlock plus shotgun combo. (Technically Deadlock plus anything, but shotgun is most brutally effective and fun.) A bubble of stopped time (that doesn't apply to you), plus setting up a point-blank shotgun blast right on each enemy in turn, then waiting for the bubble to collapse. Everything dies in the most fantastically horrible manner all at once. Or, in the final stretch of the game, your time-manipulation device gets powered up so it no longer uses up the energy meter, which makes you the time-controlling god of death that it sounds.
  • In the wake of September 11 Rainbow Six as the premier tactical shooter found itself hit with one Game Mod after another either centering on a Delta Force mission to kill Bin Laden in the Khyber Pass or focus on The War on Terror in general. Fans even got Ubisoft to submit the bus terminal map for Black Thorn and rework it to the original vision of an airport.
  • Deus Ex has several of these moments:
    • When you arrive in Hong Kong, one of the first things you see is an arrogant boy named Louis Pan, who extorts protection money from a nearby newspaper vendor and repeatedly tells JC that if he wanted to, he could tell the Triads about him and have him killed. It is incredibly satisfying to take him out, and there is no penalty for it (besides Gordon Quick admonishing you).
    • The flamethrower. There Is No Kill Like Overkill. It may seem over-the-top or sadistic, but there's no denying that it's satisfying to run into a room full of enemies, turn the napalm on full blast and start spraying. It's also hilarious to see enemies like the otherwise-stalwart Men in Black running around with their hands in the air screaming.
    • This game takes Video Game Cruelty Potential to the extreme, and allows the player to get away with things that wouldn't fly in most other games. You can toss bodies off roofs or into rivers for the hell of it. Tranquilizing people leads to them running around while moshing up and down in pain. You can set rocket-armed security bots on weak NSF enemies, or you can just run through locations causing havok for innocent civilians.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution has some pretty satisfying animations when performing Take Downs. Both lethal and non-lethal. It never gets old seeing Adam tricking a mook into punching another, and then taking him out, or backhanding two mooks at one, or shoving a blade through both their chests.
  • In Dishonored , the whole game is this if you're playing high chaos. Anyone annoy you? Blow their brains out! Subtlety? The fuck is that? Managing my powers? PPPFFFTTTT. Conservation is for nerds.
    • This doesn't even begin to describe the insane rube-goldberg machines of death and terror you can create in game. Cut off a persons head, stop time near another guard, and toss said head next to him. Watch and laugh as he reacts to being hit- then recoils in terror at the sight of the head. Why not possess a man and make him walk into a pile of vicious man-eating rats? The possibilities are absolutely insane.
    • Especially present in the Low Chaos final mission, Light At The End. At this point in the game, it's effectively shunted you into one of two endings, and depending on the level name, that's the ending you'll get no matter how many high or low chaos actions you do. On low chaos and playing as a conservative, stealthy ghost, finally being able to cut loose and blow apart any poor sod that walks into your line of sight is incredibly satisfying. For extra satisfaction, walk the whole time. You will feel like a badass.

    Hack-and-Slash Games 
  • Koei's Musou/Warriors series of games (Shin Sangoku/Dynasty, Sengoku/Samurai, Orochi, and Gundam). Got frustration? Vent by pounding the ever loving tar out of wave after wave after wave of Mooks.
    • Especially cathartic in the Gundam editions, due to robot limbs flying all over the place and lots of explosions. There is nothing more cathartic than unleashing a Wave-Motion Gun from on high and seeing several hundred Mooks explode in waves.
      • Even more so in 3 when taking over a field causes the mooks in that field to explode in a chain reaction upon the slightest hit.
      • And they're coming up with a Fist of the North Star edition.
      • Now there's a One Piece edition in the form of Pirate Warriors. Feel like punching the ever-loving tar out of Crocodile? Or Lucci? How about Akainu? Koei's gotcha covered.
      • In E3 2016, they unveiled Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, practically the Berserk edition. In the manga, the Crapsack World is so much affecting the world that probably only Kentaro Miura can save the heroes if he ever felt like moving his ass off. But now Koei gotcha covered, you now have the control of the destiny of mankind that continued to toy around them and make their suffering endless and instead give the middle finger to that kind of 'fate' literally: time to lay the permanent smackdown onto otherwise Invincible Villain like Godhands and especially Femto/Griffith! Finally Guts can have his justice!
      • Now you can do it to The Titans as well with Attack on Titan (2016). Swinging around, slicing their limbs off one by one until they're on the ground and helpless before finishing them off feels so good...
    • Dynasty Warriors Online: item grinding is rarely ever an exercise in catharsis, but in DWO it's one of the most common ways to grind. start up a battle in an unoccupied area, maybe get a few friends so it doesn't drag on, and then start smashing faces in until you find all random drops for that battle. you have minimum risk of dying, and you have the freedom just to watch mooks scatter.
  • Drakengard is this; why not take a dragon and just rain hellfire against giant phalanxes of troops that are completely powerless to hurt you? Or if you so wish, hop down and singlehandedly slash through the innards of thousands.
  • Ninja Gaiden 2 for the Xbox 360 was almost entirely That One Level and That One Boss, but if you managed to beat it you could restart from the beginning with all the upgrades you'd accumulated. Cue a 5-second slaughter of entire rooms of formerly-infuriating ninjas.
    • The God of War series started that back in 2005. Along with costumes to allow extra health, or infinite magic, as well as looking silly (there is no way you can feel stressed when you're watching a cow swing its milk jugs around to whack skeletons). With the second, however, the second playthrough gave you the Blade of Olympus. The weapon that shoots Sword Beams, can suck out the souls of enemies and is a massive game breaker in your hands as soon as you begin the game. And the third game lets you take down titans.
  • The Mark of Kri has unlockable arenas, the first of which only sends basic, melee-attack-only enemies at you, all of whom die instantly and spectacularly with the use of the game's ultimate weapon. Not only can you rack up over 50 kills per minute, but your acts of violence will leave the survivors of them to run from you in horror.
  • Condemned: Criminal Origins and its sequel Condemned 2: Bloodshot. Both games consist mostly of picking up pipes, nail bats, bottles and sporting equipment and beating the ever loving crap out of anything that looked at you funny. Without weapons you had punches, kicks, headbutts and vicious environmental kills; including but not limited too: Curb stomps, slamming heads in doors, throwing people into TV sets, hurling them off the side of buildings, and best of all, curb stomping them into a filthy toilet.
  • The Force Unleashed is God of War with Force powers. So feel free to hit an enemy with your lightsaber, then zap him with lightning and throw him into a bottomless pit.
    • This Penny Arcade strip gives an example, and it's not exaggerating. Those are actually things you can do.
    • One of the final levels of the game takes place on the Death Star, where it is currently putting the Kill Sat weapon through its test runs. All throughout the level, you need to time the firing of the lasers and avoid being vaporized. There's a few open areas that the beams fire through, which gives you the opportunity to force throw stormtroopers into the beam as it fires. Or, you can Force Hold a stormtrooper up in the air, in the firing path, watching him struggle and squirm as the laser charges up and fires. It's one of the most psychotically sick things you can do in the entire game, but SOOOOOO satisfying.
  • The PC version and Special Edition of Devil May Cry 4, add the unlockable "Legendary Dark Knight" difficulty, which can be described as "Normal with lots of enemies." Once you get a bit of practice, it becomes surprisingly cathartic to just carve a bloody swath through hordes of baddies.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine: Just charge into a group of enemies and start slashing (and shooting) away.
    • Then once you've had your fun with that, acquire a jump-jet and leap into the air before Ground Pounding everything in a sizeable area - then take to the skies and do it all over again. You will want to scream "FOR THE EMPEROR!!" as you do so.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. There is nothing more satisfying than using Blade Mode or Ripper Mode against enemies to "chop them into hamburger", as one character puts it. Once you beat the game, you unlock a wig that lets you stay in Blade Mode for an infinite amount of time, meaning you can chop an enemy into a hundred pieces after whaling on them with a combo, launching them into the air, and then ripping out their spine and crushing it with your bare hand.
    • Note that each boss ends with a Blade Mode segment. You could just chop them once and be done with it, but...why would you stop?
  • In Bayonetta, this is the general point of the Climax attacks you can perform to finish of major mooks and bosses. After a likely quite brutal fight, there's nothing like summoning a huge freakin' demon from Hell to devour whatever blathering angel has been causing you so much annoyance, with Quick Time Events to really deliver brutality to them before seeing them dragged into Hell, cursing your name in impotent rage. The Bloody Hilarious Torture Attacks can have the same result, especially when used on Demonic Spiders.

  • Prince of Persia (2008) is extremely soothing, thanks to its smooth, free-flowing parkour platforming and breathtakingly beautiful environments.
  • Psychonauts. The kaiju parody Perspective Flip known as Lungfishopolis. You play the role of the monster, while in a crowded city that has perfectly breakable buildings. What's more, if you go in there again after the plot happens, said city is due to be demolished. You do the math.
    • Along with Rule of Funny, this has got to be why you can use pyrokinesis on squirrels in the camp. Raz himself seemed to acknowledge this trope both in Sasha's Shooting Gallery ("Shooting things is fun and useful!") and Waterloo World ("I can set wood on fire with my mind, you know.") to a wooden game piece. The second is kind of justified, given the day he'd been having...
  • Star Wars: Episode 1 for the PSX gives you the ability to slice Jar Jar to ribbons with your lightsaber in the second level.
  • Super Mario Bros.: You gotta admit that it's pretty darn refreshing to be able to Goomba Stomp every dumb Mook in your path or tear them down with a Power-Up of your liking. Starman-powered Mario and its Most Wonderful Sound definitely takes the cake in that regard.
  • Admit it, Donkey Kong Country fans. After toughing your way through a world of Nintendo Hard levels in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, it's VERY satisfying to give that Tiki-Tak/Snowmad boss a good-old fashioned No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of rapidly-delivered punches and kicks before sending them into a Twinkle In The Sky at the end. The amount of times you hit the suckers doesn't amount to anything other than bragging rights and the satisfaction of saying "take THAT!", but does that even matter?
  • The Kirby series is tailor made for having a good time. Along with getting to wonderful Scenery Porn and cheery music, you also get devour enemies, steal their powers, and demolish ever poor creature in your path! The series is also kind enough to start almost every game with Whispy Woods or some Expy of him that you can just rip into the whole time. And don't forget the carnage you can wreak with the more destructive abilities. Having Crash Kirby in an area loaded with baddies? Or plowing through levels with the Super Abilities or Hypernova at your disposal? Nothing more satisfying...
    • Kirby: Planet Robobot adds Giant Mecha to the list of options. Even better, most of the more satisfying abilities have a mecha counterpart. Why NOT cut through a level by throwing giant sawblades everywhere?
  • Iji. It's a pretty bleak storyline, but if you complete a Pacifist Run and save Dan, you get a Heartwarming ending and you've earned it. Opening up single-sector play and running amok with a Velocithor is pretty fun too.
  • In Jak II: Renegade, you can take a break from the Nintendo Hard missions and just drive around the city in your hovercar at ground level, reveling in the screams of the annoying civilians and evil guards as you send them flying. If you like, you can also easily knock hoverbikes out of the sky with a well-timed love tap and watch them explode. If the fancy takes you, you can also turn your machine gun or BFG on the surrounding vehicles and pedestrians.
  • This is the reason the final level of Distorted Travesty is so awesome. After massive Difficulty Spikes, Nintendo Hard platforming, and an extremely difficult boss who's a challenge even on Easy Mode... the last level grants you Super Speed, regenerating health, and platforms that rise up to prevent you from falling into Bottomless Pits. It sounds anticlimactic, but it is a fantastic way to blow off all the stress and frustration the previous level likely instilled in you. (And the very end ratchets up the difficulty again, so it's not entirely without challenge.)
  • The Super Sonic form in the Sonic the Hedgehog games. At least, the ones that let you use it in normal levels. Turning into a spiky ball of golden death and tearing up one of the early zones is incredibly satisfying.
    • Through the series, it is common to see Dr. Eggman fly away after each boss fight. Some games allow Sonic - sometimes under the player's control - to destroy the Eggmobile at the end, which could be deadly to Eggman if people in this series didn't have immunity to fall damage.
  • A few examples from Sonic Adventure 2:
    • Beating the Christ out of a Chao after getting another E rank grade after a mission may be disproportionate and unfair, but damn does it feel good.
    • The massive supply of targetable enemies and objects in Weapons Bed and Cosmic Wall make it very fun to charge the homing laser as long as possible, and watch the screen fill with explosions, tons of bonus points, and Eggman's amused little chuckle is very satisfying.
    • Throwing Omochao at enemies. Whether it's the first or hundredth time, anything to get him to stop talking and boy is it fulfilling!
  • Wild 9 is built almost entirely around this concept, showing the player The Joys of Torturing Mooks in the most hilariously satisfying of ways.
  • In Copy Kitty, a game that focuses on unique and powerful weapon combinations, there's nothing more stress-relieving than activating both the infinite ammo and invincibility cheats (which is no easy feat to begin with) and wreak havoc on your personal That One Boss.
  • La-Mulana can and will make you hate its Goddamned Literal Bats, who love to knock you all over the place. Come the remake, and one of the items you can get is the Scriptures, which renders you completely invulnerable to bats, leaving you free to whip the now-harmless assholes to death.
  • After being plagued at nearly every turn in Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Year of the Dragon by Moneybags, getting the opportunity to finally chase him down yourself and beat seven shades of crap out of him in the process, getting back every last gem he had extorted from you in the latter game is probably the most gratifying moments in the entire series. Sure, Hunter getting you your money back from him at the end of Ripto's Rage and the other playable characters that you free through Year of the Dragon dealing out their own punishment on him was nice, but this time? Revenge is yours, and it's never tasted so sweet.
  • In the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series, you get to cut enemies in half; finishing off a boss this way is even more satisfying. ZX Advent also lets you blow holes in the bosses' torsos with charged buster shots.
  • In the Pinocchio video game, you get to kill the Coachman for turning countless children into donkeys and causing many more sleepless nights. Bonus points go to the SNES version where he actually cries out in pain every time he gets hit.

    Puzzle Games 
  • DROD, the most action packed puzzle game in existence. Slaughtering hordes of overgrown roaches, hunting down goblin after goblin, or meticulously cutting apart a gelatinous monster, all while outsmarting the room layout. Blood, guts, and the satisfaction of hard earned victory.
  • Lemmings - There comes a time in which there's nothing more soothing than discovering the most fun and artistic ways to set them up for when you activate the Nuke button. Maybe you want 100 packed into a tiny area, so that you can make an explosion so powerful that you can cleave through steel plates. Maybe you want to see the perfect timing for when explosions go off compared to when they start counting down. Maybe you want to see if you can properly time the explosions to make art out of the remaining parts of the level. Or maybe you just want a virtual storm of confetti to celebrate your birthday. Regardless of which it is, you know you're in for some fun when you hit the button and hear that pleasing "Oh, no!"
  • Portal certainly has a way of making the most frustrating puzzles awesome in retrospect. Even though all you technically did was put a cube on a button, you leave the test chamber singing "I am so smart! I am so smart! Oh, I am so smart!"
    • Portal 2 gives you a pure, concentrated dose of sweetness at the ending: hearing 'Cara Mia' as you ascended to the surface.
  • The Talos Principle: Milton spends much of the game picking apart (strawman versions of) your views and often insulting you, so being able to use his own technique against him in a Shut Up, Hannibal! speech towards the end is incredibly satisfying, especially when he goes into a full-on Villainous Breakdown and refuses to answer your questions. When you exit the conversation, you sign off with, "See you at the summit."

    Real-Time Strategies 
  • Company of Heroes provides quite a few opportunities thanks to its emphasis on immersive combat. Artillery barrages in general is truly a sight to behold, but special mention goes to the Sherman Calliope. Get two of these babies into the battlefield and within range of whatever you want dead, watch the missiles fly and turn the entire area into a burning wasteland. Failing that, there's the good old-fashioned steamroll with the biggest and baddest tanks you got.
  • Dawn of War Dark Crusade. Load up the Abandon All Hope map as Tau and ruthlessly crush your enemy...with your own casualties measured in single figures.
    • Dawn Of War 2. The remote-controlled bombs used by Sgt. Cyrus. They are horrendously powerful and you get to set them right the noses of your unsuspecting enemies and then detonate them at your own discretion, which is guaranteed to give you a majestic feeling of power over death each time. It's like nukes, only you get to use them a lot.
    • Particularly in the Chaos Rising expansion to Dawn of War 2. Give Avitus the Signum, boost his skills until he unlocks the "Artillery Specialist" ability, and make it rain Death from Above once every sixty seconds. Enemy holed up in a heavily fortified position and armed with heavy weapons? Just have him call down strikes for a few minutes, then walk into the charred and cratered remains of the former enemy position. Try not to trip on any of the Ludicrous Gibs and smoking rubble left behind...
  • Pick a game in the Total War series. Any game. Now load up a custom battle. Give yourself as many units of elite cavalry as you possibly can and the enemy only masses of peasants. Then turn your horsemen loose and watch them cut through the unwashed rabble like scythes through a field of ripe grain.
    • Gunpowder siege weapons + a cowardly enemy hiding in the city center = bowling for peasants. There's just something so cheering about seeing a line of enemy infantry launched into the air as a cannonball skips down the main avenue. Especially if your opponent has been rude on the world map, or put up especially annoying resistance on the city walls.
    • In Rome: Total War, setting up a battle with maxed out Seleucid Armored Elephants, verses Roman Incendiary Pigs, on the Grassy Flatlands. Just send all your elephants right into the center of the Roman Swine, then sit back, relax, and watch flaming pigs fly.
    • Total War: Warhammer by itself is immensely satisfying to fans of the original tabletop game. Being able to see the Old World again after the infamous End Times storyline destroyed it is quite nice. The fact that you can defeat the forces of Chaos during the campaign, averting the End Times and preventing Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, is especially gratifying.
  • Supreme Commander. "Add unit" cheat. 1000 Mercy guided missiles right over an enemy base.
  • StarCraft, as well as its sequel. Loading up a game online against one of your noob friends or an easy computer and utterly demolishing them with a Zerg Rush. Good times.
    • Or perhaps not rushing them, but waiting, teching up and steamrolling the crap out of them with some of the more epic units. (Carriers, Thors, Battlecruisers, etc.) Oh, and the occasional nuke.
      • Or even better than the occasional Nuke: build as many nuke silos/ghost academies as you can, fill them all with nukes, set them all to a control group so you can have them rebuilding and launching nonstop, send in a few dozen ghosts and turn the map into a nuclear wasteland.
  • Dominions 3. Effortlessly crushing AI enemies despite crippling cheater advantages because you know the magic system and they don't never gets old.
  • Black & White: You can let off steam by tormenting your villagers or you can cheer yourself up by playing with your creature and watching the mostly-contented villagers of a well-managed village.
  • Dungeon Keeper II: You can slap your minions around to make them work faster, or if you're feeling particularly vindictive slap them to death, toss them into the dungeon and let them rot, hurl them into the arena to fight for your amusement (If they survive you get a more powerful creature out of the deal), and. then there's torture chamber. Then you have the heroes, which once incapacitated you can send to be tortured until they break and join your cause... And then slap them around like you do your minions. Then, for those with a less sadistic side, you can take control of one of your own minions and cruise around your mighty sprawling dungeon, viewing it from their perspective and marvel at all you have accomplished. There are a lot of ways to unwind while playing this game.
  • Total Annihilation has flying transport units that can "transport" enemy units, especially if they're AI.
  • Rise of Legends is good for a teched-up steamroller in most missions, which is especially satisfying after a main mission with a gimmick. But on the more positive side of things, there's something special about a mission where you've been pounded heavily for a while, then get a long enough break for the "downtime" songs to kick in - the Vinci song, "LenoraLongAmb" (Lenora Long Ambient), is a lovely, relaxing piano piece.
  • In Evil Genius, torture isn't gong to make the five Super Agents break or talk no matter how much you do it. Still, given how much trouble these guy give you before you finally figure out how to get rid of each one, simply doing it is a good way to blow off steam.
  • Command & Conquer: Generals: Play on a city map against multiple easy AI, build up 50ish superweapons shoot them all at once. Nothing quite compares to the joy of blowing up the entire screen with 100s of nukes, 1000s of scuds or waves of unending lasers.
  • Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: In the custom map option you can easily setup a scenario on having your favorite Star Wars heroes face against a horde of easy to kill units. Press the test button and let the fun begin.
  • After every boss fight in the Pikmin series, the boss can be taken back to the onion and turned into more Pikmin for you. Needless to say, turning the monster that was just menacing you into more loyal soliders is beyond fun.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Ah, RPGS, where your party is all-powerful and can slaughter faceless mooks by the dozen. Alternatively, load up the save file you have in front of a particularly hated boss and beat the crap out of them for a while. For added fun, equip the weakest / strongest equipment you have, just because you're feeling vindictive and want to humiliate them.
  • Dark Souls: Ohhh so many:
    • Every time you get a backstab, or riposte, you stun your enemy, giving you enough time to recover your health, and watch your damage Skyrocket!
      • Every time you kill a difficult enemy, or a boss that's been giving you a hard time, Word of God even lampshades it saying he wanted every little kill to practically bring the player to tears of relief!
  • Fallout, where the above is made even better by the ability to hit specific body parts and incur Bloody Hilarious injuries.
    • Fallout 3:
      • And once they're dead, they will remain there. Forever a testament to what happened.
      • This is why the Experimental MIRV is in the game because as we all know, There Is No Kill Like Overkill. Seriously, it only takes 2 mini-nukes to kill the most powerful enemies on normal and this fires 8.
      • Using Pickpocket to slip a grenade into someone's pants, then watch them realize it.
      • In Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, the majority of your enemies are some of the most despicable scum there is, which makes killing them very satisfying; but by far the most satisfying feeling is utterly annihilating Fiend or Legion encampments.
      • Or, in Fallout 3, utterly exterminating all of Paradise Falls (the main Slaver base). Even moreso if you bring Fawkes with you.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas, it's possible to create Nuka Grenades, which are nuclear hand grenades, and Fat Mines, which are nuclear mines. If you're feeling rather evil, you can lay out a string of Fat Mines along the strip in New Vegas, gather some distance, and shoot one to make it explode. Congrats, you just cleared out a city with a chain reaction of nuclear explosions. Or, if you're feeling exceptionally evil, you can reverse pick-pocket a Nuka Grenade into the pants of a tourist or prostitute, and then run away as far as you can for your own safety. The next thing you'll hear is "HOLY SHIT!" from the victim realizing what just happened, and a mushroom cloud that will clear out anyone standing nearby. Sure, you will get caught in the explosion, but a few broken limbs is worth the LOLs.
  • The Valkyrie Profile series, with its ability to let you beat the enemies with a ridiculous amount of overkill. It is extremely satisfying to finish off a boss, or even a mook, with a chain of four Soul Crushes. Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume actually encourages you to beat already-dead enemies relentlessly to get better items.
  • There are few things quite as cruelly satisfying as playing a game with a New Game+ system and the sort of setup where almost every boss is That One Boss. Just save before whatever boss made you bang your head against a wall the most the first time through and keep beating the crap out of them over and over in the most humiliating ways you can think of. Cue Last Scenario.
  • Kingdom Hearts
    • Remember all those Disney villains who gave you nightmares as a kid? This series allows you to beat the stuffing out of them with a giant key.
    • Wanna blow off steam in the second game? Go to the Cerberus Cup, where the Drive Bar regenerates so quickly that you can stay in your Drive Mode of choice indefinitely. Go into Final Form, and watch the sparks fly!
    • In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days:
      • The final mission. You can curbstomp Neoshadows. It helps that you have two keyblades and are already enraged.
      • Days also provides the incredible feeling of equipping Saïx with the Casual Gear, playing a mission with low-level enemies and then massacring absolutely everything with a giant banana.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep:
    • For fans of Frozen (2013), Hans becomes a Heartless boss. Waiting five years to finally kick his butt was Worth It.
    • Being the Series Fauxnale that wraps the series' Myth Arc, Kingdom Hearts III has quite a few:
      • The fight against Vanitas in the Land of Departure is incredibly fun for a couple of reasons. First, you're playing as Aqua, the series' memetic waifu who got arguably the worst fate out of the three Birth by Sleep protagonists, fresh from the Realm of Darkness and ready for a comeback. Second, Vanitas is The Dragon of the son of bitch that is Master Xehanort, who caused so much misery on the Wayfinder trio and countless other people, so you get to kick his ass once more. Third, Aqua is rather OP in this fight — her stats are even higher than Riku — and losing is hard unless you really don't pay attention, so this "boss fight" is less of a boss fight and more of an interactive cinematic showing Aqua curbstomping Vanitas (at least until the following cutscene, but that's another story).
      • The battle against the Seekers of Darkness is this several times over. Sora get to team up with fellow Keyblade warriors to face against previous villains of the series for the final time. Special mention goes to the Saïx fight. After a brief stint where Kairi and Lea help you, the two are replaced by Roxas and Xion. Xion, the girl whose Ret-Gone is mourned by a half of the fanbase, is now helping Sora fight against someone who mistreated her for much of Days. Roxas, the dual-wielding half of Sora, who is so aggressive and overpowered in this battle (datamining reveals that he is always Lv. 99, compared to other party members who are adjusted to fit Sora's level), it's as if Sora and Xion are the party members in this fight. You can sit back and watch as Saïx gets completely wrecked.
      • The penultimate boss fight against Ansem/Xemnas/Young Xehanort, and the final boss fight against Master Xehanort. After seeing his absolutely monstrous actions over the course of eight games separated by a span of seventeen years, it's now time for the final boss fight against him to make him pay for everything he's done and plans to do. It's do or die, this time for keeps. Smash the keyblade in his face and finish him off once and for all.
  • Pokémon. Level 100 + Low level forest area = Ahh...
    • Alternatively, a level 100 mon against the Elite Four. Enjoy as one all powerful creature beats the crap out of the five toughest opponents in the game and feel all your anger melt away. Nothing will make you feel more badass than that.
      • It doesn't need to be the Elite Four. In one of the games where you can rematch Gym Leaders, take them on with a high-leveled Pokemon that's insanely weak against their type. There's nothing quite like curb stomping Gardenia with a Swampert or sweeping Pryce's team with a Dragonite. Bonus points if they gave you trouble before.
      • After all the trouble Zinnia caused you stealing Key Stones and interfering in scientific work for no immediately explained reason during the Delta Episode, what's the first thing you get to do after capturing Rayquaza? Oh, just fight her all-Dragon team... with a Mega-capable Rayquaza at point. You'd have to be a saint or a masochist to resist the temptation to unload with the most hideously overpowered Mega Pokemon available.
      • Ghetsis is a complete bastard of a man who is convinced that the only way to gain power is through lies and control. You get to beat him with The Power of Friendship on your side not once, not twice, but three times. Bonus? Each time you win, you send the man into a spectacular Villainous Breakdown.
  • Mass Effect has catharsis in a lot of the usual ways, but it also has emotional catharsis, where you can feel awesome for doing things ranging from shutting down a sleazy reporter with a heroic speech to just punching her in the face.
    • Sniping some poor schmuck between the eyes with a tank round.
    • Slaughtering enemies with the Mako's cannon.
    • In Mass Effect 2 shooting an armored enemy in the head with a sniper round makes a plink sound.
    • There's also biotically lifting enemies, then pushing them off into bottomless pits.
    • Upgrading the Normandy's defenses and weapons systems, so that you can watch Joker one-shot the Collector warship.
    • In Mass Effect 2, you can hug Tali.
    • In Mass Effect 3, being able to beat a Reaper by calling in an orbital strike, and another by setting a Thresher Maw loose on it so you can sit back and watch them duke it out.
    • Killing Kai Leng by gutting him like a fish is considered to be one of the most satisfying kills in the entire series.
    • Almost of the Renegade Interrupts in the second and third games, although the third game subverts this by rewarding you with long-term rewards for not taking some of them.
    • Catharsis can come in multiplayer as well, as you can play as monstrously powerful Krogan warlords, Turian special forces, even Batarians and Geth, and rip apart any number of the enemies that have been handing your ass to you in singleplayer.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, you can hit people in the face with a shield and build a character around that; while you won't be nearly as powerful as a mage, it'll all be worthwhile for the sheer cathartic factor.
    • Most players prefer to stab, cut, maim, crush, burn, freeze, and shock their enemies, much more cathartic than just hitting them.
    • At the Landsmeet, you've brought the nobility together to expose the crimes against your order and get the country re-focused on fighting the Blight. It's entirely possible to play your political cards right so that basically the entire country's on your side, at which point your political opponent challenges you to a duel. You can nominate a champion, or you can just throw down with him yourself and finally beat the utter crap out of the stupid bastard and execute him.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition makes you The Leader, The Inquisition a little way into the game. Why is that relevant? Part of your responsibilities include having the final word on the fates of some of the enemies captured. A templar traitor? That magister who caused hell to occur? Humiliating a duchess assassin? Dealing with her remains should she die? A mayor who drowned the people of his town? You carry out the executions yourself should you want to, or for the more...exotic options some are incredibly funny, and indeed awesome.
    You are the worst of us. Grand magister Erimond, you will die. By my hand.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne and Digital Devil Saga use the Press Turn Icon System. Short version, the number of times the player gets to go per time the opponent does is entirely dependant on skill level: the player can go up to ten times (after a sidequest in Noctune) for every time the opponent tries to pull something and is denied by your party build. Obviously, a game with a mechanic designed to let smart players kick that much ass has to be Nintendo Hard to compensate, and they are. Oh, they are. Players who do something stupid will die: those who learn to work the system will curb stomp their enemies. The feeling of godlike power smiting one's enemies is even better after fighting the Demifiend, and getting to experience what it was like to be one of the demons you utterly annihilated. The protagonist of Nocturne, aka you, the player, is the hardest RPG Bonus Boss of all time. It makes the player feel rather godlike.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV. Does the war between Law, Neutral, and Chaos present throughout several games in the series piss you off to the point where you just don't care anymore? Introducing the Nihilism ending, where you get to beat up on a defenseless machine and destroy the entire universe!
  • The final boss fight of Xenogears is an exercise in pure catharsis just based on who the boss herself is. For roughly 90% of the game, Miang Hawwa manipulates, murders, and eventually genocides her way through the plot, pushing several characters—heroic and villainous alike—into BSODs, removes the second strongest character from the party via a Grand Theft Me, and serves as That One Boss for many players. Near the end of the game, it's even revealed that since she was, for all intents and purposes, the "Eve" of the game's Adam and Eve Plot, and is technically immortal, every disastrous event to befall mankind can be traced back to her machinations in one way or another. So the game lets you beat the tar out of her with Xenogears itself.
  • Some examples in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team:
    • Killing ridiculously underpowered enemies with the last special moves unlocked, like the Zee Egg and Star Rocket. The fact the former has Mario and Luigi float down from the sky in a badass pose as the enemy gets obliterated in a multicolored flash of light makes it even better.
    • Using the the Gold/Miracle Badge to freeze time, unloading all hell on the enemies and watching the effects when time starts again. It's very satisfying to watch a monster get hit by every attack at once for something like 99,999 damage.
    • The Bowser Jr. Bonus Boss allows you to hijack the Clown Car and chase him down the screen while throwing items at his head. After all the chase scenes done by bosses to you, now you get to be the one who chases.
    • Smashing Earthwake in the head with a hammer in the third boss battle once it falls off the pier, since the entire battle until then has been desperately trying to avoid a barrage of attacks from the boss that gives quite a few people grief.
  • Five Nights at Fuckboy's is, despite its raunchy and hilarious exterior, a brutal series, and Cranky Kong will always be there to tell you to git gud. Come Act 3 of the third game, and you can fight the ape himself after all this time (though he is quite the Marathon Boss). The best part? After winning, Freddy tells Cranky to git gud!
  • Monster Hunter:
  • While Nippon Ichi Software gives players the disgusting satisfaction of overkilling hordes of mooks with overgeared, overtrained level 9999 characters, there is at least one moment where a player can get their share of jollies at a much lower level than that. In Disgaea 5 at the end of Chapter 10, it is not uncommon for players to purge a map with basic abilities and most Overloads... solely so they can buff Usalia up the ass before using Murmur of Rage and Berserk Stream to grate Majorita's face along the nearest wall, all because the latter was purely responsible for the sheer hell the former went through.
  • In Diablo 3, the witch Adria crossed the grand Moral Event Horizon by betraying you and killing Leah, her daughter, making her into the host of Diablo. Then she proceeds to vanish, becoming a Karma Houdini. Then in the expansion pack... turns out at the new act, she serves as a boss that your player must kill to proceed with the story. Nothing satisfies the player more than to finally sock that damn mother on the face, and as a bonus point, this becomes an in-universe version as well, the heroes are so looking forward to kill her for Leah's sake that it doesn't matter if they could compromise their missions, they want to let some steams off by finally killing her and getting justice (after having to deal with unhelpful or nasty Angels). Not enough? Go to Adventure Mode, then kill her again, over and over. Seeing "Kill Adria" as one of the randomly-chosen Act V bounties can bring a shit-eating grin to the face of a player who's had a rough day.
  • Xenoblade and Xenoblade Chronicles X both populate their overworlds with enemies that may be a good five, six, or twenty times your level/size, barring you from certain areas or forcing you to tensely sneak around them. Coming back after you've properly leveled and/or are inside a Humongous Mecha and taking them down is both immensely satisfying and a good indication of how much your party has grown.
    • In Xenoblade specifically, being able to kill the final boss Zanza is immensely satisfying after everything he has done especially as he goes through a Villainous Breakdown since he can no longer see the future but Shulk is able to see his.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 have resident Leeroy Jenkins Qara who stubbornly like to set things on fire and insult anyone who disagree with her. Grant Qara her wish and let her face off against a whole army of Fire Giants. Alone.
  • Undertale goes out of its way to defy this trope on the "No Mercy" path. Sure, you can go on a killing spree instead of playing the game as "the friendly RPG where nobody has to die"...but the game will then take steps to rob you of the catharsis you could get from killing important characters. Try to kill Papyrus? Instead of a gung-ho soldier hellbent on having an epic fight with you, he'll just tell you that you can do better, and spare you unconditionally, and if you kill him anyway, he'll tell you that you still have the capacity to do good. Undyne? Say hello to That One Boss. Sans? His fight is intentionally unfair and he tries to frustrate you so much to the point of a Rage Quit. Destroy the entire world? Whoops, any future Pacifist endings you do from here on out are tainted with a last-second nasty surprise!
  • In Octopath Traveler, this is why Primrose's story begins with her killing her pimp, even though the story itself is about hunting down the assassins who murdered her father. The latter is detailed in a flashback of maybe five minutes. The former is shown through an entire day of Primrose (and by proxy the player) being abused and humiliated by a Smug Snake who gloated about murdering her Only Friend, so few players complained when the Arc Villains fled and left Helgenish to fight alone.
  • The Deception franchise gives the player a multitude of ways to putting their enemies through the wringer, even if you decide to play towards what could be considered a "good" ending. Sequels upped the ante by letting you combo your Death Traps together, as well as throw mooks into the environmental hazards for additional damage. Once you've unlocked the best traps and New Game+, you can subject enemies from across the entire story to some truly dastardly arrangements.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, there is one quest in which The Empire kidnaps the player character's "Boss" (so to speak) and the rest of the Scions, the organisation that the player character belongs to and has been doing missions for. The Intended Audience Reaction was a Player Punch and a Wham Episode - but considering the amounts of running back and forth from the Waking Sands to other areas, and the constant warping to an area a few miles away and running there that the player had been subjected to, this instead made people feel relieved that they might never have to go to the bloody Waking Sands again.
  • Paper Mario:
    • During chapter 3 of The Thousand-Year Door, fighters from the Glitz Pit have been going missing. The player later finds two fighters who they had made friends with have been drained by the chapter's villain in order to keep himself young. Needless to say, many players relish the chance to put the jerk in his place.
      • Beldam treats her younger sister, Vivian, like complete shit for all her time on screen. However, because of this, Vivian later joins up with Mario. Later in the game, you have another fight with Beldam. Many players let Vivian get her revenge on her sister and it is beyond satisfying.
    • Sticker Star and Color Splash have an infamous Scrappy Mechanic in the form of Things. Then The Origami King has the Legion of Stationery, a bunch of bosses which are essentially Things. Even better, when you defeat them, they crack and explode.


    Simulation Games 
  • The Sims. Seeing your Sims happy, or rehabilitating a tormented Sim can make you feel better. Or, alternately, make Sims of your enemies and torture them.
  • SimCity, every one of them. You can build up your city, and then at it's climax, imagine the guy(s) who pissed you off living in one of the residences and unleash a UFO invasion Meteor Storm at said residence.
  • Building deathtraps in Rollercoaster Tycoon and Theme Park then letting people on. Which can sometimes be necessary catharsis while you're playing the game, given the infuriating AI...
    • If you can tolerate that AI, though, it can be just as satisfying to create your dream theme park, with rides and attractions to cater to every taste, set admissions and rides to downright reasonable prices, then watch all your visitors have the time of their lives.
  • Deleting the fence around the lion exhibit in Zoo Tycoon, or just picking up the lions and moving them out into the giant crowd of people watching the friendly cats play. The horrified screams as your poor guests futilely try to run in terror are as soothing ointment to a wound.
    • Or dropping someone into the exhibit full of orca whales.
    • Or, even better, dropping someone into the Tyrannosaur and Velociraptor paddocks if you have the appropriate expansion pack. Jurassic Park recreation, anyone?
  • Skipping the expansion pack by playing Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis and letting a T. rex run through your five-star park or deleting the fence of the Raptor Pen.
  • Dwarf Fortress. If you can stand losing, often, and learn to play the game well, rigging up horrible deaths for all involved can be quite calming. Had a bad day? It's remarkably easy to flood your entire fortress and sit there watching the buggers break down as they flee the ever-rising watery death.
    • Alternatively, go to adventure mode, train up wrestling, find a humanoid enemy (giants are good), and systematically cripple every joint in their body before throttling them to death.
  • Harvest Moon is surely near the top of the list of games inducing catharsis through sheer calming energy. Living on a beautiful farm waking up each day to tend crops and feed animals and then leisurely walk around the town talking to people you are befriending? Could anything be better to wipe away the stress of a busy day?
  • In a similar vein, the Animal Crossing games can be unbelievably cathartic if you've had a stressful day, especially as you usually have fewer obligations than tending a whole farm like in Harvest Moon. Just take a stroll round the town to the tune of that ultra relaxed music, saying hi to your friends, maybe doing a little fishing or catching bugs.
  • Tomodachi Life runs in a similar vein to Animal Crossing. Had a stressful day? Tend to your Miis—which you've probably based on you, your friends, celebrities, and/or fictional characters—and watch them participate in amusing activities.
  • The Pilotwings series, espcially 64 and Report. Pick a mission, take off, and...ignore the mission and just explore the island in your air transportation mode of choice.
  • Several of the MechWarrior games feature great explosions and some kind of invulnerability (as well as no-heat and infinite-ammo) function. Turn it on and go to town with that ridiculous thing you made in the lab that's chock full of PPCs and LRM launchers. Very literally, in some games which have missions featuring destroyable terrain.

    Sports Games 
  • The Punch-Out!! games:
    • In the NES game, sometimes it's more satisfying to spend all three rounds walloping on Glass Joe, countering his every attack and letting him hang on by a thread rather than just catch him in his titular glass jaw and knock him out in one shot.
    • In Super Punch-Out!!, Narcis Prince doesn't let anyone punch his face. Which makes getting in a face shot, then laying on the rapid fire jabs to the face more relaxing.
    • The games are Nintendo Hard, but taking the time and effort to complete them lets the player proudly declare, "I am the champion!"
  • Store up enough finishers in the latest WWE wrestling game and unload them one after another... especially if it's a wrestler whom you can't stand. Then comes the really fun part: you can use the create-a-wrestler feature to make practically anybody you can't stand, give them a pathetically wimpy moveset, and go to town on them by unloading finisher after finisher, letting go of pinfalls just before the 3 count, repeatedly breaking weapons over their heads, slamming their face into ringposts, metal steps and other scenery, and releasing submission locks just before the tapout until you feel all better. Wrestling games can be excellent stress relievers.
    • With the addition of "Create A Storyline" features, you can not only make the person who you hate, you can write a storyline featuring them and watch your favorite wrestlers insult them to their face, disparage them, and make them cry, then beat the crap out of them, maybe even alongside your own avatar.
      • You could also use traditionally silent or uncharismatic wrestlers to completely take the piss out of a wrestler you hate that has a fanbase.
  • After your favorite sports team suffers a demoralizing loss, there's little better than to punish the victorious opponent by putting every last slider in your favor and defeating a simulated version of them 255+ to nothing.
    • Even better: inserting a virtual version of yourself as part of your favorite team's roster and going to town on the hated rival team.
  • In early iterations of the FIFA soccer games (one example is the world cup '98 version) when the opposing goalkeeper was holding onto the ball you could scythe him down without the fear of receiving a card. Makes it a little better when he gets booted in the air after saving every shot.
  • Dangerous Golf is explicitly designed to be this as the premise is to hit the ball as hard as you can and destroy everything in the room as much as possible.

    Survival Horror 
  • The "stomp" move in Dead Space and its sequels, which allows you to reduce any corpse, human or necromorph, to red paste while your character roars (or curses) in fear and rage. Anyone who has played any of the games knows just how good it feels to stomp one of those pesky necromorphs into a pile of Ludicrous Gibs after one Jump Scare too many.
  • Stealth kills in The Evil Within. You'll eventually reach a point where they're no longer as vital to surviving, but you'll still want to pull them off whenever you can because of how immensely satisfying it is to put one of your ghastly foes in a chokehold from behind and jam a bigass Ka-Bar knife into their skull. The sequel amplifies this by greatly expanding the variety of stealth kills you can pull off, all of which are incredibly brutal.
  • Outlast gives us the gem of Trager's death, best summed up by the Player Character "How To Make Trager Juice. Step 1: Squeeze."

    Tabletop Games 
  • If your GM is aiming for this, you can make some hilarious memories of burning down a forest when you're supposed to be a protector of Nature, giving an enemy a death without a drop of dignity (using his head as a hat, for instance), and several more incidents of Crossing the Line than you can shake your finger at.

    Third-Person Shooters 

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Games like Grand Theft Auto (III and onward, at least). Two words: Pedestrian Bowling.
    • One more word: Trainer. Although the games are fun to begin with, a whole new level of wanton destruction can be added by taking advantage of the numerous options game trainers provide.
    • And the cheats! Hammer in a flying car cheat, switch to some epic music on the radio and take off into the air. At 88 miles an hour.
    • Alternately, in versions where the flying car cheat effects everybody, activate it and get in trouble with the cops, then drive off on a motorbike. You'll be periodically treated to police cars helplessly careening off into the air, effectively re-enacting a car chase from The Blues Brothers.
  • In Red Dead Redemption, Big Bad Edgar Ross is a corrupt, cowardly, smug, Glory Hound proto-FBI agent who double-crosses John which ultimately leads to his death. Fortunately for the player, the game doesn't end with John's death. In the Playable Epilogue, you get to hunt him down as John's son Jack and pump him full of lead. After all the crap he's pulled it's quite cathartic to get to do it.
  • In Minecraft
    • You can take your anger out by getting a overenchanted diamond sword, then killing as many mobs as possible.
    • Creative mode lets you leisurely work the creative parts of your mind by building impressive works of art with no block limits.
    • Play the regular mode and plant a ton of dynamite all over the place and make yourself a safe spot high up in the map, just floating there, with a block of dynamite ready to fall upon hitting it, and save the map. Load it in survival mode and wait for a few mobs to form, then hit the dynamite to turn on the timer and make it fall to the earth. The explosion can be so big that even maximum fog won't save you from the lag, but the resulting aftermath? Worth it.
  • Terraria becomes quite relaxing once you get end-game equipment, being able to build with little/no worry since anything that disturbs you or your NPCs are generally reduced to dust with your weapons.
  • [PROTOTYPE]. There's nothing like a negative impact for the wholesale slaughter of Blackwatch military personnel or smashing up dozens to hundreds of vehicles just by going from A to B, using humans as projectiles to smash vehicles.
    • When the map starts to split up into areas that are either military controlled or plague-infected, there's an uncommon amount of fun to be had in stealing someone's identity (along with the rest of them), proceeding to go into the red zones, and promptly playing what amounts to Double Dragon 3D: Zombie Edition.
    • The game can also be used for Video Game Caring Potential, as you punch up zombies to save civilians.
  • The Spider-Man 2 movie game. Half the game's fun is using Spidey's abilities to defeat mooks in the most painful ways you can come up with. Using webbing to continually pull an enemy into the air for flying punches, even after their health is gone. Webbing a crook to a lamp-post and beating the snot out of them for as long as you like. Doing the latter after slamming them into the ground with webbing about six times (an actual combo). Slinging them into the nearest body of water or off the nearest building. Punching them in the kidneys over and over before throwing them into another crook. Swinging them over and over around your head for use as a living projectile/shield. Shooting webbing into their eyes and watching them stumble around in a blind panic. And best of all: pile drivers off the Empire State Building.
    • Just swinging around the city is good for relaxation.
  • Bully. Added catharsis for young players due to the school setting, and added catharsis for the rest because every single NPC has a unique name, face and identity, so if a certain character gets the better of you, you can track him down specifically —not simply a random lookalike— and beat the shit out him for it later. And for those who were bullied by preppies, you can now shoot one with a potato gun and run.
    • The simplest and arguably most satisfying aspect of Bully is the ability to tackle boys and drive your knee into their junk. Their reactions are priceless.
  • Shadow of the Colossus: No matter how many replays, every time you face one, a small part of your brain tells you to run and never look back. And they get bigger. And bigger. And bigger. And defeating them just gets all the more satisfying.
  • You tell me that using the Keys to the City pack in Crackdown, spawning thirty oil barrels, spawning cars, and then driving cars into the mountain doesn't make the adrenaline rush, especially as you toss a single Limpet Charge into it and walk away with the camera facing you.
  • Assassin's Creed II, especially during the Carneval in Venice. Randomly shoot your gun off in the middle of a crowded square, poison a passing soldier and toss coins at his feet and watch as the poisoned guard starts swinging his sword around tossing guards and civilians alike into the canal, use people as fall cushions after a nice session of Le Parkour and punch the crap out of those annoying bards. There's a lot to do in Renaissance Italy.
  • Red Faction, but especially Guerilla. The feeling of breaking everything with your giant sledgehammer makes you feel incredibly relaxed.
  • If you get frustrated while playing Just Cause 2, no worries! Travel to the right military base and steal an armored car or a heavily-armed helicopter! Hook mooks to cars and drag them along! Flip cars over during high-speed chases! Hook mooks to a jumbo jet or a military fighter! And so on. Oh, and the Big Bad of the game is a cruel, brutal dictator who thinks he's untouchable and looks just a certain real-life one that pretty much everyone despises, so taking him down is rather satisfying.
  • Mount & Blade, from firing a hail of arrows with your troops while defending a castle to riding down infantry while heavily armored shrugging off blows, provides a lot of this.
    • There is a particular amount of entertainment to be had in the sequel, Warband, which allows you to still do things like chase after looters. The introduction of a weapon which can only be described as an extra-long baseball bat with nails in it lends newfound hilarity to the idea of chasing down peasants and clubbing them senseless with said weapon. Or you can get a literal plain old stick and whack them about the head with that too. If you're really bored and winning the game, there's always the good ol' method of finding a belligerent drunk, getting into a fight with him, and simply laughing off his puny sword with your Lordly Plate armor that needs a warhammer to damage, then you punch him over and over.
    • The various game mods for either Original or Warband only enhance this. Ticked off by, for example, the latest developments in Game of Thrones? Simply load up the Westeros mod, cheat yourself some high-tier armour in, buff your character up to the nines, and take out your anger on the particular object of your grievance. Slamming a war lance through Roose Bolton's face at 60mph? Never has vengeance felt so sweet. With the vast amount of mods out there, there'll be something for everyone.
  • Saints Row plain and simple, for added fun, create a character to use cheats, and abuse them. The Third is even better with this- wanna utterly annihilate your foes with an airstrike, or a tank, or a VTOL equipped with lasers and missiles? It's got you covered.
    • The Third is even better if you have the Respect upgrades. Specifically, the ones that grant immunity to bullets, fire, explosions, ragdolling from said explosions, and fall damage. You're now immortal. Find the nearest survival mission and have a blast.
      Male Voice 1: Man, this is therapeutic!
  • The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is sometimes called [PROTOTYPE]'s predecessor. There's nothing quite as satisfying as cruising around the city on a skateboard you made out of a bus, or the fact you can use a lamppost to work on your golf swing, using people as the balls! Sadly, if you advance the story enough, the game starts to punish you with Demonic Spiders for your wanton destruction. Though grabbing a suit of Power Armor and using it as a pogo stick via an infinite chain of Spinning Piledrivers is pretty darned entertaining, too.
  • In L.A. Noire, you can wreck the painstakingly recreated 1940's L.A. while driving around in your equally beautiful recreated car.
  • You might not expect Elite to be cathartic, but it can prove surprisingly so to those who just want to fly about in space, especially Elite Dangerous, where the graphics are much prettier. Casual explorers can go from system to system and just find new things to record. Light traders could do simple ferrying jobs across the space lanes. Weekend warriors can always find some wussy NPC bandits to take out their frustrations on.
  • The Just Cause series is BUILT on this, especially the second and third games. Two of the biggest open-world maps in gaming, an unlimited number of civilians or, even better, Asshole Victims, and many, MANY ways to level the entire game world. Ever wanted to take out a military base by flying over it with a passenger jet carrying a hot pink ice cream truck by tow cable, dropping the truck into several large fuel tanks, skydive into the wreckage, hijack a tank, then doing donuts while shooting everywhere and dragging a corrupt military commander behind you with a grappling hook? YOU CAN.
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted has a large open-world city, a police force wanting to arrest you for street racing, and plenty of destructible environments to tear up from behind the wheel of a muscle car. It even keeps track of the monetary value of the damages you've caused!
  • Okay, so Sleeping Dogs might not have as many guns as most crime sims, but it makes up for it with a really fun melee combat system, lots of squishy civilians (and slightly less squishy random thugs) and people who don't know when to keep their mouth shut. Someone will always take the piss out of your fashion sense when you walk out of a shop, and not a single shop ever has a guard or cop nearby. Have fun jump kicking the mouthy asshole until he needs to recover his teeth from a nearby window display.
    • The game also seems to just how much you're gonna want to beat the shit out of Dogeyes by the time you catch up to him. It doesn't hurt that the game ignores lethal damage when in 'boss fights,' so you can break his elbows, shatter his knees, and smash him against every vertical and horizontal surface until he should have a perfectly flat disk where his face used to be. And he deserves every minute of it.

  • Katamari Damacy. There's just something calming about pushing around an unstoppable ball of death.
    • When there's hundreds of objects that are the same size as each other but can't be picked up, damn if it's not satisfying once you finally get big enough to pick them all up at once.
  • Tetris, starting at the highest level you can.
  • Godhand. The credit song even lampshades this with the line "The Godhand helps me work out my stress!".
    • Main game giving you fits? Go to the practice ring and beat on the dummy. You take no damage and can use all the Reel/Roulette/Wheel Moves you want.
  • The Torture Game 2. Someone piss you off? Use the face creator feature and import their face onto the torture subject, then go to town on them with the various weapons and torture instruments.
  • The point of Ant City.
  • Robot Dinosaurs That Shoot Beams When They Roar. Not that hard, and you get to be a dinosaur that shoots beams when you roar.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: the Zen Garden, in which there are no zombies. The most unnerving moment in it is not having enough money for a record player. Also, the later stages of an easy-difficulty daytime survival game, as you watch zombies amble onto your spike rocks to fall from a hail of burning gatling pea ammunition.
  • FlatOut 2, Simcade, which provides a number of highly satisfying ways to run into other cars Available modes are Race (heavily-themed courses with a large amount of scenery to demolish at very high speed), Event (smaller track, usually designed for extra speed or with a calculated chance for collisions), Demolition Derby Exactly What It Says on the Tin, or Stunt (use a jetcar to get up to speed and then launch the driver through the windshield for things like High Jump, Darts, etc). When in a suitable mood for completely wanton devastation, the Wreaking Havok that this game provides is highly enjoyable.
  • It's more-or-less safe to say that part of the draw of the Super Robot Wars games is giving you the ability to blow up certain villains that a lot of people don't really like. The visceral explosions when they go up certainly don't hurt, either. For instance, Killing Embryo 20 times in the final route split of Super Robot Wars X is so satisfying. The effect is tripled if the villain in question is a Karma Houdini. Most prominently of this is Admiral Haruki Kusakabe, who got off scots free and able to ruin the lives of many beloved characters and never got true comeuppance since the franchise was cancelled mid-way due to the movie. In an SRW where he appears as a unit? Enjoy blowing this bastard up with no remorse, and there won't be an escape this time. If he attempts to escape that by being an NPC (Happens a lot in games that only had Prince of Darkness, since Hokushin acts as his Heavy, he will have to take a backseat and generally not being a unit you can shoot down), the story will make it that not only you wreck his plans, the good NPCs will hunt him down and put him back in jail where there is no way he can weasel his way out.
  • The Hitman series, especially Hitman: Blood Money. Going back to earlier missions with fully upgraded weapons, you'll wish there were more people to kill.
  • In The Last of Us, there's something oddly soothing about rushing into a horde of Infected and mashing sqaure to bash their heads in with whatever blunt object you can get your hands on. The game’s only boss fight comes at about the 3/4 mark and after a terrifying game of cat and mouse playing as Ellie with a cannibal pedophile rapist, it’s very satisfying to beat his face in with a machete after he tries to rape her.
  • Are you dissatisfied with Homestuck's recent turn of events? Are you tired of Vriska and wish she could get her comeuppance? We feel your pain.
  • For A Ranking all the missions in Valkyria Chronicles Selvaria DLC, you unlock a bonus mission where you get to play as her in Valkyria form. Blowing up General Damon's tank is also pretty satisfying.
  • Frustrated by traffic? Spent hours in 2 MPH rush hour? Annoyed at people cutting you off and then driving slower than you were? Rejoice, for there is Burnout, and there's Traffic Checkingnote  and there is Crash Modenote  and there's Road Ragenote  and there are Aftertouch Takedownsnote . Word of caution: you probably shouldn't go out and drive in real life for a while after a good session of Burnout.
  • The Batman: Arkham Series. You're Batman. Not just The Dark Knight, not just vengeance and the night, you're the Goddamn Batman himself.
    • Arkham City and Arkham Knight also give rather good moments of catharsic glory. After most boss battles you get your gloved hands of the night on most villains and are then entitled to deliver a satisfying beatdown on them, before delivering the knockout-blow.
    • The Riddler sidequest appears in all four games and is often considered an annoying That One Sidequest. Fortunately, Arkham City makes up for it upon completion by letting you watch Batman punch Riddler in the face, and Arkham Knight goes one better and lets you personally punch him in the face repeatedly.
  • Journey was designed specifically to invoke catharsis. It's short, there's not so much as a line of dialogue, and the story is as minimalistic as it gets, but by the end, you will be downright tired from the emotional wringer it puts you through.
  • Ōkami is another non-violent example. Your heart will soar every time you cleanse a cursed area and see beautiful flowers and clear water wash away the evil.
  • Being the captain of your own Cool Starship (be it a Federation ship, a Romulan warbird or a Klingon bird of prey) in Star Trek Online is incredibly satisfying, especially when it allows you to kick the asses of a huge variety of enemies from the TV series and movies. There's also a lot of warm feelings to be had during missions where you can find a diplomatic solution (and often reap the benefits of your actions later in the game), or get to work alongside a characters such as Worf, Tuvok, Tasha Yar and even members of Captain Kirk's crew.
    • Arguably the single most satisfying moment in the game comes at the end of the mission Surface Tension, when, thanks to the actions of both you and the current Enterprise captain, the Federation and the Klingon Empire make peace at last, vowing to work together to bring down the Iconians once and for all.
  • Child of Eden has a unique take on the Rail Shooter genre. Rather than killing targets, you're "purifying" them, with the effect being anywhere from turning them into pretty flashes of light or giving them new, eye-pleasing forms, often accompanied by sound effects that blend into the music. The Final Boss's "defeat" in particular sees Lumi reawakening and singing the refrain of "Heavenly Star".
  • The arcade version of Duck Hunt, Vs. Duck Hunt, lets you shoot the dog in a bonus round.
  • One of the most popular uses for The Powder Toy? Finding new ways to destroy everything that can be destroyed.
  • There is a small niche of Japanese arcade games that exists solely for catharsis. One example is Cho Chabudai Gaeshi, which translates to Super Table Flip. The player only gets to do one thing. After an extended setup scene loaded with various irritations, the prompt comes to lose it and flip a controller shaped like a small table as hard as possible. The score is based on how much the room is disrupted.
  • In The '80s, the iconic Alien hit it big and struck fear to audiences with the seemingly invincible and unstoppable Aliens wreaking havoc to the innocents and the protagonists. In the same time, action movies of manly men shooting the shit out of bad guys with stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone with titles like Commando, Predator or First Blood also caught the awe of many. Konami's solution for this? Contra, a run-and-gun game featuring heroes based on Arnie and Sly, fighting bad guys that culminates in fighting off monsters based on those Aliens. Having those action heroes load bullets into those seemingly invincible aliens and have them blow up are pretty satisfying.
  • Splatoon 2 had a very special Salmon Run shift from July 13th to July 15th, 2018. Remember how awesome it is to lay waste to the Salmonid hordes with any of the Grizzco weapons? How about a shift with nothing but Grizzco weapons in the weapon rotation?
  • Letting certain characters get the killing blow on certain bosses in the Fire Emblem series can be incredibly satisfying due to the various circumstances surrounding the situation. Some examples include...
    • Palla, Catria, or Atlas killing Grieth in Fire Emblem Gaiden and Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, since he'd kidnapped their younger sibling(s).
    • Nino getting to finish off Sonia in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, due to the years of mistreatment Nino had to deal with. Even more satisfying considering the amount of effort it takes to get Nino to be able to fight Sonia in the first place.
    • In the same game, Nino, Jaffar, or Renault killing off Nergal. The first two due to Nergal being at least partially responsible for their bad childhoods, and Renault due to Nergal turning his friend into a Morph.
    • Having Takumi fight Iago in the Birthright branch of Fire Emblem Fates is some well-deserved karma, since Iago had been using Takumi as an unwitting spy against the group for a good chunk of the game.
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War has tons of these, making it some shining awesome moments in the midst of a really dark game.
      • After the jealous and incompetent King Chagall had Eldigan executed for asking for peace, it is satisfying to have Eldigan's best friend Sigurd, both the main character and having to fight Eldigan because Chagall made him to; or Lachesis, Eldigan's adoring little sister, go out and kill the bastard.
      • Depending on how you view the scenario, you can have either Finn or Leif kill Travant for initiating the Yied Massacre that led to the deaths of Quan and Ethlyn, and the kidnapping of Altenna. If you think Travant crossed the Moral Event Horizon and no reasons or actions could get him out of it, you may like trying to emulate Leif's response about dreaming to kill Travant with his bare hands.
      • May be downplayed with killing Arvis with Seliph. While some players might feel satisfied for having Seliph avenge Sigurd for the massacre at Belhalla and no amounts of well intentions that Arvis actually delivered before things went to hell would salvage him from it, the story proceeds with Seliph actually realizing that Vengeance Feels Empty and had no satisfactions that the players might have.
      • Tine/Linda or her big brother Arthur/Amid killing Hilda for her brutal, reasonless, proud torture to their mother Tailtiu/Ethnia... and especially on Tailtiu, because the player knew her as a bright, cheerful cutie that got horribly broken to death majorly because of Hilda.
      • During the final battle, Seliph can confront Manfroy who reveals that he was responsible for every bad things and griefs that plagued Jugdral for the sake of his plan to have his God engulf Jugdral in darkness. Seliph's fury against Manfroy is extremely relatable to the players, who wants to sock him in the face for just about every tragedy that transpired because of his design.
  • Ace Attorney is primarily about liars being exposed and made to pay for their arrogance. With a side helping of "justice always prevails eventually".
  • The original Whack Your Boss game states that the primary objective is to do horrible things to your boss for cathartic relief for any pent-up anger or rage — or simply because the kills themselves are amusing.


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