July 4th is when we celebrate the birth of the United States of America after we dropped tea into the ocean, cracked the Liberty Bell, or whatever (I never paid attention in school). But obviously you don’t need knowledge to celebrate all 50 states from sea to shining sea – all you need is blind passion! If you’re filled with patriotism at this great land of ours, you want to share it with the world, whether it’s a mural, a poem, or even a video game.
In the long history of games set in the United States of America, these three titles have shown more love and affection for the stars and bars than any other. Just learning about these games is bound to fill you with American pride and the drive to light fireworks at a moment’s notice. So put your hand over your heart and read along.
It takes real guts and American pride to release a PSOne game in 2003, but that’s just what Take-Two did with Patriotic Pinball back in the early aughts. With arcades dying out, people had to turn to digital pinball, and this was the more American of the bunch. Of the two boards in the game (yup, only two boards), one is “America on Duty,” a tribute to USA’s armed forces, decorated with Army, Navy, and Air Force imagery that references historic battles. The other board is “Roadtrip: Coast to Coast,” a more leisurely celebration of the country. You bounce the ball around multiple landmarks, getting all the points you can from New York City to San Francisco.
Bonus Patriotism: Patriotic Pinball‘s loading bar is the flag, easily the most patriotic loading screen ever made.
Metal Wolf Chaos
In 2004, before From Software hit the big time with Dark Souls, the Japanese developer made one of its weirdest games. Metal Wolf Chaos is an over-the-top action game featuring giant mechs battling, and you play as the President of the United States piloting the titular mech suit. You see, the Vice President led a coup of the White House, and POTUS’s only rational response is to pull his combat suit out of the Potomac and blast his way to freedom! The game ends with a huge fight in Las Vegas and President Michael Wilson preventing nuclear destruction of the country, a goal every leader should strive for.
Bonus Patriotism: Metal Wolf Chaos loved America so much, it knew it was too nationalistic to ever be safely released here, meaning this pro-USA game with English voice acting never left Japan.
Saints Row IV
The Saints Row games have gone from being gritty clones of Grand Theft Auto to being the most absurd game in the AAA market, turning up the silliness and mocking just about every trope they could get their hands on. It was some great, all-American satire that really came to a head at the start of Saints Row IV. The game opens with a parody of Call of Duty missions, leads to a reenactment of the ending of Armageddon, and then has the player explore the White House after the gang’s leader gets elected President. You can cure cancer, fix hunger, or battle alien hordes, all in a day’s work as the Leader of the Free World.
Bonus Patriotism: Saints Row IV loved America so much that they even spent a little extra to include Aerosmith’s hit song during the Armageddon parody.