List of Dystopian Music, Games and TV


English New Wave band "The Buggles" produced two albums who heavily explore the themes of the cyberpunk dystopia. Their biggest dystopian single was without a doubt song called "Living in the Plastic Age".

American heavy and trash metal band Anthrax produced the song called "I Am the Law", a tribute to the dystopian comic book character Judge Dredd that was depicted in the comic book anthology 2000AD.

One of the greatest hits by the rock-pop duo Zager&Evans was the single "In the Year 2525", which depicted the dystopian evolution of human race across the ages, all up to eventual destruction of humankind in the apocalypse.

Music created by the English alternative rock band Muse is focused on dystopian elements. Their albums "Absolution", "Black Holes and Revelations" and "The Resistance" have several dystopian songs.

Picture Of Beneath A Steel Sky Cover Art

Two albums from Pink Floyd are very dystopian oriented. "Animals" borrows the themes from George Orwell's Animal Farm, and "The Wall" describes transformation of the story's protagonist into fascist dictator.

American industrial metal band Fear Factory produced album "Obsolete" in 1998, in which each song describes dystopian environment where humans were made obsolete by the machines.

David Bowie 's album "Diamond Dogs" features several songs that are loosely based on George Orwell's famous dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

American metal band Metallica produced a song "The Unforgiven" that described the life in the ultra-conformist dystopian society.

Song "Citizens Of Tomorrow" by the Canadian indie rock band Tokyo Police Club tells the tale of the future where computers rule over humans. Protagonist of the song was in the end killed, as the computers warning to the rest of humanity.

Swedish synth-pop band Covenant released a song "Like Tears on Rain" on their 2000 album "United States of Mind". Song is a tribute to the dystopian science fiction film Blade Runner, and it describes the thoughts of the dying android.

2010 album "Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys" from the American alternative rock band My Chemical Romance tells the story of a band members living in a futuristic California, which is filled with the people brainwashed by the evil organization Better Living Industries.

British heavy metal band Iron Maiden released album called "Brave New World" in 2000. As a tribute to the Aldous Huxley' novel of the same, the album depicted the life in the dystopian London.

Song called "The Universal" from the English alternative rock band Blur describes the life in the dystopian world filled with media saturation and misplaced hopes.

Progressive rock band Porcupine Tree released song called "A Smart Kid" in 1999, which describes the moment when aliens visited the last surviving human in the post-apocalyptic future.

American artist Frank Zappa released dystopian concept album called "Joe's Garage", which depict the world in which music is forbidden and crimes are punished preemptively.

Eric Clapton 's cyberpunk dystopian themed album "Vertical Reality" described society without religion, in which every aspect of life was controlled by government.

Many other artists released albums that explore dystopian themes, most notably Roger Waters (albums The Final Cut,Radio KAOS and Amused to Death), Queensryche (Operation: Mindcrime), JethroTull (Thick as a Brick), Radiohead (albums OK Computer and Kid A),Rick Wakeman (1984), Anthony Phillips (1984) and Nine Inch Nails (Year Zero).


Aeon Flux is a 1991-1995 avant-garde science fiction animated television series and a live action movie from 2005. It depicts the struggle between two states - dynamic anarchist society of Monica and centralized technocratic Bregna, and is told through the viewpoint of title character that works as an assassin and rebel in this dystopian futuristic world.

Television series "Dark Angel" (FOX, 2000-2002) is set in a dystopian world set in the aftermath of a massive terrorist electromagnetic attack, that destroyed internet infrastructure and sending the society as we know it into disarray. Title character of this biopunk/cyberpunk science fiction show is a genetically enhanced super-soldier that is on the run from the government military forces that were responsible for her creation.

"Charlie Jade" is a South African science fiction television show from 2004. It describes the life of titular character Charlie Jade, who discovers that the dystopian government of his world has started to steal natural resources from the alternate (and unspoiled) dimension of Earth.

"Jericho" (2006-2008) is an American television show that depicted the life of the citizen in small rural American town that was spared from the nuclear war that destroyed all civilization around them.

"Nowhere Man" (1995-1996) is an American television series that followed the life of the photojournalist Thomas Vail, whose identity suddenly became deleted by the power of secret "Organization". Show extensively explored dystopian themes of lost identities, subliminal mind control, genetic testing, and government conspiracies.

"Survivors" (1975-1977 and 2008-2010) is a BBC post-apocalyptic series that explored life of a small group of survivors in a world decimated by the genetically engineered virus.

"The Prisoner" (1967-1968, remake in 2009) is an English cult psychological drama series that explored the concepts of loss of identity, deception, privacy, sanity and individuality. Show followed a spy who after delivering his resignation found himself stranded in a strange dystopian town from which there is no escape.

"Samurai Jack" (2001-2004) is a Cartoon Network animated series that followed the adventures of the titular character, who became transported into distant dystopian future that was under absolute rule of evil wizard.

The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) is an American cult television series that tackled the themes of dystopian societies in several of its episodes.

Television series "Dollhouse" in two of its episodes depicted the dark dystopian future, in which corporations waged wars between each other by using the technology of wireless brainwashing, until the point when that technology broke out of control and sped across entire world.

"The Tripods" (1984-1985) is English television series that followed the adventure of several resistance fighters in their campaign against the alien race who managed to enslave humanity and enforce dystopian society.

The longest running science fiction television series of all time "Doctor Who" (1963-1988, 2005-present), had several encounters with the dystopian societies. Presented dystopias varied from episode to episode, here is the few notable ones- the world with harsh tax systems, world where sadness is punishable by death, parallel earth ruled by the by a fascist regime, world who enslaved its citizens with falsified news, to the world where militaristic regime created the most powerful fighting organism in known universe, The Daleks.

Video Games

Acclaimed "Fallout" franchise of role playing video games created by Black Isle Studios and Bethesda Game Studios gives players a chance to explore futuristic post-apocalyptic wasteland world, filled with mutated humans, animals and aliens, in which small patches of humanity try to survive under the rule of totalitarian dystopian rulers.

"Beneath a Steel Sky" (1994) is a science fiction point & click adventure game created by the Revolution Software. Main character wakes up not remembering his past and starts exploring the dystopian world damaged by pollution and nuclear fallout.

"Beyond Good & Evil" is the action-adventure game by Ubisoft. It is set in a dystopian world where government controls their citizens via propaganda, censorship, and restricted travel.

"BioShock" (2007) is a role-playing first person shooter video game created by the studio Irrational Games, under the leadership of their lead writer Ken Levine. Story of this game is set in the failed utopian setting of underwater city called Rapture, where player must fight his way through the armies of mutated beings and mechanical drones in the quest to find the secrets of the city's origins. Studios latest unreleased game called "BioShock Infinite" will tackle similar theme, only this time set in the flying city among the clouds.

"Deus Ex" (2000) is a cult cyberpunk video game that started the subgenre of RPG first person shooters. Its story (and the stories of its 2003 sequel and 2011prequel) follows the life in the futuristic technological advanced earth, where shadow organizations and governments rule over the humanity. The common themes explored in this franchise are conspiracy theories, connection between man and machine, and mechanical augmentation.

"Half-Life 2" (2004) is an award winning action adventure game created by the American studio Valve. Following the finish of the original Half Life, main protagonist of the game find himself transported in the future, where alien organization called Combine has managed to conquer Earth and subdue its citizens, with some of them being transformed into brainwashed loyal cyborgs.

"Mirror's Edge" (2008) is an experimental platforming adventure video game created by the American studio DICE. It follows the life of Faith, on foot courier and a part of the resistance against the oppressive government who uses extensive amounts of surveillance and electronic tracking to control its citizens.

"Red Faction" (2001), "Red Faction II" (2002) and "Red Faction: Guerrilla" (2009) is a series of action adventure games created by the American developer Volition Inc. All of them are set in the futuristic environment of terraformed Mars, in a conflict between local rebels and oppressive military force of "Earth Defense Force".

"Syndicate" (1993) is a series of isometric tactical science fiction videogames created by the studio Bullfrog Productions. They all depict the dystopian future, where large crime syndicates wage war against one another, for the ultimate goal of total control over Earth's population.

"Crackdown" (2007) is a first in a series of third-person shooter video gamescreated by the developer Realtime Worlds. They depict the country in which government has founded the rise of several organized gangs, in order to subdue the population into giving them permission to create police state.

"Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots"

(2008) is the chronologically last videogame in the main series of successful action adventure games made by Japanese studio Konami Productions. Its story follows the genetically engineered super-soldier codenamed Solid Snake, on his quest to stop the shadowy organization who managed to transform Earth into dystopian land governed by the controlled media and war economy.

Picture Of Beneath A Steel Sky Cover Art
Picture Of Bio Shock North American Cover Art
Picture Of Red Faction Cover