Eminem may be a Grammy Award winner and the seventh richest rapper in 2019, but his taste in video games is elementary (Wealthy Gorilla). He doesn’t care much for shoot ‘em ups, ones with puzzles or RPGs. Only old school platform and arcade games strike his fancy.
When explaining in an interview with Complex Magazine the types of video games he prefers playing, the artist said, "I want to run and jump. That's it.” While the rapper happens to own a few arcades himself, which we detail below, it doesn’t necessarily make him a pro.
We’ve compiled a list of games, some of which Eminem has mentioned playing regularly himself, along with others he may not have ever spent a minute on. What they all share in common though, based on his interviews and lyrics, is a speculative likelihood he probably isn’t very good at any of them.
20 Ms. Pac-Man
Back in September 2018, Eminem treated his Instagram followers to a live video of him playing Ms. Pac-Man (Hot New Hip Hop). According to Kotaku, not only does Eminem go head-to-head with fellow rapper 50 Cent in Pac-Man, but the latter claimed he cheats at it. With Eminem peaking back at one point during the Instagram Live clip, perhaps the rapper isn’t as good as he leads on.
19 Grand Theft Auto
As Eminem mentioned in an interview with Complex Magazine on video games: “I want to run and jump. That’s it.” He’s also said that newer games are “too complicated,” so it’s safe to assume he doesn’t like ones with much more than running and jumping. If that’s the case, then Grand Theft Auto probably isn’t a game Eminem gravitates to.
18 Donkey Kong
Eminem isn’t shy about his favorite games, nor is he about his supposed skills. In an interview with Complex Magazine, Eminem said when asked whether he plays video games, "Yeah, I'm pretty nasty at Donkey Kong, B. You should go check my high-score.” Then again, if 50 Cent is right about Eminem’s unfair tactics, then it’s possible he’s done the same playing Donkey Kong.
17 Super Smash Bros.
Not only is Eminem on record for playing Super Smash Bros., but actually buying a console solely for it. My Nintendo News reports the rapper bought a Wii U back in 2014 for the title alone. Apparently he lost interest in another popular game, which we reveal below. Based on his other favorite games, if he chooses Link, Zelda or Donkey Kong, he probably doesn’t stand much of a chance.
In his interview with Complex Magazine, Eminem professed to play “all the old-school games.” While many today might consider Minecraft an older game, since it came out in 2011, it’s not old enough for Eminem. An open world game might be too daunting for the famous rapper to be a pro at.
15 DJ Hero Renegade Edition
With DJ Hero Renegade Edition featuring two titans of rap—Jay-Z and Eminem—it’s safe to say Slim is behind the game. Then again, as Kotaku speculates, there doesn’t seem to be much proof out there Eminem is good at the game. On second thought, we don’t even know if he’s played it before.
14 Shady Wars
When it comes to video games, not only does Eminem pick up the controller, but he gets behind it also. According to MTV News, he helped make Shady Wars, a mobile game that arrived back in 2015. Despite coming out with his own mobile game though, the same source reports that it's frustrating, which suggests Eminem would have trouble with it.
13 COD: Black Ops
Eminem has not only helped make video games like Shady Wars, but also contributed music for them. As N4G points out, one of his songs was on Call of Duty: Black Ops. The song is “Won’t Back Down,” which also featured Pink. Considering it’s not a platformer though, CoD might not be up Eminem’s alley.
Eminem is still hooked on the classics when it comes to video games. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong are ones he’s either talked about or been on camera playing. N4G also adds Frogger to Eminem’s list of favorites to play. While the game is simple and Eminem’s cup of tea, it’s unknown whether he’s truly good at it.
11 Kingdom Hearts
Eminem doesn’t just loan out his music to other games (Call of Duty: Black Ops), he also borrows from others. According to Sora News 24, he sampled music from the Kingdom Hearts series of PlayStation games. While he admitted to sampling the game’s theme music, he didn’t mention playing the game itself (probably because he never played it).
10 Gran Turismo
If there’s one console Eminem probably never played, it’d have to be a PlayStation. Complex Magazine notes that in the song “So Far...,” the rapper disses the console saying, “hell with a PlayStation.” While it might be a stretch, it’s safe to say he hasn’t played too much Gran Turismo—one of the highest selling games in the console's history (PC World).
A game like Fortnite involves much more than simply running and jumping, as Eminem favors. Players also have to crouch, aim, shoot and reload while fighting their way through a Battle Royale. Something tells us Eminem would throw his keyboard and mouse against the wall before playing an entire minute straight of this game.
8 World of Warcraft
Arguably one of the most immersive video game genres—aside from VR—has to be MMORPGs. One of the biggest and most popular ones to come out was World of Warcraft. If Eminem ever made a character and played it though, we doubt he got past level 5 before switching back to Pac-Man or Donkey Kong.
There’s certainly a lot of running and jumping in Overwatch, but that’s not all players have to do. There are different game modes, characters and maps adding a whole lot of complexity. These layers are likely too much for Eminem however, when it comes to simply kicking back and wasting time playing a video game.
The legendary Valve series has been around for 20 years. Even to this day, it has a dedicated player base with a steep learning curve. This isn’t a game that’s easy to jump into or play casually. With Eminem’s game preferences tending to be on the more recreational side, it's unlikely he’s a natural at Counter-Strike.
5 The Sims
The Sims gives players the ability to make their own house and fill them with characters that mimic real-life experiences. This seems to fall in the category of games Eminem considers “too complicated” for his sensibilities. If he ever tried The Sims, he’d probably struggle to build an adequate home on a budget for a family of four.
To mention a video game in the lyrics to one of his songs has to mean something. Complex Magazine points out that in his song “So Far...” from The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Eminem raps: “I’m still on my first man on some Zelda.” While he doesn’t specifically name one of the many Zelda games produced, it sounds like a game he’s familiar with. Yet with the lyrics “run, jump, punch, stab” in the next line, it doesn’t sound like his Zelda skills are very advanced.
As touched upon earlier, Eminem picked up a Wii U so he could pick up what was at the time the latest Super Smash Bros. title. Supposedly, as My Nintendo News reports as per a talk show Shade 45 on Sirius XM radio, Eminem said Destiny bored him, motivating the switch to Super Smash instead. In reality, “bored” is likely code for sucking.
2 League of Legends
League of Legends doesn’t seem like Eminem’s cup of tea. With its origins rooted in Blizzard’s real-time strategy Warcraft III, it’s likely the rapper doesn't care for games that require creating structures and controlling armies. There’s no running or jumping in League of Legends, at least in the sense Eminem favors.
1 FIFA 18
Like many rappers, Eminem has a love of sports. According to The Daily Texan, he loves to represent the Detroit Pistons. While he might try his hand at NBA 2K or even go old school with NBA Jam, it doesn’t seem like FIFA 18 interests him, or that he’d even be able to hold his own playing it.
Sources: Hot New Hip Hop, Kotaku, Complex Magazine, MTV News, N4G, Sora News 24, PC World, Daily Texan, My Nintendo News, Wealthy Gorilla