In Ontario, Canada, the game was on February 3, 2004 the first ever to be slapped with a mandatory R rating (restricted to be bought or rented by those only of age 18 or older). It was applied by the Ontario Film Review Board, an agency of the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services, after its panel reviewed the game in part because of complaints by parents.
The Scottish actor Brian Cox, who features in this game, also featured in the (unrelated) film Manhunter.
On March 31, 2004, Manhunt (PS2) was put on the infamous German index by the BPjM. Both Windows and Xbox versions followed February 26, 2005.
For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.
In addition to the indexing, on July 19, 2004, the PlayStation 2 version was also confiscated for violating §131 of Germany's penal code (for showing gruel violence against humans etc.). Both Windows and Xbox versions followed July 21, 2005.
In the original build of the game, the scene "Kill the Rabbit" was originally titled "Pool of Tears".
On October 20, 2003, Manhunt was released in Australia with a MA15+ rating. Computer games with this rating are not suitable for anyone under 15 years. The following year, the game was blamed for the death of a British teenager. Due to this, the censors met to review the game's rating on September 29. After this, the game's rating immediately changed from MA15+ to RC, meaning that it is illegal for anyone to purchase Manhunt, or import it into Australia.
Banned in New Zealand for excessive violence.
The game takes place in Carcer City, which is the city right next door to Liberty City, the locale of Grand Theft Auto III, and was also mentioned numerous times in that game.