Max Payne 3, Hotline Miami > Hitman: Absolution
Rockstar's best game in years and a masterpiece from a new voice in gaming both tackle violence in games. Max Payne 3 sees that violence as both disgusting and divinely cathartic; the paradox that violence is and why it means so much in modern society. Hotline Miami isn't really concerned with violence itself, but with player interaction and interpretation of violence.
But wait, doesn't Hotline Miami do some of that in its very cover art, featuring a man grasping a half-naked woman who is covered in blood? The difference is tone and presentation: Absolution wallows in "sexy" and sexual violence. Its most striking image, present in its trailers, is that of wholesome nuns stripping off their habits to reveal leather bondage gear and machine guns - naturally, this links the violence that follows to kink.