Virtual Forklifts: The Most Famous Lift Trucks In Computer Games

Virtual Forklifts: The Most Famous Lift Trucks In Computer Games

A robust, hardworking forklift hire is a fundamental part of any warehouse, dockyard or construction site, and because of this, there are more than a few tributes to the vehicle that made the modern warehouse in the rather unexpected world of computer games.

Outside of the many forklift simulators available both for casual enjoyment and professional use, there are also many lift trucks in rather more unexpected places, typically appearing in modern settings and games that strove for a realistic feeling and aesthetic.

Here are some of the most famous lift trucks in computer and video games.


Halo: Reach


Halo: Reach in 2010 was a groundbreaking watershed game in several ways. It was the last game in the series to be made by original developers Bungie, it was one of the most technologically advanced first-person shooters of its era, and it even had a forklift truck

Whilst Master Chief and the other Spartan supersoldiers have driven a range of futuristic human and alien vehicles over the eight main games in the series, possibly the most fascinating is the futuristic forklift that was included in some of the levels as well as part of the game’s Forge tools. 

However, there is a caveat in that the lifting forks do not actually move. Apparently, the reason for this was that it was “too crazy and pointless”, although there are suggestions that the physics interactions it introduced into levels could allow for cheating and exceptionally odd glitches.


Metal Slug 4


The long-running exceptionally action-packed series of arcade games has featured a wide range of vehicles, ranging from the eponymous tank that could also inexplicably leap over tall buildings, alien landing craft, to the springloaded forklift.

Only available for Mission 5, the key to using it successfully is to be safe, as whilst it can protect the player from any attacks in front of the lifting forks, it does not have a safety cage so attacks from behind or above can still hit the player.

Regardless, even in a series as outlandish as Metal Slug, the forklift stands out as one of its most unique additions.




Arguably the most famous game to prominently feature a forklift, Yu Suzuki’s long-running game series not only features it as an optional vehicle or feature but as a fundamental part of the ongoing storyline of the series.

Shenmue is the story of Ryo Hazuki, a teenage martial artist seeking revenge for the murder of his father by the villainous Lan Di, but as part of his attempts to find leads on both him and the Mad Angels gang, he takes a forklift job.

This is not just a one-time mini-game, but a regular job involving warm-up races and transporting crates across the New Yokosuka Harbour. 

The forklift sequence was so famous and connected to the Shenmue series that when the long-awaited Shenmue III was released two decades after the first game in the series, one of the publicity renders featured Ryo Hazuki driving a forklift, with an optional forklift game included.