What is a hero without his/her villain? The only reason any one cares about the hero picking up a sword or a gun and going off on a quest is the inevitable showdown with the baddy. The bad guy is arguably the most important role in a video game. They give the hero purpose. Very difficult to narrow down, but in this article, we’ll look at the ten most infamous villains to ever grace the video game scene. Spoilers may be ahead so be warned.
10. Pyramid Head – Silent Hill
A truly terrifying villain. He’s made kids and grown adults alike jump in fear on more than one occasion. Apart from being a monstrous bad guy, he is also a metaphor for the character’s regret over his past actions and desire to be punished for those actions. His fear factor is amplified by being completely unpredictable. He might not even go after you every time you encounter him, instead going after someone or something else. What’s weirder is that he may even commit suicide after dealing with the others and never come after you at all. Almost as if he knows of the characters desire for punishment, but doesn’t want to give that satisfaction..until he does.
9. Giovanni – Pokémon Red & Blue
Probably the most polite villain on this list, but only because Pokémon villains are polite by nature (except maybe Team Skull). The head of Team Rocket is challenged by the player three times throughout their journey in Red and Blue, and each time Giovanni plays by the rules. Albeit his goons always show up at the most inopportune times, even they have the decency to play by the rules, even though they are trying to stop you from achieving your goal. It is nice to see some manners from the bad guy for once.
8. Ganon – The Legend of Zelda
Ganon has it so rough. All he really needs to do is check out a history book to know what is going to happen. His plans will almost be to fruition, he will almost have taken over Hyrule and then some punk kid Link shows up and pulls it all out from underneath him. None of this ever deters him however. Often holding the Triforce of Power, and being the only male Gerudo, he goes all out for every battle. Having been through many pan-dimensional imprisonments, held his own against time traveling Kokiri kids, and still giving Link a run for his money, he does all right for a villain who plays space tennis.
7. GLaDOS – Portal
GLaDOS or Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System is the primary antagonist for the first Portal and some of the second game. She’s amazing. Mean, cruel, threatening and even funny. GLaDOS is everything you want a villain to be. What makes her such a great villain is that she will force you to destroy anything you have any emotional attachment to, just because. What separates her from any other villain on this list is her lack of an ego. She understands that failure is possible and that she might not succeed. In fact she eventually comes to the realization that she cannot beat Chell so she just says screw it. Best of all, she’ll play you out with a tune.
6. The Flood – Halo
Mindless creatures, their sole mission is to infect and wipe out any and all sentient life in the galaxy, be it human or Covenant or anything else at all. They are everyone’s enemy. The threat that The Flood poses is so great that 100,000 years ago, the Forerunners deemed it necessary to activate the Halo array. Killing themselves and all other sentient life in the galaxy in an attempt to starve The Flood. This obviously didn’t work. Their discovery by the Master Chief in Halo: Combat Evolved is a major plot twist and somewhat panic enducing as they are very mobile and are fairly difficult to fight against, as they attack by swarming their prey. Their complete lack of a sense of mercy and lack of emotion on any level help them beat out the Covenant for this list.
5. Alduin – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Alduin the World Eater. The dragon son of Akatosh who is destined to eliminate mankind and destroy the world. He serves as the main antagonist in Skyrim, and faces off with the Dragonborn two times, ironically after he unintentionally saved him/her in the beginning of the game. Freed from his prison in time, Alduin begins bringing the dragons back to life to start his takeover of the land. Culminating in a final battle in the Nord nether realm of Sovngarde, Alduin proves to be a mighty foe with real malice throughout his black heart.
4. Zeus – God of War
The only reason God of War wasn’t the only game in the franchise is because Ares wasn’t the only morally questionable god. After Kratos kills Ares, it is revealed that Zeus isn’t that great of a guy himself. Once Kratos becomes the crowned God of War, Zeus becomes paranoid and begins plotting to kill Kratos, who also happens to be Zeus’ son, before Kratos can have a chance to turn on him. The King of the Gods also doesn’t seem to care about how many millions of people die as a result of this plot. To him, only the end goal matters, and his utter disregard for so many innocent lives makes him one despicable villain.
3. Vladimir Makarov – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Trilogy
This guy was a real dick. This dude literally wanted to start world war 3 and he was going to do it based off of a lie. A very motivated man, he did what he did with purpose and had ideals. Granted his moral compass definitely wasn’t pointing north, but ideals none the less. In addition to nuking more than 30,000 U.S. Marines and Soldiers, he is the center of arguably the the most controversial video game level of all time – No Russian. Under his leadership, the character assists in massacring hundreds of innocent civilians at Zakhaev International Airport and then Makarov kills you and leaves your body to make it appear that a group of Americans had perpetrated the attack. Fortunately, he meets his end at the hands of one Captain Price.
2. Illusive Man – Mass Effect
Today, we live in a world that unfortunately still sees the likes of xenophobia, racism and bigotry. Illusive Man is a modern villain in a modern space oddysey thriller. Not outright evil in the sense most people might associate evil with, in his own way, he has humanities best interest at heart. He is clearly the villain by the end of Mass Effect 3, although you are given the option to take his side through much of the trilogy. Once he is made to be the bad guy, you really begin to question your own moral compass, which is what any good villain does.
1. David – The Last of Us
One of, if not the most despicable character I’ve ever seen in a game. Sure, let’s get revenge on a man and a teenage girl because they killed the guys we sent to kill them. Let’s try to eat a 14 year old because her friend killed our friends. David and his friend James meet Ellie while she is hunting a deer and ask for a portion of the meat from the one she killed. She, at gunpoint orders them to give her antibiotics in exchange for the meat, which David sends James to retrieve. After David renders her unconscious, he brings her back to his group of cannibals, which he intends to induct Ellie into. They feed her meat that is heavily implied to be human flesh and she manages to escape after killing James. David, while not a traditional villain, is the manifestation of the dark side that resides in all of us. The culmination of what measures a person is willing to go to survive, no matter how despicable those acts can be. On a positive note, this one meets his end by means of Ellie repeatedly slashing his head with a machete.