As a good contrast to their heroes, video game villains are multi-faceted characters who have a lot going on. They have depth, they want things, and they have plans that aren’t good. It doesn’t matter if they’re aliens, robots, or people who have lost all of their humanity; they’re bad guys. And, let’s be honest, a lot of the time, they’re also kind of hot. It makes a video game more interesting when you fight to overthrow a good-looking bad guy who makes you hate them. Even though it’s your job as the protagonist to stop them, you might even start to like them.
The best video game villains leave a mark on you and stay with you long after they’ve been killed. You can tell us how bad it is if your favorite enemy isn’t here. Here are the 25 best bad guys in video games.
1. LeChuck (The Secret of Monkey Island)
LeChuck has done everything. As you can see in this picture from the beginning of the story: He’s been dead and alive, a ghost, zombie, and demon. He was also a pirate and a human. In the game, this villain from Monkey Island is very adaptable and sometimes not very smart. This makes him even more interesting when it comes to being a bad guy. In love with a woman and angry at the man who keeps messing up his plans, he’s always showing up as a different version of himself or another. He’s like Davy Jones from Monkey Island, an evil pirate who wants to make your life miserable. It is an icon.
2. Dr. Wily (Mega Man)
Dr. Wily adds a little flair to his evil plans. He builds or repurposes armies of robots, puts elite bosses in each base, and still has time to build a multi-story lair and his own super-powered car. Mega Man can’t destroy Wily’s machines no matter how many times he does. Wily always comes back with even better machines. He also made Zero, a super-smart android that can compete with future Mega Man models. This makes him one of the top evil geniuses of 20XX and beyond.
3. Kerrigan (StarCraft)
“Chosen one turned intergalactic threat to all life” is what we have here. If you’ve been betrayed by your own people, you’ll become the corrupted leader of a hive-minded group of people called the Zerg. You’ll have tentacle dreadlocks, bones for wings, and a near-limitless army at your disposal. Is out for revenge in the way that a leader of a huge army could be: with war and total destruction in her head, she wants to get back at them. Is it possible that Kerrigan will end up on both good and bad sides in StarCraft’s long history? No, but everything she does has an imposing royal air that is fitting for the Queen of Blades.
4. Savathun, the Witch Queen (Destiny 2)
In Destiny 2’s most recent expansion, the Witch Queen, players have been gripped in a way that other expansions haven’t been able to. Savathun is a god from the Hive. She is the sister of Xivu Arath and the Taken King. After having the iconic Destiny 2 character Osiris for a whole season, she is now building an army of Hive Guardians (and he was partially conscious during it, which is awful). She’s been around in some way for a long time, giving players a lot of money when she finally shows up. A relationship has been formed between the players and Savathun. They have mixed feelings about her and her plans, and they aren’t sure how they feel about her. There’s only one person who can’t be trusted as far as you can throw her (and you can’t throw her). It helps that Savathun is voiced by Debra Wilson, one of the best voice actors in the business. This makes her manipulation more sinister and real.
5. Bloody Mary (The Wolf Among Us)
If you read The Wolf Among Us, you might not think Bloody Mary from Fables is the real baddie. But she is a great interpretation of the scary folk tale. When the Crooked Man is in power, Mary is the muscle that keeps him there. She has a cool, snide attitude and the raw strength to break Bigsby down. This person is truly evil. She likes to make things more difficult so she can inflict as much pain as possible. She can also teleport through any reflective surface (just like you imagined in grade school). Also, Mary’s true form is scary to look at. She has shark-like teeth, blood is dripping from her eyes, and mirror pieces are all over her. If you look in the mirror and see Bloody Mary, you’re not going to live long.
6. The Illusive Man (Mass Effect 3)
People who believe in the Illusive Man’s “human first” beliefs and those who believe in “Your-Nation-Here first” politics are easy to connect. Let’s not do that. To be a good villain, you have to be one of the few bad guys who doesn’t underestimate the forces of good. The Illusive Man is one of them. So, the Illusive Man spends a lot of time and money trying to bring back the body of the commander, who has been burned and frozen for a long time. This is a risk the Illusive Man must take if his bigger plans are ever going to work out. The ending of Mass Effect 3 shows that the character is just another power-hungry, Reaper-indoctrinated mook. At least Martin Sheen’s voice performance is strong through the whole game.
7. Shao Kahn (Mortal Kombat)
There are a lot of bad guys in the Mortal Kombat games, but the Emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn, is the most wicked one of all of them. Because he’s so evil, he doesn’t just send his armies over the worlds he wants to rule. He plays games with them first. His threat to humanity is that if humanity can win his fight to the death martial arts tournament, he’ll leave Earthrealm alone and go back to his own home world (alas, that has never happened in the history of ever). Because of a rare event, a fighter must then face Shao Kahn himself. This is because of his huge hammer and his constant shoulder bashing. He can be a real-life person who makes people angry. Neither realm has ever won his game.
8. Alma (F.E.A.R.)
The best villains aren’t always the all-powerful, conquering, resolutely evil types. They may not even be the best villains at all. Some of the most interesting and long-lasting enemies are the ones who aren’t just scary, but also interesting. There are many good people in this group, but Alma is one of the best of them. Like many antagonists, she has legitimate reasons to be angry and vengeful, but she isn’t like most of them. People who were powerful enough to abuse and torture her from the time she was a child effectively vetoed her life from the start. She was abused and tortured from an early age because of powers that were not her own. Alma, on the other hand, is always frightening, unsettling, and a real supernatural threat, but she’s just one part of a whole ecosystem of horrors that keep each other going. You’ll be able to sympathize with her even as you try to run away from her ghostly advances.
9. General Shepherd (Modern Warfare 2)
Modern Warfare 2 gave players a great baddie in Lieutenant General Shepherd. The Call of Duty games may be better known for their action and twitchy gameplay than their villains, but Shepherd was a great baddie. As the movie goes on, it is revealed that he is a traitor to his country who has been trying to start a war between Russia and the U.S. in order to start World War 3.
How good it felt to kill Shepherd: “Killing him was to me one of the dumbest scenes in a video game, but I still loved it because I hated him so much.”
10. Vault Tech (Fallout)
Each Fallout game has a different set of enemies and antagonists, but Vault Tech’s evil ways run through them all. In a post-nuclear world, a company that sells nuclear fallout bunkers might seem like the good guys. But it becomes more and more clear with each vault the players visit that Vault Tech was up to some pretty shady business.
When people were inside, most vaults were used to do horrible physical or psychological tests. Wiringguy89 says that each Vault is proof of “corporate greed and immoral, non-consensual, violent, and sick human conditioning/testing.”