15 Best Villains in Video Games History

Best Villains in Video Games

Here are fifteen of the most famous and best villains in video games history. Whether they’re diabolical masterminds, otherworldly forces, or oversized turtles, being a hero can be overrated.

Instead, why not steal a gardener’s radio or plot a heist? There can be no storyline without a figure or thing driving some form of conflict.

Whether it’s the philosophical human vs themselves, nature, society literary clichés, or the mustache-twirling ne’er-do-wells of Saturday morning cartoon shows.   

From being a sneaky assassin to becoming a space marine, video games offer settings where players can experience all aspects of life.   

However, this allows players to observe things from a different perspective, and some games even allow them to choose their path. In addition, games that will enable gamers to play as a villain are few and far between.   

Still, they’re worth checking out if you’re looking for a break from the norm—playing as a villain enables unique story aspects that would otherwise be incompatible with a game about saving the world.

The titles listed below will allow the player to be the best villains in video games. 

Table of Contents

1. Bowser (Super Mario Bros.)

Bowser is the perpetual antagonist of the Mushroom Kingdom and its countless residents, first appearing in the 1985 N.E.S. classic Super Mario Bros.

In addition, Bowser, who appears in practically every Mario game, will almost certainly be on the lookout for Princess Peach. And also one step ahead of Mario and his pals until the medium ends.  

Additionally, he’s the Platonic ideal of a villain, lying in wait after every castle and platforming course. While he occasionally teams up with Mario, it’s safe to assume that the two will always be mortal adversaries. 

2. GlaDOS (Portal)

The Glass on Portal is one of the best villains in video games history. GLaDOS, or the Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System, won over players’ hearts with her nasty, funny taunting throughout the Portal trilogy.  

Many of GLaDOS’ comments stand out in a game loaded with some of the best phrases in video game history. He is a hilarious, formerly-human digital personality who takes inspiration from 2001’s HAL 9000 and other rogue A.I.s.  

Furthermore, Reynsla of Rivia recalls one of GLaDOS’ most memorable quotes, citing, “I’m afraid you’re about to become the Being Alive Club’s immediate past president. Ha, ha, ha.” 

3. Frau Engel (Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus)

Being a Nazi automatically means you’re the worst and should be sent straight to hell. Still, Frau Irene Engel manages to be the most horrible character in a game featuring Adolf Hitler.  

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Additionally, she’s a sociopathic but minor character in Wolfenstein: The New Order until you confront her with a giant robot.  

Her vicious streak alters every interaction in Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, not her disfigured visage, which results from your last contact with her.

Seeing her with her daughter Sigrun is particularly unsettling, a touch of compassion adding to her realism and making her all the more terrifying. 

4. Ganon (The Legend Of Zelda)

Ganon, Nintendo’s persistent antagonist, initially appeared in the 1987 N.E.S. game and has since appeared in practically every installment of The Legend of Zelda series.

However, he is the epitome of the traditional video game villain concept, often represented as a bipedal orc-like monster.  

His origins and motivations were fleshed out further in the 1998 game Ocarina of Time, where he is introduced as the Gorudo people’s leader on a mission to pollute Hyrule.

In addition, Zelda’s Ganon, a pivotal role in every malicious act in the game, is among the worst of the worst in gaming. 

5. Darth Malak (Star Wars: Knight Of The Old Republic)

The adversary in Bioware’s role-playing game Knights of the Old Republic is a Star Wars game. Darth Malak carved a place in fans’ memories among the many notable villains in the Star Wars universe.  

Furthermore, Malek was a Republic general before Vitiate corrupted him and Revan following the Mandalorian Wars (AKA the Sith Emperor).  

“I recall the first time I saw the cover image for KotOR. He looked so fantastic,” Stewedpickles says of the game. Malak’s distinctive visage is anchored by the enormous metal faux-jaw that enables him to talk after Revan severed his actual one. 

6. Albert Wesker ( Resident Evils)

Wesker is a superhuman with a damaged brain, superhuman strength and speed, and a pair of gorgeous sunglasses.

You can’t help but admire Wesker’s unrestrained megalomania, although he’s one of the more comical antagonists in an otherwise gloomy game.

In the first Resident Evil, he was the leader of the S.T.A.R.S. unit, but he was also a double agent for Umbrella.

Furthermore, Wesker went off on his own soon after, making cameo appearances in the subsequent four Resident Evil sequels while plotting and scheming.  

He was ready to unleash a global viral infection and kill former teammates Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine by Resident Evil 5.

However, we won’t soon forget the man in black, who took hundreds of bullets, two rockets, and an entire volcano to stop. 

7. Shodan (System Shock)

Shodan is one of the best Villains in Video games history. LookingGlass Technologies’ System Shock was a series of two cyberpunk-influenced action RPGs. It was released in the 1990s and served as the BioShock franchise’s spiritual ancestor.  

The player assumes the role of an anonymous hacker entrusted with destroying SHODAN, a rogue A.I. system, on a far-future space station known as Citadel.  

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Meanwhile, SHODAN’s character affected later game villains like GlaDOS and Andrew Ryan in numerous ways.

SHODAN is as intelligent as she is, terrifying, taunting the player from afar and plotting behind the scenes. She deserves credit for changing the course of gaming history. 

8. Frank Fontaine (Bioshock)

Although Andrew Ryan is the most well-known adversary in the first Bioshock, he isn’t the only one. Fontaine was the Head of Ryan’s opposition before the fall of Rapture and was personally involved in the struggle that saw the underwater city-state devolve into anarchy.  

Additionally, Fontaine may be a friend because he is the player’s enemy, but this is not the case.

9. Andrew Ryan (Bioshock)

Next on our list of best villains in video games history, while many video game adversaries have commanded our dread, only a few have also demanded our admiration.  

Andrew Ryan is one of the few villains that can accomplish both. Building a gigantic metropolis at the bottom of the sea is a victorious display of arrogance.  

While Rapture was a failed experiment that claimed the lives of thousands of people, its ambition is praiseworthy. Ryan wanted to try something insane, and he came close to pulling it off.  

That alone is deserving of praise. But his zeal comes with a dark, dangerous side. Throughout the game, Andrew Ryan makes it plain that he is a man and you are a slave.

You follow orders, do what’s asked of you, and follow anyone with a radio and a “would you kindly?”  

On the other hand, he is a man who insists on getting what he wants, even if that means beating him to death with a golf club. His obstinacy leads to his fate, making him one of the most complicated characters in gaming. 

10. Pyramid Head ( Silent Hill 2)

Although the titular town is a more prominent opponent in Konami’s horror franchise, Pyramid Head is a more well-known villain.  

His hideous appearance and vicious temperament, supposed to embody James Sunderland’s remorse, make him a terrifying foe. FytPyramid Head, who is as scary as they come, appears multiple times in the second Silent Hill game.  

Furthermore, he’s become a symbol for the series as a whole. His recent inclusion in the multiplayer horror game Dead by Daylight is a tribute to his popularity as one of gaming’s greatest enemies. 

11. Vaas Montenegro (Far Cry 3)

Despite only debuting in Far Cry 3, Vaas has become the face of the Far Cry franchise. And it has nothing to do with his tank top preferences.

He delivers good crazy like no one else, owing to his voice actor Michael Mando and an Albert Einstein-inspired discourse about lunacy.  

Furthermore, Vaas is a drug trafficker, pirate, and kidnapper who enjoys enslaving his fellow islanders. When he captures the gap year gang and throws them into his prison camp, he meets the game’s hero Jason Brody. 

 In addition, Vaas is one of the villains on this list who you could prefer to the bland. White bread hero, you’re playing as, even if he might set you on fire or shoot you in the right kneel on bad days. 

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12. Gwyn, Lord Of Cinder (Dark Souls)

Gwyn is one of the best villains in video games history. Furthermore, Gwyn ousted the land’s rulers and founded a new era of fire after acquiring a Lord Soul and learning the secrets of the Everlasting Dragons’ lifespan from Search.  

Though not a direct antagonist, he is prepared to go to any length to maintain his dominion and is a fierce foe to those seeking to progress the Age of Dark.  

Gwyn’s presence can be felt via the burdened, blighted residents of Lordran. Even though he is only encountered during the game’s last boss fight at the very end.

Additionally, he’s also a dangerous opponent for players who haven’t figured out the game’s parrying system. 

13. Kerrigan (StarCraft)

The StarCraft franchise may not have seen a new core game in almost a decade, but it is still worth playing today.

In addition, the real-time strategy series is recognized for its competitive scene and deep gameplay, but it also has some intriguing characters.  

Furthermore, Kerrigan has a distinct appearance, but as jejcicodjntbyifid3 points out, “her origin is fairly devastating.”

Sarah Kerrigan was originally a psychic human spy/assassin. But she was captured and mutated into a servant under the alien Zerg’s overmind. She eventually becomes the leader of the entire Zerg army and the galaxy’s greatest foe. 

14. Mike Tyson (Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out)

One of the most well-known boxers, Mike Tyson, may appear an unusual inclusion. He isn’t an all-encompassing malevolent power focused on world destruction, nor is he a nefarious presence lurking in the shadows.  

He was, nonetheless, one of the most challenging video game bosses ever created for the N.E.S. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! It was one of the most demanding games on the N.E.S., and it was one of the most difficult.  

Furthermore, it may be simpler to go toe-to-toe with Iron Mike in real life than in this 8-bit classic, as it demands extreme precision and excessive practice. 

15. Sovereign (Mass Effect)

Last on our list of best Villains in video games history is the Sovereign of Mass Effect. The Mass Effect franchise is known for its memorable player choices, but the game’s scary, well-written adversary also captivated gamers.  

Meanwhile, the original Mass Effect game spends a lot of time attempting to find out who the Reapers are and what they want.

And players quickly realize they’re in over their heads when speaking with Sovereign, the Reapers’ speaker.  

It can be challenging to bring Lovecraftian horrors to life in games because they are unknowable. Therefore, Klassz repeats one of Sovereign’s lines highlighting how strong the Reapers felt in-game, saying, “Rudimentary creature of flesh and blood, we are far beyond your comprehension. 

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