“I’ve been spending the best years of my life as a public benefactor. I’ve given people the light pleasures, shown them a good time. And all I get is abuse.” ~ Al Capone
Sure villains are supposed to be the archetypical bad guys in stories, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be awesome in their own right. From movies, to video games, to literature there are countless examples where villains were far more awesome than the franchise hero.
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato once quoted “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” But when it comes to these bad guys, ‘Power’ does seem like the only measure of these men. The villains in the list are not only powerful, but their backstories or character make them far more interesting than the protagonists. So let’s begin the list!
- Wario (Mario Series)
You might be thinking why King Koopa or Bowser is not on this list. While Bowser has been one of the most recurring villains in the Mario series, Wario certainly stole the show despite of only appearing in a Gameboy title. Although Bowser is cool in his own right being a fire breathing dragon, wearing a spiked turtle shell armor, Wario is far more interesting as a character. Being the exact opposite of protagonist Mario, Wario is not interested in Princess Peach but rather in living in a bigger castle than Mario. He later turned anti-hero when he debuted as the main character in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.
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- Vergil (Devil May Cry 3)
Now this competition was certainly close as Devil May Cry Series main character Dante is certainly not a pushover. Nevertheless, Dante’s twin brother Vergil was certainly loved by all in his awesomely antagonistic appearance in Devil May Cry 3. While he has the same strengths and powers as Dante including the Devil Trigger, his sinister motives make him a far dangerous foe. Compared to Dante’s flash and cheesiness, Vergil’s calm and composed demeanor alongside his tragic backstory makes him a far more interesting character.
- Pyramid Head (Silent Hill)
Pyramid Head from the Silent Hill series is the proof that one doesn’t need to be the franchise hero to become a posterboy character. Making his debut in Silent Hill 2, Pyramid Head is a monster who stalks the protagonist throughout the game with a large blade. His appearance has continued to somewhat change throughout the series. But his iconic pyramid shaped head along with this almost inhuman physique and actions have garnered him an equivalent status as Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees.
- Arthas/Lich King (Warcraft III)
Born as the son of King Terenas Menethil II, Arthas Menethil was groomed to be the hero who would save the Kingdom from the Plague of Undeath. While having all the heroic qualities and upbringing one could ask for Arthas was soon driven insane after he failed to control the plague. He then allowed himself to be controlled by the Lich King through the cursed runeblade Frostmourne that eventually led to the destruction of his kingdom. Controlled by Frostmourne, Arthas would turn into a Death Knight and murder his own father. He would later shatter the Frozen Throne and take the mantle of the Lich King for himself, losing all remnants of his former self. He even sings a totally crushing heavy metal song in the game credits, thus making him an obvious pick for our list. Check out the song here
- Jetstream Sam (Metal Gear Rising)
Although Jetstream Sam has only appeared in a single game in the Metal Gear series so far, he totally stole the show with his badassery. Officially named Samuel Rodrigues, Jetstream Sam worked as a mercenary for Desperado Enforcement LLC, a paramilitary corporation working for the game villain Steven Armstrong. Despite him not being as cybernetically augmented as the hero Raiden, he completely held his own without breaking a sweat and also severed Raiden’s arm off in their first encounter. Sam also carries a far superior high frequency blade named Murasama that was already a legendary sword handed down since generations and was finally passed on to Raiden upon Sam’s defeat.
- Big Boss/Naked Snake (Metal Gear Solid)
Metal Gear Solid’s plot can seem a little complex to new gamers, but it is still one of the best stealth/action game series in existence. Although initial titles revolved around Solid Snake, it was soon revealed that Big Boss is the original Naked Snake, the decorated war hero during the Cold War, cloned to continue his legacy as Solid Snake. The original Snake (Naked Snake/Big Boss) was finally featured as the main character in Metal Gear Solid 3 and has reappeared in several games including the latest MGS5: The Phantom Pain.
- Akuma (Street Fighter Series)
Also known as Gouki in Japan, Akuma first appeared as a hidden boss in Street Fighter II Turbo. He dresses similar to series heroes Ryu and Ken, albeit in black or grey color but has a more demonic appearance. He practices a darker version of techniques used by Ryu and Ken and is far more powerful than even the game villain Bison. Despite his strength, Akuma isn’t your average bad guy trying to take over the world, but rather just looking for a worthy opponent. Although he was responsible for killing his own master, his motives aren’t always evil. So being a more powerful version of the series heroes, Akuma certainly deserves more love and a place in this list.
Just because the above mentioned names might not be your favorite sight when encountering them in-game, doesn’t stop them from being super cool. We hope you like this article and our picks for the awesome video game villains list. In case you feel we should include more, please drop your suggestions in comments.
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