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Top 10 Best JRPG Villains

VO: Dan Paradis

It’s time to check out the most evil, the most dastardly, the most insidious, the most maniacal, the absolute worst of the worst when it comes for villains, antagonists and adversaries in Japanese Role Playing Games. They can be cunning, they can be insane, they can even be megalomaniacal, but they have to be from JRPGs and they have to be the undisputed bad guy. Let’s go!

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Top 10 JRPG Villains

Despicable, monstrous and charismatic, these antagonists have left their mark on gaming like no others. Welcome to and today we are counting down our picks for the top ten JRPG villains.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most popular, influential and downright evil villains to come from the JRPG genre. Only one character per franchise is allowed and we will be listing some of their most infamous deeds, so be on the lookout for spoilers!

#10: Wilhelm
“Xenosaga” series (2002-06)

Turns out that the most powerful and influential figure in the universe is a CEO. After witnessing what he believes to be the true essence of human nature and how it will destroy everything, Wilhelm decides to orchestrate and manipulate humanity as a whole in order to veer them in the right direction. Thanks to his constant use of Eternal Recurrence, which basically resets the universe, he’s been able to spend centuries taking control of governments, religion and all other major aspects, pushing mankind on the path he deems necessary. Even if you agree with his intentions, the fact he’s the puppet master of the universe who will sacrifice anyone to reach his goal puts him clearly in the wrong.

#9: Gabriel
“Star Ocean: The Second Story” (1998)

Now this is a man who knows how to hold a grudge. Also known as Indalecio and Dr Landis, he was the creator and leader of the living, biological weapons known as the Ten Wise Men. While their original purpose was to keep a tyrannical rule over a conquered universe, the death of his daughter pushed Gabriel over the edge, and reprogrammed the Ten so they would destroy everything instead. After waiting for four billion years, he finally resurfaces with his follower in tow, ready to carry out universal genocide in the name of revenge. Talk about anger issues.

#8: Dhaos
“Tales of Phantasia” (1995)

A rather tragic character who’s as much a victim of circumstance as he is a villain. Originally a ruler who desired nothing but peace for his kingdom, a war with neighbouring lands led to the life-giving energy source known as mana being drained from his homeland, leaving it in ruins. As he desperately searched other worlds in the vain hope of finding more mana to restore his kingdom, he was branded as a possible usurper, and essentially his chances of ever saving his home were killed. With nothing left for fight for, Dhaos decided to become the very thing the masses declared him to be; a Demon King, and has since promised to destroy mankind completely.

#7: Ghaleon
“Lunar” series (1992-2012)

And yet another case of a good guy gone bad, though in this case it could be argued that the seed of evil was always there to begin with. Once hailed as a legendary hero and the most powerful mage in the world, Ghaleon’s turn to the dark side began after he believed his comrade had died. Going on to assume the mantle of the Magic Emperor, he viewed himself as the only one capable of ruling, since humanity would be lost without a God to lead them. It’s this viewpoint that leads him to commit acts like mass destruction and slave labour. It goes without saying he’s definitely not the benevolent kind of deity.

#6: Dark Force a.k.a Dark Falz
“Phantasy Star” series (1987-2014)

With a … well rather stupid name like that we’re not sure you can be anything but a being of pure evil. Throughout the series this spirit of darkness has caused nothing but mayhem for the people of Algo over the centuries. From twisting the mind of a benevolent leader into a tyrant to engineering a civil war, the being once known as the Profound Darkness has proven itself to be not only to be a master of manipulation, but a damn hard boss! With its grotesque appearance, insistence on using transformations and stubborn refusal to die, it more than earned its namesake as a force to be reckoned with.

#5: Queen Zeal
“Chrono Trigger” (1995)

We could have easily given this spot to the parasitic Lavos (xref), as it still stands tall as one of the better final bosses of JRPGs, but as a character we couldn’t take away the spotlight from the Matriarch of Antiquity. Obsessed with harnessing the power of Lavos for herself, Zeal is a selfish being that has turned her magically advanced kingdom in a reflection of her own wants and desires. As her paranoia and desire for immortality grows, she forsakes her citizens and even her own children on her twisted path for the ultimate desire. Lavos may be the more destructive being, but for her utter heartlessness in regards to others, Zeal manages to snag the crown.

#4: Luca Blight
“Suikoden II” (1998)

He’s known as the Mad Prince. We prefer to think of him as Sir Douchebag. The villainy of this man knows no bounds. How evil is he? Well, after betraying his father, the King, he takes control of the military and breaks a ceasefire, reigniting a war. From there on out its nothing but bloodshed and depravity as he lets his inner berserker run wild. Everything you need to know about Luca is shown when he makes a woman beg for her life after he burns down her town, making her act like a pig…before killing her anyway. He may be human, but on the inside he may be the biggest monster of them all.

#3: Porky Minch
“Mother” series (1989-)

Say hello to one of the most detestable children ever put into a JRPG. The eternal enemy of Ness and Lucas, Porky has had a hand in every terrible event in the series. Originally serving as the right hand man to the formless being known as Giygas in Earthbound, he went from being an immature child to be an immortal dictator in Mother 3. He has a whole list of atrocities under his belt, but the most heart wrenching is when he took Lucas’ thought dead twin Claus and turned him into a brainwashed assassin. He doesn’t even get his comeuppance by the end of it, safely contained in his capsule while everyone else suffers. Obnoxious to the end.

#2: Tohru Adachi
“Persona 4” (2008)

As much as this game has to do with supernatural worlds, awesome combat and investing characters, at its core is a murder mystery. And every good murder mystery needs a killer. In this instance, it turns out to be the comic relief. While originally perceived as the always-smiling partner of the protagonist’s workaholic detective uncle, as it turns out he is a sadistic, deceiving scumbag who finds life to be too dull for his liking, and that killing and kidnapping are his way of having fun. Even if you guessed “whodunit” from the start, his sudden switch from silly to psycho is bound to take you off guard and throw you right aboard the crazy train.

Before we reveal out number one pick, here are a few honourable mentions.

“Pokemon Black & White” (2010)

The White Witch
“Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch” (2010)

“Wild Arms” (1996)

“Breath of Fire 4” (2000)

#1: Kefka Palazzo
“Final Fantasy VI” (1994)

This series is famous for having a range of darkly bizarre villains, but only two have really managed to stand the test of time due to their iconic looks, wicked presences and destructive motivations. We’re all for the sword-swinging calamity that is the One Winged Angel, but we’re afraid Sephiroth has to bend the knee to quite possibly the most dangerous jester in all of video games. With his maniacal nature, boisterous personality and sociopathic vendetta against life itself, Kefka not only kills a hell of a lot of people, but actually manages to become God by the game’s climax. With so much devastation left in his wake, the psycho clown, in one way or another, truly got the last laugh.

Do you agree with our list? Who is your favourite JRPG villain? With new top tens publish every day be sure to subscribe to

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