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Top 10 Video Game Villains With Tragic Backstories

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean Okay so, they’ve had it rough in the best - we get that - but they didn’t have to be such d*cks about it later...Welcome to http://WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Villain Game Villains With Tragic Backstories. Special thanks to our user “Alex Crilly-Mckean” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comSuggest
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Top 10 Video Game Villains with Tragic Backstories

Everyone has their reasons, even the bad guys. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the top ten video game villains with tragic backstories.

For this list, we’ll be looking at characters that are regarded as antagonists, but also have a horrific past that explains why they fell into their villainous role. With that in mind, be aware that everything on this list is a potential spoiler! So, spoiler alert!

#10: Loghain Mac Tir

“Dragon Age: Origins” (2009)
After losing his beloved friend, the last King of Ferelden, Loghain vowed to do whatever was necessary to protect the kingdom. It just so happens that same sense of duty would lead him to make the ultimate dick move during the Battle of Ostagar, leading to the slaughter of the Grey Wardens as well as the new king at the hands of the Darkspawn. If that wasn’t enough, he brands the surviving Wardens, the player and Alistair, as traitors and orders them hunted down. We can appreciate wanting to do whatever it takes to defeat the Blight and the fact that the new king nothing compared to your buddy, but you’re still as guilty as sin in our eyes Loghain.

#9: Seymour Guado

“Final Fantasy X” (2001)
We all know life can be unkind, and for this particular summoner it’s no exception. After the trauma of watching his mother get turned into a Fayth, Seymour pretty much decided that living is nothing but sorrow and that all should be freed of its torment. To do so, he hatches a scheme to become the new Sin, a terrifying force that has caused nothing but destruction to the people of Spira, except his interpretation will be a lot more permanent and on a much grander scale. It’s easy to sympathise with his plight, up until he starts seeing murder as a gift, then you know he’s crossed the line. That and the whole using Yuna via marriage. Not cool dude.

#8: Scott Shelby

“Heavy Rain” (2010)
As the Origami Killer, he was responsible for the deaths of countless fathers and sons, using his position as a private detective in order to cover his tracks. However, it’s not like this madness came from nowhere. As it turns out due to the failing of his own father, Shelby watched his brother drown right before his eyes. That’s not to say it excuses all the people he killed or the ridiculous trials he has Ethan do in order to prove his worth, but at least we know the origin of his psychosis. Though we’re still a little unsure how forcing Ethan to cut off his own finger proved he was a good dad.

#7: Raul Menedez


“Call of Duty: Black Ops II” (2012)
The Messiah of the 99% is indeed a dangerous individual, not only for his ability to cripple the defences of the United States with relative ease, but at how he’s able to motivate the populations of the world over to his side with charisma alone. Bombings on his home country by the US as well as feeling the sting of American greed first-hand twisted Menedez towards his hatred for the west, but what pushed him over the edge was the reckless actions of Frank Woods which caused the death of his sister. After losing everything they love, some men just want to watch the world burn.

#6: Sarah Kerrigan


“StarCraft” series (1998-2015)
Born from betrayal, bound by vengeance. As a Terran Ghost, Kerrigan was one of the best agents that humanity had on their side against the interstellar threat of the Zerg, until the day her commanding officer left her to die on the field of battle. Instead of being ripped to pieces, she suffered a much worse fate and was turned into a Zerg Hybrid. As the Queen of Blade, Kerrigan was consumed by fury and destroyed millions of lives across entire systems. While she would later go on to try and redeem herself, revenge remained her one true calling. Despite the death she caused, Kerrigan is above all else a character of tragedy.

#5: Alma Wade


“F.E.A.R” series (2005-11)
Whatever innocence this child may have had was snatched from her when she was taken in by the Armacham Technology Corporation, who wanted to find a way to turn her incredible psychic abilities towards profit. In order to do so, she was constantly experimented on with no regard for her wellbeing. Imprisoned, clinically tortured, even surgically made pregnant twice, before eventually dying nearly twenty years later. When her psychic consciousness found a way to manifest itself, is it any surprise that after such a horrendous life she tears apart anyone she comes across? We’d be a little pissed off as well.

#4: Sif

“Dark Souls” (2011)
It’s a giant puppy! Of course we’re going to feel awful about cutting down such a huge ball of fur. Unlike the other grotesque bosses of the Dark Souls mythos, Great Grey Wolf Sif is the only one you have any sympathy for, especially when it starts to limb after taking too much damage like a real life dog would. Things are made infinitely worse if you happen to have the DLC, where you end up travelling to the past and encountering a much younger Sif. Should this happen, there’s an added cutscene just before you fight the adult version where it actually recognizes you…but still regretfully engages you in a boss fight. Now we feel like the monster.

#3: The Boss

“Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater” (2004)
In order to complete his mission, Snake had to take out the one person he respected more than any other; his mentor. As a legendary soldier in her own right, The Boss made for quite the opponent, not to mention gave us an emotional final scene where players actually had to pull the trigger and end her life. Then came one of gaming’s most heart-wrenching twists, where it’s revealed that The Boss was in fact not actually a traitor, but that in order to protect the US she voluntarily took on the role of a traitor and war criminal, knowing it would lead to her death. A true patriot to the end, all Snake can do is salute her tombstone.

#2: GLaDOS

“Portal” series (2007-11)
She made for one of the most terrifying yet morbidly hilarious villains to ever grace video games, putting players through one experiment after another all for her seemingly twisted enjoyment. However, as we learned later on GLaDOS was one a human known as Caroline, an assistant to the founder of the Aperture Science, Cave Johnson. She then, possibly against her will, was uploaded as an A.I and reborn as GLaDOS, the demand for experimentation slowly twisted her into the nihilistic and witty villain we all know and fear. Following this revelation, we can’t help but start to feel for her. Nowhere is this better shown than when GLaDOS deletes the last remnants of her old self, destroying her humanity entirely.

#1: Lisa Trevor

“Resident Evil” [Remake] (2002)
The remake of the granddaddy of survival horror games not only provided a new level of horror to the more campy aspects of the original, but it also added several features that truly made the likes of the mansion and the Umbrella Corporation feel like the worst monsters of them all. Abducted as a teenager in the early 50s, Lisa became a human test subject for Umbrella, eventually mutating into a near-invulnerable creature due decades of brutal biological experimentation. She scared the living daylights out of us, but above all else her existence in of itself is one big tragedy, one that finally came to an end with a bittersweet reunion with her mother.
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