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Top 10 Video Game Villains You Liked More Than the Hero

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
These Villains made the Heroes look like zeroes! Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 video game villains you liked more than the hero. These Villains made the Heroes look like zeroes! Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 video game villains you liked more than the hero.

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Top 10 Video Game Villains You Liked More Than the Hero

There are just some bad guys we love to hate. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 video game villains you liked more than the hero.

For this list, we’re looking at villains who are more memorable or likeable than their respective protagonists. This isn’t to say that the main characters are necessarily bad, but they just don’t quite match up to their own villains.

#10: Sephiroth

“Final Fantasy VII” (1997)

The destruction of Cloud’s home town at the hands of his nemesis Sephiroth is what motivates Cloud in his journey to defeat him, but this isn’t quite as interesting as to why Sephiroth went on his rampage in the first place. Upon discovering he’s the result of a twisted experiment with the cells of alien-entity Jenova, he decides to desert his Soldier first class position, and summon a meteor with the intention of absorbing the Lifestream to make himself a god. As cool as Cloud is, he just can’t compete with that.

#9: Akuma

“Street Fighter” series (1987-)

First showing up as a secret boss in “Street Fighter II Turbo”, Akuma’s only reason to live is to master the Satsui no Hado and become the greatest martial artist of all time. The arch-enemy of Ryu and Ken and most of the other “Street Fighter” heroes, he often struggles to find an opponent he deems worthy of matching him in combat. However, despite calling himself “evil incarnate”, the fact he still abides by the moral code of the warrior gets him a certain amount of respect from fans. He’s much more than simply another Shotokan character.

#8: Ghirahim

“The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” (2011)

Link may be one of the most recognizable and longest-running heroes in gaming, but his quiet quests to constantly rescue Princess Zelda would definitely be getting old if not for some interesting villains. Ghirahim, like Link, pursues Zelda relentlessly, only he does it so that he can eventually free the Demon King Demise. It’s his fault that Link and Zelda are even separated in the first place, as he uses his powers to summon a tornado to attack the duo. But being incredibly powerful isn’t enough to make him a great villain on its own; he’s also a theatrical narcissist who sometimes hums his own theme tune.

#7: Kefka Palazzo

“Final Fantasy VI” (1994)

What do you get when you let a megalomaniac jester seize control of an entire empire? This guy. By scheming behind the back of Emperor Gestahl, Kefka Palazzo becomes one of the most powerful figures in the world – and is also hell-bent on destroying it. This psychotic clown has absolutely no regard for life or civilization, and even succeeds in splitting the world in two as well as basically becoming the God of Magic. It’s his off-the-wall insanity, annoying laugh and kill anyone-and-everyone mentality that makes him such a popular villain.

#6: Senator Armstrong

“Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” (2013)

In his bid to “make America great again”, this politician plans to use the titular Metal Gear to destroy the United States and everything it encompasses. His goal to create an anarchistic and truly free state out of the remains of the richest nation on earth is what drives him to come to blows with Raiden, everyone’s favorite cyborg ninja. Despite his problematic methods, however, the idea of a corrupt politician wanting to get rid of other corrupt politicians is almost as logical as it is ironic. With modern politics becoming a quagmire of controversies, maybe there’s something in the idea of a clean slate?

#5: Handsome Jack

“Borderlands” series (2009-14)

It’s a bit of a kick in the gut coming into “Borderlands 2” to find out that the credit for discovering the alien vault in the first game has been stolen from the original heroes by Handsome Jack. Leader of the Hyperion corporation, Jack’s ultimate goal is to take control of Pandora by any means necessary and eradicate it of criminals – even going so far as to enslave his own daughter. However, Pandora is a dangerous playground for monsters and psychos, so his aim to civilize the planet and bring some order to it isn’t entirely without merit. The ends justify the means, after all.

#4: The Joker

“Batman: Arkham” series (2009-15)

The justice-driven Dark Knight may be an awesome superhero, but his constant brooding can get a bit grating for some after a while – this is why we have the Joker as his ultimate antithesis. Even after his death he still finds a way to return in “Arkham Knight” to get the last laugh and spends at least half the game as Batman’s hallucinated companion. We know that Batman’s ultimately going to save Gotham, while the Joker’s true aims and even his role in the story are often complex and hidden behind his elaborate persona. This serves to make the Joker into one of the most unpredictable and volatile villains of all time.

#3: GLaDOS

“Portal” series (2007-11)

Chell is the archetypal “silent protagonist”, but because of this it’s sometimes hard to have any real opinion about her. However, her nemesis GLaDOS – the evil artificial intelligence in control of Aperture Science – is anything but silent. Throughout both games she constantly insults and mocks Chell as she navigates the facility’s many death traps, though you find yourseld actually missing her jeering voice in the few chapters she isn’t around. Even after potentially being redeemed with her brief transformation into a potato, she just goes back to her plain evil self we’ve come to know and love – we may even forgive her for lying about the cake someday.

#2: Arthas/Lich King

“Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos” (2002)

From the moment he was born, Prince Arthas was raised with the sole purpose of saving Lordaeron from the plague of undeath. A noble goal, but it’s one he ultimately fails at. While he does manage to stop the plague initially, he’s soon corrupted by the cursed sword Frostmourne and becomes the leader of the undead himself, carrying out the destruction he had been raised to prevent. It’s honestly hard not to feel bad for the original Arthas, who just wanted to save his people from certain doom.

#1: Vaas

“Far Cry 3” (2012)

The “Far Cry” franchise prides itself on its villains, but while Pagan Min and the Seed Family are definitely twisted, none of them hold a candle to Vaas. A guy so insane his most famous scene is defining “insanity”, he’s a character you won’t be able to get out of your head. Compared to the game’s hero, the lost, teenage tourist Jason Brody who inexplicably becomes a super-soldier killing machine, Vaas is far superior. He has enthralling dialogue, interesting motivations, and a complicated past, while Jason was just caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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