Top 10 Video Games Where You’re Unknowingly The Villain

Script Written by Briana Lawrence Just because you go in with the best intentions doesn’t mean it’ll turn out the way you’d hoped. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Video Games Where You’re Unknowingly The Villain. For this list, we’re looking at games and characters where you initially don’t know that you’re doing some bad – until the investable twist occurs, of course. Games where you willingly take part in evil deeds, like Grand Theft Auto and Hitman, are coming up on another list. It should go without saying that there are some major spoilers ahead for even mentioning the titles, so proceed at your own risk. This is gonna be the spoileriest spoiler to ever spoil something. Special thanks to our users Thomas Nielsen, Dan, and Laboratorio de Heale for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script Written by Briana Lawrence

Top 10 Video Games Where You’re Unknowingly The Villain

Just because you go in with the best intentions doesn’t mean it’ll turn out the way you’d hoped. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Video Games Where You’re Unknowingly The Villain.

For this list, we’re looking at games and characters where you initially don’t know that you’re doing some bad – until the investable twist occurs, of course. Games where you willingly take part in evil deeds, like Grand Theft Auto and Hitman, are coming up on another list.
It should go without saying that there are some major spoilers ahead for even mentioning the titles, so proceed at your own risk. This is gonna be the spoileriest spoiler to ever spoil something.

#10: “Mortal Kombat: Deception” (2004)


When an emissary of the Elder Gods gives you a task, you’re likely to do whatever it takes to complete it... except for a background check on the person talking to you (9:53). Shujinko is tasked with collecting the six Kamidogu’s, and it takes him four decades to find them all... then he discovers that the person who sent him on this quest is the evil Dragon King, Onaga (1:32:37). Learning that you’ve been working for the ultimate evil is a tough pill to swallow, but learning that you’ve been working for them for over forty years (5:02)? You might as well let Kano rip your heart out.

#9: “Heavy Rain” (2010)


Scott Shelby is a private investigator working on the case of the Origami Killer. While playing through his story, you get to talk to the family members who have lost someone to the sinister killer, including a mother who helps you along the way (3:23). But it turns out Shelby isn’t investigating the murders to find the killer, he himself is the killer, and you’ve been covering your tracks the entire time (3:13). Shelby has been searching for a father who loves their son enough to do anything to save him (1:56), even if it means drowning innocent children and killing anyone who tries to stop him.

#8: “Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea” (2013)


It seems that Bioshock has a thing for making its protagonists into unwilling villains. We don’t need to spoil everything here, but suffice to say that the Shock park of this franchise almost always has to do with the story. This tradition continues in “Burial at Sea”, where Elizabeth asks for Booker’s help in finding a young girl named Sally. During their quest, Booker realizes two things: he’s Comstock, and in this timeline, he’s responsible for Anne’s death. He tries to apologize to Elizabeth, but it’s too little, too late.

#7: “Golden Sun” & “Golden Sun: The Lost Age” (2001/03)


It’s one thing to not know you’re the villain until the end of the game... but to not know until the sequel? Isaac sets out to stop the Elemental Lighthouses from being lit. He succeeds in killing his two main foes and it should be a victory celebration from there. Cue the sequel! Felix picks up where the first game’s villains left off. Or should we say... heroes? It turns out Isaac was wrong and the Lighthouses actually need to be lit to prevent the world from collapsing in on itself. So not only were you unintentionally dooming the world in the first game... you killed two people who were trying to protect it.

#6: “NieR” (2010)


We expect our action RPGs to follow a simple formula: eradicate all monsters on screen (3:01), especially when it means gaining experience points and money. So here we are, slaying some wicked creatures called Shades (11:36), who... are the remnants of humanity? 1300 years ago, humanity faced extinction, and in an attempt to survive they separated their souls from their bodies (2:15). Then they created clones who would later reconnect with those souls, but those clones began to form their own identities. Nier was meant to be a vessel who reunited with the Shadowlord (0:27), who isn’t actually a villain like we’re led to believe. He simply wants to restore his daughter, and humanity as a whole (4:05).

#5: “Silent Hill 2” (2001)


In this classic, if blocky horror thriller, our protagonist James Sutherland enters the desolate fog in search of his wife, Mary, after receiving a letter from her (4:18). Did we mention that she died three years ago? In any other town his search would be crazy, but this is just another day in Silent Hill, where all of the monsters who’ve been terrorizing us -- including the iconic Pyramid Head -- are manifestations of James’s psyche because he killed his wife, no longer able to handle the sickness that had been plaguing her.

#4: “Braid” (2008)


If “Super Mario Brothers” has taught us anything, it’s that when there’s a princess to save, you better go and save her. “Braid” plays on that notion as Tim searches for a princess who has been captured by a “horrible and evil monster.” We don’t know much about his connection to the princess, but we know he made some kind of mistake and is trying to rectify it, hence the rescue... we assume. The good news is the princess is saved. The bad news is... it’s not by you. The last stage of the game reveals that the princess has been running away from Tim, the real monster of the story.

#3: “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic” (2003)



We know we said no moral choice characters, but Darth Revan is a special case. Let’s say there’s an ultimate evil that you have to defeat. Now let’s say that ultimate evil had a master, who disappeared. A Star Wars interpretation to the phrase, “I learned it by watching you,” it turns out you’re the former master of the game’s main antagonist, Darth Malak. The Jedi had Revan’s memories wiped so he -- or she, depending on your character -- would no longer be a threat. It’s up to you what you do with that information, but the fact still remains: long ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, you were its biggest threat.

#2: “Spec Ops: The Line” (2012)


The life of a soldier isn’t an easy one, as they not only put their lives on the line on a daily basis, but they also have to make some difficult decisions. The horrific events that go on in the game are bad enough to deal with, ranging from choosing who to execute, to accidentally using white phosphorus on innocent civilians, but it all comes to a head in the game’s gut-wrenching conclusion. Konrad, the game’s antagonist, is revealed to be a traumatic hallucination of Walker’s. The real Konrad committed suicide, and Walker’s been using him to try and rationalize his actions.

Before we reveal our number one pick, we have every intention to reveal these honorable mentions:


“Amnesia: Justine” (2010)

“S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl” (2007)

“Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean” (2004)

“OFF” (2011)

#1: “Shadow of the Colossus” (2005)


We could place the blame on Dormin, but honestly, Wander’s not innocent in this, either. At no point does he question Dormin, but worst of all... we don’t question him, either. We’re so used to saving the girl and taking out the towering creatures we encounter in video games that it never occurs to us that maybe, just maybe, the colossi are the good guys. Also... why is Lord Emon pursuing Wander to begin with? Who is this girl we’re trying so hard to revive? And... how did she die? Like any good game that makes us feel bad for our actions, these questions go unanswered.

Do you agree with our list? Which video game hero turned out to be the biggest villain of them all? For more top 10 lists that have the best of intentions, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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