Evil Is Just More Entertaining
2018 has given us quite an interesting set of video game villains to add to the ever expanding roster. From Joseph Seed to Balder, the bad guy line-up has gained some decent additions, though it’s fair to say that few managed to outshine the protagonists in the likeability factor. Managing to overshadow the hero takes a special kind of charm, as demonstrated by these immortalised, insidious beings!
#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.
“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.
“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.
Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Video Game Villains That Won’t Stay Dead.