Everyone loves a good villain. Well, except the heroes who are unfortunate enough to become their nemesis. Gaming is full of brilliant, bad bastards, the nastiest of which we’re celebrating here. From ghost pirates to megalomaniacal machines, these are the meanest, stinkiest bad guys on PC. Boo! Hiss!
Dr. Breen, Half-Life 2
The Combine are the REAL villains in Half-Life 2, but I’ve got a special parcel of hate in my heart reserved for Breen. This chump sold out the entire human race, becoming the spokesman for our new evil alien overlords.
LeChuck, Monkey Island
The arch-nemesis of lovable swashbuckler Guybrush Threepwood, this undead pirate bastard is ruthless, sadistic, and probably smells terrible to boot. Whether he’s a ghost, a demon, or a zombie, he’s always an asshole.
The Reapers, Mass Effect
Big robot squids who eat galaxies. It doesn’t get much more villainous than that. The Reapers’ hobbies include eradicating all sentient organic life in the galaxy and listening to Hans Zimmer’s Inception soundtrack.
Purple Tentacle, Day of the Tentacle
A slimy tentacle created by a mad scientist. Drinks toxic waste from an outflow and suddenly wants to rule the world. Luckily for Earth, a group of teens were on hand to stop him, with the help of a time travel toilet.
A rogue artificial intelligence who forces Chell, the hero of the Portal games, to complete a series of deadly science experiments in the long-abandoned Aperture Science facility. Promises cake, but rarely delivers it.
Kane, Command & Conquer
It’s a bald guy with a goatee beard. Of COURSE he’s evil. Kane has convinced his followers that he’s a holy figure, but would a god ever sport facial hair like that? Kane’s a regular pain in the ass in the C&C series.
Sephiroth, Final Fantasy VII
One of the most memorable Final Fantasy bad guys. Sephiroth is actually the result of an experiment by the evil Shinra megacorporation, but that’s no excuse for burning down a village full of innocent people, dude.
Rodrigo Borgia, Assassin’s Creed II
This historical villain is responsible for the deaths of Ezio’s family, which immediately grants him villain status. He eventually becomes the Pope, but that doesn’t stop Ezio punching him until he’s dead.
SHODAN, System Shock 2
Or Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network, to give her full name. This is the second rogue AI we’ve featured, and she’s every bit as bad as GLaDOS thanks to her moral restraints being deactivated.
Lionel Starkweather, Manhunt
Voiced by Hollywood legend Brian Cox (no, not the space guy), this creep is the one who’s been selling videos of you doing unspeakable things to people with plastic bags. Bloody revenge is the only solution.
Once the lover of StarCraft hero Jim Raynor, Sarah Kerrigan is now the ruler of the Zerg. It’s a tragic story of someone losing their humanity, but she’s still a big, winged jerk. Cool alien dreadlocks, though.
Hitler, Wolfenstein 3D
One of history’s greatest villains is also one of gaming’s. At the end of Wolfenstein 3D, the Führer confronts you in a mech suit. He keeps fighting after you destroy it, but he’s no match for B.J. Blazkowicz.
Lionwhyte, Brütal Legend
This guy is the leader of the Hair Metal Militia, a group based around the imagery and music of *shiver* glam metal. Brilliantly, though, he’s voiced by Rob Halford, lead singer of metal legends Judas Priest.
Steven Armstrong, Metal Gear Rising
A senator in the United States Congress who uses nanomachines to turn himself into a deadly fighting machine. He takes a hell of a beating from Raiden, but the silken-haired ninja wins in the end. Of course.
Albert Wesker, Resident Evil
Anyone who wears sunglasses indoors is destined to be a villain. Wesker’s been an antagonist in the Resident Evil series for a stupidly long time, always sporting his daft bleached hair and indoor shades.