The 12 most misunderstood videogame villains

9. Paxton Fettel

You know what? If F.E.A.R. was serious about psychopathic cannibal supersoldier Paxton Fettel being such a terrible guy, F.E.A.R. wouldn’t send the guy’s own brother to liquidate him. That’s just asking for complications. If Mario went rogue tomorrow, we would not send Luigi to bring him in. Doesn’t make sense.

Above: Oh right, like you wouldn’t play the hell out of this

Yeah, and you know what else? If Paxton Fettel was the deadly renegade he’s made out to be, his ultimate motivation would turn out to be a little more malevolent than looking out for his hard-done-by momma. Did anyone truly, irredeemably evil ever do their dastardly work out of love for their dear old Mom? For the sake of argument, we’re saying no.

Shut up.


While Machiavellian half-elf Yggdrasill causes no shortage of problems for Tales of Symphonia’s Ragtag Band of Heroes, it’s revealed midway through the game that his secret identity is actually that of (spoiler, obviously) Mithos, the legendary hero of the game’s world. This is kind of like if the guy who kept stealing your parking spot at the mall turned out to be Abraham Lincoln.

Above: A Reasonable Comparison 

Even without this somewhat crucial factor in place, Yggdrasill’s most dire misdeeds – which are hardly up there with repeated carpark-stealing anyway – are done in the name of resurrecting his martyred sister and/or combating the systematic racism that continues to plague the game’s worlds. So the guy saved the union between realms and is a tireless fighter of racial intolerance. And it’s your job to kill him. Nice one, champ.

Above: An image that summarizes the plot of Tales of Symphonia as well as anyone has ever done

11. Kane

The Command & Conquer series’ designated personification of war, Kane seems bent on blowing shit up all the livelong day. We could take the easy option here and point out that that one of his first recognised gigs was as adviser to Joe Stalin – any enemy of Hitler’s is a friend of ours, right? – but we’ll give you more credit than that.

Above: Apparently developer Westwood thinks Stalin was a Klingon 

After all, Kane’s entire schtick is the betterment of mankind. Whether it’s a newly-discovered element or a salvaged alien technology, Kane and his chums in the Brotherhood of Nod are all about finding out long-term ways to make human life better. They just happen to have plans that invariably involve making a lot of human lives an awful lot worse, at least in the short term.

The very immediate short term, in some cases.

12. Meta Knight

In the surprisingly intricate continuity of the Kirby series, Meta Knight is a recurring character often presumed to have the same basic aims as Kirby. This is not quite fair to either party: Meta Knight actually has aims, which usually involve saving the world, defeating evil, opposing injustice - you know, the standard good-guy folderol. BOOOO-RING.

This would be fairly unremarkable, except that Meta Knight is invariably the bad guy, whereas the figure the games focus on – the character played by you, the guy tasked with taking down the heroic Meta Knight – is an animated marshmallow whose entire mission statement boils down to “eat things; spit them out to make room for more eating.” It’s like if Batman picked a fight with a morbidly obese shut-in, and you were supposed to root for the shut-in.

Oct 1, 2009

The Top 7… villains that never stay dead
No matter how many times you kill them, they always come back for more

Video game villains who got away with it
The digital dastards who did the dirty and lived to tell the tale

You're a BASTARD! - The 10 most villainous games ever
The lesser of two evils is for chumps - why settle for an anti-hero when you can be a straight-up villain?


  • linkganon - March 6, 2010 7:25 a.m.

    how about big boss? he was a villain in the first 2 metal gears ever? all he ever wanted was to end abuse and exploitation of soldiers by The Patriots and politicians, which was also his interpretation of The Boss's will. Big Boss was seemingly inspired to create Outer Heaven as a response to Gene's "Army's Heaven" — a supposed haven for soldiers that would in fact be victimized in the pursuit of his goals. Big Boss stated that the true soldier's sanctuary lay "outside" Gene's "heaven".
  • ryno - January 14, 2010 9 p.m.

    general Sheridan from fracture would be good on this list. he was trying to help his people fight agaist genocidal nazi cyborgs.
  • jackthemenace - October 6, 2009 7:43 p.m.

    OMFG loved the kirby bit at the end. The fat guy FTW, the english lit bit was good too XD
  • noobeater - October 4, 2009 6:16 p.m.

    well wat about carlito off dead rising...sure he pissed everyone off and tried toturn the world to zombies but can u not blame him when his home town was destroyed and yet again the government were hiding up this case like that of santa cabeza. EXACTLY!!
  • Rhesus - October 4, 2009 4:57 p.m.

    You forgot Tenpenny! He's not evil. Like any civilized man, he just doesn't want a silly little town blocking his view!
  • coolfool - October 4, 2009 3:25 p.m.

    Bloody hilarious article, especially the enter the dragon reference. Now they just need to make prequel to the Mario games entitled "Bowser in da hood" and it will an instant success.
  • vitoruss - October 2, 2009 7:32 p.m.

    Why isn't the Jackal from Far Cry 2 here? He's got me convinced he was doing the right thing, even if it was... genocidal. But check it-- He died (possibly...) saving all of those fleeing Africans' lives!
  • Harmonator - October 2, 2009 6:56 p.m.

    YES! I'm SO glad you guys put Yggdrasill on here! Thank you! okay, after that nerdgasm, yeah, he was kinda misunderstood. I did feel kinda bad for killing a bad guy with good motives... and what a lame final boss battle, too -_-;; but the rest of the game was AMAZING!! @_@
  • RoxasXXion - October 2, 2009 5:07 p.m.

    Guys in Bioshock if the vita chambers are set 2 Ryan's genetic code than he can't be dead???? So is he still alive????
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - October 2, 2009 3:50 p.m.

    I've always rooted for Meta Knight... Well at least he gets his own back in SSBB, I've never been happier playing as kirby and letting him beat the stuffing out me. ReCaptcha - $60,175,000 thud An accurate depiction of your reaction to a bill, I think....
  • oryandymackie - October 2, 2009 3:26 p.m.

    What about Sander Cohen? BioShock made him out to be some ultra-villain but all he did was try to make a living by asking people to attend his never ending piano lessons.
  • erreip199 - October 2, 2009 2:13 p.m.

    the cripled guy from final fight can actually walk... and has a crossbow...
  • ClusterShart - October 2, 2009 1:30 p.m.

    I hated killing Solidus. He wanted to end the !!!SPOILER!!! Reign of the patriots. !!!Spoiler!!!
  • Ithilgore - October 2, 2009 9:17 a.m.

    Actually Wind Waker went a long way towards making Ganon a bit sympathetic, and not as a joke, either.
  • matt588 - October 2, 2009 5:10 a.m.

    hmm.. I was half expecting to see saren from mass effect.. oh well, blood soaked mario was funny as hell recaptcha: azazel now
  • TKTOWA - October 2, 2009 2:38 a.m.

    "Did anyone truly, irredeemably evil ever do their dastardly work out of love for their dear old Mom?" Only one of the most popular gaming villains of all time. Sephiroth.
  • JC182 - October 2, 2009 2:19 a.m.

    I never really thought that Bowser was all that evil
  • Ninja-KiLLR - October 2, 2009 12:33 a.m.

    C&C red alert 1. the greatest pc game ever
  • Yeager1122 - October 2, 2009 12:07 a.m.

  • tjkjr1992 - October 1, 2009 11:45 p.m.

    I always felt the worst over Solidus.

Showing 1-20 of 30 comments

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