One of the most stereotypically camp bad guys on this list, it's hard not to feel something close to sympathy for Sander Cohen. Okay, he was clearly madder than a dancing cheese plant, but as a tortured artist hopped up on plasmids, the brutal post-fall Rapture can't have been a fun place to live.
Not that that excuses his murderous actions, however fabulously flamboyant they may have been. Even before Rapture went the way of Arkham he was involved in a long and bitchy artistic rivaly with fellow performer Anna Culpepper, which was eventually resolved by her being found dead in a bloody bath tub. Take That and East 17 could have sorted things out in the same way.
Above: Mmmm, tasteful. Michelangelo clearly wasted his life.
And then there was his "masterpiece"; a photographic murder spree forced upon Bioshock's hero Jack in order to exact revenge on those who questioned Cohen's artistic relevance and importance to Rapture. As if that modus operandi wasn't camp enough, he then celebrated with a spotlit, bunny-mask-wearing explosion of confetti and ticker tape, even alluding to messianic status by quoting Jesus' last words from John 19:30. "It is accomplished" indeed Sander, you crazy old bastard. Top marks for having the finest-crafted moustache in videogames too, Captain Price excepted.
Effeminate to the point of borderline transvestitism with a penchant for needlessly theatrical speech, Final Fantasy IX's Kuja was a villain in the same flouncing renaissance-man mould as Cohen. Couple in the fact that the revelation of his own mortality caused him to throw a hissy fit which destroyed a whole world and spurred an attempt to wipe out all of life in general, and the two could have done a great deal of 'misunderstood' bitching together if they'd ever met.
As Brit comedy legend Eddie Izzard once taught us, there's only so far you can go into being cool before you start looking like a dickhead. And similarly, if a bad guy goes far enough in an effort to be threatening, he can only become ludicrously, hilariously, savagely camp.
Above: It's so damn funny we had to show you all of it.
Such is the case with the last boss in Wolfenstein 3D. Adolf Hitler is undoubtedly one of the most evil men in human history, but the sight of him floating around in a spectral fashion, letting out a laugh Vincent Price would have been proud of when shot, made for one of the most nonsensically funny boss encounters in gaming. Doubly so when he turned up in a goddamn mech. And when the chaingunning Fuhrer finally croaked, uttering a mournful "Eva! Auf weidersein..." with a level of camp that only the German accent seems capable of evoking, it was almost too hilarious to bear. Deeply, offensively insensitive maybe, but hilarious all the same.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a gloriously well-judged celebration of b-movie camp, but nowhere did it pull off the beautiful madness of '50s genre cinema better than the "Titanic Toddler" level. A forty-foot baby. A killer bottle of milk. A doom-laden nursery rhyme soundtrack littered with off-kilter creepiness and those classic "Uh-oh" samples. It was as ridiculous as can be and therefore without doubt one of the best bits of the entire game.
GamesRadar is the premiere source for everything that matters in the world of video games. Casual or core, console or handheld - whatever systems you own or whatever genres you love, GamesRadar is there to filter out what's worth your time and to help you get even more from your games. We deliver the best advice, the most in-depth features, expert reviews, and the essential guides for all the top games.