The Top 7 Worst videogame presidents

A loving tribute to the fictitious leaders that drove America straight into the ground

5. President Benford

From: Resident Evil 6

The Resident Evil series kind of has horrible luck when it comes to presidents. First, it saw the administration of President Graham. Graham fathered one of the most irritating female characters in videogame history, Ashley Graham, whose annoyingly chirpy voice was rivaled only by her near-total lack of a self-preservation instinct. That, and the fact that he sent a valuable government superagent to probably get decapitated like a billion times in an attempt to rescue her, should really have been enough to land him on this list.

But no – his successor, Adam Benford, is even worse. Why? Because Benford is a zombie. And zombies make terrible presidents.

Look at him. Look at that stupid zombie face. Is that a face that can put the economy back on track? Bring peace to the Middle East? Do something to stem the massive global tide of job losses in the wake of the Umbrella Corporation’s collapse? No! That is a face that slashes vital social programs, vetoes defense spending bills and writes legislation mandating that all hospitals build “presidential brain libraries,” describing them only as “tasty” (and also “itchy,” for some reason).

Never mind whatever his record was prior to zombification – we’re highly doubtful that a terrifying walking corpse can convince the nation that it’s in good hands during State of the Union addresses. Honestly, we’d be surprised if he even gets a second term.

4. President Johnson

From: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Yeah, yeah, we know – whenever anyone thinks “Metal Gear” and “president,” they think of George “Solidus Snake” Sears, who’s showed up on so many of these videogame-president lists that he’s become a huge cliché. Despite being the villain of MGS2, however, Sears’ goals of destroying America’s shadow government – the Patriots – and restoring democracy made him something of an awesome president. Besides, he shared MGS2 with a president who was such an unremarkable shitbird that most gamers barely remember he existed.

President James Johnson, Solidus’ successor, was a cynical ladder-climber who not only knew that he was nothing but the Patriots’ pawn – he openly embraced it, freely admitting that “his” policies came from them, and that elections were nothing more than elaborate performances staged for the public’s benefit. However, none of that stopped him from rebelling against them with Solidus’ terrorist group – although while Solidus was working for higher ideals, Johnson played along in the hopes that he could blackmail the Patriots into granting him more personal power.

Sure, he eventually has a change of heart and willingly sacrifices himself to avert a nuclear holocaust, but one good deed doesn’t erase a lifetime of knowingly knuckling under to a shadow government because you think being leader of the free world is a sham. Especially not when you do it after inexplicably cupping Raiden’s balls.

Above: As you do

3. Presidente Reyes

From: Red Dead Redemption

Who says the U.S. gets to have a monopoly on shitty videogame presidents? Mexico – or at least the version of Mexico we visited in Red Dead Redemption – boasts one of the all-time shittiest, and the best part is that we helped put him in power.

At first the larger-than-life leader of RDR’s Mexican revolution, Reyes quickly reveals himself to be little more than an adventuresome fraud, using social reform as a pretext for his own self-aggrandizement. His main ambitions include personal glory and banging as many peasant women as possible. Oh, and, uh, bringing democracy to Mexico, sure.

Above: Democracy!

True, the military dictatorship Reyes fought against was legitimately brutal and despotic, and Reyes’ intentions seem good enough at first – it’s just that he tends to forget what they are. He never intentionally sets out to harm the people who follow him like a messiah, but it also never occurs to him that they might be anything other than a stepping stone on his way to the presidency. Whatever his intentions, though, the end of RDR reveals that his administration is just as despotic and out-of-touch as the one he replaces – and that’s not even the worst of it.

As revealed in (the possibly non-canon) Undead Nightmare, Reyes’ vanity leads him to unearth an ancient Aztec mask and put it on. This action not only unleashes a plague of zombies throughout the neighboring territories, but turns Reyes into one as well. And as we all know from President Graham’s entry above, zombies make terrible presidents. We can only imagine how horrifying they’d be with dictatorial powers.

Above: Would you buy a used car from this man?


After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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