Oct 25, 2007
Ever wanted to be evil? Really evil? Well, then you're mostly out of luck. Videogames are awash with brooding anti-heroes who are gruff and mean but ultimately good, but genuine villains in the lead role are pretty rare. For that matter, the few games with villainous leads tend to defuse them by pitting them exclusively against people who are even worse than they are (Manhunt, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent), or by playing up the whole "evil" angle for laughs (Overlord, Disgaea).
Boo to that. When we play as a bad guy, we want to spend our time grinding hobnailed boots into the faces of pure-hearted do-gooders and teaching helpless civilians new ways to fear - otherwise, what's the point? That's why we've put together this list to recognize the few, proud games that don't flinch away from delivering pure, unbridled villainy. Want to get your evil on in grand style? Then consider the following:
10. God of War
2005 | PS2
You are: Kratos, berserk Spartan and unholy terror of ancient Greece.
What's his deal? TheStagger Lee of videogames, Kratos is a perpetually angry badass who kills on a whim, doesn't take shit from anybody and usually does the exact "wrong" thing in any situation - and people love him for it. Betrayed by Greek god of war Ares, he embarks on a rage-fueled quest for revenge, slaughtering dozens of people (many of them innocent) and hundreds of monsters in the name of his own personal vendetta.
Above: The last thing 80 percent of ancient Greeks saw before they died
Moral justification: Revenge, mental anguish and a general poopy mood.
Defining act of villainy: Killing his own wife and daughter, for starters. Sure, it was an accident - but he meant to kill someone's family when he barged into that hut in a bloodthirsty rage. Also, in the sequel he brutally murders three of Greek mythology's most heroic figures, just because they're in his way. Harsh.
Worst thing you can do: In the first God of War, you're presented with a soldier in a cage, who begs you to let him out. If you want to go any further, however, you'll need to push him up a long ramp toward an open furnace, where he'll be burned alive as a sacrifice to whatever power is barring your way. And you'll have to listen to him scream, beg and cry the whole way.
How evil? Kratos is a bad, bad man, but he's more a raging force of nature than a calculating villain. As horrible as he is, he simply doesn't put enough thought into his actions for them to really be considered "good" or "evil" or "wearing pants."