The Top 7 Worst videogame presidents

Today is Presidents' Day in the U.S., which means a lot of us have the day off. Less importantly, however, today is a day to reflect on… stuff our presidents did, I guess? Like that time when George Washington cut down his father’s cherry tree and didn’t lie about it, and that other time when Abraham Lincoln killed a bunch of vampires. Those are things that happened, right? Sure.

But why waste time talking about the fictitious adventures of real presidents, when we can just cut out the middleman and talk about fictitious presidents? We’ve already covered the best of those in an earlier Top 7, though, so now let’s look at some of the rest. In fact, let’s look at the absolute worst. What follows are the most incompetent and villainous North American leaders we could think of.

Oh, and be forewarned: SPOILERS AHEAD!

7. President Winters

From: Vanquish

As the first female U.S. president in Vanquish’s vision of the future, Elizabeth Winters sets a pretty grim precedent. For starters, her administration gets to deal with the hijacking of an American orbital colony, followed almost immediately by the colony’s hijackers using its solar-powered cannon to microwave San Francisco from space.

Above: Also this happens

Just having to deal with that isn’t enough to make her an awful president (although we’re going to guess a lot of hard questions were asked about how it happened on her watch). And it’s hardly the mark of a bad president to launch a full-scale retaliation when the ultranationalist Russian forces who captured the space colony demand her surrender.

Above: Especially not when they dress like this

No, what makes Winters a terrible president is that it was all kind of her fault. See, it turns out that the ultranationalists took power in a coup that Winters secretly backed, with the intention of later betraying them and using their rebellion as a pretext for war. But the Russians were one step ahead, and took over the colony to pre-empt her ability to attack them with it. That didn’t stop her from trying to override their control and melt Moscow, though, and when that failed, well… let’s just say it didn’t end nicely.

Above: Man, this lady is just all about presidential firsts

6. President Ronnie

From: Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja

First, we should say that by including President Ronnie on this list, we are not casting aspersions on Ronald Reagan. President Ronnie is not Ronald Reagan, although he’s very clearly based on him. What’s the difference? Well, for starters, Reagan was never actually kidnapped by a gang of ninjas, nor did his preferred bodyguards ever go out in public wearing black tank tops and sweatpants.

Above: Ugh, god, these guys

Disregarding the fact that President Ronnie let his guard down long enough to get kidnapped, we never find out exactly WHY the Dragon Ninja went and grabbed him in the first place. The truth is that President Ronnie, using “rampant ninja related crimes” as an excuse, had recently turned all his energies to a radical anti-ninja agenda. This included, among other things, empowering police departments nationwide to stop and question any patriotic ninja-Americans they deemed “suspicious,” and to hit them with “a charged-up super punch” if they protested.

This shouldn’t have really come as a surprise to anyone, considering that it capped a 20-year career of crusading against anything cool, which began when Ronnie – then governor of California – passed a law expressly forbidding drawings of scorpions, cobras and “awesome forts” in school notebooks. The ninjas had their backs against the wall, left with nowhere to turn and no clear recourse other than to kidnap the man who had made their lives hell. That is until the Bad Dudes came and thinned their ranks to the point of near-extinction. Great job, Bad Dudes. Just wash those burgers down with the anguished cries of a million oppressed ninjas, why don't you?

Actually, you know what? Let’s just replace President Ronnie with the weird, vaguely Bush-like stand-in from the NES version of Bad Dudes, because that guy is clearly way worse.

Above: Also, what the hell flag is that? A Union Jack? TERRIBLE PRESIDENT

Mikel Reparaz
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.