Dialogue Options | What makes a good game antagonist?

Whether you fear them, revere them, or secretly want to be them, a good villain can really take your favourite games to the next level. They can be the driving force behind your every decision, as you level up your weapons and perfect your parry’s in the hope of a final, one-on-one boss battle. Sometimes, they’re even more fun and charismatic than the protagonist you play as. So this week the GamesRadar team have sat down to talk about their favourite video game villains, and discuss what they think makes them so great.

Watch the video above! But, warning, contains mild spoilers for Red Dead Redemption, Red Dead Redemption 2, Far Cry 3, and Far Cry 4.

As video producer Ellen Causey, guides co-ordinator Leon Hurley and news editor Ben Tyrer share some of their all-time favourite antagonists, from Dutch van der Linde from Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2, to Vaas from Far Cry 3 (opens in new tab), they talk about the merits behind level-headed, charismatic villains and on the opposite end of the spectrum; all-out evil villains that steal every scene they’re in. Whether they always have a plan, or seem to be marching to the beat of their own, sadistic drum, we love to hate them, and sometimes we hate to love them.

The group also discuss games in which the line between good and bad, or protagonist and antagonist, isn’t as clear. The nuances of The Last of Us Part 2 (opens in new tab), for example, where Ellie and Abby are both the villains in one another's stories. Are these the sorts of stories we want to see more of in games going forward? Or is an all-out ‘baddie’ more palatable, and, by extension, more fun to see in the games we play?

Let us know who your favourite antagonists are in the comments under the article, or in the comments section on our Youtube video, and as always, come back next Friday for another discussion!

GamesRadar+ was first founded in 1999, and since then has been dedicated to delivering video game-related news, reviews, previews, features, and more. Since late 2014, the website has been the online home of Total Film, SFX, Edge, and PLAY magazines, with comics site Newsarama joining the fold in 2020. Our aim as the global GamesRadar Staff team is to take you closer to the games, movies, TV shows, and comics that you love. We want to upgrade your downtime, and help you make the most of your time, money, and skills. We always aim to entertain, inform, and inspire through our mix of content - which includes news, reviews, features, tips, buying guides, and videos.