Everybody has their favourite heroes in games. That one avatar that you use to venture through a world unlike our own in order to achieve the sense of victory. A sense of victory that usually comes from thwarting one form of evil or another. What happens, though, when things take a 180? Sometimes the hero doesn’t always win in the end, nor do they manage to save everything they hold dear. Sometimes, a villain is just too much to handle. This list goes out to the top ten bad guys that won in one form or another.
10. Ardyn Izunia (Final Fantasy XV)
This one is a bit more tricky in terms of the word “won”. When all’s said and done, Ardyn did do what he set out to do. He just didn’t do everything. (*Spoilers* Noctis and Luna do die, thus ending the Luis and Oracle lineages.) However, the Starscourge, an all ending plague upon life itself, was not allowed to achieve the full effect that Ardyn had intended it. Therefore resulting in a “two out of three ain’t bad” situation. All in all though, Ardyn may have been a mad man, but he was a mad men who got things done. A villain who talked sense and was able to deal that which he spoke. Ardyn may not have technically won in the grand scheme of everything, but he won on his own personal merits which says a lot about dedication… and being a prick.
~ Ethan Butterfield
9. Alma (F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin)
The weird thing about the F.E.A.R franchise is that, despite being a spooky ghost devil with the power to destroy a city, Alma isn’t really the main villain. No, that award goes to Armacham, here for all your supernatural splicing needs. Alma is a major threat, however. A misunderstood villain, but a villain nonetheless. In the sequel Project Origin, Alma’s power has more than doubled since dropping the psychic energy blast on the city. You, a one Sergeant Beckett, become the new main target of Alma as you go through horrific sequence after horrific sequence. After reaching the end, thinking that you’ve finally put an end to Alma’s literal reign of terror, you realize that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Instead, Alma captures Beckett and begins the hanky panky in order to birth a terror the world has never seen. It’s fair to say in this chapter of the franchise, Alma had her day.
~ Ethan Butterfield
8. Shao Kahn (Mortal Kombat: Armageddon)
Mortal Kombat is a long and confusing series that sees a lot of ups and downs for all its characters. As a tournament fought over the fate of the universe itself, Mortal Kombat sees a lot of champions come and go. By the time of Mortal Kombat Armageddon, there were too many champions in the world, and their fighting threatened to tear reality apart. It was for this reason that Blaze’s Pyramid appeared, where the champions were challenged to reach the top and defeat the fire elemental.
Of course, there’s always something like this in Mortal Kombat. A new phase or iteration of the tournament begins, and the game allows you to follow each character’s conflicting storyline to an eventual ‘what if’ completion. But of course, there can only be one winner. So who’s the canonical victor of Armageddon? Shao Kahn, the guy who’s never supposed to win, at all costs. As the next game tells us, Shao Kahn kills Raiden atop the pyramid and that’s it.
The series should’ve been over, but Mortal Kombat always finds some loophole for allowing another tournament. In the case of Armageddon’s sequel, Raiden has to go back in time to save the world.
~ Joe Molohon
7. The Agency (Crackdown)
Crackdown is sort of like the good-guy version of Grand Theft Auto. Except that you can still sort of play it the exact same way, and things turn out just as bad in the end. The premise of Crackdown is this: as a supersoldier of “The Agency”; a pseudo-governmental organization; you are tasked with bringing down the three organized gangs that are terrorizing Pacific City.
As you eliminate each leader and key subordinate of the gangs with your superpowers and Agency tech, the city becomes gradually safer. Agency Peacekeepers fill the streets and gangsters will attack much less sporadically. But after you eliminate the last kingpin, there’s a surprise twist.
The Director of the Agency, a disembodied voice that has guided you this entire time, tells you that it is was the Agency that installed the three gangs in the first place, to create an atmosphere of fear in Pacific City. With the three gangs in power, the Agency was able to sweep in as heroes, taking control of the city and getting the populace’s approval in doing so. At the end of the game, the Director tells you this case will be the basis for their New World Order.
~ Joe Molohon
6. Colonel Konrad (Spec Ops: The Line)
Villains based in the shooter genre are, for the most part, very single layered in terms of why they’re opposing the player. Usually, the means behind the madness are either quickly explained away or so detailed that things get lost in the fray. Colonel Konrad, however, is an antagonist that really stands above the rest. His main objective in Spec Ops: The Line is messing with the player physically, spiritually, and mentally. As you try to free the citizens of Dubai from his rule, he continues to break down your will and psyche to a point where even the men who accompany you start to question your logic. Konrad is a near perfect baddie as he does what few villains can. He makes you believe your wrong. So even if you decided to do away with him. His mental torture will always reside with you.