An instance, generally restricted to video games, wherein the player gets to control a main villain, as opposed to the hero. This doesn't apply to [[VillainEpisode spin-off games]] or multiplayer modes, or being a VillainProtagonist; it only counts if it takes place during the course of the story. This is often done to give the player a TasteOfPower, especially if the villain is the BigBad himself or far more powerful than the player character. If done well, this also establishes that the villain could [[CurbStompBattle kill you with his pinky finger]] without having to see him do it to ''you''. Sometimes, it may involve with a PerspectiveFlip in which you can learn his motives behind his villainy.

If a bonus mode has you playing as the main villain against the hero in the entire story, this is VillainEpisode. If your current PlayerCharacter turns out to be the villain in the sequel, this is RogueProtagonist, which may or may not involve with DuelingPlayerCharacters.

Doesn't have to involve awesome [[SpikesOfVillainy spiky]] villain boots, but it helps. The exact opposite is NoCampaignForTheWicked.



[[folder: Action Adventure]]
* In ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'', there are multiple opportunities to play as a villain:
** UsefulNotes/PlayStation3 version of ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' has a bonus level where one can play as SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker.
** Videogame/BatmanArkhamOrigins has you play as the Joker briefly.
** ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight'' allows you to play as the Joker [[spoiler: inside Bruce's mind after he is injected with a massive dose of fear toxin.]] In addition, you can play as Harley Quinn as part of a pre-order bonus.
* ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'' lets you [[spoiler: stomp around as the resurrected Dormin for a few moments before inevitably getting [[SealedEvilInACan sealed in a new can.]]]]

[[folder: Action Game]]
* ''VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed'' - in the very first level, you play as Darth Vader, [[spoiler: whom you oppose eventually in the story]], before switching to the Apprentice.
** A bonus level from the 2nd ''VideoGame/RogueSquadron'' game had the player assume the role of Vader during the Death Star attack of the 1st movie.
* In ''VideoGame/UltimateSpiderMan'' for Nintendo DS, the first level is playable with Green Goblin.
** In the home console versions, you control Venom, the main villain, for about half of the missions. Despite this shared screentime, he is still clearly the villain, as the player always controls Spider-Man during their fights.
* The game based on the first ''Film/SpiderMan1'' movie did this trope with a twist: after beating the game once, a NewGamePlus was unlocked where you played as the Green Goblin...which, in this case, was ''Harry'' Osborn trying to find out what happened to his father. You still played through exactly the same stages, with the Norman version of the Goblin having a [[EvilSoundsDeep distorted, deepened voice]].
* In ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriors'', after the heroes defeat Cia, HijackedByGanon kicks in. The kicker is that you get to control Ganondorf as he preforms his takeover, beginning with him dominating the monster tribes in the desert and ultimately ending in a NearVillainVictory where he has the entire triforce. There's also a minor side story (Originally DLC but made baseline in the ''Legends'' rerelease) where you play as Cia and her army as she recruits her generals and leads her initial assault against Hyrule and ending after her VillainousBreakdown shortly before the final battle.

[[folder: First Person Shooter]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' has you play as the Arbiter for quite some time. The Arbiter is a Covenant Elite, with a very specific grudge against the Master Chief for destroying one of the Halo rings, and for being the whole reason he's an Arbiter in the first place. The two never directly fight, but the thought was definitely there.
* ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'' bonus level "Mr. Blonde's Revenge" lets you play an alien poorly disguised as a human.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2'' has one level where you play as BigBad Raul Menendez. He is ''noticeably'' more powerful than a normal ''Call of Duty'' protagonist, and the entire level is pretty much a complete one-man rampage.

[[folder: Platform Game]]
* The Nintendo DS version of ''VideoGame/CrashOfTheTitans'' features short sections after each boss where you play as Cortex's niece, Nina.

[[folder: Real Time Strategy]]
* In ''VideoGame/StarTrekArmada'', the fourth series of missions has you playing as the Borg. The final mission in that series has you assimilating Earth.
* The second campaign of ''VideoGame/StarCraftI'' has you playing as the Zerg, the HordeOfAlienLocusts who kill and assimilate everything they come across. The ''Brood War'' expansion later lets you play as MagnificentBastard Kerrigan.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} 3'' has a much more extensive version of this, where a quarter of the gameplay is devoted to massacring countries, raising armies of the undead, and desecrating everything that your main hero once held dear. This hero being, in fact, Arthas as a Death Knight.
* ''VideoGame/EmpireAtWar'' has the Empire as a playable faction with their own campaign. The ''Forces of Corruption'' expansion adds another less-than-nice faction opposed to both sides in the form of the Zann Consortium, complete with its own campaign.

[[folder: Role Playing Game]]
* In ''VideoGame/LostOdyssey'', players get to take a crack at [[spoiler:wielding Gongora's magic against his hapless apprentices.]] (Also a KickTheDog.)
** This scene also involves a decision that affects a future BossBattle. [[spoiler:Whichever apprentice you kill last will be KilledOffForReal and won't be present when the party eventually fights them]].
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross''. Entirely justified [[spoiler:because you switch bodies with Lynx]].
* In ''VideoGame/LiveALive'', the [[spoiler:final level, should you choose to play it as Oersted. As the newly christened King of Demons, Oersted takes control of the first seven main bosses in order to kill the previous protagonists. Success comes in either killing them all or getting to low enough health to initiate Armageddon]].
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', you don't ''control'' [[spoiler: Sephiroth]] during Cloud's flashbacks, but he is in your party, and it definitely fulfills the role of showing the player that he's ridiculously powerful.
** He also glares (or whatever ... means) at the ''player'' if you try to mess with his equipment.
* ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV'' has segments where you play as Fou-Lu. At the end of the game you can choose to have TheHero [[spoiler: (they're both halves of a dragon god) merge with him, kill all your friends and TakeOverTheWorld]].
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', a handful of quests in Icecrown allow you (the player) to take control of Arthas the Lich King in flashback sequences, thanks to a ghost who specifically wants to show the hero how powerful the Lich King is.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears'' puts you in control of [[spoiler: [[LiteralSplitPersonality Kain's evil side]]]] on his quest to destroy [[spoiler: [[MurderTheHypotenuse Cecil and have Rosa for himself]] ]].
** You also get a chance to play as Golbez in a flashback sequence: you basically take control of Golbez in a recreation of each of the fights with him from the original game.
* Not really villains, but Part III of ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn]]'' has the player alternately controlling two forces fighting each other. And for a straight example, the BlackKnight is one of the main villains and is controllable in a couple of maps.
* In the ''Birthright'' campaign of ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', the time spent with the Nohrian army in Chapters 1-5 count as this. Nohr acts as the antagonist in this mode, although they are the protagonists of the ''Conquest'' campaign.
* Like the ''FFVII'' example above, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' allows you to control [[spoiler:Seymour]] several hours before he's revealed to be a villain by anything other than [[spoiler:[[MusicalSpoiler suspiciously unnerving leitmotifs]] and being a non-hero {{Bishonen}}]] in a ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' game. It also, like [[spoiler:Sephiroth]] above, establishes [[spoiler:Seymour]]'s sheer power quite well and drives the point home by making his partner for that segment, Auron, seem totally ''useless'' in comparison.
* In ''Videogame/FinalFantasyTactics'', the player begins the game with [[CrutchCharacter Fell Knight Gaffgarion]] in their party during the intro sequence, whose strength completely outclasses the foes you face. After the intro, the character [[ATasteofPower flashes back to a few months prior]], but upon returning to the present time later on in the game, it is revealed some time later that Gaffgarion was really a gold-hungry mercenary secretly working for the true villains the whole time, and betrays the player, leading them into a fairly tough fight against him and a large unit of opponents.
* The Bowser segments in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor''. These are particularly awesome segments because they're reconstructed versions of levels from the original ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1''. All those enemies and obstacles Mario had to carefully maneuver around all those years ago? Yeah, Bowser just smashes and burns his way through, no big.
** In the event that you manage to fail those levels, Bowser just gets to try again because, unlike Mario, Bowser has ''infinite'' lives.
* One quest in ''VideoGame/{{Dragonfable}}'' lets you play as the AxCrazy [[PlayingWithFire pyromancer]] Xan. [[{{Pyromaniac}} Fire]] [[WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer ensues]].
* In the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS remake of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', there was a segment where you play as Golbez in his childhood, although it was only in a town, and with no battles.
* In ''VideoGame/ArcRiseFantasia'', you play as the villain's party [[spoiler: consisting of Alf, Clyde, Dynos, and Adele]] in the Ruins of Ebur. Sadly, this is the ''one'' time that you ''can't'' [[BagOfSharing strip your guests of their items before they leave you]]. Well, you ''can'', but you don't get to keep any of the items. They have their own, separate inventory. You do get to play around with some amazing Excel Acts, however.
* In ''VideoGame/SuikodenIII'', four of the villains actually count as the [[OneHundredAndEight 108 Stars of Destiny]]. Collecting the other 104 before gaining access to the FinalDungeon, followed by beating the final battle, unlocks their leader's [[PointOfView POV]] on the Trinity Sight System, allowing the player to go back and see bits and pieces of the story from their perspective.
* In ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'', the DLC 'Behind Her Blue Flame' grants you control of [[DarkActionGirl Selvaria Bles]] and an Imperial squad in a side story of three missions, taking place during the early days of the Imperial invasion of Gallia. Two of the missions are actually alternate versions of each other, depending on whether or not you fulfill specific requirements in the first mission. [[spoiler:Clearing all three with an A rank or higher unlocks a hidden fourth mission, where you control Selvaria ''in her [[SuperMode Valkyria state.]]'']]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'', this happens not once but twice [[spoiler:with both of Dunban's allies in the Sword Valley battle]]. [[spoiler:Mumkhar]] was pretty obviously evil and [[spoiler:shows up as a willingly mechanized Face]], but then [[spoiler:Dickson]] turns out to be [[spoiler:the servant of sleeping, malevolent bastard god Zanza]]. Also two partial examples with [[spoiler:Alvis, since he's not really evil but he's definitely working with Zanza initially]] and arguably even [[spoiler:Shulk, before it's revealed that he's been dead fourteen years and a vessel for Zanza the entire time]]. Seeing as how it all draws heavily from Nietchzean philosophy, this is not really surprising at all.
* ''VideoGame/VacantSky'' has the player start out controlling DarkActionGirl Sandarga and the enigmatic masked villain.
* Lord or the Rings: The Third Age has Evil Mode, where you reenact key battles, but on the villains' side. Including getting to play as the Balrog, Grima, the Witch King, and Sauron himself!
* The ''Anime/CodeGeass'' RPG for Nintendo DS had interludes in NewGamePlus where the player would briefly get to control OriginalGeneration BigBad Castor rui Britannia before jumping back to the main plot. Amusingly, the way to force the game back into the canon storyline is by having Castor [[ViolationOfCommonSense mouth off to an armed soldier and get shot dead]].
* ''VideoGame/SandsOfDestruction'' has you control Naja during the ActionPrologue; after you get control of TheHero Kyrie, though, Naja becomes an antagonist dead-set on preventing Kyrie's LoveInterest Morte from using his powers to end the world (Kyrie himself [[AntiAntiChrist isn't big on wanting to end the world]], either, but [[LoveMakesYouDumb definitely does want to help Morte]] and that's what ''she'' wants). Of course, given the game's playing with BlackAndGreyMorality and VillainProtagonist, it's hard to say controlling Naja actually counts as "villain" shoes. There's also a segment later in the game where you lose Kyrie and take control of Morte in his place, [[spoiler: but by that point she's reconsidered destroying the world and decided she'd rather try to fix it instead.]]

[[folder: Stealth Based Game]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Tenchu}} 2'' let you play as Tatsumaru.
* ''VideoGame/{{Siren}} 2'' had a level playable as a Shibito.
** In ''Siren: Blood Curse'' you play as Amana for one level.
* The early part of ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'' is told from the point of view of Haytham Kenway up to [[spoiler: his reveal as a Templar]].

[[folder: Survival Horror]]
* The first historical stage of ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' has you playing [[TheDragon Pious Augustus]], and it's your choice as to which EldritchAbomination BigBad he devotes himself to. Unusually, while highly competent in melee combat, Pious is possibly the overall weakest character in the game as he doesn't have any access to the Tome's magic and lacks any ranged weapons. Of course, this takes place before he becomes TheDragon of the game and is just a normal guy with a sword.
** Yet, he has very high health and stamina, and unlike any other character he has unlimited sanity because he's that dedicated to the mission. He'd be pretty fun to play with in a level that didn't last five minutes.
* The Ryder White DLC of ''VideoGame/DeadIsland'' is a campaign where you play from the perspective of Colonel Ryder White, the game's BigBad. He's got better stats than any of the 4 regular hero characters, since he's designed to fight solo instead of as part of a 4-player co-op team. [[spoiler: his campaign also reveals that he was a good guy all along, and that the main heroes were actually the {{Unwitting Pawn}}s of the story's ''real'' BigBad.]]
* The ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'' series has provided a few such examples. Both ''The Umbrella Chronicles'' and ''The Darkside Chronicles'' has levels where you played as [[BigBad Albert Wesker]] and [[EnsembleDarkHorse Hunk]], ''Resident Evil 2'' has The Fourth Survivor bonus stage again starring Hunk which was canon with the storyline, and ''anytime'' you play as [[WildCard Ada Wong]] might count depending on whether or not you consider her to be a villain.
* ''Videogame/FiveNightsAtFreddys2'' has hidden minigames where you play as some of the killer animatronics that gun for you in normal gameplay. [[Videogame/FiveNightsAtFreddys3 The third game]] also has these minigames, but Freddy and friends are long gone by the time the events of the regular game occur.

[[folder: Third Person Shooter]]
* ''VideoGame/TransformersWarForCybertron'' has half of the game dedicated to playing as the Decepticons. The second half is played as the Autobots coming BackFromTheBrink after all the awful stuff you did as a Decepticon.
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRevolver'' features a level from the point of view of [[FourStarBadass General]] [[TheDragon Diego]], where he fights against the US Army. Upon defeating the Americans, he captures [[BigBad Griffon]], who strikes a deal with him, leading to [[YouKilledMyFather the events of the tutorial mission]].