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Top 5 Villains Of Gaming:

1. Grahf from Xenogears.

2. Moebius the Time-Streamer from Legacy of Kain

And then the rest. But those two are my definite favorites. Very, very different types of bad guys but both equally memorable to anyone who loves those games.
 
Level 9999
By all means, share the other three. Seeing all these detailed responses makes me want to revise my own.
 28 Major Tom, Sun, 29th Dec '13 7:28:13 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
5) Ridley. Besides his unlikely survival abilities he's doing the bulk of the real work in the games. In Super Metroid you're hunting him for the bulk of the game. He's the reason why it happens at all.

4) Marx. Awesome battle theme. Awesome boss battle. Pulled off a villainous stunt more worthy of David Xanatos than King Dedede.

3) Imran Zakhaev. Sure Makarov gets more screen time and Ramirez did everything, but this guy is positively exceptional as far as FPS villains go. Rarely do you have a guy who two games later is revered beyond measure despite being dead. Especially since he started the movement that kicked off the series as a whole and the first game heavily implies because of him and the rest of the Four Horsemen, he's winning the Second Russian Civil War. (Post-death, he does win.)

2) Kane. IN THE NAME OF KANE! KANE LIVES IN DEATH! In the first two Tiberian games he's a Magnificent Bastard without equal. In the original Red Alert, he's The Man Behind the Man pulling all the strings.

1) Bowser. He's been at the villain game for almost 30 years and still keeps kicking onward. His goals? Always nebulous and open to interpretation. His motivations? Only known to him. Sheer persistence is what crowns him King of all video game villains.

Honorable mentions: The Prophet of Truth, The Didact, Vladimir Makarov, Gla DOS, General Shepherd, Mother Brain, Dr Robotnik.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
5.) Kefka, for reasons already mentioned in this thread. Hell, he's basically The Joker with magic.

4.) SHODAN. Basically what you get if you combine AM and Durandal.

3.) GLaDOS. Yeah, I know, another crazed AI. But this one is hilarious as well as pretty damn scary (when she isn't a potato).

2.) The Pragmatic Incarnation of The Nameless One. Dealt with devils, demons and fallen angels and still managed to outdo the lot of them.

1.) Bowser. One of the most widely-recognized and flat-out iconic villains of all time, not just in games.

edited 29th Dec '13 10:50:21 AM by MattStriker

Reality is for those who lack imagination.
Burn
I'm not sure I can list my top 5 villains; a lot of video game villains like Ridley are more just recurring bosses with a bit of story importance. That doesn't mean I don't love Ridley, but I feel like my list should be made of actual characters, or at least foes who add things to the atmosphere and story beyond "monster I have to hunt down and kill".

I would definitely put Glados and Senator Armstrong, though. Glados has tons of well-written, well voice-acted characterization, and she strikes the right balance of funny and unnerving. Senator Armstrong is the only Metal Gear villain (I don't count Boss as a villain) who I thought felt interesting. He has a hilariously appropriate visual design for a politician, his lines are chock full of great jokes and winks at the audience ("I have a dream!"), and he matches the weird semi-dramatic, semi-serious tone of his game far better than Liquid or Kuwabara lightning sadist ever did. The weird part is that most of his villainy is stuffed at the end of Metal Gear Rising; I usually prefer a villain who's a more constant presence, but Armstrong was so wonderful to watch that I still rank him as one of my favorites.

Another good one is Kreia, from Knights of the Old Republic 2. She suffered a lot due to cut plot, but the characterization and dialogue she did have was really, really, really good, and I weep for what it could have been with more time.

As for other villains I remember, they all have some issues. I feel like SA-X would have been a great creepy villain if Fusion was longer and she didn't have that stupid Super Metroid ripoff ending. Allant from Demon's Souls just doesn't appear enough for me to consider him, although I did like how the final confrontation played out. Most JRPG villains suffer from too much exposition and awkward translated dialogue. Most WRPG villains are just too bland and also use a lot of exposition, although they did give us Kreia.

5) Ridley. Besides his unlikely survival abilities he's doing the bulk of the real work in the games. In Super Metroid you're hunting him for the bulk of the game. He's the reason why it happens at all.
Same in Metroid Prime. Prime might be the final boss, but Ridley was who Samus was chasing.

It makes sense in a way that Ridley would be Metroid's iconic foe; he's a dragon, you're a knight in shining armor. Hell, you could even call Super Metroid a riff on the stereotypical "save the princess kidnapped by a dragon" plot. Instead of saving a princess, you're saving a ravenous monster, and eventually the one you were supposed to save ends up saving you.

edited 29th Dec '13 12:49:11 PM by Scardoll

 31 tsstevens, Sun, 29th Dec '13 8:31:49 PM from Internet, Tasmania Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Researcher
The top five best villains? In making my list I ran by three criteria: how big the game was and well known the villain is; so Hamilton from Ace Combat would not be known enough, how much characterization and story the villain has; so the Taroone cult in SWAT4 would lack the characterization, and how effective they are as a villain; Walugi of Super Mario Sunshine just does not have the punch of Bowser. Let's go.

  • 5...The Illusive Man - Jack Harper/Mass Effect: The series had many memorable villains. Saren, Sovereign, Harbinger, Tela Visir, that ************* *********** **** ****** **** ***** ****** ****** ******** ****** ******* ******* Starchild. So why does he make the cut? First of all you work for him, and regardless of how you play he makes a good case of things from his point of view. Second he is a well rounded Well-Intentioned Extremist who genuinely believes he is doing the right thing, which is worth more than any Complete Monster and makes the atrocities he commits all the more disturbing. Third, he's played by Martin Sheen, and not only delivers a top notch performance that Jennifer Hale is talented enough to keep up with he comments on the character himself.

  • 4...Zachery "Jazz" Colson/Wing Commander: Aha, now we get to the sleeper so a bit of backstory. Back in the day the series was huge, with technical advancements, solid gameplay, and a solid story and characters, this this guy is introduced. After getting to know the crew of the Tigers Claw it's blown up and you get the blame for it. Throughout the second game you encounter several of the survivors, several possibilities of a traitor, and at the end it turns out Colson is responsible for murderering most of a starship in the first game and the deaths of several of your friends in the second. But that's not enough for him, he tries to kill your lover before making an escape, and you discover all of this is because you did not save his brother from the Kilrathi. Without providing too much more detail he gets even worse, he delivered one of the first gut punches in video gaming, and if you could put aside what an asshole he is he actually had a good motive, until he began actively trying to help kill off the human race.

  • 3...Luca Blight/Suikoden2: Despite not being the blockbuster the Final Fantasy series is there are few if any that are the Card-Carrying Villain Complete Monster he was, stealing scene after scene committing atrocities no amount of Freudian Excuse can excuse, to the point the game's Big Bad had him assassinated by the heroes. That assassination was a Rasputin Death few could hope to match and even at death's door he bragged about how evil he was, no self recrimination, no mercy, no regrets for what a bastard he was. That's enough to get him onto the list.

  • 2...Vega - Balrog - M. Bison/Street Fighter: Whatever you want to call him he is the standard bearer of the narm tastic Large Ham monster with the goal to Take Over the World, of course! When this isn't his goal he works just as well as drug dealer, war lord, and crime kingpin, tormenting numerous characters in the franchise and having one of the best Rogues Gallery working for him, ever.

  • 1...Sephiroth/Final Fantasy VII: Read the Player Punch for Jazz above? Okay, good. This guy's strike still stings sixteen years, sixteen years, sixteen years, sixteen...you get the idea, after it happened. To this day he is as popular as he was when first introduced, which gives some idea to how well fans had taken to the character. This is despite the atrocities he has committed. Take into account his backstory and what an utter Bad Ass the series has made him and he has got to make it onto this list.
The mark of a good story means not feeling like The Angry Video Game Nerd hearing it.
 32 Eva Unit 01, Mon, 30th Dec '13 7:54:09 AM Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
The Hardcore Legends
5. The Sorceress, from Spyro: Year of the Dragon. Spyro annoys her, because he's doing hero stuff. So, she plans to kill ALL dragons in retaliation.
Actually, no. The Sorceress needs baby dragon wings to create a youth/immortality potion. She doesn't really need to kill the baby dragons. She just gets off on it.

The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 32
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