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