Follow TV Tropes


Jerks Are Worse Than Villains / Video Games

Go To

  • In the story of Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, the New Rubinelle Army, led by Admiral Greyfield, reignites the war between Rubinelle and Lazuria, with some help from the Intelligent Defense Systems company headed by Dr. Caulder. While Dr. Caulder is the larger Big Bad of the story, being responsible for the Creeper virus and manipulating both Rubinelle and Lazuria to wage war in pursuit of research and profits, Greyfield is very much the more heinous villain in terms of immediate action, being responsible for the deaths of two likeable COs and having little regard for the safety of his own troops. Caulder also gets points for poisoning the Mayor, an obstructive authority figure that acts as a frequent thorn in the early stages of the story.
    • Said Mayor is another example. He's an infuriating control freak who repeatedly got in the way of the heroes' efforts and an all-around Ungrateful Bastard. But he's not a mass-murdering war criminal like Greyfield and Caulder. And yet, as noted in the above example, fans don't hesitate to cheer Caulder for murdering him.
  • Few would deny the oppressive nature of the Founders' government of Columbia in Bioshock Infinite. It was established by Zachary Hale Comstock, a man with many delusions of grandeur due to claiming to see visions of the future (in reality it's the nature of tears and showing him events based on probability, rather than prophecy), a hatred of non-white communities, and being a guardian of a kidnapped young girl he aims to make his heir, even if it means warping her in his own image. He's funded by a business tycoon named Jeremiah Fink, equally xenophobic and an abusive worker baron who drives his lesser employees to the edge. While Zachary Hale Comstock has the excuse of being a troubled soldier who undertook a baptism, and his unbaptised equivalent having a far more stable moral compass, Fink has absolutely no divergence in his character, and is who he is out of pure choice. His industrial innovations aren't even original, as he appropriated them from tears leading into Rapture.
  • Dragon Age: A staple for the franchise.
    • Dragon Age: Origins: In a game full of mass-murdering traitors, slavers, and war criminals, a character with one of the most vocal hatedoms is Queen Anora, because she can throw the player under the carriage when authorities come to arrest them for trying to rescue her, and further betray the player at the Landsmeet if they refuse to support her bid for the throne at a critical moment. Her rudeness to the player is often treated as a far greater crime than the actual atrocities by the game's actual villains and antagonists.
    • Dragon Age II: Companion Anders is much more widely hated than the game's actual overarching antagonist and final boss, Meredith. Among many other reasons, this is not helped by the former being companion the player spends many hours hearing from and talking with, who constantly harps about mage oppression, picks fights with every other companion in party banter (particularly Fenris and Merrill, two relative fan favorites), and often being perceived as rude, preachy, self-righteous, and hypocritical.
    • Advertisement:
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition: The mysterious Elder One is the game's true villain: a self-aggrandizing megalomaniac who wants to declare himself a god or destroy the world trying. Yet, Corypheus doesn't spark nearly as much heated fan posts as a number of allied characters, particular base-breaking companions Vivienne and Sera. Some common points of contention are their tendencies to dismiss the plight of oppressed mages and elves, being rude to the player unless said player is lock-in-step with their opinions (though in different ways; Vivienne with razor-sharp politeness, Sera with yelling and name-calling), and the player being unable to change their views on anything. This is probably not helped by many finding the game's villain to be an underwhelming generic villain, whereas the flaws exhibited by companions feel much more real and personal.
  • Advertisement:
  • Far Cry: The Far Cry franchise is known for its iconic and beloved villains. Among the most popular are 3's Vaas Montenegro, a drug and human trafficking modern day pirate; 4's Pagan Min, the brutal dictator of Kyrat who casually commits human rights abuses; and 5's Joseph Seed, the charismatic leader of the Eden's Gate cult hellbent on converting everyone in Hope County to their cause in preparation of The Collapse. Meanwhile, Agent Willis Huntley is one of the least liked characters in the series due to his Jerkass tendencies, jingoism, and dislike of foreign cultures. While he's generally tolerated in Far Cry 3 for helping Jason on his journey and being useful in fighting back against Hoyt Volker, in Far Cry 4 he's openly rude and racist to Ajay and tricks him into killing CIA agents stationed in Kyrat, and then shoves him out of the plane to be captured by Yuma Lau's men. In Far Cry 5 he makes the Deputy recover an embarrassing VHS tape but otherwise doesn't really help the resistance in fighting back against Eden's Gate at all.
  • Fate/Grand Order: In Lostbelt 6, while the majority of Faes were Ungrateful Bastards extraordinary, they're not actually the Arc Villain of the Lostbelt. But their inherent cruel, backstabbing nature that has been implanted on them since their creation along with all the cruel things they do without any tinge of regret at the cost of many has made many players want them dead possibly even more than they want a Hate Sink villain like Beryl (who instead develop a Love to Hate status), or even bigger villains like the Foreign God. They kinda got their wish in the end, though.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: While several high-ranking nobles (including Ramza's brothers Zalbaag and Dycedarg) orchestrating the events of the game are indeed heinous, the character that draws the most ire from players is Argath, a temporary ally-turned-antagonist of the game's opening act. Even though he's encountered early in the game and doesn't stay in your party for long, his open hatred for commoners and murder of Delita's sister Tietra (triggering Delita's Start of Darkness) made him an instant anti-favorite.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade: King Desmond of Bern isn't directly antagonistic toward your party, but his abusive and neglectful attitude toward his son Prince Zephiel make him even more hated than the actual antagonists of the game, Nergal and the Black Fang. To make things worse, his continued mistreatment of Zephiel caused the prince to develop a Humans Are Bastards mindset and start one of the biggest wars Elibe has ever seen, retroactively making Desmond responsible for the events of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade.
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance: Makalov is actually a recruitable character, but he's a compulsive, unrepentant gambler that caused nothing but trouble for anyone he comes across (especially his hardworking sister) and only looks for ways to get rich and would scam others for his own leisure, an example of a super unrepentant Jerkass. The Tellius games (this and the sequel) have many, many dark issues including racism or genocide, something that Makalov never mentions even while he's introduced being employed by slavers. But it's his unrepentant Jerkass manners that rub people the wrong way so much that sometimes they want him dead more than other villains that actually deserve the hatred against them.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: Averted with Ryder since for all his Jerkass moments, he still doesn't come off any worse than Tenpenny and Pulaski since all he's really done to CJ was make snide remarks about him, which isn't exactly uncommon with most friends (the worst he's ever done was betray CJ, which wasn't even planned well). Played much straighter, however, with Catalina, who, unlike her appearance in Grand Theft Auto III, isn't even the antagonist of the game, yet is always berating CJ for making minor mistakes and constantly switches from being an outright cunt who threatens to castrate CJ for his minor mistakes to getting back to falling in love with him. Really, she even makes the two aforementioned cops look more sympathetic in comparison.
  • Heavy Rain: Carter Blake is one of the most unpleasant, psychopathic characters in the game and he's not even a villain. His violent temper, lack of remorse towards the people he assaults in his pursuit to catch the title serial killer and his penchant for Police Brutality, almost makes him more detestable than the Origami Killer himself.
  • In the Killzone series, the Helghast are presented as the villains, given the series has a futuristic, intergalactic World War II-like theme with the Helghast being the Nazi-like empire in that universe. However, the story throughout the games puts a sympathetic spin on the Helghast in some parts, resulting in some fans Rooting for the Empire. On the other hand, the most hated character in the series is an impulsive jerkass named Rico who fights for the I.S.A, who represent the heroic Allies faction of the intergalactic war.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: Bishop, the Token Evil Teammate, comes across as a lot more loathsome than most of the villains. He's greedy, cruel, perverted, bigoted, slimy, nihilistic, believes anyone who's weaker than him deserves to die, and even implies he plans to rape Shandra after you rescue her. At least in Mask of the Betrayer you find that he died and is now trapped in the Wall Of The Faithless.
  • Persona 5 Strikers: The Jail Monarchs are much more sympathetic than most of the main baddies in the original Persona 5, and most people end up not being very upset at them. The Lock Keepers, on the other hand, are a completely different story in which they are portrayed as Jerkass characters that often cause the Jail Monarchs to become who they are in the first place.
  • Pokémon: In the Gen 1 and 2 Pokemon games, Team Rocket are the main villains, plotting to steal rare Pokemon, cutting off Slowpoke tails and serving them as food, and other heinous acts. But who gets all the vitriol from fans? Your rival Blue, or as he's known more colloquially, "Gary Motherfucking Oak", whose greatest crime is...getting to places before you do and telling you he'll "smell ya later!"
  • Professor Layton and the Unwound Future: Bill Hawks is, hands down, the most hated character in the entire series. Despite not appearing in the flesh for a majority of the game, Bill's background and action makes him utterly loathesome, as he is responsible, one way or another, for some of the most tragic events in the entire backstory, including those that cause the main villains to become the people they are in the game proper. By contrast, the game's main antagonists Clive and Dmitri, are far more sympathetic due to having loved ones (Clive's parents and Clair, respectively) killed in an experiment caused by Hawks, and both promise to atone for their crimes at the end of the game, yet Hawks remains completely unrepentant throughout the entire game, and gets away with his crimes scot-free, to the anger of many fans.
  • The Shantae series has a fun and colorful cast of both heroes and villains. In fact, Big Bad Risky Boots is a big fan favorite and several other villains are nearly as popular. However, many fans utterly loath Mayor Scuttlebutt for firing Shantae for little to no reason in almost every game and being completely shameless about it, yet getting off with almost no problem every single time.
  • Soulcalibur V has Patroklos Alexander. He is hated by players for his arrogance, his Holier Than Thou attitude towards anybody that doesn't see his point of view, and his infamous Establishing Character Moment where he murders an innocent man he suspected of being Malfested. The aforementioned murder is made even worse by his Slasher Smile and him smugly declaring that it was unfortunate that the man he killed couldn't prove he wasn't Malfested, implying he knew full-well he was innocent and just wanted to kill somebody For the Evulz. You'd think he was one of the game's villains, but you're wrong. He's actually the protagonist. His behavior has earned him more hatred than the game's actual villains, Graf Dumas (who wanted to use Soul Edge to take over the world using Malfested slaves), Tira (who has had a history of Ax-Crazy behavior long before this game), and Elysium (who a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants to bring about world peace).
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has you battling Dragons ravaging the countryside, bloodthirsty vampires, and the Thalmor (Nazi Elves), yet there are some NPC's who are often insufferable enough that you either find yourself running your sword through them or wishing you could. to list some examples:
    • Maven Black-Briar is the Tamrielic equivalent of a mafia don who will often rub in your face how influential and untouchable she is, even after you potentially take charge of the two main factions (the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood) responsible for the amount of reach she has. This is made worse by the fact that aside from the fact that she's marked as Essential there is no in-game way to actually oppose her, meaning that there's really nothing players can do about her.
    • Nazeem is a common target for Video Game Cruelty Potential for a very good reason. He's a merchant who's extremely pretentious, condescending, and almost every moment you encounter him he'll try to rub his status in your face. Few tears will be shed if you decide to kill him.
  • Played for Laughs with Undertale. The Big Bad of the game is a sociopathic Omnicidal Maniac who constantly taunts you throughout the game, The Heavy is a Godhood Seeker who tries to wipe out mankind, and the Greater-Scope Villain is yet another Omnicidal Maniac, but on a way bigger scale. All of them are far from hated due to having tragic backstories, good excuses and chances of redeeming themselves, not to mention that The Heavy is a genuine Nice Guy who can be barely called evil and that the Greater-Scope Villain is Ambiguously Evil. The single most hated character? Jerry, a gross, mean Mook who can be fought in only one area and is hard to kill. Hell, he's even hated in-universe, to the point that you can conspire with your own enemies to ditch him.
  • Valkyria Chronicles:
    • Maximilian might be the Big Bad, but him being an imperialistic warmonger who wants to conquer Europa and remake it in his image is not the reason why he garners so much hatred. Instead, it is his casual acts of emotional manipulation and Domestic Abuse towards Selvaria that earn him the players' ire. When asked about the most heinous deed Maximilian has done in-game, almost everyone will bring up ordering Selvaria to use her Final Flame rather than anything to do with his conquests.
    • General Damon is similarly widely hated, despite being on the side of the heroes. In addition to being racist, sexist, and classist, he got his position in the army solely due to nepotism and is more than happy to let the Militia die if he can get a promotion for it. Nobody shed any tears when he was killed by Selvaria after she used her Final Flame.
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus: While he's both a jerk and a villain, Rip Blazkowicz tends to be the most hated character by far, even more than Hitler himself, who shows up in one scene but is clearly a doddering dolt who's not all there and pisses on the floor at once point. Rip is an Abusive Parent who beats his wife, calls B.J. weak for being a decent and caring person, abuses the family dog, and then outright shoots it when he catches B.J. fraternizing with a black girl. As if this weren't enough, when B.J. comes back later as an adult he finds that Rip sold out his wife and the whole neighborhood to the Nazis just to save his own worthless hide.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: