With Wreck-It Ralph
hitting theatres this weekend and the film featuring cameos from some of the most iconic bad guys in video game history, we thought we'd toss together a list of the ten coolest video game villains in no particular order. Well, except the first one, who is undoubtedly number one.
Sephiroth – Final Fantasy VII
If you're to ask anyone of a certain age range to point to one video game character that epitomizes evil, it's Sephiroth. The big bad from the character-rich Final Fantasy VII already had all the makings of a great villain, but what puts him over the top is when he kills a lovable (and playable!) character in a violent, tragic fashion. Other games kill characters off, but few have actually managed to make the player invested in them before they're unexpectedly taken away.
Also, he has amazing theme music.
Slash – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
We previously touched on him in our article about villains from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise
. Although you encounter him at the halfway point, he was undoubtedly the hardest boss in the game. Harder even than Shredder, who employed many of the same annoying blocking techniques but not nearly as effectively. Also, for some strange reason, when you raised the difficulty level he became exponentially harder as compared to other bosses in the game.
M. Bison – Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II was the game that revolutionized and popularized the fighting game genre. In fact, the industry was more or less dominated by the genre for years after.
Unlike most other fighting games, its main boss was a unique character with his own moveset. He was a dictator of an unnamed, vaguely Southeast Asian country who also controlled an international crime syndicate. But what puts him on this list is his trademark militaristic look, which was based largely on a villain from the Riki-Oh manga series.
Bison was called Vega in the original Japanese release. The name change came because the boxing character we know as Balrog was originally called M. Bison, an ode to his obvious physical resemblance to Mike Tyson. The names were changed in order to avoid a lawsuit in the states (the character we know as Vega was originally Balrog).
Donkey Kong – Donkey Kong
DK is considered the original and the inspiration for many that came after, including and especially the titular Wreck-It Ralph from the forthcoming Pixar movie. The game introduced Mario to the world of video gaming, who would go on to change home consoles in following years, but Kong himself was iconic in his own right. His facial expressions, barrel tossing, and that trademark cartwheel-like spin he'd do after being defeated made him a cult favorite. Also, he was a monkey, and monkeys are always cool and funny.
Kong would eventually become so popular that many would view Mario as the antagonist, leading to a sequel where Mario was the villain and a popular series of video games for the Super Nintendo starring Donkey Kong and a litany of Kong family members.
Goro – Mortal Kombat
Goro is actually the second to last villain in the original installment of the Mortal Kombat franchise, but he's way cooler than the final boss of the game. We're sure Shang Tsung has his fans, but his motif of stealing the various moves of all playable characters was old hat even when the game debuted in arcades in 1992. Goro, on the other hand, had a great look and was arguably tougher to beat than his master.
Even cooler: his most devastating move was a backhand. He would BACKHAND YOU INTO OBLIVION. That's pretty badass.