While it’s certainly not a constant by any means, the majority of video games involve you taking control of a particular hero or heroine (who just so happens to be either ruggedly handsome or strikingly beautiful because… of course). Normally they are struggling to fight against a particular individual or a collective of evil personas that are standing in the way of your goal to achieve something good. Obviously, the heroes you control have the moral high ground at all times and are pretty much justified in their actions when it comes to taking down the villain(s).
But there are certain video games where this is simply not the case at all. While the supposed ‘villain’ might not exactly be the nicest person to have ever existed, the fact of the matter is that the things that the main characters on this list perform are absolutely immoral, and cannot be justified no matter what. The worst part about this that the player is enabled to perform all these horrible actions, making it all the more immersive — and not it a good way. Here are 15 video game ‘heroes’ who are — without a shadow of a doubt — a thousand times more evil than the ‘supposed’ villains.
15. The Breaker Of Bones
We could’ve pretty much taken any Batman game in order to make our point that the caped superhero might not be as noble as Rocksteady would like you to believe. The number of bones that Batman has broken would be enough to cause his victims a ton of long-term problems… but we’re choosing Arkham City since one particular action of Batman truly makes him one of the most destructive protagonists ever.
If you snoop around in Arkham City, you’ll find some of Harley’s positive pregnancy tests. Obviously, since Batman is an absolute paragon of justice… he ends up attacking Harley later on in the game. The consequences of these actions can be seen in the “Harley Quinn’s Revenge” DLC, where Harley’s pregnancy tests will have a negative result instead.
14. Pretty Much Any Protagonist Ever (Grand Theft Auto)
Alex Mercer might have a pretty high body count, but even he can’t beat the sheer chaos one can cause in the Grand Theft Auto series. It’s frankly impossible to choose one of the many protagonists in the series, so we’ve chosen to include all of them since pretty much everyone has a penchant to go crazy whenever the player wishes.
Even after discounting the innocent masses that die at the hand of the players, the actions that these characters take in the game are the complete antithesis of heroic. It’s no wonder that these psychotic individuals have made this particular list — after all, there’s no way they would not have been included, to begin with.
13. The Ultimate Coward
The Last Of Us is — without a shadow of a doubt — an absolute masterpiece, and the enviable reputation of Naughty Dog in the AAA gaming landscape was pretty much established due to the sheer quality of this game. The heartwrenching narrative of this game is one of the many key elements that have contributed to the sentiment that The Last Of Us is probably the greatest game of all time.
The ending of this game also raised a ton of questions regarding Joel’s character… and yet at the same time he seemed justified in his actions as well. The cure for the zombie virus would’ve arisen with Ellie’s sacrifice, but Joel couldn’t bear to see another person close to him die again, and placed his own selfish needs ahead of humanity. It’s a move that has — ultimately — set back humanity in their search for a cure.
12. Would You Have Left Them To Die?
Now, hear us out. Implying that Cloud might be more evil that Sephiroth is a pretty bold claim, but a closer look at their individual stories can actually be quite jarring.
Sephiroth was the perfect soldier that was made by the Shinra Corporation to serve their needs. When he finally found out that his whole life was basically a lie, he snapped to the point where he decided to go against the people who made his life a misery, which — while certainly pretty extreme — is quite understandable.
Meanwhile, Cloud decided to live his life by believing a lie rather than facing his worst nightmare. His quest led to his friends experience a ton of grief and stress, while the person closest to him ended up dying because he wasn’t fast enough (it’s frustrating how he just stood there while Sephiroth slowly descended on Aerith).
11. Like Lambs To The…
For a person who’s a supposed archaeologist, Nathan Drake has one heck of a body count. The number of people he’s killed in his self-proclaimed righteous quest to preserve the sanctity of ancient relics number in the hundreds (maybe even thousands). The fact that Drake can murder so many people without even feeling the slightest bit of empathy is at odds with the light-hearted tonality of the Uncharted series.
The worst part about Drake is that he ends up dragging a bunch of people into his problems, which causes a whole host of problems for these people who could’ve simply lived a normal life had it not been for the eccentric and dangerous nature of Uncharted‘s protagonist.
10. A Savage Attacker Like No Other
No one doubts the fact that calling Kratos a hero is a bit of a stretch. Nothing that this personification of rage does can be justified at all. While he might’ve suffered an especially crushing betrayal at the hands of the gods, the fact of the matter is that most — if not all — of his actions are just horrifying.
Kratos enjoys carnage — that’s something you can say for sure. The number of people he’s attacked in his trademark gruesome fashion might seem rather gratifying at first glance, but a deeper look into his psyche reveals a disturbed individual who’ll stop at nothing to get his way.
9. The Heart Of Darkness
Spec Ops: The Line is one of the best story-driven shooters ever, featuring a narrative filled with so many gut-wrenching moments that you might abandon video games altogether. The protagonist, Martin Walker seems like he’s just following orders and doesn’t have a choice when it comes to the immoral actions he’s taking.
However, at the end of the game, Walker finally confronts Konrad… only to find out that he’s been dead all this time, and Walker was just projecting an image of Konrad in his mind to shift the weight of his crimes. It’s one of the most jarring moments in video game history, and portrays Walker as nothing more than a violent psychopath.
8. A Literal Psycho
Silent Hill 2 is one of the greatest games of all time, and it’s easy to see why. The claustrophobic nature of the game, the raw moments of horror, and the strength of the narrative are just a few of the many qualities that the title possesses. And — since we are talking about the narrative — its protagonist seems like an innocent person until one reaches the final moments of the game.
During the entire game, the player is meant to believe that James visited Silent Hill in order to find a trace of his deceased wife. However, James has a lot more guilt to carry than the player is led to believe. In fact, all of the town Silent Hill is his repressed psyche that’s fabricating memories that helped him believe that his wife was dead all this time.
Well, there’s no explanation required for this one (not that that’s going to stop us).
Manhunt is a game that emphasis murder in the form of brutal executions and explosive gore, and you’d need a pretty sick, twisted individual to carry out such despicable tasks. Enter James Earl Cash — an inmate sitting on death row who is set loose in Carcer City to participate in a snuff film.
The different ways in which Cash can kill his adversaries is truly what makes him one of the most psychotic individuals in the game, and his no-nonsense attitude makes it even all the worse. For him, random attacks are simply a way of life — it’s that simple.
6. A Little Mouth Opens Up Inside
Shadow Of The Colossus is one of the most underrated games of all time, featuring fresh and innovative gameplay the likes of which had never been seen before at that time. The entire game features only 16 enemies, and each encounter is memorable in their own right. As a player, you’d obviously feel justified killing all these beasts in order to save Mono (the woman whose soul you’re trying to get back)… but all is not as it seems.
It turns out that Wander had actually stolen a sword meant specifically for killing these Colossi, and in his short-sighted quest to restore Mono’s soul, he also released the dormant powers of an evil entity named… Dormin (no, we did not make that up). His intentions might’ve been noble, but at the end of the day, it’s painfully apparent that Wander’s actions were rather selfish.
5. Drink From The Vile
Bloodborne is one of the most atmospheric and challenging games of all time, and it’s easy to see why the game has garnered such a devoted fanbase that has discovered pretty much everything one can find in the game. Of course, these hardcore players have experienced the story multiple times, and it’s pretty clear who the bad guy really is in the game.
While you do perform your fair share of selfless and so-called ‘good’ actions in the game, the fact of the matter is that the majority of people that you kill in the game used to be — and still are, to an extent — innocent humans. Add to the fact that the normal population treats you like a beast, and it’s pretty obvious that you’re not exactly performing the noblest job.
4. The Dark Side Beckons
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic is one of the best RPGs out there. It can also be credited as the game that truly put BioWare on the map when it came to their reputation as the reigning king of western RPGs (although this might not be the case after the disastrous launch of Mass Effect: Andromeda). The game puts you in the shoes of a Jedi who’s fighting against the dark side… or so it might seem. We won’t spoil the whole plot here, but your success or failure has a lot to do with your player actions — and it’s very hard to wash away the transgressions that might have led you to the dark side…
3. And She Closed A Door On Him
Braid is a puzzle-platformer that can be credited as the catalyst for kicking off the indie game movement, featuring deep gameplay mechanics and a unique art style that will definitely stay in the minds of anyone who chooses to play the game. At a glance, it might seem that the game doesn’t exactly have a narrative, with Tim (the protagonist, if that wasn’t clear enough) going on a quest to save the princess… or so it might seem.
At the end of Braid, it turns out that your heroic quest to save the princess was nothing more than a farce. It turns out that the princess was actually trying to escape from you, and will actively try to run away from you when you finally reach her. It’s a novel twist that makes Tim look like an absolute monster.
2. A Mutant Monster
Alex Mercer is a protagonist only because the developers wished him to be — nothing he does can be classified as heroic. His goals throughout the entire game are almost completely selfish in nature, and he has no redeemable qualities that one might expect from a character who’s supposed to play the hero.
His aforementioned selfish nature, lack of conscience, and a blatant disregard for human life collectively make him one of the most diabolical individuals in gaming history. I mean, it might be a ton of fun to mess around with Alex’s powers and wreak havoc all over the city… but that’s no excuse for the vile actions you perform in the game.
1. The Prophet Calls You
Story-driven first-person shooters are pretty rare, and BioShock Infinite is perhaps the most fitting example of such a game. The title completely flipped the concept of the original BioShock, taking place in an open landscape and featuring an interesting protagonist who the player can empathize with over time… right until drastic revelation at the very end.
The antagonist of the game is Prophet Comstock, and his actions are truly despicable. However, at the end of the game, it’s revealed that Booker himself is Prophet Comstock, due to the existence of an alternate timeline that arises when Booker accepts his baptism. It’s a masterful ending that’ll leave you with your mouth hanging open in both amazement and surprise — and also make you wonder if Booker really was the good guy all along.