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10 craziest gaming villains

Steve Boxer runs down the foes you love to hate...

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The Penguin

Gotham City harbours many of the finest villains ever conceived, but our favourite is Batman: Arkham City's Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin. We like him because developer Rocksteady had fun with him: embedding the end of a bottle in him as a monocle and a Cockney accent (which, a tad, unforgivably since the game was made in Kentish Town, is a bit Dick van Dyke). He has a cool umbrella-gun, and the other baddies in display-cases in his Iceberg Lounge HQ (including Mr Freeze) confirm his uber-villain status. Prefers to let others do his dirty work.


The Great Mighty Poo

Playing Conker's Bad Fur Day could have been a problem for those who suffer from upset stomachs. For in Rare Software's anarchic N64 masterpiece lurks Poo Mountain - surely the only geographical feature in a game constructed entirely from turds. Therein dwells The Great Mighty Poo, a hilarious creation with sweetcorn for teeth, and twin predilections for hurling faecal matter and singing songs. Luckily, Conker is armed with his trusty toilet roll.


Psycho Mantis

Metal Gear Solid fans surely still harbour fond memories of encountering Psycho Mantis in what is generally held to be one of the best boss-battles ever. The chief weapon in his armoury is a phenomenal array of psychic powers, displayed in his MGS boss-battle in such an imaginative way (turning the screen black, making the controller move) that you'll think you've gone mad. Another raving humanity-hater, he looks great thanks to a permanently attached gas-mask and copious barcode tattoos.



Shepard's arch-enemy from the first Mass Effect is a classic example of a good guy corrupted by power and megalomania - the most dangerous type of villain. A turian, and originally a Spectre operating on behalf of the Citadel Council, he became virulently anti-human, falling under the spell of Sovereign, the ancient Reaper. Saren then devoted himself to the Reapers' efforts to eradicate organic life, cutting a swathe of havoc across the galaxy, culminating in an attack on the Citadel. Shepard's pursuit of Saren is one of the most protracted and hard-fought rivalries in the history of games and Saren's decision arguably one of the maddest.

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