The days of being the hero in video games are long behind us. More and more games have cottoned on to the fact that gamers have a dark side. Any good game over the past 20 years has shown that a large population of video game players like to blow off steam in the digital world, be it killing hordes of indigenous people or simply raising taxes to an unsustainable level. So kick back inside your hollowed out volcano and stroke your evil pet, as we take a look at 30 games in which you play the bad guy.
1. Jackie Estacado | Darkness 2
Jackie Estacado has become the don of the Franchetti crime family and whilst he has control of the Darkness inside, an explosion forces him to give into it once more and go on a multitude of killing sprees.
2. Vito Scaletta | Mafia 2
Vito Scaletta is the protagonist of Mafia II. He is an up-and-coming gangster in the Empire Bay criminal underworld who became a made member of the Falcone Crime Family… His aim; to become the biggest, baddest wise guy in the world.
3. The Overlord | Overlord
In Overlord you take the role of a resurrected warrior known simply as The Overlord, who has control over hordes of gremlin-like creatures known as “minions”. The player must defeat seven corrupt ruling heroes by being evil or really evil.
4. El Presidente | Tropico
Tropico sees the player taking the role of “El Presidente”, the ruler of an island in the Caribbean, during the Cold War era from the 1950s onward. The game is tongue-in-cheek in its presentation of semi-democratic banana republics, using a great deal of humour, while still referencing such topics as totalitarianism, electoral fraud, and the interventions of powerful companies.
5. Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
When the Mushroom Kingdom is taken over by the evil mad scientist ‘Fawful’. Bowser unkowningly inhales the Mario and the gang and subsequently has to save the World.
6. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent
The player takes the role of an ex-MI6 agent, and killer of 007, who is recruited by Auric Goldfinger to assassinate his rival Dr. No. Whilst the game is set within the James Bond universe, the game is only called GoldenEye due to the fact that the agent has a golden ‘cybernetic’ eye.
7. Kratos – God of War
In a nutshell, Kratos became a God after years of loyal service and subsequently tries to take over Greece. Other Gods try to stop him and he turns against them. He then joins the Titans, who want to overthrow the Gods. The story actually goes much deeper and to be honest, the gods had it coming but you are still angry as hell and out for vengeance.
8. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 2
Wario wants a castle of his own and is happy to steal it from the Syrup Pirates, blow up anything that stands in his way and use a money grabbing genie to achieve his dreams.
Although the more recent outings have tried to weave a twisting and conflicting narrative into the games, you essentially play a highly skilled car jacker looking to commit crimes to get money. That’s pretty bad…
10. Saints Row
The Saints Row series is rife with corruption and evil deeds. The original game saw the player inducted into the gang known as the 3rd Street Saints. During the course of the game, you partake in numerous crimes culminating in a dead mayor and police chief. You are subsequently blown up on a luxury yacht… and survive…
11. Dungeon Keeper
In Dungeon Keeper, you are tasked with building and managing a dank and dirty dungeon, protecting it from invading ‘hero’ characters intent on stealing accumulated treasures, killing monsters, and ultimately the player’s demise. The ultimate goal is to conquer the world by destroying the heroic forces and rival dungeon keepers in each realm.
12. Evil Genius
Similar to Dungeon Keeper, in Evil Genius, players act as a villainous force attempting to achieve global domination, whilst fending off the forces of justice; to this end the gameplay is split between management of a base and the completion of “acts of infamy” in the rest of the world.
13. Heather from Silent Hill 3
Heather Mason is the protagonist of Silent Hill 3. Heather is the reincarnation of both Cheryl Mason and Alessa Gillespie and is on a mission to get revenge and kill God. Pretty badass…
14. Twisted Metal
The Twisted Metal series generally revolves around the eponymous “Twisted Metal” content. A vehicular combat tournament hosted once a year. The aim is to destroy all the competition no matter what using both demolition derby style driving and projectile weaponry. The winner gets their one wish granted by the host “Calypso”. But be careful what you wish for.
As a death row inmate you are pretty limited for choices, but when a mysterious man know as The Director replaces your lethal injection with a sedative in return for your help, you are inclined to agree. Sadly, what you agree to is to work your way across the city and maim and murder a series of gangs. The Director also kills your family for good measure.
Being a powerful yet amnesiac shapeshifter isn’t all bad. You can tear around the city killing anyone you see fit. Through most of Prototype you think you are the good guy doing good deeds, but ultimately you are responsible for unleashing a virus on the city and before you lost your memory you worked for the enemy and stole a deadly biological weapon as ‘insurance’ before being gunned down and subsequently becoming a superhuman monster.
17. Max McMann from Devils Attorney
At first glance, Devil’s Attorney might seem like a shameless Phoenix Wright clone. You do play a defense attorney embroiled in a courtroom drama, but unlike the naïve and justice-driven Phoenix, Max McMann is the eponymous devil’s attorney. His clients did the crime, and they pay him the big bucks to avoid doing the time.
18. Knights of the old republic
KOTOR allows you to carve your own path within the Star Wars universe. Should you choose to shed the do-good side of the game, then you can choose the path of the dark side and aim to stand before the remaining Sith forces as the new Dark Lord of the Sith. Choose the path of anger, hate and suffering and soon you will know the true power of the dark side.
19. M. Bison – Street Fighter Games
This would-be world dictator and megalomaniac rules the fictional Far East country of Mriganka with an iron fist. His ultimate ambition is to control the world’s governments through his covert crime syndicate, Shadaloo. Bison tends to host the Street Fighter competition and should you choose to play as him you can vanquish all those who hold vendettas against you.
20. Heavy Rain
Without spoiling the ending you play as various different characters all suspected as being the infamous ‘Origami Killer’. As you play through the game blacking out and getting vital information via flashback you learn the true motives of your actions.
In this 24th Century sci-fi Shooter there are two factions the ISA and the Helgast. The Helgast look like space nazi’s and show no mercy throughout the campaigns. However, it turns out that the Helghast are actually the good guys. The Helghast were on both planet Helghan and Vekta first. It turns out that the ISA are evil invaders who invaded HELGHAN and VEKTA over a dispute about trade tax imposed by the Helghast. Eventually, the ISA used chemical weapons on the Helghan forcing them to live in gas masks like that.
When you spend an entire game chasing a Princess to ‘save her’ you eventually have to ask yourself why she keeps running. At the end of Braid, the answer becomes all to clear when the protagonist Tim is revealed to be the evil Monster that the Princess is setting the traps for… Mind blown!
Your pathogen has just infected ‘Patient Zero’. Now you must bring about the end of human history by evolving a deadly, global Plague whilst adapting against everything humanity can do to defend itself. You evil germ!
24. Soul Reaver
Destiny can be a b*tch and being stuck in a endless time loop where you follow the advice of others only to find out that it is your own soul stuck in the sword given to you in the beginning is a total head mash, no wonder he kills fellow vampires and absorbs their souls.
25. Golden Sun
In this Gameboy RPG you play Issac and his team and chase Saturos and Menardi across the world attempting to stop them from lighting a number of light houses… Lucky you fail as in the second game it explains that despite Saturos and Menardi being complete ‘gits’ they were actually the heroes.
Nathan Drake is presented as a sympathetic and charming character – a modern day Indiana Jones. However, during the course of each title, he kills hundreds of men, perhaps even thousands. He shows no remorse, is completely materialistic and hides his psychopathic behaviour behind jokes…
27. Shadow of the Colossus
In Shadow of the Colossus, you play Wander on a mission to return the soul back to a young girls body. The ethereal voice of Dormin offers you her soul in return for slaying 16 closossi. Despite being warned by Dormin that he may have to pay a great price to revive Mono, you work your way through them all only to discover that the death of each turns you into Dormin, an ancient evil.
28. Half Life – Opposing Force
There are so many sides in Opposing Force it’s hard to know who is good and who is bad. You play Adrian Shephard, a US marine sent into neutralise the Alien threat releases by Gordon Freeman in the first Half Life game. During the game you will disarm a nuke designed to kill the incoming alien horde, as well kill soldiers from Black Operations. You’ll even chase Gordon himself
Set in a post-nuclear Chernobyl, you really are your own worst enemy as you start the game without any memories, a Stalker tattoo and an order to kill Strelok. You work your way through mutants, soldiers and generals only to find out that you are Strelok. In a classic ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ routine you then aim to kill the A.I that brainwashed you that was also working on a solution to world peace. You bad man!
30. Eternal Darkness