The vast majority of video games pit a hero/heroine against a villain. Sometimes, the villain isn’t clear cut or even wholly evil. Sometimes the villain was a character built from the remains left behind following tragedy and festering hatred. You might even sympathise with some of them and wish that things could go a different path. Then there are bad guys whose defeats brought us an ineffable feeling of satisfaction and euphoric release, either because they were incredibly irritating or simply heinous throughout the story. Here are just a few of the most satisfying villains to defeat!
A fair warning to all, SPOILERS ahead for these games: Batman Arkham Knight, Telltale Game of Thrones, Sleeping Dogs, Red Dead Redemption, and Resident Evil 5.
The Riddler (Batman Arkham Knight)
As Batman, throughout your one night in Gotham City you’ll face some of the most twisted and devious of villains…and also, The Riddler AKA guy who leaves green question marks everywhere, wastes money on elaborate puzzles and race tracks, and doesn’t seem to know what a riddle actually is (as you’ll hear Batman’s special lady exclaim).
Throughout the three games, his puzzles get more and more outrageous, like his ego. He’ll taunt you repetitively, egg you on and cough up a snarky remark with every failure. Words cannot describe how satisfying it is to collect that final trophy and proceed to beat the dishevelled lunatic to a bloody pulp as only the Dark Knight can.
Ludd Whitehill (Telltale Game of Thrones)
The Telltale Game of Thrones series is a tragic tale, largely due to the despicable actions of Lord Ludd Whitehill, patriarch of house Whitehill and generally one of the worst in whole Westeros. If you don’t agree with that, you’re probably a Bolton.
Over-confident, greedy, and aggressive— Lord Whitehill is a character you quickly learn to hate. A plethora of hardships hounds House Forrester, predominately owing to Ludd Whitehill’s desire to snatch ironwood from the Forresters’ possession. As anyone familiar with A World of Ice and Fire will know, nothing is more satisfying than seeing a villainous character meet his/her end, the same kind of satisfaction you’ll find when (depending on your actions), Ludd Whitehill finally meets his bloody end and claims his spot on being one of the most satisfying villains to defeat.
Big Smile Lee (Sleeping Dogs)
Don’t let this gang boss’ name fool you. He’s anything but happy. A red pole in the Hong Kong triads, Big Smile Lee carves a destructive path for himself in his chamber toward becoming chairman and in so doing, forces himself into a confrontation with the HK Police/Triad member, Wei Shen. It doesn’t end well for him.
If the fact that this villainous red pole gained his position in the triad by hooking women on heroine then forcing the heroine addicted women into prostitution and pornography, wasn’t enough for you to hate him— after the halfway point, he quickly becomes a bigger nuisance to you as the protagonist. He constantly tries to kill you (as Wei Shen), going so far as to kidnap, torture and eventually disembowel Wei Shen’s best friend as part of an elaborate ambush, after which he has you tortured. So it’s incredibly satisfying when after a fistfight on a boat, we see Wei Shen haul the twisted cretin into an ice chipper, letting the ice, rain, and salty seawater wash the bloody specks of Big Smile Lee away for good. Because of this, Big Smile Lee definitely earns his spot on our list of the most satisfying villains to defeat.
Edgar Ross (Red Dead Redemption)
The open world of New Austin is filled to the brim with badass heroes and bloodthirsty monsters. Sometimes they’re the same thing, as Red Dead Redemption tries to so eloquently tell us. John Marston is a former outlaw forced to hunt down his old gang for the government who are holding his family hostage. The man running the show is Edgar Ross, director of the Bureau of Investigation (what would become the FBI).While he is admittedly a man of conviction, he’s not exactly a good guy. Edgar Ross (and his associate) represents the cruel notion that a lot of the time, the only difference between criminals and the men in government, is which side of the law they’re on. Sure, John Marston (depending on the player’s actions) was a ruthless killer, but he was
While he is admittedly a man of conviction, he’s not exactly a good guy. Edgar Ross (and his associate) represents the cruel notion that a lot of the time, the only difference between criminals and the men in government, is which side of the law they’re on. Sure, John Marston (depending on the player’s actions) was a ruthless killer, but he was our ruthless killer and he’d fought his way to redemption. Which made Edgar Ross’ act of breaking his promise, one that earned our anger and made his death at the vengeful hands of Jack, that much more satisfying.
Albert Wesker (Resident Evil 5)
Power-hungry and monstrous (in more ways than one), with a brilliant scientific mind and a virus-altered superhuman body, Albert Wesker was a formidable villain who thought himself a god. Lasting a full 5 games against Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine (the latter being abducted and mind-controlled by Wesker), he was finally brought down by Chris and his new partner, Sheva in Resident Evil 5 in the most spectacular fashion.
Words cannot describe the rush of euphoria that soars through Resident Evil fans that are finally able to grab that rocket launcher and shoot that sunglass-at-night-wearing, Uroboros engineering, crazy-bio-terrorist in the face.
General Shephard (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)
The gall of this crazed terrorist. Call of Duty players will never forget the moment after we, as Roach, ran from Makarov’s secluded safehouse with war-altering data in tow, shot our way through a host of Makarov’s ultranationalists and breathed a sigh of relief when we saw the chopper land with General Shephard alighting it…but then he shot us in the gut and shot Ghost in the neck.
Oh, the betrayal. General Shephard was a hero. He was the general who stood by us and supported us. Then he went and did this. Treachery stings and payback was definitely in order. After you chase him through a desert, down a fast-flowing river and into the abandoned ruins of what looks to be an oil yard, you (as Soap) and Price, find yourselves enduring quite a beating at the hands of the General. Then he leaves you for dead and turns to Price. That’s when Soap whips out his knife and you aim, pulling that right trigger and firing that blade right into the traitor’s shocked face. That’s one hell of a satisfying victory and definitely one of the most satisfying villains to defeat!
The End (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)
An ancient sniping legend, The End was infected with a type of virus that enabled him to snipe like nothing anyone had ever seen (mostly because snipers tend to wear camouflaged). He waited for Snake in the forest in hopes of tranquilizing him and throwing him into a jail cell.
This can be avoided by tinkering with the time settings on your console, causing the old sniper to die of old age. But choosing to take him head on and manoeuvre through the emerald foliage, leads to a much more satisfying and memorable outcome, mostly in part because there’s glory to be had in conquering a difficult path, in the knowledge that there was always a cheaper way out.
This concludes our list of the most satisfying villains to defeat. It’s to cover them all so let us know in the comments which were your most satisfying villains to defeat!