*Insert evil laugh*

Since my lovely girlfriend got to do a post on Disney princesses of all things, I bullied her into letting me do one on the best video game villains of all time, inspired by GameSpot’s recent competition of a similar nature. It really bugged me that one of the finalists was Darth Vader who, while undoubtedly one of the greatest villains of all time, is also first and foremost a movie villain. So, without any further ado…the Top Five Video Game Villains of All Time, by James.

5: Sarah Kerrigan, Queen of Blades (StarCraft)

“At this point, I’m pretty much the Queen Bitch of the Universe. And not all of your little soldiers or space ships will stand in my way again.”

Let’s face it, she had to be in here. With the recent release of StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty, Kerrigan’s popularity has skyrocketed again – partly, I think, because even as an infested alien who has an exoskeleton in lieu of clothes, she still manages to pull off stilettos somehow.

4: Pyramid Head (Silent Hill)

Anyone who has played Silent Hill will undoubtedly agree with me that the appearance of Pyramid Head never fails to scare the crap out of you. The fact that you’re never entirely sure if he’s going to take your head off with that ridiculously oversized sword, or help you by killing random demons for you, actually makes it worse.

3: Albert Wesker (Resident Evil)

“The right to be a god… That right is now mine.”

The original trench coat and sunglasses wearing bad guy, Wesker is always cool under pressure and always has an escape route. Super strong, super tough, and super fast, his appearance in the games usually means that the player who has just fought their way through hoardes of zombies is about to have their arse kicked into next week. Even with RE’s notoriously terrible voice acting, Wesker has some of the most brilliant lines ever.

2: Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)

I am the chosen one. I have been chosen to rule this planet.

I nearly cried when Sephiroth got knocked out of GameSpot’s Best Villain competition. In a series of games full of powerful images, the scene of Sephiroth walking away from the destroyed village of Nibelheim through the fire remains one of the very best. From the very first time you see him up until the One-Winged Angel scene at the end of the game, Sephiroth is just the coolest villain ever.

Which brings us to…

1: Jon Irenicus (Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn)

“You dare to attack me here. Do you even know whom you face?”

The first time you meet Irenicus, he’s captured your entire party with no effort at all and is torturing your character. The second, he wipes out ten or so Shadow Thief assassins before killing another half dozen Cowled Wizards without even breaking a sweat. Immediately he comes across as the sort not to cross if you value your life. Lots of villains in games and movies try to take over the world – Irenicus aims a little higher, and aims to challenge the Gods themselves. Added to some of the greatest dialogue ever written for a game (Bioware at their finest), fantastic voice acting and just the general sense of presence – no one could take the top spot but Jon Irenicus.