Known for their desire to take over the world, memorable one liners and for appearing as your desktop wallpaper on more than one occasion, villains are the bread and butter for any would-be video game! They’re cool, witty and have a strange way of secretly making you root for them. Join me as I countdown the top 10 video game villains of the 90’s and find out who is greatest adversary of all time!
#10 Axel Gear (Rocket Knight Adventures, Sparkster)
Not much is known about this corrupt Rocket Knight other than the fact he incapacitated Sparkster’s adoptive father, stole an ancient book, kidnapped Princess Sherry and, well, he looks totally awesome! Axel is the sole reason anyone would play the Rocket Knight games and the fact that you get to fight him on more than one occasion is just brilliant!
#9 Gary Oak (Pokémon series)
Unless you were living on another planet throughout your entire childhood, the name Gary Oak should conjure up all kinds of nostalgic feelings and rivalry. Always one step ahead and not shutting up about it, Gary was your true enemy in the Pokémon games, despite just being another boy on a quest to be the very best like no-one ever was!
#8 Gunstar Green (Gunstar Heroes)
Again, not much can be said about this menacing villain other than the fact that his mind is being controlled by the empire and at the end he actually helps you out – thanks Gunstar Green! So, why is he on this list then? Simple, the fight with him is not only the most challenging and inventive in the game, but it also has the best music too!
#7 Metal Sonic (Sonic 2, Sonic CD)
Admit it! You didn’t play Sonic CD for any other reason than to face off against Metal Sonic in Stardust Speedway Act III. Well, that and perhaps the fact that you can travel between time zones. Proving to be a worthy adversary in both Sonic 2 and Sonic CD, one can only hope that Sonic 4: Episode II will offer the same challenge!
#6 Kefka Palazzo (Final Fantasy VI)
Around 2-3 hours into Final Fantasy VI you soon begin to realize that the games antagonist seems to have a screw loose. Taking great delight in the poisoning of castle Doma, murdering generals and laughing hysterically about it and ultimately turning the world into an apocalyptic nightmare, all of these things point to the fact that Kefka is by far Final Fantasy’s biggest psychopath as of yet.
#5 Goro (Mortal Kombat)
As a child, you were automatically considered a God if you could defeat this four-armed monstrosity. It was almost impossible to get into close quarters with the giant without being thrown about like a rag doll. The trick to winning was to simply pick Sub Zero and repeatedly freeze him. However, this method wasn’t always reliable since one single slip up would have cost you dearly.
#4 Giygas (Earthbound)
If Earthbound’s final boss fight against Giygas didn’t frighten you as a kid, then you simply weren’t human! This dreaded villain’s primary objective was to annihilate the Earth and defy a prophecy that predicted his defeat. Of course, defeating the four boss phases at the end is no easy task, but it can be done!
#3 Reala (Nights into Dreams)
Looking almost identical to your character in every way, defeating Wizeman’s right hand servant is a test of patience and skill. Whether he says “Let’s go Nights”, or “There is no Nights”, one thing for sure is the boss music that comes on is incredible! Evil, loyal to the dark side and a formidable opponent, what more could you ask for from a rival?
#2 Dr. Robotnik (Almost all Sonic the Hedgehog games)
Known for being a recurring nemesis, frequently manipulating Knuckles, plotting world domination and somehow managing to outrun the blue blur after each game ends, Dr. Robotnik is one of those video game villains that will manage to live on forever! Whether it’s a metal Sonic, crazy war-machine or using Sonic’s friends against him, the bald “genius” just never seems to win – but we love him anyway!
#1 Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)
First place should come as no surprise to those familiar with such an iconic villain. Once a famed Shinra hero, Sephiroth soon learns the truth of his experimental birth and instead of just accepting it like any ordinary man, he summons a giant meteor in an attempt to damage the planet enough so that he can merge with the Lifestream and become a God. Perhaps not quite as psychotic as Kefka, but Sephiroth’s mysterious background, combined with the murder of your party member Aerith and the terrific set of boss fights at the end of the game, Sephiroth is easily the number one villain of the 90’s – if not, all time!
This article was provided by Liberty Games, who are retro gaming specialists and stock a wide range of 1990s arcade machines.