Without villains, the world would be pretty dull. There wouldn't be any heroes, the lycra industry would collapse and only ageing sportsmen, indie kids or French butchers would grow moustaches.
There would be no-one to save the world, no one to blow it up and generally very little to do. So give thanks for these guys - the biggest, hardest, jerkiest jerks in gaming history. Plus Dr Wily.
Obviously there will be some spoilers here, you have been warned.
MOST TENACIOUS... DR ROBOTNIK
Appeared in: Almost every Sonic the
Hedgehog game so far.
History: Robotnik's beginnings as a supervillain are vague. One accepted story is that he was originally a friend to Sonic who helped him develop his speed.
Powers: Robotnik's powers all come from his technology - understandable given he's got all the physical prowess of an easter egg.
Most villainous deed: His enthusiasm for encasing fluffy rabbits.
MOST DECEPTIVE... FRANK FONTAINE
Appeared in: BioShock
History: Fontaine was originally Andrew Ryan's business partner. He created the plasmid industry and kept the populace spliced up and happy until things went wrong...
Powers: In his original form, Fontaine had a fiendishly clever evil streak and a devious single-minded dedication to furthering his own cause. He becomes a man-god later on.
Most villainous deed: Duping Ryan for years as he masqueraded as the benevolent Atlas.
MOST CONFUSING... LIQUID SNAKE
Appeared in: Metal Gear Solid
History: The evil twin of hero Solid, Liquid's jealousy leads him towards nuclear terrorism. His price? Hand over dad's corpse, for cloning. We've all been there.
Powers: Having been cloned from the best half of Big Boss's DNA (not the worst, as he believed), Liquid has great skills as a fighter and a jet pilot.
Most villainous deed: Tricking Snake into activating a nuclear robot.
MOST LAUGHABLE... THE ANTAGONIZER
Appeared in: Fallout 3
History: The nemesis of post-apocalyptic superweirdo, The Mechanist, The AntAgonizer was originally born Tanya Christoff. Her family was killed by the wasteland's giant mutated ants when she was a child. Somehow she developed a reverent respect for their efficiency and instinctive teamwork. Then she adopted an ant suit.
Powers: This lady has control over huge killer ants. But despite her formidable foot soldiers, AntAgonizer is as big a joke as The Mechanist, succeeding only in irritating the surrounding population through her obsessive, destructive grudge. She's a bit pathetic. Most villainous deed AntAgonizer causes major problems for innocent bystanders by filling their town with huge ants, but her biggest crime is the cringeworthy cheese of her villainous put-downs.
MOST NUTS... THE JOKER
Appeared in: LEGO Batman, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Batman: Arkham Asylum, DC Universe Online
History: The most accepted story comes from Alan Moore's novel, The Killing Joke, where he went nuts after getting betrayed and fell into vat of chemicals. All after finding out that his wife had died in a fire. Harsh.
Powers: The Joker's powers are all psychological, coming from his sadistic blend of genius and madness. The Joker's strength comes from his total lack of restraint. he just doesn't care.
Most villainous deed: His fatality from MK vs. DCU. He puts a toy gun to his opponent's head, laughs at their relief, then kills them with a real one. Sneaky.