Most video games put the player in the central role as the hero of the story. Whether you're saving the princess or trying to stop a nuclear holocaust, it's usually your job to make everything better as the main character. Nowadays, adventure games feature complicated branching storylines, bringing about a whole slew of video games where you get to be as evil as you want. However, beyond even the best action RPGs that like to test your moral compass lies an even darker place: video games where you are the villain.
It may not be right to slam on the gas while driving your car over the citizens of Liberty City, and it might be terribly cruel to remove the bathroom door in the humble abode where your Sims live, but it sure is fun. There's just something enticing about video games where you play the bad guy. Some of them are silly and over the top, like Jaws Unleashed, but others are pretty gritty and disturbing, like the co-op shooter, Kane & Lynch. If you're looking for a game that's not all rainbows and butterflies, check out the list below of video games where you play the bad guy and vote up the best ones.
Rampage is an arcade classic. The concept is simple: You're a giant monkey, lizard, or wolf and your job is to climb buildings and beat them to rubble. Flying helicopters and planes attack you a la King Kong, and the only way to regain strength is to eat humans. Yes, after crushing cop cars into dust and playing ping pong with a commuter train, the only way to keep your path of destruction going is to eat helpless citizens of this terrifying world. Rampage is a lot darker than you remember it, but it's so much damn fun.
Developer: Midway Games, Bally Midway Manufacturing Co., Inc.
Platform: Apple II, Atari 7800, Game Boy Advance, TRS-80 Color Computer, Atari ST, + more
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The term "going postal" was a favorite in the 1990s, referring to the frequent occurrences of active or formal postal workers going berserk and murdering innocent people. Developer Running With Scissors thought making a "murder simulator" would be a hit with the public, and they were right. You play a schizophrenic who was evicted from his home and believes that the local Air Force base is trying to poison the population. There's a disturbing school shooting sequence, but, luckily your weapons don't work and you wake up in a mental institution. Believe it or not, they made a sequel to this insanity, and Uwe Boll crapped out a terribly forgettable B-movie using the same license.
Release: Nov 14 1997
Developer: Running With Scissors^! Inc., RWS^! Inc.
Platform: OS X, Macintosh, Mac OS, GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windowssee more on Postal
Shadow of the Colossus is often considered a prime example of "video games as art" because of its visual style and intense atmospheric ambiance. You play Wander, a boy on a mission to save the love of his life, Mono. Dormin, the evil spirit, tells Wander that he can save Mono if he defeats the 16 Colossi. As the game progresses and each Colossus is destroyed, the game becomes more and more somber in tone and ambiance. Players never know the true role of each character in the game, but it appears that Wander slaughtered 16 innocent creatures and was responsible for the release of Dormin's evil spirit because he was too busy trying to resurrect a person who already has a "cursed fate." Sorry, Wander, but you're actually the villain.
Developer: Team Ico
Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2
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God of War came along at just the right time for the PS2, breathing life back into the console brawler genre that was nearly dead. Kratos, the main character, is sold to players as the anti-hero in a narrative based on pseudo-Greek mythology, but he seems pretty damn villainous no matter which way you slice it. The God of War franchise squeezed out a bunch of sequels and spin-off games, and PS4 owners are waiting for the new God of War with bated breath. Gamers just can't enough of the visceral joy Kratos provides with all the disemboweling, eye gouging, and decapitating.
Developer: SCE Santa Monica Studio
Platform: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3
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