- FPS games feature iconic villains that players love to hate or hate to love, providing a goal for players to strive towards.
Handsome Jack in
is a memorable villain with boundless energy and brutal humor that makes players hate him or love him.
Alma Wade in
is a terrifying antagonist who cranks up the frights with her psychic abilities and mind games, making players desperate to get rid of her.
First-person shooters often have a goal for players to strive towards, and that usually involves guns, killing, and a villain in need of taking out. Within some of the best FPS games out there, exist some truly amazing villains that are often regarded as the best aspect of the game that they feature in. These villains provide audiences and players with someone to hate, whether that is love to hate or hate to love. The beauty of these villains in FPS games comes from their boundless energy and their cruelty.
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Not all of them are quite as memorable as Robotnik, Bowser, and Ganon, but, collectively, the bad guys in these iconic franchises are not too far off.
As one of the most common genres in gaming, it is no surprise that FPS games feature an abundance of villains that remain ever-memorable. No matter the motivation of these villains, or the ties they have to the player’s protagonist, there is one absolute certainty: they need to be taken out, no matter how.
6 Handsome Jack
- September 18, 2012
Handsome Jack made a first strong impression at the beginning of Borderlands 2 after an attempted assassination of the protagonists. When Handsome Jack finds out the player has survived, he is quick to broadcast himself over his ECHO Device to communicate with the often silent protagonist, gloating his victory over the Vault Hunters and bragging about his vast wealth.
Handsome Jack is great for many reasons, whether it’s his humor or brutal nature against anyone who isn’t Handsome Jack, he certainly knows how to make players hate him, or love him. Handsome Jack has many notable moments in Borderlands 2, but because he came off so strong by talking while eating nuts, or naming his diamond unicorn Butt Stallion, it’s impossible to name them all.
5 Alma Wade
- October 18, 2005
- Monolith Productions
A child that was experimented on in the F.E.A.R. franchise, Alma Wade quickly became the just antagonist of the series after her psychic powers grew, and her attempts to take revenge on the Armacham Technology Corporation went into full swing. Whilst Alma’s ambitions may be justified, she’s extremely disturbing in the mind games that she plays on the protagonist.
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Through jump scares and an overarching fear factor, Alma Wade cranks up the frights in the F.E.A.R. games, and she’s a character players will be rather desperate to get rid of due to her psychic abilities and seemingly endless attempts at torment. What makes her truly stand out is learning of her past, and wondering what could have happened differently.
4 Adam Smasher
- December 10, 2020
Adam Smasher made a strong first impression when he was seen walking past Evelyn Parker in the Konpeki Penthouse. His disturbing presence lacked humanity, physically and within his words for how he sexually harasses Evelyn Parker. Adam Smasher may not appear much in Cyberpunk 2077, but he is imposing and memorable, especially when players have watched Adam Smasher rip and tear his way through the Cyberpunk: Edgerunners crew.
With a vast amount of colorful curse words at his disposal, and an arsenal supplied by Arasaka to make him a one-man war machine, Adam Smasher is deserving of a spot on the best villains in FPS games. Whilst his boss fight might be underwhelming, the man who took down Johnny Silverhand deserves a mention.
3 Andrew Ryan
“A man chooses, a slave obeys.” These words are iconic and ring throughout Bioshock as players make their decisions within the underwater city of Rapture. Choice plays an important role in the game, whether it’s choosing who lives or dies, which way to go, or who to follow onwards with. One of these characters who tries to influence decisions is Andrew Ryan, the founder of Rapture, who uses a few disguises to trick the player into doing his bidding.
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Whilst Andrew Ryan may seem to seek only the return to glory of his underwater city, it is his methods that make him so sinister and his constant lies throughout the game. Whilst players only meet him physically toward the end of the game, it is his philosophy that makes him a compelling villain.
2 Vladimir Makarov
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)
- November 8, 2011
The Call of Duty games used to be renowned for their stories and campaigns. Now, Call of Duty is mainly interested in the multiplayer components, but back in the original Modern Warfare campaigns, one villain in particular would make the player’s skin crawl, and that villain was Vladimir Makarov, the infamous man behind the “No Russian” controversy from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009).
Makarov was highly intelligent and managed to create World War 3 as just a single man. Makarov is a puppet master, a man who holds many strings and chess pieces and is seemingly always 3 steps ahead. His cunning and ability to strategies saw him almost engulf the world in nuclear warfare, and his actions directly led to the death of Soap, the iconic protagonist of the Modern Warfare series.
1 Vaas Montenegro
Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3
- November 29, 2012
If audiences know anything about Vaas Montenegro, it’s that he sure does like to say “Have I ever told you the definition of insanity” a lot. This character oozes crazy, or is it all a ruse? That’s the beauty of Vaas and the wonderful performance from Michael Mando in Far Cry 3 as one of the antagonists, and a central pain in the behind to Jason Brody.
Whilst Vaas doesn’t take up too much time in Far Cry 3, he certainly steals every scene he is in and makes for one of the best villains in gaming, not just the FPS genre. Vaas was so popular thanks to his wild and unpredictable personality that he returned for Far Cry 6’s Vaas: Insanity DLC.
MORE: Far Cry: Ranking Every Major Villain From Worst To Best