Plenty of video games have us playing the hero and saving the day, but every now and then, we enjoy taking off our goody two shoes. There are a few titles that let us tap into our base need for violence while disregarding the sanctity of life and all that is good, and this feature is all about paying tribute to those games. After all, you need to be bad every once in a while to really appreciate the good, right? There may be SPOILERS AHEAD for certain games.
Chrono Cross – You switch bodies with the bad guy, Lynx
In the classic role-playing game Chrono Cross, you play a blue-haired kid who must save the world by gathering a bunch of heroes and defeating an anthropomorphic cat sorcerer named Lynx. Sounds like any routine RPG, right? Well, in the middle of the game, you face off against Lynx in a battle with your strongest buddies. You think all is going well until boom—some weird magic happens and you switch bodies with Lynx, forced to try and defeat your friends. For one whole section of the game, you control the bad guy. It would have been a lot cooler if you weren’t also a cat. Oh well, you can’t win them all.
InFamous 2 – Dark Cole
Cole MacGrath continued his electrifying adventures in InFAMOUS 2, this time in the New Orleans-inspired city of New Marais. Whether he came to the city as a benevolent superhero with controlled bolts of electricity or as a power-hungry maniac was another story. If you chose the latter, you’d be treated to incredibly destructive powers that caused lots of collateral damage and gave Cole more of a broken, menacing appearance. As you terrorized New Marais, you developed new napalm powers thanks to your relationship with Nix, the Conduit who draws out Cole’s evil side. We know it’s hot in New Orleans, but Evil Cole took it to a new level.
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne – You can be bad to the Bonne
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne serves as a prequel to the Mega Man Legends series and stars Tron Bonne, daughter of the Bonne family of pirates and thieves. While she’s technically an anti-hero, she’s still considered a villain before the events of Mega Man Legends, and her family is full of antagonists. You work to pay off her father’s debt to an even bigger criminal, using Tron Bonne’s faithful Servbots to collect treasure, rob people, and go on adventures. She’s not as bad as most villains, especially because she actually befriends a cop—but she does go on to antagonize Mega Man Vonutt in Mega Man Legends, so there’s that.
Fallout: New Vegas – Win against the House
Fallout: New Vegas is one of those special games that give you the freedom to really shape what kind of character you want to be. You can be a helpful wanderer, taking on quests for the greater good and trying to turn the Mojave Wasteland into a more pleasant place to live, or you can be a complete psycho and try to subjugate everyone through force. In fact, you can even join a faction called the Legion, fashioned after Ancient Roman society, and help them conquer and enslave people. You might even decide you’re the rightful ruler and defeat all the warring factions to take your place as the supreme ruler. It’s always good to have options.
Overlord – Be evil… or really evil
Overlord puts you in charge of a horde of minions while trying to defeat seven heroes who have been corrupted by power. While the Overlord is seen as somewhat of an anti-hero since he’s going out to defeat power-mad heroes that represent the Seven Deadly Sins, he can still be corrupted himself—after which he does stuff like needlessly slaughtering innocents and pillaging villages, making him a Grade A jerk.
The Last of Us – Joel’s choice
The Last of Us was an incredible survival horror game that boasted one of the best narratives we’ve ever seen. Time and again, players watch the protagonist, Joel, lose the people he cares about, from his daughter Sarah to his longtime partner in crime, Tess. These losses help us understand why he ultimately chooses to doom mankind. It’s because we know he’s lost so much that we can empathize with his actions, even if it means being a bad guy and sacrificing the future of the species. World-dooming or not, this is one bad guy decision that we can live with, regardless of the consequences.
The Sims 4 – You are a vengeful god, with pools
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It turns out that the biggest bad guy in video games is actually you, the player. And this is especially true in The Sims 4—or any other version of The Sims, to be honest. Who needs cataclysmic events or the power to conquer worlds when you can just make it so your friendly, unassuming Sims are forced to drown because you trapped them in a pool? Or hey, why not allow them to starve and live in their own filth, walling them into a 2 x 2 area? We’re not saying we’re judging you for the way you treat your Sims, but…yeah, we’re judging you.