Every gamer has their favorite video game hero and most have their favorite villain, but the reasons they enjoy those characters differ greatly. From Bowser to the Joker, it’s always satisfying to end a villain’s reign and restore peace and tranquility to the digital worlds.
Occasionally, gamers have an opportunity to do more than just beat a villain. These are often the most satisfying defeats, as players know their nemesis will never again terrorize them or the NPCs within a game.
It’s this finality that makes some games so fun to finish. It’s also led us to consider our favorite, most satisfying villain deaths in video games. It goes without saying that the below list contains heavy spoilers.
General Shepherd – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
For many Call of Duty fans, Modern Warfare 2 remains the best game in the franchise, which is saying a lot considering the number of games in the series. And it’s not just the multiplayer aspect that players loved, but also the game’s twist-riddled story.
The biggest twist in the game, and possibly in all of Call of Duty so far, is when General Shepherd, the man who supported and led the player through the whole game, revealed himself to be the primary antagonist. Fortunately, players were given the opportunity to get revenge against Shepherd in a truly satisfying way.
Ganondorf – Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
Anyone who’s played the Legend of Zelda games knows Ganondorf, the main villain of the entire series, whose evil nature is accentuated by his plethora of villainous names, such as the Great King of Evil and the Dark Lord.
In The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, players defeat Ganondorf in typical heroic fashion, ending his evil reign with extra flair. However, while Ganondorf himself is dead, his resentment and evil thoughts travel through space and time and manifest through the Dark Mirror. So, could the Great King of Evil come back? Time will tell.
Saren Arterius – Mass Effect
Saren was once a heroic Spectre soldier in Mass Effect, who was loyal to the Citadel Council, the governing body that ruled Citadel space. That loyalty should have made Saren a friend and ally to Commander Shepherd, the game’s protagonist.
But when Saren reveals himself to be an enemy to Shepherd, it’s understandable that players want to end his existence. Fortunately, players have the satisfying opportunity to shut down Saren and his evil plan by convincing the traitor to end his own life using the game’s well-known choose-your-own dialogue feature.
Albert Wesker – Resident Evil 5
Some Resident Evil fans consider Oswell E. Specer as the series’ greatest antagonist; however, an argument can be made that villain Albert Wesker is the far more evil and devious bad guy in the franchise. Wesker’s desire for ultimate power pushed him to betray his allies, fake his own death, and adopt a super human-creating prototype virus, all in an effort to become the most powerful person in existence. With his great powers and near-invincibility, players are unable to kill Wesker directly in Resident Evil 5, though they are able to end the villain by satisfyingly drop him into a river of lava.
Cyberdemon – Doom 3
Some villain deaths are satisfying not because the villain is a major player in the game, but rather because taking it down is such a challenge, and getting through that challenge can be immensely satisfying. This is the case with the Cyberdemon in Doom 3.
Cyberdemon is the game’s final boss, and a very difficult one at that. To kill the villain, players have to use a special weapon called the Soul Cube, which they launch at Cyberdemon. While it only takes four shots to kill the boss, the monster’s minions often get in the way of the launch, thus absorbing the blow and keeping the Cyberdemon alive, all while it launches relentless attacks at players. However, when all is said and done and players defeat it, the victory is definitely sweet.
Hitler – Wolfenstein 3D
In true Wolfenstein fashion, the Hitler boss is more than just a Nazi leader running around with a pistol. Instead, Hitler is geared with a heavy mech suit, complete with massive machine guns. But it isn’t just the opportunity to kill mech-suit Hitler that makes this kill so satisfying, but rather the way in which the Nazi dictator bites the bullet.
When players finish off Hitler in Wolfenstein 3D, the dictator melts into a pile of blood and gore. Then, once Hitler is gone, players have the privilege of seeing their kill a second time through the game’s DeathCam replay.
Mother – House of the Dead: Overkill
Mother isn’t any ordinary villain in House of the Dead: Overkill. Throughout the game, her character seems innocent and pitiful, and her old age and frail look can throw players off guard.
However, that visual doesn’t last long, as Mother reveals herself to be a towering mutant monster with incredible power, and it’s up to players to remove her from this world. While Mother isn’t the most difficult villain in video game history, she definitely represents a major challenge, making her slaughter that much more rewarding for players.
Zeus – God of War 3
Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want a chance to take on the God of Thunder? That’s exactly what players are able to do in God of War 3. Taking down Zeus is satisfying because the boss fight is a multi-part effort that tests the skills and abilities players have learned throughout the game. After beating Zeus, it’s easy to see why gamers are so in love with the God of War franchise, and why they continue to request the next game in the series.
Andrew Ryan – Bioshock
Andrew Ryan acts as the primary antagonist throughout the majority of Bioshock, trying continually to kill the player while they make their way through Rapture. The opportunity to stop Ryan is pleasing in and of itself, but when players learn that that Ryan killed Jack’s mother in a very brutal fashion, it makes the kill even more satisfying. It definitely helps, too, that players are able to beat Ryan to a lifeless pulp with a golf club, making the kill that much more personal.
Dormin – Shadow of the Colossus
At the start of Shadow of the Colossus, Dormin promises he will revive Mono – a young woman the player is seeking to help – if gamers slay the sixteen colossi in the world. However, once players finish the deed, Dormin reveals he was trapped in the Shrine of Worship and could only escape once all the colossi were dead.
So when Dormin is swallowed up in an epic pillar of light at the end of the game, players can revel in the demise of the deceitful creature and his evil desires.
What are some of your most satisfying villain deaths? Let us know your favorites in the comments below.