5 gaming villains who were heroes all along

villains who were heroes all along shadow of the colossus 2

Let’s face it, heroes wouldn’t be half as much fun to watch if they didn’t have a decent opponent stopping them at every turn. And while some villains have aims that are really, really hard to root for (looking at you, Voldemort), there are plenty of others who, well… kind of have a point.

We’ve taken some of our favourite gaming villains and had another look at their motives. Read on to find out which of the biggest, baddest villains were just trying to make the world a better place.


1. The Colossi in Shadow of the Colossus

Let’s start off with the biggest villains on the list. Although they’re extremely big and extremely dangerous and try extremely hard to kill you, the Colossi really do get a pretty raw deal out of Wander’s adventure.

Let’s just look at it from their perspective. They’re living quite happily, peacefully doing their thing until one day you show up hoping to slaughter the lot of them. All they’re doing is fighting in self-defence…

2. Pagan Min in Far Cry 4

Okay, so he’s got a few despotic tendencies, but hear us out – is he really worse than the Golden Path rebels? Like any good villain, he has a tragic backstory, a dash of philanthropism (yes, really, he sent medical students to Singapore for training), and a good helping of flamboyant pizzazz.

And while he has racked up something of a body count, he gets extra brownie points for helping you out throughout the story, pulling off the caring father figure role with style, and even managing to keep things friendly if you try to kill him.

And (spoiler alert), there’s always that small matter of him leaving the whole of Kyrat to you if you spare his life at the end.

3. The Fireflies in The Last of Us

The whole question of good versus evil gets a bit complicated in The Last of Us. If you haven’t played it yet, skip ahead to the next villain because you really, really don’t want this one spoiled.

Back so soon? Okay, spoilers from here on out.

After seeing how undeniably evil the quarantine zone authorities were, we kind of had to root for the Fireflies just because they were fighting against them. And while we can’t deny that our opinion of the Fireflies plummeted as soon as we discovered that they wanted to chop Ellie’s brain into pieces, the fact is that they only wanted to do it to save the rest of humanity from the zombie virus, while Joel just wanted a surrogate daughter. Frankly, Joel is the real wrong ‘un in this scenario…

4. Doc Ock in Marvel’s Spider-Man

We’re just going to tell it like it is – for the most part, Dr Otto Octavius is a great guy. He’s using his genius noggin to help people by creating highly advanced prosthetic limbs, he supports Peter Parker no matter what, and he just wants to do the right thing despite having his fair share of personal problems.

All the poor guy wants is to be able to keep working on his prosthetics without interference from Norman Osborne, and that’s the primary reason why he goes down the perfectly understandable route of wiring himself into a powerful octopus-tentacle exoskeleton. That’s just an average Wednesday to most boffins.

5. N in Pokémon Black and White

N, or to give him his full name, Natural Harmonia Gropius (we’ll probably stick with N), is hell-bent on stealing everyone’s Pokémon. Through his villainous masterplan, they’ll be released into the wild to live in freedom, rather than being trapped in Poké Balls, transferred between computers, traded around by completionists, and forced to battle until they faint so that their Trainers can earn badges.

Raised among Pokémon that were abused by people, N takes a rather dim view of humanity in general… and we have to admit, when you put it like that, he’s not really wrong.