Five Of The Best RPG Villains

kefka from final fantasy vi and sephiroth from final fantasy vii

RPGs wouldn’t be the same without their villains. They are arguably the glue that holds any story together. They challenge the main character and party members to be heroes. Some villains are just down right diabolical. Those are the types of villains that really seal the deal.

Sephiroth – Final Fantasy VII

Sephiroth is arguably the most recognizable villain on this list. Not only as an RPG villain, but a video game villain as a whole. He is notorious, iconic and just plain evil.

The way his past intertwines with Cloud’s is one of the main reasons he is such a great villain. He and Cloud have such an intimate knowledge of each other. As such, this give Sephiroth the advantage as he can play into Cloud’s past and his fears.

Sephiroth with Midgar in the background from Final Fantasy VII Remake RPG Villain
“What I have shown you is reality. What you remember, that is the illusion.”

At one point, Sephiroth was considered to be one of SOLDIER’s best. When he discovered the origin of his creation, it began to drive him mad. His hatred for Shinra slowly developed into a hatred of everything which makes him extremely dangerous. There’s nothing more terrifying than a villain who has no love left in him.

Serving as the overall antagonist in Final Fantasy VII, his boss battle is one that is not easy to forget. Throughout the game Cloud and the party are plagued by his actions. Since he was exposed pure Jenova cells, he has some devastating abilities. His iconic Supernova move pulls a meteor through each planet on its way to Earth. This move will demolish your party if you aren’t prepared.

Sephiroth has become a video game icon, appearing in other games as well like Kingdom Hearts and now Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He is easily one of Final Fantasy‘s biggest characters. With Final Fantasy VII Remake he is only gaining more popularity and proving to be yet another amazing villain.

Kefka Palazzo – Final Fantasy VI

Before Sephiroth, there was Kefka. Kefka is the main antagonist in Final Fantasy VI and boy does he play that role well. As the first experimental Magitek Knight, Kefka wields the ability to cast magic. Unfortunately, the process also resulted in his mind being damaged.

shows Kefka from Final Fantasy VI
“Nothing can beat the music of hundreds of voices screaming in unison!”

After that, he pretty much hungers for chaos and destruction. He does not care about anyone or anything other than himself. He also finds true joy out of the destruction he causes.

That trait is absolutely terrifying. He has no regard for human life, no matter which side they were on. He was one of the Gestahlian Empire’s highest ranking members. Emperor Gestahl encouraged Kefka’s drive for chaos, as long as it fell in line with the Empire’s plan. Kefka played the long game and eventually turned on the Emperor as well.

While most villains talk about destroying the world, few actually succeed. Often times heroes will come in at just the right time to save the day. Kefka is among the few that actually succeeded in his goals. He was able to destroy the world and reshape it at his will.

Sephiroth might be the most popular Final Fantasy villains, but in my opinion, Kefka is far more dangerous. The amount of power he obtains through the experiments and through the Espers is terrifying. He has certainly earned his spot as one of video games’ biggest villains.

Ganondorf – The Legend of Zelda Series

Ganodorf is the main antagonist in most Legend of Zelda entries. As such he has established himself as one of gaming’s greatest villains. He is gifted with powerful magic and wields the Triforce of Power. That means that Link and Zelda’s relationship with Ganondorf is complete destiny.

Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda
“Those anguished screams… I can’t help but find some satisfaction in them…”

Ganondorf was born into the Gerudo tribe as the only male for 100 years. That meant that he was entitled to the Gerudo throne and kingdom. However, he definitely wanted more than he had.

As a series mainstay, he is always Link’s greatest adversary. Ganondorf is always after the Hyrule Castle throne and wants to rule more than just the Gerudo Kingdom. On top of that, he is always trying to combine the three pieces of the Triforce to wield it in its entirety.

Because of that, he is almost always aware of past events with Zelda and Link. While Link and Zelda are always reincarnated, Ganondorf retains at least enough information to know what he is searching for.

He is also almost completely invulnerable. He can only be damaged by holy weapons like the Master Sword and Light Arrows. That makes him especially difficult to take down, and a formidable villain to go up against.

Luca Blight – Suikoden II

Luca Blight is often described as one of the most sadistic villains in all of gaming. He is well-know for his cruelty and bloodlust. As the main antagonist of Suikoden II, nothing quite compares to finally being able to take him down.

Luca Blight from Suikoden II
“It took hundreds to kill me but I killed humans by the thousands. I am sublime! I am the true face of evil!”

When it comes to villains, he just might take the win. He has absolutely zero regard for anyone else and isn’t afraid to show that. On top of that, he isn’t shy about all of his downfalls. Even his father isn’t immune to his evil ways.

He certainly makes for a great villain. He feels no remorse for any of his actions and it just make him more terrifying. Like many villains on this list, its hard not to be afraid of the ones who truly enjoy being evil.

Tohru Adachi – Persona 4

Tohru Adachi does what many of these other villains on this list don’t. He plays the long game, fools everyone around him, and hides his true nature for most of Persona 4.

Tohru Adachi from Persona 4
“Dammit! You’re all such a pain in the ass! I’ll kill you, just like I did those other ones!”

Before you know he’s evil, he’s actually a lovable character. He’s joyful and always seems to bring comic relief to crime scenes. However, he knows what he’s doing and he does it perfectly.

He makes for an excellent villain because he uses his position within the police to hide his true intentions. Adachi is responsible for every murder in the game, even if he isn’t the killer. He is a mastermind that makes for an excellent antagonist.

Conclusion

What would a good story be without a good villain to drive it? In a lot of ways, villains can be considered the main characters. Their actions drive the protagonist to rectify situations and bring them to justice.

Without Sephiroth, Final Fantasy VII would not be same. The same can be said about all of these villains and there respective games.  There are plenty to choose from but these are just five of the best villains the RPG world has to offer.

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By Dakota Deitsch

I love all video games but primarily enjoy RPGs. Pokémon is my favorite franchise, but I’ll play any game really. I tend to game on PlayStation and on my Switch the most.