Sometimes a woman’s touch is deadly. Female villains are some of the most interesting characters in video games and that’s what this list is about. Some are out for the world, others just want to be left alone. But either way, these ladies have murder, insanity, and just plain sass under their belts. No matter their credentials, you don’t want to end up on their bad side! Minor to major spoilers ahead, so be warned!
5. Ultimacia (Final Fantasy VIII)
Ambassador Edea Kramer was already a hard character to like. At one point, we learn she’s being controlled by the real baddie of the game, Ultimacia. Her end goal is to become godlike and rule over the entirety of existence. To do this, she sends her consciousness into the past to possess Edea, who was chosen for her political power. Even when Ultimacia’s control is revealed, it’s hard not to feel like Edea was the villain the entire time. Especially after stabbing Squall in the chest, it’s hard to forgive her. Ultimacia holds most of the blame here, but still…
4. Mother Brain (Metroid series)
Samus Aran was one of gaming’s first gaming heroines, so it’s only fitting her biggest nemesis is found on this list. Where do all of the horrid monstrosities called Metroids originate? An AI who had a hell of a meltdown, that’s who. Mother Brain was programmed by the Chozo. However, her intelligence exceeded expectations and she ended up taking control of the Space Pirates, a group that would leave the Chozo race extinct. Mother Brain has taken many forms, so Samus has her work cut out for her. Every time one form is defeated, another tends to spring up somewhere in the universe. Who knows how many are left?
3. SHODAN (System Shock 2)
In a cyperpunk-horror game reminiscent of Dead Space, you awaken on a drifting starship, with no memory of anything. Former crew members are now infected and try to kill you. The protagonist’s only hope is a fellow survivor who guides you around the ship’s levels via radio. After surviving the nightmare and arriving to the survivor, it is revealed she was just a rotting corpse. Who’s been helping you this whole time? SHODAN, a sadistic AI who has controlled you every step of the way. The very definition of malicious malware, SHODAN is a necessary evil. You can’t escape otherwise.
2. GLaDOS (Portal series)
The absolute master of sarcasm and wit, seeing humanity as nothing but lab rats meant to further science, GLaDOS is a living embodiment of that negative voice in everyone’s head. Even in the labyrinth of deadly tests she forces Chell through, you laugh as much as fear at her snide comments and vague/direct threats. Even when stuck in a potato battery, she maintains that menacing air. There’s something admirable about the pursuit of knowledge, but not to the inhuman lengths GLaDOS will go to. And when she finds a vestige of her once human self in her programming? Deleted immediately. If there’s any solace, once Chell was kicked out, only the other robots have to deal with the sadistic caretaker of the decaying ruins of Aperture Science.
1. Sarah Kerrigan (Starcaraft series)
Once a member of a rebel group, Sarah Kerrigan was later captured and presumed dead. Now a Zerg-Human hybrid, she has become known through the galaxies as the Queen of Blades, ruler of the Zerg, and perhaps the most dangerous being in the universe. Though almost just another victim, she instead triumphed over numerous challenges and ended up as one of the most powerful beings around. Fueled by vengeance against those who betrayed her, she is also conflicted by who she once was and who she has now become. Despite being one of the biggest threats to the universe, there was no doubt the Queen would top the list. Though she would later be rescued and much of her humanity restored, her legacy as the Queen of Blades is a hard one to top.