Please note, however, that massive spoilers lie ahead for some games, so go in with that knowledge in mind.
Prototype puts you in the shoes of Alex Mercer, a young man that wakes up in an experimental facility owned by the company Gentek. Mercer gains destructive superhuman powers through an outbreak of the BLACKLIGHT Virus. Along the way Alex, who has amnesia, learns about his dark past connected to the virus and unleashes immense destruction on the city. What’s more is that Alex is actually the main villain of Prototype 2, meaning you really were the villain the whole time.
Overlord is the epitome of playing as a villain, as you literally play as an evil Overlord that commands a horde of minions. Your minions resurrect you after years of slumber, and from there you have to conquer the land and take it from seven corrupt ruling heroes. It’s true that the humans you’re conquering aren’t really any more “good” than you, but much of the game is satire and parody of fantasy. There’s even a corruption mechanic that lets you choose between being “evil” and “more evil.”
Knights of the Old Republic took the Star Wars series thousands of years in the past, to a brand new era we’d never seen before. You wake up as someone with amnesia not knowing anything about who you are or what you’re doing, except for the fact you’re in the middle of a giant battle. KOTOR builds a proper, convincing universe for Star Wars where the Jedi and Sith armies wage war. The game has a monumental twist near the end, where it’s revealed that your character is actually the Dark Lord of the Sith, known as Darth Revan. You lost your memory during a Jedi attack, and now must choose whether you follow the Light or the Dark Side of the Force.
Spider-Man has a huge cast of memorable villain, but it’s not every day you actually get to play as one. You actually have the option to play as both Spider-Man and Venom, switching between the two in the open world and story. The two have wildly different abilities, with Venom having to drain life from his enemies as his own life bar constantly drains.
Kratos may have started out as a rage filled hero seeking vengeance for the murder of his family, but by God of War III the tables have turned and he’s become an all-out killing machine. With his vengeance fulfilled, God of War III sees our “hero” single-handedly destroying the ranks of Mount Olympus and anyone else that gets in his way. Kratos has no sympathy of any kind, for anyone, and the deaths only get more and more gruesome as the game goes on.
Bowser’s Inside Story is still very much a game about Mario and Luigi, but it features a big twist. The brothers actually end up inside Bowser, helping to fight off hostile invaders inside the villains body. Meanwhile, players actually get to take control of Bowser in battle sequences, even as a Giant Bowser in some spots. Flipping between the villain and the heroes managed to provide some entertaining variation.
Games That Let You Play as the Villain
Video game heroes are vitally important to our experiences, as they're the character we take control of. Sometimes however, it's nice to be bad and change things up to take on the role of the villain. Here's 20 games that let you step into villainous shoes. Please note, however, that massive spoilers lie ahead for some games, so go in with that knowledge in mind.