News Article

Bowser Is Officially The Greatest Video Game Villain Of All Time

Posted by Orla Madden

The 'King of Koopas' is finally crowned

Guinness World Records asked gamers to vote for their top video game villains for inclusion in the 2013 edition of Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition, and it comes as no surprise to see Mario's nemesis of almost three decades take the top spot of the podium.

With more than 5,000 readers voting in the survey, Bowser secured more than 20% of the overall vote. Evil Gerudo Ganon (from Zelda) came fourth in the poll, with Pokémon star Ash Ketchum's sworn enemy Gary Oak took fifth place.

Writer for Guinness World Records 2013 Gamer's Edition, Kevin Lynch, said:

It was really interesting for us to put the vote out to our readers and see who their favourite villain was – Bowser’s top place is no big shocker, but there certainly are surprises in there. I think what this list really reflects is that video game villains tend to be a lot cooler than the heroes they're pitted against.

What do you think? Does Bowser's constant kidnapping of Princess Peach deserve the top spot? See the full list of the top 50 video game villains of all time below.

50. Hades (Kid Icarus)
49. Atlas (BioShock)
48. Jacqueline Natla (Tomb Raider)
47. Shepherd (Call of Duty)
46. Herobrine (Minecraft)
45. Solidus Snake (Metal Gear Solid)
44. Diablo (Diable)
43. Dr Robotnik (Sonic the Hedgehog)
42. Dr Neo Cortex (Crash Bandicoot)
41. Shao Kahn (Mortal Kombat)
40. Zoran Lazarevic (Uncharted)
39. Tabuu (Super Mario Bros.)
38. Kaos (Skylanders)
37. Wheatley (Portal)
36. Mother Brain (Metroid)
35. Ghirahim (The Legend of Zelda)
34. Dr Nefarious (Ratchet & Clank)
33. Xehanort (Kingdom Hearts)
32. Kessler (Infamous)
31. The Flood (Halo)
30. The Locust Hordes (Gears of War)
29. Vanitas (Kindgom Hearts)
28. Darth Vader (Star Wars)
27. Dr Wily (Mega Man)
26. Team Rocket (Pokemon)
25. Kefka Palazzo (Final Fantasy)
24. Police (Grand Theft Auto)
23. Zombies (Call of Duty)
22. Aliens (Space Invaders)
21. The Readers (Mass Effect)
20. N (Pokemon)
19. Zeus (God of War)
18. Alduin (Skyrim)
17. M Bison (Street Fighter)
16. The Covenant (Halo)
15. Andrew Ryan (BioShock)
14. Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong)
13. Psycho Mantis (Metal Gear Solid)
12. Albert Wesker (Resident Evil)
11. Vladimir Makarov (Call of Duty)
10. Creeper (Minecraft)
9. Liquid Ocelot (Metal Gear Solid)
8. Inky (PAC-Man)
7. The Borgias (Assassin’s Creed II)
6. Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)
5. Gary Oak (Pokemon Red/Blue)
4. Ganon (The Legend of Zelda)
3. The Joker (Batman: Arkham Asylum)
2. GLaDOS (Portal)
1. Bowser (Super Mario Bros.)


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User Comments (82)



Lan said:

Not to be a cynical douche or anything, but Guinness comes up with the most arbitrary "records"



Void said:

Whats "(diable)"
And who are "The Readers"

They woke you up too early for this, didn't they.



DreamyViridi said:

Y'all just jealous of Bowser's awesomeness. I agree that a couple of villains should've placed higher (Hades at #50? Eggman at #43?) but come on, he's the Koopa King! Bowser's place is justified.



seronja said:

mighty poo from conker's bad fur day, gruntilda from banjo-kazooie, zarok from Medievil? nice to see the first 4 on the list and the police from GTA =D



Phle said:

Well, my all time favorite villains are Team Rocket (especially the Jessie, James and Meowth trio). I also like Gary Oak a lot. But that's from the anime, I haven't played a video game including them.

That's why I find it a bit strange that they are on the list especially since Team Plasma and Team Galactic isn't on the list, I can see N is up there though, but again strange. I thought he was tricked by Ghetsis and actually isn't evil? So Ghetsis should have been up there instead of N, as he is the real villain.

My video game favorite is... um... The only one that I think is pretty cool on the list is Xehanort from Kingdom Hearts. Creepers from Minecraft are kind of cool too, but I'm angry at them for blowing up my house so many times, killing me and my cats, and leaving a huge hole. I like spiders from Minecraft, they have a good combination: cute & evil but not annoying.

Bowser doesn't get much positive or negative feelings from me, I guess he is cool considering he is a turtle...



cornishlee said:

Wow, that's a poor show for Robotnik.

The man has a point though. Given the choice (Mario Kart, etc.) I always play as the villains these days. Don't think I did as a kid though.



ueI said:

I think Dimentio and Dracula deserve spots on the list. Then again, a popularity contest can never please anyone. #39 also has a typo. Guinness has way too many of those.



Jaz007 said:

I personally don't think Bowser deserves 1# spot here at all. I would defiantly put hades in a better place than 50# and would probably give number one to Kessler, I actually kind if have a hard time calling him evil, Which is something that I love about him.



SanderEvers said:

Bowser just loves to make love to the princess, he isn't evil. He's just a guy

Sauron (Lord of the Rings) is the most evil of them all.



HADAA said:

Gary Oak, a VILLAIN? Maybe he's a bully, and maaaybe he gets 10 badges out of 8 and makes hilarious internet meme, but he's far from being a villain. Hell, he's currently a prestigious researcher in the anime. And yet TR places #26? What's wrong with these voters?



allav866 said:

WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! Hang on a sec!
"39. Tabuu (Super Mario Bros.)"
What Mario game was Tabuu in, exactly? 'Cos I wanna play THAT game!
seriously though, it should be Super Smash Bros.



allav866 said:

I completely agree with the #1 spot. Think about how much Bowser does compared to other villains. He will take any chance he can to beat Mario, whether it's by luring the mustachioed plumber to his castle, or by launching a blue shell in a kart race. Bowser definitely deserves that spot... But how in the hell did Gary beat Sephiroth?!



Auracle said:

Bowser deserves the top spot. But seriously, the Minecraft Creeper beating Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik?
Eggman: I should have tried a little harder.



SilentHunter382 said:

Wow sephroth at #6 and Kefka at #25. That is such a popularity contest. Sephroth didn't even destroy the world yet kefka did. Kefka has far more blood on his hands then sephroth.



Spoony_Tech said:

Hades was a surprise because that game isn't even that old. Also psycho Mantis was just awesome! Love most of that list!!



GamerZack87 said:

Yes! Bowser's no. 1! Take THAT, Bowser's good twin Reswob!

Well, Guinness World Records has published one of my biggest peeves of the Pokemon franchise. Gary Oak is neither a villain nor a video game character; he is, in fact, an anime character and analogue to Blue Oak, the rival/champion of the Generation I Pokemon games and Viridian Gym Leader of the Generation II games. And last I checked, Giovanni was the villain of the Gen I games, not Blue. So to recap: Gary - anime character; Blue - video game character; Giovanni - video game villain. Phew, I feel so much better now that that's off my chest.

Now to find out the record for longest consecutive days wearing a Power Glove. Love the know you must!



NintyMan said:

This is an interesting list. I'm surprised that Hades was even registered. Dr. Robotnik being so low and losing to Dr. Cortex is odd. I didn't realize Tabuu from Super Smash Bros. Brawl was so popular. I also have a hard time contemplating how Gary Oak could beat Sephiroth. This is definitely a popularity contest, and not everyone's going to agree with those.

But I definitely agree with Bowser being the greatest villain, because he'll stop at nothing to take Mario down. Whether it's kidnapping Peach, spoiling Mario's vacation, trying to conquer the universe twice, terrorizing the race track, or ruining players chances in Mario Party, he's seemingly done it all. He also commands a massive army of many monsters and has a bunch of minions as a result. He's been in lots of Mario games and got a lot of public exposure too.



triforcepower73 said:

As many people have said: Hades should've ranked higher. I'm surprised alduin even made it. I liked him, or at least the idea behind him, but I hated the battle. It was pretty lame.

And are they talking about Ganon or Ganondorf? There is a difference.



Knuckles said:

Dr. Ivo Robotnik should have been in the top 10. Turning innocent woodland creatures into robots of mass destruction isn't good enough for you?



sdcazares1980 said:

21. The "Readers?" You mean the Reapers?

What about the Illusive Man or even the Catalyst for making you go through all this crap?



WingedSnagret said:

I don't care what anyone says; ol' Bowser deserves this honor considering how long he's been keeping his mean streak up. Sure he isn't the most malicious of villians, but like several others have said it's about popularity.

So here's to the great Koopa King!



Wonder_Ideal said:

Well I'm glad to see a new villain like Hades on the list (even though he's only 50). Anyways, Bowser is an iconic video villain, and I think being #1 is fitting for him. Not sure why the Eggman is so low on this list though. He usually does better on these types of things.



Undead_terror said:

Zombies from cod in 23rd meaning richtofen should also be in 23rd because he is the main antagonist in the series but glad they are on the list.
It's only natural that bowser should be in 1st but would that also mean dry bowser and giga bowser would be in first since they are different forms of him?



Megumi said:

Gary and N are villains? Also where's Deminito (...forget how to spell his name, lol) and Fawful?



Wonder_Ideal said:

@Erica_Hartmann - I think you're looking for "Dimentio."
I do think Fawful and Dimentio would have been good for the list. Ah well, I guess that's just the way the meatball bounces.



Jukilum said:

This reminds me of the lists that the America Film Institute make (I'm not sure they even do anything besides making lists.) On their list of best animated films of all time Snow White and the Seven Dwarves placed first followed by Pinochio and then Fantasia. Those are the first three animated feature films ever made. Are they seriously saying that in the almost 100 years since the first animated film there has never been one better then the first three?

And GLaDOS should have placed first.



MasterGraveheart said:

Not a bad list. GLaDOS is way too high up and I think licensed villains shouldn't have been included, but, whatever.



Peach64 said:

Some pretty dumb choices in there. Joker shouldn't even qualify, as when I think of Joker, I don't think of video games. GTA Police? What the heck is memorable about them? It almost looks more like they listed some good/great games and then named the bad guys instead of actually ranking the villains.

Bowser is a worthy number 1 though.



KAHN said:

Bowser is a loser, stupid enough to never thinks things through. Ganon deserves to be #1... Bowser deserves to be somewhere around #1001.



Kevin said:

The list is a joke! Sephiroth over Kefka? The Joker's ranked #3? Where are Gruntilda, Fawful, Ridley, Dimentio and Mithos (Tales of Symphonia)? Those five are more deserving than the space invaders, inky and any CoD losers on the list.



artofmana said:

I think it's strange that so many new games are on this list. If this is meant to be an all time greats list it seems very particular to 2012.



artofmana said:

Also, it seems a little arbitrary when Darth Vader and the Joker can make a list like this. I know there are games that they are the villains in but does that really count?



SkywardLink98 said:

Bowser shouldn't even be on the list. He's original but anyone could take his place and no one would care in the Mario game. If GLaDOS were replaced, portal would be a very different game.



tripunktoj said:

I am among those who say Joker and Vader shouldnt qualify for this list, they may have appeared as villians in some games, but that characters were not designed as video game villians and their popularity grew from other media. Also many people like me dont even have idea who that #2 guy is, unlike most of the other villians in the list.



SuperLink said:

I feel like Hades should have been higher up. He was so witty and hilarious, that you almost forgot that he was an evil god, hellbent on enslaving the entire world.



NintendoCat14 said:

Creeper made it on the list? What? And, wow, Hades is only 50? Should have been in at least 15th or higher. But... where's Emperor Bulblax from the first Pikmin?



Raymen said:

Tabuu should have been in top 5. He killed Ganon, Mario, Link, all those guys in one strike! Should've expected this from Guiness (not sure if I spelled that right.)



randomlypikachu said:

wow ... if i wouldve changed a few things theyd be the follwoing... i wouldve switched bowswer to number 50, put hades in like the 30s or 20s somewhere in that range, place ganon at number one, delete gary entirly (i dont consider him a villian at all), finaly id add in ridley to take his place.



lightbringer said:

Don't expect them to be on many lists, but Galm (Shining Force III) and Luca Blight (Suikoden II) are probably my two favorites,



krunchykhaos said:

WHAT? No. One: Ganon is the best. Two: sephiroth is next and also better than bowser. Even ridley is better than bowser. This is terrible.



WesCash said:

Tabuu? Really? And Darth Vader and the Joker are a little on the iffy side for me. That's like saying Bowser is a movie villain or Doctor Robotnik is a TV villain.



BulbasaurusRex said:

I think Hades from Kid Icarus: Upriing did a good just making the list, seeing as he's only been in one game that was released just last year.

What kind of Pokémon villians are those?! Team Rocket, yes, but Gary Oak is merely a rival and N an anti-hero, not villians.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Yea, the problem with any poll like this is it just turns into a biased popularity contest. Wasn't there a top 50 games poll last year where the top 10 was all COD? Its annoying how several of them got off as on a technicality but its still really funny that inky and space invaders made it.

A good villain should be fleshed out and not just a 2-dimensional plot point. Thats why villains are usually more popular than the hero, the hero is usually bland at best unless its a story driven game while the villain actually has personality.

Thats why Bowser is awesome, hes not the most successful villain but hes memorable and more than just a face.



Henmii said:

I think Bowser should share his place with the almighty Ganondorf! And no Gruntilda on the list?! You gotta be kidding!!



Grodus said:

Wait wait wait wait wait... Bowser is better than Ghiraham and Hades? Since when!?



Therian said:

Okay, Bowser deserved #1, but I really don't like the others on the list. All of them are basically from new games. And wheres Dr.Eggman??? Gee, this generation :l



shredmeister said:

When it comes to Pac-Man, Pinky and Blinky are the ones to be afraid of. Inky is a putz. Seriously, who made this list?



Luffymcduck said:

Lots of great choices on this list. Nice to see three different villains from MGS, they´re all classic villains to me. Hades should have been higher, he was so funny.



Henmii said:

Villains like Darth Vader should not be on the list because they are from the movies!

Also: Lol at The Borgias!!



Kakashiarena94 said:

The Borgias are too high up. Iconic figures like Eggman ranked too low. Face it, there's not much difference between Robotnik and Bowser. The latter is surely overranked. And N, to me, is a pseudo-villain, the manipulated pawn. The real villain is Ghetsis, and he's nowhere to be seen. And COD's zombies, really Guinness? Based on characterization alone, Glados should've been #1. BEST, or MOST POPULAR? This list is inconsistent and pretty random.



Kakashiarena94 said:

Also, I believe Gary Oak does not exist in Pokemon Red/Blue. It was Blue. Gary is the TV show's character. And what has he done besides beating your pets senseless to be considered a villain?

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