Top 10: Generic Video Game Bad Guys! Or: Cheaper By The Dozen

No.5 Zombies, Any Game With Brraaiinnss!!!

We’re experiencing a bit of a zombie Renaissance. Once the bottom rung of the movie monster ladder, zombies have suddenly gone mainstream with App Store hits (Plants VS Zombies), a hit TV show that’s breaking all kinds of viewership records (AMC’s The Walking Dead), its comic book counterpart is still going strong, and the Resident Evil movie franchise is releasing the fifth entry in the series later this year. Zombies are in. But gamers have known this for years! We’ve been fighting off hordes of shambling undead years before it became the in-thing to do.

Top 10 Generic Video Game Bad Guys!
Ah, the good old days! When men were men and women were zombies. Or my girl just had a cold and I shoved scissors into her eye for no good reason…

Engaging in garden warfare with invading zombies wasn’t our first go around with the undead. As far back as 1984, the venerable Commodore 64 had our good friend Ash Williams, of Evil Dead fame, fighting off zombies in a game of the same name. We’ve used light guns to blow them away in House Of The Dead, crept about a deserted Lovecraftian mansion in Alone In The Dark while trying to avoid them, placed our shots carefully in their cerebellums in countless Resident Evil games, and participated in the ludicrously anachronistic gameplay of Call Of Duty’s various zombie modes. The movement shows no sign of stopping, it seems we’ll still be slaying those head munchers well into our twilight years. Hopefully, they’ll have video games at the old folks home.

Top 10 Generic Video Game Bad Guys!
Gosh darn it, Gertrude! Stop hogging the PlayStation 9!

No.4 Innocent Bystanders, Any Grand Theft Auto Game

Yes, this is a list of generic video game bad guys. But what exactly constitutes a bad guy in a game where being bad is a very relative term? After all, in your average Grand Theft Auto title, more often than not you’re playing as the actual bad guy in the story. So, from the point of view of the villain, what keeps getting in the way of you evading pursuing cop cars?

Top 10 Generic Video Game Bad Guys!
I’ll take “poor bastard I just slammed into my windshield” for $1,000, Alex.

What gets mowed down with alarming regularity in Grand Theft Auto aren’t zombies or henchmen, but poor, innocent pedestrians just trying to get to work without becoming a guest star on this week’s episode of Cops. And we do so love mowing them down. The worst part is, I don’t recall any particular GTA mission actually requiring me to drive over the old lady crossing the street. It’s just something that seems to happen when I’m in a bad mood. Or a good mood. Or any kind of mood at all, really. GTA appeals to our inner sociopath and Rockstar is more than willing to provide the fodder for our vehicular mayhem. God bless them!

No.3 Nazis, Every WW2 Game Ever Made

Unlike the previous entry, nobody anywhere in the history of ever has felt any kind of remorse when it comes to killing Nazis. Nazis are sort of video game freebies; you can kill as many as you like without risking eternal damnation in the fires of hell for your trouble. Heck, I’m pretty sure they just hand you a “get out of hell free card” after your 100th dead goose-stepper.

Top 10 Generic Video Game Bad Guys!
And if you down this bad boy you’re automatically declared Pope.

Whether it’s in historical shooters like earlier Call Of Duty games or alternate history titles like Castle Wolfenstein, Nazis used to be the go-to bad guy of the industry before zombies claimed the top spot. It seems gamers grew tired of smashing the Third Reich and demanded new bad guys to demolish. Hence the gaming world’s recent obsession with the undead or more modern adversaries like North Korea. But be honest: when you’re feeling blue, don’t you just want to break out the DOS emulator, dust off your floppy disks of the original Wolfenstein and relax to the dulcet tones of “Ack! Mein Lieben!”

No.2 Noobs, Any Online Game

This entry is unique because we’ve all experienced both sides of this: both as the aggressor and the victim. We’ve all been noobs at some point in our gaming lives. Whenever we take those first tentative steps into a brand new online world, anybody who’s been playing longer than you automatically labels the newcomer a noob. And immediately wants to kill you, for some odd reason. Raise your hand if you’ve ever “accidentally” pumped a magazine and a half into a noob team member during a Counterstrike match? Ever convinced a newbie World Of Warcraft Alliance player to attack an opposite faction NPC, only to laugh your ass off as he gets murdered by roaming Horde? We’ve all massacred our fair share of noobs. Quite possibly because their strident, pre-teen voices should never have been allowed anywhere near a microphone and they’re probably adopted anyway. Sorry, I’m projecting again…

No.1 Rats. Every. Single. RPG. Evahr!

Rats win our coveted Number 1 spot! And with good reason. What’s the first quest you’re handed in every single role playing game you’ve ever played? Kill some rats. First mob you run across when stepping foot in a massively multiplayer online game? Groups of rats. What’s hiding in the first basement of the very first house you explore? Rats! When Bioware gets around to releasing the new epilogue DLC for Mass Effect 3, what, we get to find out, will have been the real power behind the Reapers? Alien rats!

How long have rats been plaguing players? Flash back to 1979, a young game designer named Richard Garriott, who would go on to worldwide fame as Lord British, has just finished creating his first text-only RPG. And what proud tradition does he decide to initiate, you ask?

Top 10 Generic Video Game Bad Guys!
Oh, you International Space Station trip-going motherfucker!

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