Most of my time on the GameFAQs message boards is spent lurking around the different system boards of the current generation. One of the most commonly discussed topics are how good a particular game is, how much better a game is than another, and what people’s favorite games are. This sometimes evolves into topics that look deeper into said games, and focus on the protagonists and antagonists.

Of course, another commonly discussed topic around these boards are which system is better, and specifically, which has the best games. Naturally, opinions differ across the different platform’s boards, and that got me thinking: how could I collect the opinions of these users and morph them together to create a definitive list of what the best games, protagonists, and antagonists are?

I decided to poll the users of these boards (I chose the Wii U board over the Wii board since it is far more active), using the following rules:

List (in their opinion) the top 5 games, the top 3 protagonists, and the top 3 antagonists of the seventh generation.

I would award 5 points to their top game, 4 points to their second, 3 points to their third, 2 points to their fourth, and 1 point to their fifth.

For protagonists/antagonists, 3 points for the top protagonist/antagonist, 2 points to their second, and 1 point to their third.

This resulted in over 90 responses, 128 nominated games, 80 nominated protagonists, and 80 nominated antagonists.

After adding the point values together, the lines were drawn and the top 10 of each category pulled away from their competition.

I will warn now that some of these entries will include minor to major spoilers. The titles will not contain spoilers beyond who is the main (or partial) antagonist of a game, but even then, that could be a minor spoiler. Read at your own risk.

Also, I took some write-ups from the three collective boards on the games (and the protagonists/antagonists there-in) that I have not played myself. If I did not write an entry, it will be indicated at the beginning of the entry.

Now, in the first part of a three part series, here are the top 10 antagonists of the seventh generation, collaboratively chosen by the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii U board:

Received 7 Points *See header for explanation*

Heavy Rain isn’t exactly an ordinary game. In fact, many don’t even consider it a game; even the developer called it “Interactive Drama.” The game features 4 different characters whom; throughout the game, become intertwined by events orchestrated by the Origami Killer.

The Origami Killer kidnaps children in the middle crowded areas, and then traps them in a sewer. Over the coming days, the heavy rain of fall fills the sewer, and the child eventually drowns. The bodies are always found in some type of wasteland, with an Origami figure in hand.

At first, it seems that the Origami Killer is killing without reason, maliciously stealing children from their parents and sentencing them to death, but through the trials of the other characters you learn the motive behind his murders and what he forces the parents to go through to win their child’s life back.

The eventual reveal is one of the more memorable moment’s of this generation as a whole, and the final confrontation is one of the more intense moments in gaming.

Received 7 Points (Won tie-breaker as a result of Mass Effect (5) receiving more points than Heavy Rain (2))

Mass Effect begins with the player stepping into Commander’s Shepard’s shoes as he is offered the chance at becoming the first human Spectre (an agent afforded extra authority throughout the galaxy). He runs a mission with a Turian Spectre that turns from dicey, to worse as Saren steps in, murdering the Turian Spectre and setting charges to blow up a human colony. This is just the beginning.

Saren plays on the loyalties of the Council (galactic government), and Shepard is forced to take matters into his own hands. As the player progresses, the veil behind Saren’s motive is slowly pulled back, only to find out that he is being controlled by a powerful “being” known as Sovereign: a Reaper.

Essentially, the Reapers are called on to wipe out all intelligent life in the galaxy via mass genocide and harvesting, turning them into husks of their former selves. I’d say that setting that kind of evil into motion earns you a spot on this list.

Received 8 Points

Throughout Skyward Sword, Link tries to prevent a hulking monster known as “the Imprisoned” from reaching the above temple, freeing his true form. Three times Link fights the monster through any means possible: launching bombs, cutting off his toes, and skydiving onto his head. As is usually the case, even your best efforts are for not in the end, as the monster’s seal is eventually broken, and he is released in his true form: Demise.

Demise is described by your companion, Fi, as “the source of all monsters.” He fits the bill too, being extremely large, with onyx colored skin, bulging muscles, and flaming red/orange hair. Oh, he also has an extremely large (and occasionally theatrical) sword, but we’ll get to that soon *hint.*

Link challenges Demise, knowing that the fate and future of Hyrule rests on his shoulders. Demise is less than amused, but accepts because he will go to any lengths to prove his own greatness. As per usual, Link conquers his foe, but Demise leaves him with a parting gift: a burning hatred so strong that it curses the princess’ (Zelda) bloodline and anyone with the courage of the hero (Link) to battle a reincarnation of that hatred until the end of days. Sound familiar?

Received 13 Points

That’s right, one game produced two of the best antagonists of this generation. Demise is a great villain in his own right, but he really on makes it in time to be there just before the curtain call. For the main portion of the game, the antagonist is Ghirahim.

Ghirahim is a member of the Demon Tribe that was led by Demise, but was left behind when the Goddess, Hylia, trapped Demise in a magical seal. Perhaps all those years of solitude caused a few bolts to get knocked lose in Ghirahim’s head, but whether that’s the case, it’s certain that he is fabulously insane.

He is prevalent throughout the game, and is constantly a thorn in Link’s side. Actually, he treats Link much more like he is a thorn in his side. Of course, his playful nature causes him to toy with Link early on while he is weak, and then by the time he is actually fed up enough to take him seriously, Link has grown strong enough to face him.

This doesn’t stop him from achieving his goal: using Zelda’s soul to resurrect Demise. This also doesn’t take anything away from his hilarity or insanity. In true fantastic Ghirahim fashion, instead of dying after his defeat at the hands of Link, he turns into a massive sword wielded by Demise.

Honestly, he is a character I can’t do true justice. He is one of the most entertaining characters of all time, and deserves his place on this list.

Received 16 points

The Illusive Man is the leader of Cerberus, a group that’s primary goal is human supremacy. The player doesn’t have the best impression of Cerberus from the first Mass Effect, due to many unethical experiments that are broken up throughout the game. Then Commander Shepard finds himself in a tough position in the second installment. He has the Illusive Man to thank for his life (and freedom), and yet he is still concerned of his motives.

The Illusive Man helps Shepard build a fantastic team of diverse specialists, and leads the player to believe his goal is to help Shepard stop the Reapers, the ever-impending threat on the universe’s intelligent life. As the game progresses, it becomes clear that the Illusive Man is willing to sacrifice ethics and morality for the sake of progress.

By the time the third game rolls around, the Illusive Man’s agenda is in full swing, and he is going as far to stop Alliance (Earth’s galactic military) missions to help raise the chance of Reaper defeat. He instead becomes obsessed with the idea that the only way to save the galaxy is for humans to control the Reapers, and become the race to end all races. In the end, his desire for power leads to the loss of countless lives, and he almost jeopardizes the survival of all intelligent life in the universe.

“Salvation comes with a cost. Judge us not by our methods, but by what we seek to accomplish.” He is a true visionary that lost sight of the line between right and wrong. For the Illusive Man, forwarding the supremacy of the human race is worth any cost, even the lives of millions within that group.

Received 17 Points

When I think of Andrew Ryan, two things come to mind: control and ownership. As a man whose moral values were based on the belief the “parasites” would try to take ownership of things they didn’t own by force, and that a man could only truly gain ownership through earning that right. He was so steadfast in this belief, he once burned down a forest he owned when the government tried to seize the land to build a park. After America bombed Hiroshima, his disgust became so great, he built his own underwater empire known as Rapture.

While Rapture thrives for a time, it eventually degrades into a slum after a civil war is waged due to plasmids, injected chemicals that grant superhuman ability. This turns Rapture into a slum, much to the distaste of Ryan. When the player enters Rapture, he is befriended by Atlas, and Ryan appears to be as evil as they come when he destroys the bathysphere containing Atlas’ family.

The player is then aggressive in his pursuit of Ryan, eventually culminating in one of the moments in gaming history. Ryan, knowing that his empire has crumbled and he has nothing left, confronts the player. Ryan then contemplates what makes a man. He concludes that man chooses, lending to his idea that control is important in how people are defined.. He goes on to reveal that you are have been only a puppet, with all of your actions being pulled by the strings in Atlas’ hands. Then, to test what the player is made of, he gives you a golf club, and asks “would you kindly kill.” The player strikes Ryan down while he grimaces at the lack of control the player has over his own actions. “A man chooses. A slave obeys.”

Received 21 points

Written By: Lagoud

One of the things that always stood out in my mind when it came to Ocelot was the fact that through each entry in the series he always remained a mystery. Each game that had him appear made him seem like he had his own agenda and even when you were close to the end and thought you had him figured out, he'd throw you a massive curve-ball just to remind you that you truly knew nothing about him, or who he was working for.

He is without a doubt the most dedicated individual I've seen in a game. When he has a goal, he lets nothing stand in his way. He's intelligent, calculating, cold, and determined. At the same time he has a charismatic personality that makes it to where you can't help but like him as much (if not more) than you hate him.

He's an antagonist that shows that not all antagonists have to be one dimensional, mustache twirling villains who are being evil just because they have nothing better to do.

Received 25 Points

Written By: SlashReturns

Albert Wesker easily deserves the title of "One of the best antagonists of this generation" because he is an iconic villain, to Resident Evil players and non-RE players alike.

His story is well developed, dating back to him losing his humanity in the original game, while gaining the ability to survive during an injection to survive the Tyrant's attack. He later returns as an agent of Tricell against Umbrella, in which he was a double-agent for, fights Chris and Alexia, and nearly kills Chris' younger sister Claire just to torment him. He was a co-conspirator behind the events of RE4, giving orders to Ada Wong and killing off Sergei Vladimir, a high rank Umbrella officer.

During RE5 he not only orchestrated the events of the game, which includes taking over the mind of Chris' previous partner Jill and forcing them to fight, but was almost successful in his plan of Complete Global Saturation.

Wesker will forever be an iconic villain in gaming history as one of the most evil manipulators of all time.

Received 33 Points

The Joker, already known as one of the best antagonists of all time in many different forms of media, finally made a name for himself in video games. He was a great choice as the main antagonist for Batman in the two Arkham games, because he plays perfectly off of Batman’s values.

Batman would like to restore order to Gotham, keeping all the criminals locked up and the crazies in the Asylum. The Joker wants to create mayhem and anarchy, in the most amusing way possible. Due to this contrast, Batman and Joker are in a constant battle of wits in which Batman tries to use his detective skills and gadgets to overcome the Joker’s tricks. They both get the best of each other at times, but Joker sure knows how to put Bats in tough spot.

Eventually, his joking ways lead to him becoming poisoned. Of course, he takes Batman along for the ride, and calls him constantly dogging him like a clingy ex, while trying to get into Batman’s head with comments that suggest the Joker is the only thing that Batman can truly rely on.

In some ways, this is true, and even though Batman would never openly confess to it, he wants badly to “fix” the Joker. This only amuses him even more. In the end, the Joker’s constant games and charades lead to a final confrontation. He causes Batman to lose the only cure for his ailment, even though if he hadn’t tried to toy with Batman further, he would’ve cured him. Joker finds it funny, appropriately laughing with his final breath, as he dies deep below a theater.

Truly one of the most complex characters out there, the Joker is entertaining to watch from start to finish, and his constant tricks and games lead to some of the more amusing sequences between any hero and villain this generation

Received 50 Points

GLaDOS really is the best antagonist of this generation, and it wasn’t even close. The depth of the character, the clever, humorous dialogue she consistently delivers, her underlying tone of evil while trying to sound positive, and her growth as a character over the two Portal games cement her as one of the best antagonists ever.

I really can’t do justice to her character. I mean, I could probably just fill in the rest of this section with quotes from her and it would be better than anything I could write:

“Oh, I’m sorry, I’m still cleaning out the test chambers. So sometimes there’s still trash in them. Standing around, smelling, and being useless.”

After completing the test chamber:

“Remember before when I was talking about smelly garbage standing around being useless. That was a metaphor. I was actually talking about you, and I’m sorry. You didn’t react at the time, so I was worried it sailed right over your head. Which would have made this apology seem insane. That’s why I had to call you garbage a second time right now.”

Really though, GLaDOS has many qualities that make her great, but rather than talking about her further, celebrate the end of this list by playing some Portal and reminisce on times where there were promises of cake and grief counseling at the end of all those testing chambers.

Ah, it's nice to go through some of the great antagonists we've been blessed to have this generation. We've had strong personalities, devilish actions, fantastic motives, tragic ends, and more. Keep in mind too that 70 others were nominated for this list. I'm sure there could be plenty more as well. It really has been a great generation of games. Perhaps the best, but that's a topic for a different time.

Tune in soon for the second part in the series: The Top 10 Protagonists of The Seventh Generation, Collaboratively Chosen by the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii U Board

Time for some honorable mentions:

Honorable Mentions:

Fawful (7)
Caius (6)
Wheatley (5)
Loghain (5)
Megatron (5)

I would also like to thank the following people:

and everyone who participated in the voting. Thanks for making this possible!

List by RedBullWings (09/12/2012)

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