Best Villains in Fighting Games – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

Best Villains in Fighting Games

Fighting games are teeming with an abundance of antagonists. These wicked pugilists derive great pleasure from tormenting their adversaries and harbor grandiose schemes. Often, these nefarious characters have clashed not only with the main protagonists of their respective games, but also with the collective force of all fighters aiming to overthrow them. From plotting world domination and devising super weapons to simply reveling in chaos, these villains must be stopped at any cost. However, accomplishing this task is easier said than done, as they possess formidable combat skills. So, who are the crème de la crème of fighting game villains?

8. I-No (Guilty Gear)
I-No, also known as the Hard Rock Witch, is an integral part of the Guilty Gear franchise. She takes delight in making life miserable for humanity, which she views as inferior. With her Duesenberg Starplayer II electric guitar and mastery of magic, I-No unleashes devastating sonic attacks while swiftly traversing the battlefield. Her rushdown tactics overwhelm opponents, employing sneaky overheads and projectiles to immobilize them before executing her combos.

7. Jedah Dohma (Darkstalkers)
The Darkstalkers/Vampire Savior games feature a plethora of monstrous and supernatural fighters. Amidst this terrifying roster, Jedah Dohma stands out as a truly malevolent villain. As the youngest of the Makai High Nobles, a race of ruling demons, Jedah constantly seeks power by consuming souls. He employs his blood and wings to assault enemies, transforming them into a variety of deadly weapons. His ultimate goal is to merge all realms into a conflict-free utopia, but his method involves absorbing all souls into himself until he alone remains.

6. Hazama (BlazBlue)
One of the most cunning tactics employed by villains is to initially appear non-threatening to their opponents, only to strike at the precise moment when their plans align. Hazama perfectly embodies this strategy. Concealed beneath his calm demeanor lies a manipulative snake with a penchant for unspeakable cruelty. Hazama, a sociopath, relishes in physically and mentally torturing his enemies. His Snake Pair: Ouroboros spectral steel hooks are unleashed upon his hapless victims, allowing him to indulge his sadistic desires.

5. Nightmare (Soul Calibur)
The Soul Calibur games boast a multitude of villains, including the undead pirate Cervantes and the soul-devouring Soul Edge weapon. However, the title of the game’s ultimate villain undoubtedly belongs to Nightmare. This corrupted form of Siegfried wields the infamous Soul Edge in its greatsword variant. Dressed in blue armor with a demonic right arm sporting three overgrown digits and sharp claws, Nightmare employs an aggressive and ruthless playstyle. He relentlessly absorbs souls for Soul Edge and seeks to dominate and subjugate the world.

4. Geese Howard (Fatal Fury)
Most fighting game villains are designed to embody the archetypal “big bad guy” of their respective titles. Geese Howard fits this mold perfectly as the main antagonist in the Fatal Fury games. Geese, the leader of a crime syndicate, is not only a formidable fighter but also notorious for his defensive and counterattacking prowess. His repertoire includes moves such as Reppuken, Deadly Rave, Shinkuu Nage grab, and various Atemi counter stances. Going up against Geese can be immensely frustrating, especially when his counters consistently foil your attacks. Adding insult to injury, in Tekken 7, if he concludes his combo with the Raimei Gouha Nage grab, he will taunt his opponent with phrases like “pathetic” and “maggot”!

3. Heihachi Mishima (Tekken)
The Tekken series features a multitude of memorable fighters, but none can match the iconic status of the Mishima family. While all four male members have had their turn as the primary antagonist in various Tekken titles, Heihachi Mishima reigns supreme as the ultimate villain. As the head of the Mishima Zaibatsu and the mastermind behind the King of Iron Fist Tournaments, Heihachi’s relationships with his son, Kazuya, and grandson, Jin, revolve around the mysterious Devil Gene. Heihachi has gone to great lengths to suppress the power of the Devil Gene, even resorting to killing Kazuya. Winning any awards for fatherhood is of no concern to Heihachi; he seeks ultimate power and will stop at nothing to attain it.

2. M. Bison (Street Fighter)
When it comes to evil, maniacal dictators, M. Bison not only reigns as the de facto villain but also stands out as one of the most iconic characters in the Street Fighter universe. Leading the crime syndicate known as Shadaloo, M. Bison harnesses the dreaded Psycho Power, which he merges seamlessly with his vicious attacks. His insidious actions have earned him the ire of numerous members of the Street Fighter roster. Chun-Li seeks revenge for her father’s death at the hands of M. Bison, while Guile pursues him for killing his best friend, Charlie Nash. Even Ryu grows weary of M. Bison’s repeated attempts to capture and manipulate him with Psycho Power. With so many determined adversaries, M. Bison truly embodies the detestable persona of a fighting game villain who deserves his comeuppance.

1. Shao Kahn (Mortal Kombat)
In the realm of fighting games, Shao Kahn, the tyrannical former emperor of Outworld, stands tall as the ultimate villain. He serves as the boss whom even Shang Tsung, the final boss of the first Mortal Kombat game, answers to. Shao Kahn’s immense power, coupled with his mastery of arcane knowledge, allows him to gain an advantage over his adversaries and triumph over anyone who dares to oppose his conquest. His devastating shoulder tackle, impervious to enemy attacks, strikes fear into the hearts of his opponents. Armed with his trusty maul, which he can wield to pummel his foes, and his iconic taunts, Shao Kahn has laid waste to countless realms, demonstrating his ruthlessness and desire for dominion. However, his plans for ruling the Earth Realm have been repeatedly thwarted by formidable fighters such as Liu Kang and Raiden, whom he considers his most formidable rivals.

In the vast realm of fighting games, these villains rise above the rest, captivating players with their wickedness and formidable skills. They embody the essence of a true fighting game villain, instilling fear and challenging the might of the heroes who dare to face them.


Fighting games have no shortage of villains. These nefarious bunch of pugilists usually take pleasure in tormenting their opponents and have bigger plans up their sleeves. Oftentimes, these vile characters have crossed more than just the protagonists in their respective games on their way to seeing that their plans are fulfilled, and are the main target of all fighters to topple.

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From planning world domination, and concocting super weapons, to just seeing the world burn, these villains must be stopped at all costs. But that’s easier said than done since they can stand toe-to-toe with the best fighters. But who are the best fighting game villains?

8 I-No (Guilty Gear)

I-No preparing to fight

Also known as the Hard Rock Witch, I-No is a staple in the Guilty Gear franchise who revels in making life miserable for humanity which she sees as beneath her. I-No has her agenda, and she is known to use her femininity to get what she wants: if she encounters irksome Gears who get in her way, she is more than able to throw down and give them a beating.

With her Duesenberg Starplayer II electric guitar and her control of magic, I-No can unleash devastating sonic attacks while dashing around the map. She is notorious for her rushdowns to overwhelm opponents: she has tricky overheads and projectiles to lock her opponent in place as she goes to unleash her combos.

7 Jedah Dohma (Darkstalkers)

Jedah about to unleash his super move

The Darkstalkers / Vampire Savior games are known for their monster and supernatural-based fighters. In a roster filled with scary monsters, it takes a lot to stand out, and Jedah Dohma is bad enough of a villain to do so.

Jedah is the youngest of the Makai High Nobles, a race of demons who rule over the Demon realm. He is constantly seeking power and being a shinigami, his power is reliant on how many souls he has consumed. He uses his blood and wings to attack enemies, usually transforming them into all manner of blades, scythes, and claws.

His goal is to assimilate all realms into one utopia where there is no conflict. While this sounds noble, take note that he intends to rule that world by absorbing all the souls into himself until he is the only one left.

6 Hazama (BlazBlue)

Hazama showing his chest

One of the most devious acts villains employ is to act like a non-threat to the other fighters and strike at the exact moment when their plan has fallen according to their schemes. Hazama perfectly fits this mold: behind his calm and quiet demeanor hides a manipulative snake that holds unspeakable cruelty.

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Hazama is a sociopath who relishes physically and mentally torturing his enemies. He always wants to push his sociopathic tendencies to the limit whenever he fights, and once he unleashes his Snake Pair: Ouroboros spectral steel hooks on his hapless victims, it’s only a matter of time until he satisfies his urges, even for a moment.

5 Nightmare (Soul Calibur)

Nightmare about to engage his enemy

The Soul Calibur games have their fair share of villains: from the undead pirate Cervantes to the soul-sucking Soul Edge weapon. But the nod for the game’s best villain has to be Nightmare. The corrupted version of Siegfried has come a long way since his introduction to the Soul Edge game decades ago.

Nightmare is the humanoid form of Soul Edge, who happens to wield the infamous weapon in a greatsword variant. He is clad in blue armor and has his signature right arm malformed into a demonic appendage that has three overgrown digits and claws.

His playstyle is hyper-aggressive and ruthless: he stops at nothing to absorb as many souls for Soul Edge and has shown his desire to subjugate and conquer the world.

4 Geese Howard (Fatal Fury)

Geese Howard preparing to fight

Most fighting game villains are designed to look like the big bad guy in their respective titles. Geese Howard is one such fighting game boss: he is the main villain in the Fatal Fury games who killed the father of Terry and Andy Bogart. Geese heads a crime syndicate and is a more than capable fighter notorious for his defense and counterattack game. He is known for his Reppuken and Deadly Rave moves along with his Shinkuu Nage grab as well as his various Atemi counter stances.

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Fighting Geese is extremely frustrating, especially if players keep getting countered: once he gets an opening, he will deal massive damage. If that’s not enough, in Tekken 7if he finishes his combo with his Raimei Gouha Nage grab, he’ll mock his opponent with phrases like “pathetic” or “maggot”!

3 Heihachi Mishima (Tekken)

Heihachi Mishima

The Tekken series has a slew of memorable fighters, but none are as iconic as the Mishima family. All four male members have seen their time as the big antagonist in various Tekken titles, but Heihachi Mishima gets the top spot as the best villain. He is the head of the Mishima Zaibatsu and is the one responsible for the King of Iron Fist Tournaments. Heihachi’s relationship with his son and grandson, Kazuya and Jin, respectively, revolves around the Devil Gene.

Heihachi did all he could to quell the Devil Gene since he couldn’t gain power for himself, even if it meant killing Kazuya. He might not win any Dad of the Year awards, but Heihachi couldn’t care less: he seeks ultimate power, and if he can’t get it, he’ll make sure no one will.

2 M. Bison (Street Fighter)

M.Bison grinning at his enemy

As far as evil, maniacal dictators are concerned, M. Bison is not only the de facto villain but one of the best characters in Street Fighter. He commands his crime syndicate called Shadaloo and possesses the dreaded Psycho Power which he incorporates with his vicious attacks.

M. Bison seeks world domination and harnesses the Psycho Power. His nefarious deeds have led a ton of the Street Fighter roster to despise him: Chun-Li wants to avenge his father who died at the hands of M. Bison; Guile is after him for killing his best friend, Charlie Nash; even Ryu has had it with him since he keeps trying to capture and brainwash him with Psycho Power to become M. Bison’s ally.

With so many after his head, M. Bison is truly a detestable fighting game villain who needs to get his comeuppance sooner or later.

1 Shao Kahn (Mortal Kombat)

Shao Kahn sitting on his throne

The tyrannical former emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn takes the top spot for the best villain in fighting games. He is the boss that Shang Tsung, the final boss in the first Mortal Kombat game, answers to.

Shao Kahn is an extremely powerful fighter who uses his strength and arcane knowledge to get an advantage and defeat anyone who stands in his way of conquest. He is notorious for his devastating shoulder tackle that goes through most enemy attacks, his trusty maul that he can throw and bludgeon his opponents with, as well as his iconic taunts while beating up enemies.

He has laid waste to many realms thanks to his army and ruthlessness to conquer. That said, his plans of ruling the Earth Realm have been thwarted by the likes of Liu Kang and Raiden, whom he considers to be his biggest rivals.

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