10 Games Where The Villain’s And Antagonist’s Plan Actually Made Sense

So many of the games we played are always populated by the idea of heroes and villains, protagonists and antagonists. The glue that holds a story together and gives a reason to push forward. Those dynamics can be electric, more important, and fulfilling than any of the stories in-between.

But sometimes, the villain might be right. Maybe what they want to do, ultimately, isn't actually a good thing. They might want to destroy the world! But other times, they plan so far and with such good intent in their own mind, that you can't help but think "that kinda makes sense actually, yeah".

10 Mass Effect 2 – The Illusive Man

Mass Effect is filled with plenty of memorable villains, from Saren and Sovereign, to the collectors and the collective force of the Reapers. But none made an impression quite like The Illusive Man. Though Cerberus is mentioned as a pro-human terrorist group in the original, you're brought face-to-face in the sequel.

Thing is, the Illusive Man is racist. He is bad. But also, he very openly states he's using Shepard as a symbol to unite humanity against the Reapers, and using his own money to fund Shepard. He even wants to take Reaper tech to fight them, which in the third game is actually of benefit. He's awful, with a selfish end goal. But at the same time… his plan worked.

9 Pokemon – Cyrus

The Pokemon series is well-known for its various villainous teams, from the original Team Rocket to the latest Team Yell. It can be literal criminal organizations to just football fans, but their leaders are usually someone with a stronger ideal at heart, maybe more than you'd expect from their typically goofy subordinates.

Take for example Cyrus of Team Galactic. He grew up as something of an asocial child, failing to live up to his parent's expectations, and ultimately deciding that emotions only had the potential to breed strife in the world. So he wanted to use Palkia and Dialga to create a world without them. It's an extreme jump to make, but with good intent and logical reasoning.

8 Dark Souls – Gwyn

Taking the world by storm upon its release, Dark Souls has altered the games industry, both in terms of combat, but also in writing. Instead of using heavy-handed cutscenes and dialogue to progress its story and world, Dark Souls relies on intuition, little hints left throughout the world for you to pick up on.

From the beginning, you're told of Gwyn, the man who defeated the dragons and established a world of fire, a fire that has since been dwindling away. The only direct thing you're told in the game is to defeat Gwyn. But when you finally reach him, he's just a hollowed man clinging to the idea that the sputtering flame is the only thing keeping the world alive. And for the longest time, it was.

7 Metal Gear Solid 3 – The Boss

Plenty is said about the Metal Gear series. Not only was it one of the first stealth games of its style, but it's also one of the rare games that is so open with its politics, and is knowledgeable about them too. So few get the opportunity to write in the way Kojima does, but at least he does it well.

Politics are often seen as a gray area, though plenty of black-and-white exists. But The Boss is a great example. She wants a world without borders, a place where people exist on their own merit, not some patriotic duty. It's an ideal echoed across the whole series. It wouldn't have been perfect, but it was a step she was wholeheartedly committed to.

6 Fire Emblem Three Houses – Edelgard

The Fire Emblem series has had a funny run, almost being canceled by Nintendo before the success of Awakening. But they've always played with funny ways of telling stories, be it through an inserted character, multiple protagonists, or even just several routes.

Three Houses had its three main routes. The story-telling has its pitfalls as a result, but it offers unique perspectives. For example, Edelgard. To everyone, she is the villain but herself. However, her goal is to unite Fodlan, to have all its people as one to make a united front against Those Who Slither In The Dark. And for as awful as her methods are, she does succeed.

5 Final Fantasy 7 – Sephiroth

In the grand pantheon of video games villains, Final Fantasy will be featured plenty of times for the vast amount of villains it's had, many of them up with the all-time greats. Final Fantasy 7 especially is viewed as one of the greatest games and is home to one of gaming's most iconic villains, Sephiroth.

Sephiroth is interesting to classify, as though he's the antagonist, he's not strictly a villain. He was created as a weapon by Shinra, and is finally going his own path. Of course, his plan is to conjoin with the lifestream and fulfill his genetic mother Jenova's wishes to destroy the planet. But he's technically doing it to stop Shinra just like you.

4 Hades – Lord Hades

Supergiant has proven plenty of times now they know how to write a good game and tie it back into the gameplay. And Hades is another great example: every death is just another step forward in the story, never backward. Even the antagonists' ideas change as the story progresses, but they remain antagonists.

Lord Hades himself. He comes off as abrupt and uncaring, with secrets he refuses to share. He seems simply evil. But it was all to protect his family. He loved his wife, though she was forced on him by Zeus, and fearful of the family fallout that would ensue, hid her away for everyone's safety. It wasn't the best solution, but he truly tried his best to keep Persephone safe.

3 Destiny – Savathûn

Bungie has always made games where the story extends beyond what is told to you. Halo has great villains and antagonists, from the Arbiter to the leaders of the Covenant and the Flood. This great writing carries over to Destiny, but much of it is bubbling away in the lore long before it comes to the fore.

Savathûn is a character who's been planning from the very beginning, and she's had an eternity to plan. Light and Dark are shown as good and evil, two opposing forces. Savathûn decided they are not. Her inherent power of dark mixed with light has created new enemies and proven that the world is not so black and white after all.

2 Kingdom Hearts – Xehanort

There is so, so much that can be said about Kingdom Hearts. The simple existence of Mickey Mouse interacting with Cloud Strife is enough to give you whiplash. And Kingdom Hearts is famed for its convoluted writing, and infamously everywhere antagonist, Xehanort.

It's hard to say if Xehanort's story will ever be fully over, but his intent with the world can be understood. Light and Dark exist as two opposing powers. Not good and evil inherently, just forces that need to be kept in balance. He seeks Kingdom Hearts to reset the world, and give it back that balance, using his own Darkness to do so. And though beaten, it can't be denied he spoke the truth.

1 Metal Gear Rising – Senator Armstrong

Metal Gear again. Being a rare breed of political games, it has such a host of wild characters to choose from, too many situated just a little too close to reality for comfort. And though Rising's story isn't written by Kojima, its writing is still top-notch. And by god, if Senator Armstrong isn't one of the best villains out there.

Originally positioned as a US Senator obsessed with war and power to line his pockets, Armstrong later shows himself to hate the US and much of the world's ideals. To hell with it, and the idea of borders. Let everyone fight for themselves and claim their own life without law. It's an awful world to live in, but one he'd have been the king of.

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