Games writing has come a long way in the past couple of generations. With this comes an increased emphasis on great villains. It is easy to have a super evil bad guy that makes players want to beat the game, but it is another thing entirely to make them interesting or even sympathetic.
The villains on this list all have a notch above the rest because of their last lines. They vary in quality in other departments, but their final moments will always be lodged in players’ brains. Some of them even make people question whether they are villains at all.
10 “Better To Reign In Hell, Than Serve In Heaven” – Vladimir Lem (Max Payne 2)
Granted, this line is not a Vladimir Lem original and is taken right from the old testament, but one still has to respect his ability to cite scripture moments before his death.
Jokes aside, Max Payne 2 has an incredibly tragic ending and the game’s events were all orchestrated by this eastern European mob boss after the protagonist thought he was an ally all this time.
Decades after Solid Snake thought he killed his own father, Big Boss shows up again to wrap up the whole franchise (at least up until that point). He is not looking for a fight and instead wants to offer his son some closure to both their relationship and the strange ordeal he just went through.
After all, Snake barely knows anything about Major Zero and the other people who founded the patriots. His final words are directed at Snake, the player, the cigar in his hand, the boss, and even toward himself as a sort of reassurance that he did at least something positive after wasting so much of his life in a war with Zero.
8 “Bury Me With My Money” – Simon Greedwell (Sunset Riders)
The oldest game on the list, this boss’s last words are not profound or thought-provoking. His last words have become iconic nonetheless for just how ridiculous and comedic they are.
It has been quoted by gamers around the world and even in other games. Most recently, players can hear it from enemies in Borderlands 3. Sunset Riders just hit its 30th anniversary and is still a great side-scrolling shooter.
7 “That Actually Is Pretty Funny” – The Joker (Batman: Arkham City)
Batman catches an antidote for The Joker’s poison but accidentally drops it when the villain tries to pull it away from him. Batman says it’s funny because he would have given him the antidote because of his no-kill rule, even though the villain has caused so much suffering
As he’s dying, The Joker gives this reply, showing his true face to the end. It is a great ending for the character in this game franchise, though Mark Hammil would still voice the character in the sequel where the developers found a creative way to bring him back.
6 “Chriiiiiiiiiiiiiiis” – Albert Wesker (Resident Evil 5)
Resident Evil has never been a series known for great dialogue so it is probably for the best that Wesker keeps his final words short.
Even while burning to death in a Volcano he cannot help but try and take Chris with him. Throughout the series, he is trying to take over the world, but in these final moments, it is a personal vendetta against Chris Redfield, who has foiled his plans several times.
5 “When I’m Gone Everybody Gonna Remember My Name; Big Smoke” – Big Smoke (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)
The fact Big Smoke is more concerned with his legacy than his friends even in death shows his tragic flaw that turns him into a villain. He gladly took an opportunity for fame and money even if it meant destroying the Grove Street gang.
The fact he says this while already riddled with bullet holes adds to the drama. CJ returns to Grove Street after years of running away and helps bring back its glory, while Smoke burns it down for his own personal gain.
4 “Parting Gift From Lazarevic. Pity He Took The Pin” – Harry Flynn (Uncharted 2)
Harry Flynn is the antithesis of Nathan Drake. Instead of a heroic treasure hunter, he is greedy and his one-liners aren’t nearly as good.
This little quip he says before biting the dust feels like something from a Roger Moore-era James Bond movie. It takes a lot to still think of a pun when one is on the edge of oblivion, so he at least earns some respect for that.
3 “A Man Chooses. A Slave Obeys. OBEY” – Andrew Ryan (BioShock)
Andrew Ryan knows his time has come but he wants to go out on his own terms. Instead of letting Frank Fontaine give players the final order, it is he who says “would you kindly”, compelling the main character to beat him to death with a golf club.
It is a painful way to go, but for Andrew Ryan this is more dignified than being shot in the back at someone else’s order because it is he who is choosing to die.
2 “Be Good, My Child. Won’t You?” – Toriel (Undertale)
Toriel certainly is not a villain in the traditional sense, but she is in the way at the beginning of the game and you need to kill her to progress. At least that’s what the game wants players to think.
It plays into a major theme of Undertale and its commentary on video games. Most people’s first instinct in gaming is to inflict violence. Toriel’s last words plant the seed of this theme to be explored in the ending.
1 “Our Time Has Passed, John” – Dutch Van Der Linde (Red Dead Redemption)
Dutch does not have as developed a character in the first Red Dead Redemption, but these words help explain why he fell from grace. As the times caught up with his outlaw ways he felt increasingly trapped in a corner, growing more desperate.
The once honorable criminal became a beast, not above killing the innocent in the name of escaping the authorities or simply because he was angry. Unlike John Marston or Arthur Morgan who go out honorably, Dutch is put down like a rabid dog.
NEXT: Best Heroes Turned Villains In Gaming, Ranked
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About The Author
Jason Wojnar (489 Articles Published)
When not writing about video games and movies, Jason Wojnar is studying music and the Ukrainian language. Additionally, he writes songs and regularly gigs at open mics and events.