As any gamer will tell you, characters are very important in video games, and without some interesting characters in every game, it wouldn’t make very much sense at all. Whether the beloved ones or the most hated video game characters.
Lara Croft, Mario, Commander Shepard, Nathan Drake, Arthur Morgan, Joel, and Ellie… There is no shortage of beloved and iconic characters in video games that have made their way into the annals of pop culture, and many of them have exceptional sympathy and popularity. We play as them, care about them, and want them to succeed because they’re instantly engaging and have enough appeal to launch franchise power. They are the heroes we live vicariously through as they face increasingly overwhelming odds and heinous foes.
Inevitably, on the other side of the coin, where annoying characters who deserve to be despised ruin what could have been great video games. Sometimes a character is so unbearably annoying that their mere presence is unbearable. Or perhaps they may be an enemy that is so infuriatingly impossible to beat that you lose confidence and begin to second-guess your life choices. Of course, it may be as easy as bad characterization or writing. Unfortunately, the number of hateable characters in video games has no bounds, and while each player will certainly have their favorites, but there is unquestionably a Hall Of Hate. These are the worst of the worst, the ones you can’t help but hate with all your might, these are the most heinous, gross, and just plain detestable video game characters of all time.
This list is created based on my own opinion, and if you have your own most-hated group of characters you can mention them in the comments. For this one and only time, we exceptionally encourage you to hate, but only virtual heroes!
18. General Shepherd – CoD: Modern Warfare 2
General Shepherd is a true soldier, commanding the Marines, Rangers, and the infamous Task Force 141 strike group. In Modern Warfare, he directs all of Captain Price’s, Soap’s, and the rest of the gang’s operations. He participated in a number of wars before being named Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Forces after Russia invaded the United States.
Unfortunately, he got tired of being a good soldier and went rogue. Shepherd started a war between Russia and the U.S, and created his own private army “Shadow Company”, and did everything he could to portray himself as a national hero regardless of the cost and sacrifice of others and prolonged the war in the name of private revenge. The general’s controversial career was ended by an accurate knife throw to the eye.
17. Preston Garvey – Fallout 4
We are given a quest to explore a specific town shortly after leaving Vault 111 at the start of Fallout 4 gameplay. There, we encounter a Minutemen faction that offers us more missions, and one of their representatives is Preston Garvey. He is typically a positive character who stays away from violence. Preston is fascinated with helping the settlers, and the tasks he assigns are all for them. Preston’s missions got out of hand for the game makers, and he soon became an internet meme.
Something that was originally intended to be a gameplay enhancement for an RPG has become a real curse in this game. This is because Preston Garvey’s quests were, for the most part, randomly generated and began to outright flood players, proving to be too repetitive with the now infamous dialogue formula: “Another settlement needs our help.” The constant repeating of the same mission was just annoying and boring. Players began asking on forums: “Will Preston ever shut up? The number of memes making fun of this NPC’s words became the subject of an article on Kotaku, and a patch disabling Garvey’s quests quickly appeared in the mod section. The Internet simultaneously hated and loved Preston.
16. Ashley Graham – Resident Evil 4
Is it wrong to dislike a video game character whose most egregious crime is being useless? Perhaps that’s a topic for another time, but the fans of Resident Evil 4 have grown to curse the name Ashley Graham, daughter of the United States’ President. After being abducted by monstrous religious fanatics, President John F. Kennedy appoints Leon S. Kennedy to find and bring her back.
We’ve all seen well that goes. From the moment Leon discovers Ashley, she becomes a liability. Her most significant ability is to do nothing and stay out of the way. That would be perfect if she didn’t have a habit of getting separated, requiring Leon to go out of his way again and again to save her.
15. ZEKE (INFAMOUS)
It could be argued that the inFamous series is littered with universally despised titles (or at the very least divisive). Still, Zeke is a prime example of a character who successfully turns things around for himself. In inFamous 1, he’s an annoying, petty, lazy nuisance, and if you’ve only played the first game in the series, you’d be forgiven for not caring too much about him. Thanks to some proper character development, Zeke develops into a much more sympathetic character over time, and while there are still a lot of fans of the series who aren’t crazy about him, we believe he deserves far more love than he gets.
14. Duke Nukem
Once upon a time, Duke Nukem was a much-loved and cherished video game icon. He was the ultimate embodiment of hyper-masculinity, and his unrestrained machismo and raunchy attitude attracted a large following for a time.
However, after a long period of silence, Duke Nukem Forever was released to little fanfare. While most gamers had moved on, Duke Nukem had not, resulting in a character who, in retrospect, offers almost nothing in the way of substance or humor. Whether or not Duke Nukem appeals to your sensibilities, the fact remains that he deserves to be despised: his attitude and quips are those of an immature 12-year-old boy. In a world where every statement and belief is scrutinized by those waiting to be offended, Duke Nukem is practically a lamb to the slaughter. It’s no wonder his franchise is finished barring some unforeseen resurrection.
13. Edgar Ross – Red Dead Redemption
It’s not immediately clear at the beginning of Red Dead Redemption that Edgar Ross will be the character you will end up despising the most. The game begins with our hero, John Marston, riding off on Ross’s orders to kill an old gang member. But As the game progresses and Edgar Ross continues to extend the deal, it gradually becomes clear that he is the true villain, culminating in a betrayal that kills John despite his keeping his end of the bargain.
Edgar Ross is everything that the public fears the government to be: ruthless, cold, calculating, and, of course, a huge hypocrite. Ross uses his power to force others, including John, to do his will, and he does so without showing any remorse. He is an utterly amoral agent of an increasingly encroaching government in the early twentieth century.
Ross’s ruthless killing of John at the end of Red Dead Redemption sent many players’ blood to a boil with no doubt, marking him as enemy #1. Thankfully, the game ends properly on an epilogue that lets you avenge John’s death by his own son Jack. It’s truly a satisfying moment that only reinforces just how much you came to hate this man by the end.
12. Teemo – League of Legends
Teemo is a tiny Yorld mammal that can be found in Runeterra, a universe from the League of Legends. It has the appearance of a cute raccoon or hamster. He’s a scout who’s been sent to keep an eye on the enemy from afar. He has the ability to go unnoticed, blind others, and act quickly. Is it even possible to like him just a smidgeon? Or do we absolutely hate him?
To be honest, I’ve never played League of Legends, I don’t know what it’s all about, and whenever I try to read anything about it all I come across are texts full of strange dialects. Therefore, in this case, I am giving the floor to a true expert.
11. ROMAN BELLIC (GRAND THEFT AUTO 4)
A prime example of a character who isn’t particularly irritating but gained a bad rep as a result of a meme. Roman Bellic is a bowling fanatic who wishes to bowl all of the time, and will go to any length to convince you to join him. It makes no difference what Niko is doing- he could be in the middle of a high-speed police chase, a fierce firefight, or a social interaction with someone else. It doesn’t matter, Roman Bellic will call him and invite him to go bowling with him. And, yes, it can be annoying. But all he wants is to spend time with his cousin. What’s all the fuss about that? And who doesn’t enjoy bowling?
10. Dog – Duck Hunt
The Duck Hunt Dog is widely regarded as one of the first truly hated video game characters. On the surface, he seems to live up to man’s best friend’s standards. He jumps right in and gladly catches any ducks you drop, assisting you in your goal of slaughtering as many innocent ducks as possible. That’s some good old-fashioned family fun.
But when you fail, he becomes intolerable. Missing the targets brings out the worst in him, like a trigger-happy middle manager. Duck Hunt Dog seems to exist solely to make fun of your ineptness at the moment. It’s made worse by the fact that he’s meant to be on your side.
9. Shao Kahn – Mortal Kombat
Shao Kahn is one of the most well-known and recognizable characters in the Mortal Kombat series. This legendary villain rules Outworld and spends the first three games attempting to conquer Earthrealm through the Mortal Kombat tournament. It’s a miracle he failed because Shao Kahn has to be one of the most challenging and difficult bosses in any video game ever made.
This iconic villain was conceived in a time when video games were designed to be as punishing as possible as a means to tempt gamers into dumping countless quarters into arcade machines. You can spend hours fighting this guy and get beaten every time. It’s enough to make you punch a hole in the nearest wall.
8. Frank Tenpenny – GTA: San Andreas
Frank Tenpenny is a Los Santos police officer and member of the unique organization C.R.A.S.H., formed to combat street gangs. Samuel L. Jackson plays his voice. Tenpenny is a crooked cop and a sadistic sociopath. He is easily enraged and loves manipulating and inflicting pain on others.
Instead of upholding the law, Frank collaborates with the Ballas gang. He causes the city to become overrun with drugs in order to make as much money as possible. In exchange for complete obedience, he threatens to frame the main character for the murder of a police officer. In many rankings, Tenpenny is cited as one of the most interesting and distinct antagonists in gaming history.
7. The Catalyst – Mass Effect
The Catalyst is the real mastermind behind the Reaper invasion and harvesting of all advanced biological life in the galaxy, as revealed at the end of Mass Effect 3. After being forced to choose which direction the galaxy will follow in the future, Commander Shepard has a brief conversation with the enigmatic A.I. after reaching the Citadel’s summit.
Has there ever been a character in a video game more hated than The Catalyst? His sudden appearance in the last 5 minutes of Mass Effect 3 and the resulting conclusion created a nerd outrage of epic proportions. Many consider his reveal as the moment the Mass Effect series collapsed within itself, causing many fans to cry out in despair. There are many reasons people hate the Catalyst: his presence creates plot holes and contradicts so much of the intricate lore that was established beforehand, while his philosophical musings and circular arguments make little sense.
6. The Calypso Twins – Borderlands 3
The main antagonists in Borderlands 3 are Troy and Tyreen Calypso. They are Sirens, which means they have magical abilities and lead the cult of Children of the Vault, for which they should be praised; and they managed to bring together many groups of bandits plundering the wastelands of this world under one banner.
Troy and Tyreen enjoy being loud and in the spotlight, and they are obsessed with streaming and hating others. The Calypso Twins were designed to rival the charisma of Handsome Jack, the antagonist from the previous game, but did the authors succeed? Troy and Tyreen are unusual characters, but the mere mention of them irritates players.
Troy and Tyreen Calypso are primarily annoying cause of their demeanor. They are loud, shout at each other, interrupt each other, and generally say nothing of great wisdom. They don’t seem very scary as antagonists, and their lines were intentionally very badly written. We want to get rid of them out of impatience, not to save the world.
5. Denise Clinton – GTA 5
Denise Clinton makes an appearance as a supporting character in GTA V. She is Franklin’s aunt, one of the main characters, and she is a modern feminist who is obsessed with men, sex, yoga, and various strange exercises. She lives in Los Santos’ Strawberry neighborhood and initially shares a house with Clinton. She’s a generally harmless character, as we mostly see her in cutscenes, so why does the player despise her?
Denise embodies the stereotypical “grumpy aunt,” primarily by constantly complaining and criticizing Franklin. She accuses him of lacking ambition, encourages him to leave, and, when he finally does, blocks access to Franklin’s house still shares. Her odd habit of “spirit walks” or making her home a feminist club can indeed be annoying to the person living with her, but it must be said that in the game itself it is not that noticeable. Denise can just be disliked occasionally – from cutscene to cutscene.
4. TOM NOOK (ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW HORIZONS)
Over time, the loan shark-turned-ruthless businessman (businessraccoon?) Tom Nook has enraged many Animal Crossing fans. Why wouldn’t people hate him if he keeps dragging you into big loans and burdening you with backbreaking jobs, either directly or indirectly? When you think about it, he’s pretty lenient with his loans. He never sets deadlines and never solicits interest, he is the Animal Crossing community’s backbone. What’s not to like about that?
3. Abby Anderson – The Last of Us 2
Abby Anderson is a character introduced in The Last of Us 2. Because technically Abby is both and one of the characters we come to control, the authors used a relatively rare patent of combining the antagonist and protagonist roles. As we can notice in the flashbacks in “two,” Abby has already appeared during the events of the first part. As the Fireflies’ chief surgeon, Jerry decided that Ellie had to be sacrificed to develop a vaccine against the rampant plague. And of course, this didn’t happen thanks to Joel’s courageous intervention – to him, Ellie’s life was more important than anything else. Killing the surgeon was a crime of passion, leading to various consequences in the sequel and still sparks debate today.
Abby’s character provoked the question, “Did Micah Bell just stop being the most hated person in video games?” The reason is clear – Abby killed one of the most loved and admired characters in gaming history. And she did that with premeditation! With the savage delight and cruelty which we had to watch minute by minute. She did it in a far worse and more memorable way than the crude Micah did with Arthur. Nevertheless, the answer to the question posed earlier is not so obvious.
Naughty Dog left us at a loss, and made us play Abby’s role and, more importantly, learn about her motives. And that turned out to be generally quite justifiable. Abby’s situation was not seriously different from Ellie’s when she began her main mission in the second part of the game. Two different girls, but the same determination for revenge and good reasons for it. So is it legitimate to cheer for one and stigmatize the other? After learning of Abby’s fate in the game, opinions are still divided today.
This is definitely very much influenced by the fact that, unlike Joel, Jerry – Abby’s father – is almost completely indifferent to us. We haven’t had as long a time to get to know him and relate to him in any way, so it’s hard to compare to the emotions that Joel and Ellie’s journey in the first part of The Last of Us evoked. We sympathize with the series’ new heroine, but gamers will forever remain divided between “team Ellie” and “team Abby”.
2. DUTCH VAN DER LINDE (RED DEAD REDEMPTION)
It’s easy to see why people hate Dutch van der Linde, given that he’s responsible for ruining the lives of not one but two beloved Red Dead Redemption protagonists. He is, after all, the antagonist, designed to be despised, and many series fans are outraged by his betrayal of confidence of essentially everyone in his gang (especially Arthur).
Still, before Micah came along, Dutch was a man of principles, a man who valued loyalty above anything else, a man who would do anything for one of his gang members. Does he deserve to be called out for being swayed by Micah so easily? Absolutely he does. But that shouldn’t erase the fact that for a long, long time, he was exactly the kind of father figure many in his gang had seen him as for so long.
1. Micah Bell – RDR 2
Micah Bell, a brutal Wild West outlaw, is the main antagonist of Red Dead Redemption II. He began his criminal career alongside his father, and after unintentionally saving Dutch’s life in a Crenshaw Hill bar, he joined the gang as a full member. The leader of this crew was generally the only person who sympathized with him because the rest of the gang, led by Hosea and Arthur Morgan, did not. Micah, in their opinion, was selfish, thoughtless, unpredictable, and argumentative – not a particularly likable character in general.
It was Micha’s idea to attack the Blackwater ferry, which resulted in Pinkerton Agents hunting the gang, which is one of the main storylines of RDR II. Micah always thought of himself only rather than the gang, and eventually betrayed them. Micah was really well constructed as our initial ally and then the main enemy. In the cut-scenes, we see how hated he is by the other gang members, and as time goes on, his despicable character becomes more and more remarkable, especially when Arthur begins to notice Dutch’s paranoia. A clear rivalry is then born between the two characters.