Today, Guinness World Records, the global authority on record-breaking, announce the Top 50 Video Game Villains of All Time as voted for by over 5,000 of their readers. The list, which is revealed in its entirety in the new Guinness World Records 2013 Gamer’s Edition book, sees the iconic Bowser from Nintendo’s long-running Mario franchise crowned king, with Portal’s GLaDOS beaten into runner up spot.
Bowser, from one of the most iconic and best-selling video game franchises of all time, Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 1985) landed top spot with over 20% of the vote. Mario’s arch enemy is nothing if not persistent: few enemies would attempt to kidnap the same princess twice, let alone eight times during the past 28 years! It seems his malevolent persistence has paid off with the ‘King of Koopas’ becoming the king of the videogame villains.
The runner-up comes courtesy of the recent Portal series (Valve, 2007). Only a small share of the vote kept GLaDOS, the ominous, AI computer system off top spot. The ever-present computer voice that follows players throughout the game, acts simultaneously as a guide, narrator, and final boss. The doyenne’s sinister wit and monotone delivery keeps players constantly on edge.
Rounding out the top three is a giant in video games, comics, and film. The Joker’s performance in Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady, 2009) was deemed suitably unhinged as he stalks Batman through the disgusting, titular sanatorium.
Kevin Lynch, writer for Guinness World Records 2013 Gamer’s Edition said: “It was really interesting for us to put the vote out to our readers and see who their favorite villain was – Bowser’s top place is no big shocker, but there certainly are surprises in there. I think what this list really reflects is that video game villains tend to be a lot cooler than the heroes they’re pitted against.”
The remainder of the Top 50 shows just how diverse video game villains can be. The Great King of Evil Ganon (The Legend of Zelda – Nintendo EAD, 1996), corporate experiment Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII – Square, 1997), and lovable-yet-infuriating ghost Inky (PAC-MAN – Namco, 1980) all make the Top 10, and demonstrate that the creativity behind making an antagonist can be just as deep as concocting a hero. Other notables to make the list include Donkey Kong (#14), the Police in Grand Theft Auto (#24), and Mortal Kombat‘s Shao Kahn (#41).
A total of 5,699 total votes were cast on the Guinness World Records website. The full list is featured in the new Guinness World Records 2013 Gamer’s Edition book out now for $14.99. For more information please visit www.guinnessworldrecords.com/gamers
The Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition is the ultimate and complete guide to videogames. The brand new 2013 Edition is packed full of the most up-to-date news, achievements and developments in the gaming world, illustrated with the best and most exciting imagery from this year’s top titles. Complete with fascinating facts and figures and full features on the most popular games, the 2013 edition also includes gameplay tips and hints, retro facts from classic games and the results of our reader’s poll on the top 50 most visually stunning games.
Even though records are on every page, I found the book being up to date with the current world. The writers and editors chose to talk about games coming out in the future after the release of the book. It was surprise to pick it up and start reading about the new Devil May Cry and even game still in development like a Final Fantasy game that now holds the record for being in development for so long.
I just wish we could’ve gotten some odder records. There clearly wasn’t enough written about that porn Western game that Atari did. But, with Atari graphics…how is it porn? That’s the question that tugs at my brain. Oh well, it’s a Guiness book. So, it will make for excellent bathroom reading while you learn about speed runs. I do have to add that it was neat to have such a focus on girl and casual gaming.