Sometimes it's good to be bad.
We all love a good baddie and our greatest heroes in media wouldn't exist without their adversaries. Protagonists need occasion to rise to! Some great threat posed by their enemy for us, as players, to overcome. Most video games have us playing the role of the good guy and vanquishing our foes in the name of all that is just. However, some series do find ways to shake it up and let us see things from another point of view.
After all, as the saying goes, sometimes its good to be bad...
Some video games are specifically designed to let you get malicious and cause as much destruction as possible and many more include a morality system where becoming a baddie is a viable option. We'll be avoiding those sorts of titles in this article, and instead looking at typically longer running series that have introduced iconic villains who became playable somewhere later down the line.
After all, when your antagonist has been someone you've faced off against personally, stepping into their shoes is immeasurably more impactful.
This list celebrates the times where we took control of our greatest foes.
10. Big Daddy - BioShock 2
As beloved and celebrated as BioShock’s story of Jack is, the true stars of the piece are the encounters with the wandering Big Daddies.
The great visual design and absolute panic induced by the Big Daddy made it one of the standouts for the original BioShock, so much so that it graced the game’s cover with its presence. Whilst BioShock has the protagonist putting together their own suit in the final chapters, the sequel goes a step further when it puts us permanently in the role of one of the undersea powerhouses.
BioShock 2 stars Delta, a Big Daddy who must reconnect with his Little Sister Eleanor lest he risk ceasing function completely. Whilst the core gameplay is largely the same, if not very much tweaked, what separates it from the original game is taking everything great about the Big Daddy and putting it at the player’s disposal. Yes, you can now wield the giant drills and overpowered shotguns that had caused your downfall in the first game.
It might not be a specific villain but playing a whole game as a Big Daddy was a cool direction for the series to take, and helped BioShock 2 to stand alone from its predecessor’s story of human betrayal.