The 50 Greatest Video Game Villains Of All Time

Credit: Matt Becker (compilation); Capcom, NetherRealm, Nintendo (artwork)
Credit: Matt Becker (compilation); Capcom, NetherRealm, Nintendo (artwork) /
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Shao Kahn
Credit: NetherRealm Studios /

Greatest Video Game Villains – #39 Shao Kahn

Game(s): Mortal Kombat series

Background: Shao Kahn the Konqueror and Emperor of Outworld is the final boss in the second and third Mortal Kombat fighting action games, and serves as an antagonist throughout the series. His recognizable appearance is that of a large Asian warrior donning a large skull warlord helmet, spiked shoulder pads, and wielding his large Wrath Hammer. Shao Kahn’s strength rivals that of the gods, and he is known for his ferocity in battle. Not only a brutal warrior, he has a strong knowledge of the black arts and has the power to consume other souls. His arrogant personality is unparalleled. In his mission to conquer the Earthrealm, he creates a fight-to-the-death martial arts tournament that if anyone succeeds in winning will result in him halting his attack. Despite numerous defeats, Shao Kahn always returns in full force to wreak havoc.

Why He’s One Of The Greatest Video Game Villains: In the complex lore of the Mortal Kombat fighting series, Shao Kahn is the most persistent and recognizable villain. He is arguably the most brutal and malevolent evil-doer in the franchise, which speaks volumes when characters are ripping out throats and chopping bodies in half. Shao Kahn is known for his overconfident personality, which has become his greatest weakness. But despite his numerous defeats at the hands of the Earthrealm fighters, he returns time and time again to conquer the world via his fight-to-the-death tournaments. Shao Kahn is arguably one of the most difficult (and cheap) boss fights in all of video games. His unpredictable massive hammer and constant shoulder bashing is nothing short of rage inducing.

Next: 38-Team Rocket