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) /
14 of 51
Team Rocket
Credit: Game Freak /

Greatest Video Game Villains – #38 Team Rocket

Game(s): Pokémon (Generation I and II)

Background: This villainous team from the Pokémon series has the ultimate goal of taking over the world by capturing and exploiting Pokémon. While Pokémon trainers form bonds of friendship and loyalty with their Pokémon, Team Rocket is only interested in stealing or capturing strong and rare Pokémon for their own profit. They have no issue selling them, conducting cruel experimental research on them, and have even killed Pokémon. Despite the silly portrayal of Team Rocket in the Pokémon anime, this abusive organization lead by the mysterious Giovanni is always causing trouble and is akin to modern-day animal abusers.

Why They’re One Of The Greatest Video Game Villains: While the whole concept of capturing Pokémon and using them to fight is a bit dodgy, the game teaches the player that Pokémon are your friends and you should always treat them with respect. Team Rocket, on the other hand, views them as a means for world domination. They’ve killed Pokémon, cut the tails of Slowpokes, and consistently try to steal other people’s Pokémon. Their oath posted in the Team Rocket headquarters states “Steal Pokémon for profit. Exploit Pokémon for profit. All Pokémon exist for the glory of Team Rocket.” If there was a Pokémon equivalent of PETA, Team Rocket would be at the top of their most hated list. Good thing they’re relatively dysfunctional and can’t handle a ten-year-old child and his team of loyal and loving Pokémon. Team Rocket’s failures hammer home the story’s message that love and respect triumphs over hatred, adding to Pokémon‘s charm.

Next: 37- Talbot