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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Pokémon Rival
Credit: Game Freak /

Greatest Video Game Villains – #24 Rival/Blue

Game(s): Pokémon Red & Blue

Background: When you start off Pokemon Red or Blue, one of the first characters you meet is your rival, who is also Professor Oak’s grandson. Things immediately start off on the wrong foot when his grandpa not only forgets his name (allowing you the player to choose it for him), but also gives you first choice of starter Pokémon over his grandson. Your rival automatically picks whichever Pokémon counters yours, making his battles against you all the more difficult. He is always one step ahead of you the entire game, including beating the Kanto Elite Four. The final battle of the game comes down to you versus your rival in an epic match to “be the very best.”

Why He’s One Of The Greatest Video Game Villains: Can you imagine the frustration a young boy must feel when his own grandfather seems to favor some other new kid over his own relative? He does a decent job hiding any of his emotions though, as his arrogant and childish taunts (“Smell ya later!”) are a staple element of his encounters with the player. Despite the player consistently defeating him in battles throughout the game, your rival is a formidable opponent that blazes through the gym leaders at an astounding pace. And all without any special assistance (as far as we know, he doesn’t have a Master Ball)! I remember playing Pokémon for the first time when I was very young and beating the Elite Four, thinking I had finally beaten the game. But then I saw my rival, and was shocked that this kid was just always in the way, always pushing the player to be a better trainer. The true rivalry between the player and his rival is one that is hard to match. And, let’s be honest, we all named our rival something silly like “BUTTFACE”, making him an even more enjoyable component of an already fun game.

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