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) /
29 of 51
Kuja - Final Fantasy
Credit: Square Enix /

Greatest Video Game Villains – #23 Kuja

Game(s): Final Fantasy IX

Background: The young, jovial, silver-haired Kuja is a powerful mage who at first glance seems very non-threatening. But don’t let appearances fool you, as he actually has a very sadistic and narcissistic personality. Kuja is the first of the Genomes created by the ruler Garland, with the sole purpose to cause war and destruction on the planet Gaia. Once Kuja realizes that he was just a prototype and that Garland designed other, more improved Genomes, he murders his maker and destroys all of Terra. Believing that the world should no longer exist, he then plans to do the same thing to Gaia.

Why He’s One Of The Greatest Video Game Villains: Kuja follows the stereotypical villain’s goal of ending the world, and he actually succeeds in destroying all of the planet Terra. While his actions are self-centered and anything but acceptable, it is hard not to slightly empathize with him. He was created in an experiment as the Angel of Death, and began his existence as an adult, lacking any sort of emotional intelligence. He operates like a machine and simply carries out what he was created to do. Kuja eventually comes to realize that he is just as weak as the innocent people he has killed. His last act before he dies is to actually teleport the main protagonists away to safety instead of murdering them. Kuja clearly has emotional issues regarding his creation, which sparks his destructive and world threatening behavior. But his complex personality and his ability to draw sympathy from the player even as the primary antagonist is what earns him a spot on the list of greatest video game villains ever.

Next: 22- Frank Fontaine