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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Harbinger - Mass Effect
Credit: BioWare /

Greatest Video Game Villains – #18 Harbinger

Game(s): Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3

Background: After thinking you finished dealing with Reapers in Mass Effect 1, Harbinger proves you wrong in Mass Effect 2 by taking control of the Collectors. Harbinger, the oldest and largest Reaper, oversees the Collectors’ operations from behind the scenes through much of the game. He directs his army to enslave the entire human race in order to use them to create a hybrid human-Reaper. By controlling the Collector General, he has the ability to take control over any Collector the player (Shepard) is facing, restoring their health and empowering their abilities. At the end of Mass Effect 2, Shepard manages to foil this plan. But Harbinger returns in Mass Effect 3 leading attacks on Earth and during the final battle of the series. He is finally defeated along with the rest of the Reapers by the Crucible.

Why He’s One Of The Greatest Video Game Villains: Harbinger is a genius battle general who leads his hive mind to enslave the entire human race, as do so many other video game villains. Similar to the Illusive Man, Harbinger mostly leads from behind the scenes by puppeteering his minions from a safe distance. This makes typical battles against Collectors all the more interesting and difficult. This can be both frustrating and rewarding: you want to just take down the Harbinger in person, but knowing that the enemy leader himself is witnessing you slowly chipping away at his forces makes every fight all the more satisfying. His vengeful acts against the human race and constant presence throughout the game are two key aspects of this character that make him a great villain.

Next: 17- Handsome Jack