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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Credit: Valve /

Greatest Video Game Villains – #2 GLaDOS 

Game(s): Portal 1, Portal 2

Background: Valve’s first-person puzzle platforming game Portal starts in a seemingly non-threatening series of tests as the player (Chell) navigates their way through various puzzles in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. What seems to be a helpful AI guide slowly transforms into something much more malicious and manipulating. GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) is the central operating core of the Aperture lab, controlling and overseeing all experiments.

Her computer-generated monotone, female AI voice is the only interaction the player has with another being throughout the first installment in the series. A master of manipulation and taunting, her true colors are shown as she attempts to incinerate the player after the final test chamber is complete. Chell is forced to make her way to the Central AI chamber and fight against the sentient and powerful AI as she attempts to destroy Chell, just as she had so many test subjects before.

Why She’s One Of The Greatest Video Game Villains: While GLaDOS is yet another powerful AI added to our list of villains, Portal sets her up as a very unique antagonist unlike any other in video games. Because she is the only interaction the player has throughout the game, you assume that she is guiding you through the series of puzzles that appear to be the primary goal of the game. In reality, she is very much a master of mind games and manipulation with an aggressive and spiteful personality.

She is not afraid to poke fun at the player in an attempt to break them down, including the false promise of cake at the end of the tests (sparking the “The Cake is a Lie” meme). She convinces you to “befriend” your companion cube, only telling you to euthanize it later via incineration. While the final battle against GLaDOS might not have been the toughest, her passionate and vengeful personality makes her an unforgettable villain. Although she is also the antagonist in the first half of Portal 2, her noteworthy role in the first game is what sealed her spot as the number two greatest video game villain in our list.

Next: 1- Ganondorf