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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Zeus - God of War
Credit: Santa Monica Studi /

Greatest Video Game Villains – #44 Zeus

Game(s): God of War II and God of War III

Background: The Greek god and ruler of Mt. Olympus, Zeus served as the main antagonist of both God of War II and God of War III. The God of War series is loosely based upon ancient Greek mythology, and many of Zeus’ attributes are directly taken from the historic Greek religion. After witnessing (and assisting) Kratos destroy Ares in the first God of War, Zeus becomes paranoid that Kratos will overthrow his rule over Mt. Olympus. Zeus betrays Kratos (who we later learn is also his son) and sets out to destroy him, demolishing anything that stands in his way. This sets the plot for the next two games in the series. God of War III ends with Kratos finally defeating Zeus with his bare hands and ending the reign of the gods of Olympus.

Why He’s One Of The Greatest Video Game Villains: The way God of War utilizes Greek mythology makes Zeus a compelling character throughout the first three games of the series. In the first God of War we see the compassionate and fair side of the almighty god. But when he starts to feel that his reign is threatened, he becomes paranoid and prideful and will do anything to retain his power. He betrayed and killed Kratos out of fear, and went on to destroy Sparta, murdering thousands of innocent lives. He has no problem using his own family in his war against Kratos, causing the deaths of Poseidon, Helios, Hercules, Hades, and his own wife Hera. He shows no remorse for their deaths: his only thought is protecting his own reign. And it all came back to bite him, leading to his eventual demise. Similar to the mythological Zeus, he was also an extremely unfaithful husband. He’s cheated on Hera numerous times, fathering many illegitimate bastard children (including Kratos) and caring little about their well-being. Kratos himself is very vengeful and not quite an upstanding citizen, but the wrathful Zeus deserved what he had coming for him. Facing off against the almighty Zeus himself is too epic to not consider him one of video gaming’s greatest villains.

Next: 43- Saren Arterius