When you’ve been making games for as long as Capcom has, you end up creating a number of memorable characters. You make heroes, antiheroes, and any number of NPCs. However, more often than not, it seems like the villains are the most memorable characters in any game you play. With Capcom, those villains come in all shapes and sizes, from a demented scientist turning humans into bioweapons, to a criminal overload with super “psycho powers,” to an evil attorney bent on revenge, and everywhere in between. Here they are, in no particular order, the best villains in Capcom history.
Akuma – Street Fighter
Akuma appeared all the way back in the genre-defining Street Fighter 2 and has been a fixture in the series ever since. He’s a cold, emotionless fighter who is hell bent on being as strong and powerful as he can be. His only goal: to face opponents of similar strength to him and to annihilate them. In the past, he murdered both his brother and his sensei in the pursuit of power. He rarely shows any emotion other than anger, and he is quick to kill to get what he wants or to win. Playing the game as this evil character is a boatload of fun, just as facing him is a great challenge.
Albert Wesker – Resident Evil
The Resident Evil franchise is chock full of memorable villains, and Albert Wesker might be the most memorable of them all. He appears in several of the entries in the franchise, and in each one he is a challenging and deadly foe. His goal is to be the most powerful human alive, and he doesn’t care who he has to kill to achieve it. He played a part in the T Virus being unleashed on the world, all in the name of building a super army of mutated beings. He even sacrificed his own human body to gain more power.
Carlito Keyes – Dead Rising
The zombie apocalypse destroyed his hometown and killed his family, and he blames the entire American population. He’s out for revenge, and in some very unconventional ways. When you first meet Carlito Keys, you are sympathetic to his plight. Of course, that’s before he’s revealed his true nature. Over time you’ll come to learn that he’s responsible for the infection of a mall full of people, 50 orphans, and multiple outbreaks across the country. He doesn’t care who dies as long as he gets his retribution.
Manfred Von Karma – Phoenix Wright
The Capcom catalog is full of violent villains, but Manfred Von Karma isn’t one of them. Sure, people die as a result of his actions, but he rarely is the one to pull the trigger or tighten the noose. What he does is manipulate the legal system to put people in jail, or worse. Not only that, but it was of no concern to him whether they were innocent or not. As a prosecutor, he was undefeated, which means that many innocents died. His downfall eventually came about through a failed conspiracy to murder a defendant.
Dr. Wily – Mega Man
This is another one that goes way back. Dr. Wily’s motivations are pure jealousy. He worked hand-in-hand with Dr. Light on their research. However, eventually, he turned on Dr. Light and used their plans to create evil cyborgs. His goal: to take over the world. Mega Man is one of those cyborgs created by the pair before Dr. Wily’s betrayal. He is tasked with taking out all of the evil robots and thwarting Dr. Wily’s plan in every game of the series.
Vergil – Devil May Cry
There are plenty of bad people in the Devil May Cry games, but one stands out as being crafty, powerful, and downright villainous. Vergil is everything a bad guy should be. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to attain his goals, and he even comes with a dark backstory to make you feel a smidgen of sympathy. Over his time in the games, his actions have led to the deaths of many people. In later games, he mellows out slightly and shows some humanity, but he still has a long way to go to atone for what he has done throughout his life.
The villains are the best part of just about any game. The very reason there is a story at all is because there’s a bad guy to play off of your good guy character. As games get more cinematic and use traditional storytelling techniques, there are sure to be more amazing and complex villains in the future. The best games, whether they be Capcom or otherwise, always have great villains.