10 Video Game “Heroes” You Really Shouldn’t Be Rooting For

Are we sure these are the good guys?

krato gods of war
Sony

The unadulterated nefariousness of villains – The Joker, for instance – is downright compelling, a crucial component to their appeal. Heroes by comparison, shouldn’t be perfect humanitarians – because interesting characters are usually flawed – but, when the heroes are acting more psychotic than the villains, you’ve got to wonder: why are we rooting for these guys, again?

Sometimes – especially in video games – the heroes can seem more unhinged than their adversaries, risking everything for minimal reward or endangering innocent bystanders unnecessarily, committing any number of atrocities in the process. Nathan Drake is a great example – rampaging through ancient civilisations and murdering countless marauders – not to salvage some ancient artefact, but for monetary compensation.

These guys ‘n’ gals are technically heroes – the player is expected to root for them – but their actions are unnecessarily extreme, and their motives are questionable at best.

10. Raiden (Metal Gear Solid)

Konami

Raiden was introduced to the world in 2001 in Metal Gear Solid II: Sons of Liberty, an irritating, generic super ninja with the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog. Somehow, despite his tragic and involved backstory – brainwashed into becoming a weapon – the character was irredeemable and completely uninteresting. Over the years –frustrated by the character’s reception – Hideo Kojima developed upon Raiden considerably hoping to redeem him.

Ultimately – despite his evolution throughout the series – Raiden is a thoroughly unsympathetic character with zero personality. Besides that, his motivations are questionable, manipulated constantly by various nefarious organisations, including The Patriots/The Philosophers themselves. Equally, the character’s sinister alternate personality – Jack the Ripper – is extremely volatile and unpredictable, capable of committing any number of atrocities.

Raiden isn’t a great hero; he’s completely overpowered and inhuman, so why exactly are we supposed to root for the guy?

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A postgraduate student at Durham University, Richard's passions include detective fiction and PC gaming, and he is currently writing a novel about neither.