Has any movie hero battled a more fascinating and incredible gallery of rogues than James Bond? To be honest, probably not.
From megalomaniac super-villains to sadistic criminals, from seductive femme fatales to corrupt government officials, Bond has fought an astonishingly varied collection of villains over the years. Some of these villains are among the most iconic, memorable bad guys in action movie history, but that's not to say all of the franchise's instalments have got their villain right.
As great as many Bond antagonists are, there have been plenty of godawful ones. As such, Bond's enemies are extremely diverse not only in terms of character, but in terms of quality too.
Looking back over the many villains from the series, it's quickly clear that the villain of the long-delayed No Time to Die, Safin (Rami Malek), has a very hard act to follow. That being said though, it seems nigh-on impossible he'll be as bad as some of the franchise's worst villains.
So, how do the lead villains of the Bond franchise stack up? Who's at the bottom of the pile and who comes out on top? It's time to find out...
30. Gustav Graves - Die Another Day
Starting off with the worst of the worst, we have the main villain of Die Another Day: Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens), a British billionaire... only he's actually a North Korean colonel who's undergone gene therapy. Yes, really. Somehow, this character is even worse than that description suggests.
Essentially, Graves is a cautionary tale of just how badly wrong action movie villains can go. He's far too derivative of past Bond villains, he's about as scary as a basket of baby kittens, he feels more like an angry schoolboy than an evil genius and he's just a hammy, excruciatingly annoying embarrassment all around.
He's also a tragic waste of Toby Stephens, who is actually a really good actor, and as it should go without saying, the twist about the literal white-washing has not aged well at all.
What makes this character even worse is that he was so easy to fix.
Had the film stuck with the North Korean version of the character (played by Will Yun Lee, a more than capable actor) and kept him grounded, this villain could definitely have worked. After all, his big scheme - to destroy the Korean DMZ with a weaponized satellite and allow the North to invade the South - is quite interesting and the character definitely had potential.
Sadly, he ultimately went wrong in every considerable way and all in all, he's arguably the worst Bond villain EVER.