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

Are we sure these are the good guys?

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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)

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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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Formerly an assistant editor, Richard's interests include detective fiction and Japanese horror movies.