The Greatest Black Villains in Video Games

black villains in video games

Everyone enjoys watching a great villain at work, these baddies usually follow their own rules and their magnetic scallywag appeal  is always irresistible. A villain can come in different form: tragical, like Fortune from Metal Gear Solid 2, the psychopath like Street Fighter's Balrog, the criminal where villainy is merely business like GTA Vice City's Lance Vance and then there is the guy that is evil to the core like Tekken's Craig Marduk.

Villains come in many different forms, some don't possess any magical powers whatsoever, others aren't even given screen time but that does not depreciate their existence.The criteria for a baddie is quite simplex: stuff like homicide, rape, plans to conquer the universe, manipulation, organised crime and general law-breaking are all terrible things and even if the character is empathic or believes they are clean-handed, that doesn't stop them from being the villain of their game.

While there's been many villains in the video game world only a small percentage of these characters are black, something which is isn't too surprising especially when you take into account there isn't too many black main protagonists in the first place, nonetheless black villains do exist and we're going to take a closer look at the best of them.


Frank Tenpenny (GTA: San Andreas)




Tenpenny is the main antagonist of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, a corrupt cop who will stop at nothing to have his cake and eat it too, whilst using his partners in crime and the gang bangers of Los Santos as a stepping ladder with no regrets. The moment you are introduced to Tenpenny at the beginning of the game you know he's going to be a pain for CJ, lest we forget how catchy his theme was.

Tanya (Mortal Kombat)


black villains in video games

Mortal Kombat's Tanya is the epitome of evil and in her Mortal Kombat 4 ending she solidified her immorality by betraying Liu Kang and leading him to an early fiery grave,something that no one would have guessed by looking at her innocent and sweet portrait in MK4. Her sinister but lustful redesign in PS2 Mortal Kombat Deception gave the lass even more of an evil edge, as did her ending which showed Tanya not only had looks but brains too, she's also the only black female fighting game character to be a villain.


Balrog (Street Fighter)


black villains in video games

The originally intended Mike Tyson parody has managed to step out of the shadows of the former WHC and form his own cemented video game legacy. Since his debut as a boss character in Street Fighter II, Balrog has been a baddie whose greed shows no bounds, but not only is he greedy but the Shadaloo associate packs a mean punch. He's also earned the right to be called one of the baddest boxers in video game history.


Marlene (The Last of Us)


black villains in video games

Marlene's motive in The Last of Us wasn't clear at first but in the end it all made sense, only it meant killing off one of the main protagonists which is why her plan wasn't seen as heroic, despite wanting to find a cure for a life threatening disease at the expense of one girl's life. When you look at the bigger picture and the story surrounding tlou, Marlene wasn't your typical villain, nonetheless she makes the list simply because she is an obstacle in the player's path.

The list doesn't stop there as we take a look at several other black villains in video games in recent years. wretched


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