Best Video Game Villains Players Didn’t Want to Kill


  • Some video game villains are so well-developed and charismatic that players may have a hard time killing them, even when it’s the morally right choice.
  • Characters like Big Boss and Sans show the complexity of villains, making it difficult for players to carry out their demise.
  • Tackling the dilemma of killing a villain like Paarthurnax forces players to question whether they can trust a former villain to have changed their ways.

Death is a harsh reality to face, and in gaming, it’s around every corner—Whether it’s a bullet that players shoot at their enemies—or one that their enemies fire with a smile. With violence so prominent in gaming, it’s no surprise that there have been some instances when players just didn’t have the heart to pull the trigger. This could be caused by many things, perhaps one of the best villains in gaming still had gas in the tank for a sequel and was too charismatic to die, or, the player could see the hurt in their eyes, and showed sympathy.


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Regardless of understanding, some great video game villains have either been killed or almost been killed by the player. Whilst most of these villains deserve their fate as a corpse, it’s not always easy to make it so and commit that final sin of murder against darker foes.

6 Caesar

Fallout: New Vegas

Caesar and Lanius in Fallout New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas

October 19, 2010

One of the smartest characters in Fallout: New Vegas, and a true charismatic leader that launched a brand new way of life in the Mojave Wasteland, Caesar was a general worth fighting for, and worth dying for. Caesar led the Caesar’s Legion, and with his command, they created a presence to rival the New California Republic, in an attempt to eventually control the Mojave Wasteland and bring order and education to a new world, gone away with bombs and unjust death.

If players decide not to side with Caesar, and instead choose what is considered a more morally right path, then they will be tasked with killing this leader, like Brutus. There are a few ways to assassinate Caesar in Fallout: New Vegas, but if fans actually took the time to listen to him, they’d realize why his ambitions are the way they are.

5 Big Boss

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots

Smartest Snakes in Metal Gear- Big Boss

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

June 12, 2008


The star of the show, Big Boss makes his final appearance in Metal Gear Solid 4, in a heartfelt reunion with his son, Solid Snake, now known as Old Snake. Big Boss appears where his mission began all those decades ago, and it’s a poetic ending to the character that caused so much death around the franchise, being helmed as a villain for his actions and his use of child soldiers. Yet, despite his actions, those who have played the Metal Gear games understand Big Boss, to a degree.

It really shows how enigmatic and dedicated a man like Big Boss was, that even at the cost of his own life, he would reunite with his clone, whom he finally considered a son. Yet, this reunion would be fatal to Big Boss, as Snake was still infected with FOXDIE, which was designed to kill him. Whilst players are not in control of killing Big Boss, they still have no choice but to watch the end of Big Boss.

4 Sans


Sans from Undertale, a skeleton wearing a hoodie, standing above text reading 'You feel like you're going to have a bad time.'


September 15, 2015

Toby Fox

It’s hard to access the internet these days without seeing a meme of Sans or Undertale present, and there is a good reason for that. Sans was a beloved character from the indie game, and his appearance within the game cemented him as a fun character and one with a good heart. For if players knowingly descend down the evil path of the Genocide Route, Sans will reveal himself as a hero, and seek to fight the player character to end this seemingly unstoppable murder spree once and for all.


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If players liked Sans’ personality, then they are going to have a hard time here, as Sans can be not only a challenge due to the hesitation to kill a character players enjoy, but also because he is one of the hardest boss fights in Undertale, so perhaps it’s best to laugh at his jokes and not kill people.

3 Paarthurnax

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim



November 11, 2011

Within Paarthurnax, is a dilemma that seems impossible to answer. Paarthurnax may have assisted in the end of Alduin’s reign, as well as his immortal dedication to teaching the Greybeards the Way of the Voice, but he is also responsible for great suffering, for centuries prior to The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, Paarthurnax was Alduin’s lieutenant during the Dragon War, and would have killed hundreds, if not thousands of human slaves.

This presents an issue to the Dragonborn, who is faced with a conundrum: kill Paarthurnax and join the Blades, or let the old dragon live and be shut off from the Blades. No real answer is the winner, but Paarthurnax exists as a great villain because he is trying not to be defined by his misdeeds in the past. Most players don’t want to kill Paarthurnax, but can they trust that he has left his villainy behind?

2 Great Grey Wolf Sif

Dark Souls

Dark Souls Sif Alternate Cutscene

Dark Souls

September 22, 2011

Action RPG

Nobody who plays video games goes in with the thrill of murdering a dog, and that couldn’t be more true when faced against one of the best bosses in Dark Souls, the Great Grey Wolf Sif. This overgrown wolf takes the role of the villain, for the canine has no choice but to fight the player. Sif’s roll, seemingly for eternity, is to guard the grave of its master, Artorias, and stop anyone from claiming his ring so they can pass into the Abyss, and potentially be corrupted by it.


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Sif will use his master’s sword with his mouth and kill anyone, even if the dog does not want to. If players have completed the Artorias of the Abyss DLC before fighting Sif in the main Dark Souls game, then Sif will recognize the player, and whimper with grief, for Sif knows what it must do. Bound by honor and loyalty, players are forced to kill Sif, as much as Sif is forced to kill them.

1 Abby

The Last of Us Part 2


Perhaps the most controversial pick from a mostly controversial game, Abby in The Last of Us Part 2 may have her motivations understood by the player, but that doesn’t mean she is not viewed as a villain. Abby committed an unforgivable sin both in the eyes of Ellie and the player when she brutally murdered the beloved protagonist of the first game, Joel, with a golf club. Abby’s murder of Joel was justified, as Joel unknowingly killed her father to save Ellie from being the cure to the virus that plagued humanity.

The Last of Us Part 2 is themed around revenge and its consequences, so when players are finally tasked with fighting Abby to the death, they, along with Ellie, can’t help but think in that moment of struggle, why? Is it worth what’s already lost? How many more need to die to avenge a man who is at peace? The themes are complex and somewhat confusing, emotionally, but Abby is a villain that some players might not want to kill—at least, in Ellie—that was the case.

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