It was perhaps Richard Simmons who once said that, "A good hero is an incomplete character without a good villain; an oppositional force whose own desires run counter to that of the hero, but whose nature reflects him or her." Video games aren't without their share of awesome villains, but the sad fact about being a villain is that, more often than not, the story requires them to lose. Not every villain takes failure laying down, nosiree! In fact, many of them don't take death laying down, and keep coming back for more no matter how many times they've shuffled off the mortal coil, which is why we've compiled this list of the 10 Video Game Villains Who Won't Stay Dead.
Kingdom Hearts series
Ansem, otherwise known as Xemnas, Xehanort, and Ricardo Montalban, may not be able to settle on a name, but one thing this ochre-eyed villain knows for sure is that death isn't the end for him, it just means he's going to return with another crazy new name and outfit to match.
Final Fantasy VII
With hair that beautiful, is it any wonder that Sephiroth keeps reappearing long after his apparent demise? Not that we're complaining; he's one of gaming's most iconic villains, and though he lacks the original personality of FFVI antagonist Kefka, his cold mannerisms, distinct appearance, and penchant for slaughtering flowergirls have earned him a place in the video game villain hall of fame.
The Legend of Zelda series
Ganon's somewhat less of an offender when compared to the rest of the baddies on this list of the 10 Video Game Villains Who Won't Stay Dead. After all, though he does keep coming back, often it's Ganons from alternate timelines rather than Ganon proper. Most of the time, though, it's just plain' ol Ganon.
Someone kidnapped Peach? Let's take a wild guess who it could be. After a while, you'd think Mario would just write her off as a loss and get on with his day. But when you're surrounded by mushrooms 24/7, the company of a lady might be something a plumber needs to clean his pipes. C'mon Bowser, take a day off from dying already.
Meta Ridley, Mecha Ridley, King GhidoRidley. If you're playing a Metroid game, odds are you'll be facing off against some form of this wyvern-y menace. Unlike the other baddies on this list, Ridley has the good sense to take some time off once in a while, meaning that you might go several Metroid games without seeing him, making it all the more awesome to throw down against him when he returns.
Resident Evil series
In a game filled with the walking dead, it makes sense that the lead villain is, himself, a dead man walking. He should have died several iterations back, but thanks to that pesky T-Virus and its many mutations, he managed to keep on truckin'. And truckin'. And truckin'. Thanks to Chris and Sheva knocking Wesker into a flipping volcano at the end of Resident Evil 5, his days of truckin' may be over... at least, until they need him for one of the sequels.
Getting destroyed isn't enough to keep this malicious A.I. down, nor is getting turned into a potato. Honestly, of all the villains who keep popping back up, Glad0s might be the one we're most, well, glad to see. Running through those endless portal testing chambers just wouldn't be the same without her particular brand of flat-voiced humor to keep things funny and frequently morbid.
King K Rool
Donkey Kong series
This poor bugger; sure, he survives perils which would slay a lesser baddy, but it seems like every time he does he suffers a severe case of identity confusion. When he returned in Donkey Kong Country 2 it was under the pirate-themed moniker of Kaptain K. Rool. When he returned again in DKC3, it was as mad scientist Baron K. Roolenstein. It seems that if you have giant gorillas jumping on your head all the time, you might suffer some brain damage from it.
Here's a public service announcement to Capcom, should they decide to make another Mega Man X game: we know the bad guy's going to be Sigma. Don't look surprised, cause we sure aren't every time he pops up at the end of the game. His return as a computer virus was cool in Mega Man X 2; somewhat less so by 3. From 4 onward it became a joke; no matter what melodramatic shenanigans you put X and Zero through, we knew that Sigma was going to be behind it all just like we knew that Doctor Wily was always going to be the one harassing Mega Man. Now, moving forward, can we just be honest with each other?
This list of 10 Villains Who Won't Stay Dead just wouldn't have been right without the original villainous undead mastermind, Dracula. The various members of the Belmont clan keep whipping, staking, and burning this bloodsucking gentleman, but that ain't enough to stop him. Hell, to add insult to injury, Castlevania II: Dracula's Curse sees hero Simon Belmont forced to revive Dracula so he can kill him again and break that titular malediction. Though some of these villains could stand to take a break once in a while, we're always glad to see Dracula return. He's classy, he's cool, and he doesn't mind espousing on the philosophies behind existence, plus he's got cool magic and one wicked child of a castle.
Next: 25 Best Video Game Villains