2016's almost over and despite it being a rough ride for many in real life, it hasn't been a bad year for gaming, aside from a few notable disappointments. As the cold draws in and we prepare to bunker down and weather the winter with our beloved video games, we at Now Loading salute those video game characters that may not exactly be our friends, but are essential to a good gaming experience, even if they sometimes make us scream with rage or frustration. We're talking, of course, about the enemy! Here's our list of 2016 bad guys we loved to hate:
Note: This list will reveal details about game bosses, so beware, there be spoilers ahead
Team Skull (Pokémon Sun and Moon)
The antagonistic team of the Alola region in #PokemonSunMoon, Team Skull are the villains but are portrayed with many sympathetic traits. They've got a cool aesthetic based on goth/punk and hip-hop culture, operating more like a juvenile street gang than a hardcore criminal organization. Team Skull come across as much more personable than say Team Rocket, with their deprived background, strong sense of inter-team brotherhood and deep affection for their Pokémon.
Adamantoise (Final Fantasy XV)
The Adamantoise in #FinalFantasyXV makes the cut on the merits of its sheer size and epicness. The kaiju-like gargantuan beast is a boss battle that takes longer than many levels, with some players swearing it can only be beaten after hours of play. In keeping with Final Fantasy tradition, the hardest fights in the game are optional, but even after you've completed everything else in the game, this is going to be one tough cookie. Check out our guide if you need some detailed tips on how to fix the biggest turtle soup in the universe.
Sister Friede (Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Andariel)
Looking like a mashup of the Virgin Mary and the Grim Reaper, Sister Friede from the latest DLC for #DarkSouls3 gets points right off the bat for her creepy, darkly gothic style and for being really, insanely hard. Arandiel is a swift and punishing opponent, dishing out heavy frost damage, but she's also mobile, using invisibility and teleportation to catch you off guard. That sigh of relief when you kill her? Hold your breath, because you've only bought your ticket to a whole new world of pain.
Rafe Adler (Uncharted 4: A Thief's End)
Rafe Adler is a rich playboy obsessed with distinguishing himself as a great treasure hunter, more than willing to throw a lot of money and goons at whatever gets in his way. His selfishness, determination and lack of principle make him a perfect foil to #Uncharted4 protagonist Nathan Drake. Rafe obviously sees in Drake the hero and talented adventurer that he desperately wants to be, but he can't overcome his own flaws, and the inevitable clash as his envy and obsession get the better of him is one of 2016's most satisfying climaxes.
Olivia Pierce (DOOM)
The latest incarnation of #DOOM gives evil a human face in the form of Olivia Pierce. A brilliant scientist who wears a cybernetic exoskeleton to compensate for her crippled body, Pierce is the classic victim of a faustian deal with the devil and she mistakenly believes she can work with Hell to solve Earth's energy crisis. When it finally comes down to battle, she doesn't look like much, but the forces of Hell transform her into the cybernetic Spiderdemon.
The Greenskins (Total War:Warhammer)
#TotalWarWarhammer is set in Warhammer Fantasy Battle's Old World, a dark, gothic, ultra-violent fantasy setting full of ancient mind-bending and body-warping evil gods, insane scheming ratmen, barbarian hordes dedicated to bringing about the end of the world and relentless walking dead. In a world this dark, the Greenskins, a faction made up of of Orcs and Goblins, come across as almost jolly.
Sure, they're mono-maniacally violent and will mercilessly crush their enemies, but they're not looking to eat your soul or possess your corpse, they just love a good scrap! Their cockney football hooligan accents and black humor always make them much more of a laugh on the battlefield than the other relentlessly grim and self-serious Warhammer armies. It's almost like they know it's all just a game.
Which video game villains do you feel deserve a shout-out this year? Let us know in the comments!