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Metal Gear Solid: The 10 Best Villains In The Franchise

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Game Rant • December 28th 2020

The Metal Gear Solid franchise has provided gamers with some of the greatest bits of storytelling in the history of the industry. Regardless of how spectacular Hideo Kojima is when it comes to cinematics and visuals, none of that would be possible without stellar characters.RELATED: Metal Gear & 9 Other Series That Have Held Guinness World RecordsThe likes of Solid Snake and Raiden are great protagonists but the series has also boasted great villains. From the earliest days of the series to the final installments, players have battled some truly compelling antagonists. From physically dominant baddies to cunning enemies always scheming, the greatest bad guys of Metal Gear Solid are a memorable bunch. 10 Colonel VolginMore often than not, the best villains are the ones who get a lot of depth in their stories. For Colonel Volgin, that's not the case and that's totally okay. There is no need for a tragic backstory or something deep for this character. He's just a really evil dude and that makes him entertaining.Anytime he appears on screen, there's a chance he will do something awful and relish in it. He's the kind of villain who would twirl his mustache if he had one. He believes what he's doing is just, even if he's going about it the wrong way. Throw in Volgin's physical intimidation and he's a great bad guy.9 Gray FoxHe's one of the most iconic characters in the history of this franchise. Gray Fox first appeared all the way back in 1987's Metal Gear and is part of one of the better fights in Metal Gear Solid. Real name Frank Jaeger, he was a high-ranking FOXHOUND member.Eventually, he sided with Big Boss to become a pretty great villain in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Though defeated there, he returned as a cyborg ninja in Metal Gear Solid. As cool and legendary as he is, there's ultimately a heroic moment for him in the end, which holds him back on this list.8 Solidus SnakeWhen you're the former President of the United States and you become a terrorist, you're bound to be a pretty strong villain. Solidus Snake, formerly known as George Sears, is the third son of Big Boss and the leader of the Sons of Liberty. His quest for freedom from The Patriots is actually a noble one.Solidus works so well because of that great motivation. He also comes across as someone to listen to thanks to his somewhat regal voice and righteous personality. Physically, he also dons a pretty cool suit and gets into a sword fight, which was awesome. Solidus' connection to Jack only added to things.7 Big BossNothing would have happened in this franchise if it wasn't for Big Boss. It's interesting to consider him as such a major antagonist since he actually was the protagonist in about half of the games. An idealist who wanted soldiers to have a purpose, Big Boss also had many villainous moments.RELATED: Metal Gear: 10 Things Fans Should Know About Big BossAlthough he's one of the original baddies of the series, it hurts that he didn't get to do much as a villain when the games became more cinematic. It makes some of his biggest moments less memorable than others on this list.6 VampThere's just no getting around it. Vamp is certainly one of the cheesiest characters in the series on paper. In execution, he ended up being way better than expected. As a member of Dead Cell, he first showed up in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and had some wild abilities.Knife throwing skills are one thing but then he also ran on water, scaled walls, and had a taste for blood. He was seemingly a legitimate vampire. Some of the fights against him are a bit lackluster but watching him battle Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is breathtaking. Somehow, this goofy concept turned out to be very cool.5 Psycho MantisHas any boss in video game history ever made this much of an impact in such a short time? This FOXHOUND member stole the show in Metal Gear Solid. His fight included him doing unheard-of things in a video game such as reading your memory card and disconnecting your controller.Psycho Mantis has become iconic due to that fight, which remains one of the best in gaming history. That was enough to earn him a spot here but he shines in later editions as well. That includes his control of the Beauty and Beast Corps and his origin tale in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.4 The BossThere are plenty of reasons why Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is held in such high regard. One of the biggest is everything surrounding The Boss. She acts as something of a mother to those around her, most notably to a young Ocelot and of course, to her mentee Naked Snake.RELATED: Every Metal Gear Game, Ranked According To MetacriticHer turn was a huge emotional blow and she gets points for the way she consistently beats Snake. At every turn, she proves her dominance and fighting skills. The Boss is incredibly important to the series but she does miss out on a higher spot since her intentions were for her country.3 Skull FaceIn terms of pure evil, it's hard to top Skull Face. Throughout his appearances, it becomes clear that there is nothing he wouldn't try to get to his end game. Things like torture meant nothing to him. He's a monster with no remorse for anything that he does.Skull Face has a remarkably tragic backstory that added a ton of depth to him. Visually, he also is someone who just looks like everything you'd expect from a bad guy. The only thing holding him back from ranking higher is that his ultimate plan is kind of goofy.2 Revolver OcelotSimilar to Big Boss, Revolver Ocelot is one of the longest-running characters from the series. He's popular among fans for his showmanship, which is never more evident than when he was a young man in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. It's part of why he loses so often then.Over the decades, Ocelot is seemingly always in control. He is willing to backstab everyone from Col. Gurlukovich to Solidus to Liquid. Whether he's torturing people, working as an agent for the Patriots, or anything in between, he can't be trusted and he's always entertaining.1 Liquid SnakeTo those who feel like Liquid Snake is full of clichés, that's an understandable criticism. He is seemingly based on bad guys from some wacky old action movies. However, he really works. For one thing, there's a coolness about Liquid that is desperately missing from later antagonists.For another, he completely fits into the theme of the game he's most prominently featured in. Liquid is constantly one step ahead of Solid and he's identical to him, working as a perfect opponent. Plus, his hand-to-hand fight with Solid at the end is spectacular.NEXT: Fan Casting: 10 Actors Perfect For A Live Action Metal Gear Solid Movie