Nov 10th, 2016

Let’s face it, always carrying the burdens of every character you meet in a video game can get tiring pretty quickly. You’re always out to save the world from some unknown catastrophe or dark evil overlord that’s threatening to enslave humanity. But what about games that let you be that evil overlord? There are a handful of games that stray from the “good” path and let you do downright despicable things. Here’s the best of them.

Postal 2

postal-2

Postal 2 is pretty much the gold standard game that gets trotted out any time politicians want to justify the amount of violence found in video games as a reason to ban them. There’s really no limit to the amount of carnage you can cause in Postal 2, which is one of the reasons its such a great game to play to blow off steam.

And yes I’m aware there’s a much newer Postal 3, but developer Running With Scissors themselves have stated that they don’t consider Postal 3 a good follow-up to the series but more like a spin-off that should have never happened. For true anarchy and a thousand unique ways to kill people, stick with Postal 2.

Dungeon Keeper 1 & 2

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Dungeon Keeper 1 & 2 are the quintessential “let’s be evil” games birthed from the mind of Peter Molyneux, before he lost his touch with games. Before these two games debuted, you never really controlled the villains at all. Rather they were just vehicles for the player hero to overcome and win the game, easy peasy.

Peter Molyneux took the strategy gameplay from Theme Hospital and committed that to dungeon building, in which you attempt to build a huge network of minions capable of destroying the world while fending off heroes from invading your dungeon and wiping out your best laid evil plans. Both games are available on GOG and while they’re pretty old at this point, only a handful of modern games have attempted to emulate them.

Evil Genius

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Ever wondered what it would be like to run an evil genius’ lair? You can answer that question with Evil Genius, which simulates a Bond villain’s lair similarly to the Dungeon Keeper style. You’re given a robust base you can fill with minions in order to achieve global domination, but you’ll forever have to keep the forces of justice at bay as they attempt to destroy your plotting.

The original Evil Genius debuted back in 2004, but Rebellion Developments announced Evil Genius Online back in 2013. It’s not quite as meaty as the original release because it was redesigned as a Facebook and mobile game, but it does a good job of providing the feel of the original game.

Spec Ops: The Line

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Spec Ops: The Line is the only modern first-person shooter on the list and it’s interesting because the entire time you’re playing the game, your characters actions appear to differ from the narrative you’re told. As you explore the world and communicate with those that are left in the barren wastes of what remains of Dubai, you begin to doubt your character’s own sanity.

By the end of the game, you’re presented with choices that seem right at the time but you realize the’ve resulted in the hundreds of thousands of deaths that happened. The game directly places the responsibility for those deaths at your feet and that’s a unique position for a modern military shooter.

Black & White

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Black & White is another Peter Molyneux brainchild before Molyneux become completely unreliable as a developer. You assume the role of God and guide a society of humans to greatness, either through helping them with kind acts with the aid of your creature or inspiring fear and terror.

The best part of the evil path here is the more you command your creature to perform evil tasks, the more evil it will become in appearance. In the screenshot above you can see the evil cow looks pretty dastardly. The player who managed to achieve this cow state must have been pretty evil, because here’s how the neutral cow pet in Black and White starts out.

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Overlord

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Everyone knows the best evil overlords don’t do all the work themselves. Codemaster’s Overlord and its sequel Overlord II put you in the evil throne, but instead of wreaking havoc all by yourself you’re given command of a horde of minions in order to terrorize the villages and assert your evil dominance.

The unique thing about these games is that you have to manage your minions by keeping them alive so you have enough to perform the mundane tasks you need to do, while also ensuring that you’re adequately destroying everyone and everything that stands in your way. As you gain power you can control more and different minions to achieve your goals.

Tyranny

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Tyranny is the best evil simulator on this list. It’s an Obsidian RPG in the same vein as Pillars of Eternity, but instead of starting the game as a hapless hero seeking to find your way in the world, you begin as a Fatebinder to a really evil overlord who is enslaving the world Alexander the Great-style.

Kryos expects the player to mete out his justice in his absence and immediately you’re wedged between the overlord’s elite forces and his rabble-rousing gang of thieves and spies. You’ll have to keep everyone happy in order to achieve the Overlord’s ultimate goal, which is world domination. There’s no happy ending here and if your character appears weak in front of the armies, you could suffer at their hands.