Poppy is the author of "A Bard's Lament" and the Black Diamond series. She lives in Enoshima, Japan, with her husband and young son.
When you play a video game, the enemies and monsters play an important part in gameplay. They are one of the things that makes a game unforgettable – and determine whether it's a fun game for kids or a terrifying experience for adults. Some monsters and enemies are unforgettable, whether it's because they're scary-looking, gigantic or just funny. Here's a list of the top 50 coolest video game monsters, enemies and bad guys.
50. Murlocs (World of Warcraft)
These small tribes of frog-like creatures with an indecipherable language are relatively new to the Eastern Kingdoms of WoW. The player can hunt them for ingredients for broth or even armour. Although not massively threatening, these enemies are really cool-looking. They are humanoid frogs with bright colours, which are often associated with poison.
49. Reapers (Mass Effect)
The Reapers are a race of highly advanced machine race that represent starships. They are virtually indestructible robots with the intelligence of "billions" of organic brains, which is awesome.
48. Dark Ganon (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker)
Ganon, or Ganondorf, is the main antagonist in all of the Legend of Zelda games, appearing in various forms, such as monsters and phantoms, or in his human form. Dark Ganon in the Wind Waker is a seriously cool baddie, appearing as a mini-boss to throw lightning-bolts at the player and laugh in his deep, menacing voice. Definitely one for the list.
Ganondorf was also chosen as one of the characters in Super Smash Brothers Melee, along with the protagonist of the Zelda series, Link.
47. The Daedra (Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)
Huge gates in Cyrodiil have opened to unleash the horrors from the realm known as Oblivion, including these armoured creatures, the Daedra. Awesome weapons, spiked armour, blackened skin and creepy voices – these bad guys are a menace for the player and appear not only in Oblivion itself, but can also be summoned by evil mages, and certain members of cults can transform into them too.
Through reaching advances levels the player can acquire Daedric battle armour and weapons in both Oblivion and Skyrim.
46. Frieza (Dragon Ball Z)
This human-robot-lizard is a classic bad guy in a classic game. He is the main antagonist in the Dragon Ball Z manga and anime, as well as an enemy for the protagonist, Goku, to fight in the game.
He is described as "ruthless" and "powerful," a perfect combination for an evil alien master villain.
45. Darkspawn Ogre (Dragon Age: Origins)
The Darkspawn are the plagued, evil race threatening to take over the land of Ferelden, and must be stopped at all costs, first by the king's men, and then by the protagonists and whatever armies they can gather. The Ogre is one of many cool-looking monsters in this terrific RPG adventure fantasy game Dragon Age: Origins, one that is both annoying and evil.
The Ogre plays an important role in the game's storyline; if you've played Dragon Age: Origins, you'll understand what I mean, and why it's so satisfying to defeat it.
44. Creepers (Minecraft)
Minecraft is an extremely popular game where you can build, mine and destroy. Its unique graphics and flexible gameplay are what caused it to be a well-loved game today.
The Creepers, despite their simple appearance, often make players jump by appearing suddenly, and hissing in caves and hidden places. The Creepers are for sure a creature for the list - it's amazing what people can do with this style of graphics.
43. Dr Robotnik/Eggman (Sonic the Hedgehog series)
Dr. Robotnik, nicknamed "Eggman" by the protagonists, is another classic bad guy who can't be ignored. With his crazy appearance (just look at that mustache), his rivalry with Sonic and his many gadgets and minions he uses to defeat you, Eggman is just plain awesome.
Robotnik has been around since the original Sonic the Hedgehog game - the Sonic series just wouldn't be right if they got rid of him. He is also a playable character in Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games.
42. Head Crabs (Half-Life)
Head Crabs tick the "terrifying" box for me. Similarly to the movie Aliens, these nasty little critters can jump 3 meters into the air, and often choose to jump onto people's faces and completely take over their minds with their lipless mouths and "beaks" to feed. Yep, I won't be sleeping tonight.
These creatures also appear in Half-Life 2.
41. Zinyak (Saints Row)
Zinyak is the ruler of an alien race called the Zin, and is the main antagonist in Saints Row 5. What makes Zinyak so unique is his love of literature and his upper-class English accent, removing him from the stereotypical, bloodthirsty monsters that appear in video games. Not only is Zinyak sophisticated and evil, but looks great too - his whole attire just oozes with menace.
40. Super Mutant Master (Fallout: New Vegas)
I'm so glad they didn't get rid of the Super Mutants when Fallout: New Vegas was released. Not only did they keep the mutated, screaming monsters that can wield anything from a blunt stick to a hunter's rifle, but they added a whole new level of characteristics to them. My favourite Super Mutant is the Master.
Super Mutants appeared again in Fallout 4, and remain a signature baddie in Bethesda's post-apocalyptic series.
39. Abominations (World of Warcraft)
They're slow and stupid, but with amazing strength and ability. They are also delightfully hideous, which is why I put it on this list. No wonder they named it an "Abomination" – the creator of this creature must have had enormous fun combining all the most disgusting and repulsive features into one huge beast.
38. Brutalisks (Starcraft)
The Brutalisks are a powerful enemy unit in Starcraft that are slow but deal high damage. I always thought they were really cool-looking.
37. Spriggans (Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)
Spriggans are, in my opinion, strangely beautiful. They can be found in forests and caves in Tamriel, the Skyrim world, and use a lot of defensive magic such as healing and invisibility. They can also summon usually non-hostile creatures such as deer to come to their aid.
36. Boo (Super Mario series)
Boo the Ghost is cute and scary at the same time. Boo is one of the reasons that the Nintendo 64 version of Super Mario, the first 3D version released, became an instant classic.
Not only is it fat and cute and at the same time slightly terrifying ghost, but its fighting style is also what makes it unique. Boo hides its face and mirrors your movements, and must be "pound-grounded" by Mario to be defeated.
35. Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)
Final Fantasy VII is one of the most famous role-playing games of all time. Sephiroth is a celebrity war hero, celebrated and admired by all until he rebels and aims to obtain the Lifestream for himself and become a powerful "god-like" being. Sephiroth's hair and sword are what I love about him the most; he's got "awesome" written all over him.
34. Straga (Darksiders)
Straga is an extremely tough enemy in Darksiders. Armoured, creepy-looking, monstrous and strong, he just had to make the list. He is a general for the forces of Hell during Armageddon, and is the most powerful of the Chosen.
33. Deathclaws (Fallout Games)
The Deathclaws are considered some of the scariest monsters in the Fallout games. They make you jump badly when they suddenly leap on you and attack you with their massive, sharp claws.
Not quite human-like or dinosaur-like, Deathclaws are huge, scary and, like the Fallout universe, can appear out of nowhere. Stay away from Old Olney if you don't want your face ripped off.
32. Letho (The Witcher 2)
Letho is also called the Kingslayer. I always seem to have an insane liking for bad guys who ooze with manliness and toughness, and Letho ticks all the boxes here. Letho is the main antagonist in the Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, as his nickname would suggest, and kicks off the action by killing a king.
31. Scorpion (Mortal Kombat)
Hanzo Hasashi, or "Scorpion", has a seriously cool outfit and weapon. He's so popular, in fact, that he has appeared in every generation of the Mortal Kombat games as a playable character.
Scorpion isn't inherently evil, but I put him on this list anyway as his thirst for vengeance ultimately gives him evil qualities. Besides, he's way too cool to not put on the list.
30. Seymour Guado (Final Fantasy X)
Seymour is a Guado who, although appearing to be a respectable leader, later reveals himself as a murderer and a traitor, and pops up several times throughout the game as an unsent (dead, but with a remaining body and spirit) to continuously annoy the player. Not to mention the many different forms he takes that make him extremely difficult to defeat.
With his insane hair, and crazy clothes (quite typical of the Final Fantasy series), Seymour makes for an unforgettable, creepy bad guy.
29. War (The Binding of Isaac)
The Binding of Isaac is an indie 2D game with lots of creepy underlying meanings. A lot of the bad guys are scary and suggest more than they appear. I chose War, one of the horsemen, who appears as a boss on random floors of the game.
War shoots blood shots, rides round on his horse/broomstick, and is fairly difficult to beat. Another creepy baddie that made the list.
28. Floormaster (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask)
This monster gave me nightmares when I was a small child, although I never told my mum in case she stopped letting me play one of my favourite games of all time, Zelda. The floormasters hide on the ceiling, and if they catch you, they pull you up into... who knows where.
These monsters, when killed, sometimes spawn into three smaller ones, where, if not killed fast enough, can sprout into bigger ones. They can also turn themselves temporarily invincible as they charge at you. Creepy.
27. Witch (Left 4 Dead 2)
Left 4 Dead and its sequel, Left 4 Dead 2, are fast-paced adventure zombie games that are insanely fun to play with your friends. The games feature various awesome types of "Special Infected" zombies including ones that spit poison goo and obese monsters that puke on you.
The Witch sobs and moans as it wanders around the streets. You have to avoid it, and if someone makes a loud noise or rouses her, she screams and pins you down whilst slashing at you with her huge claws.
26. Akuma (Street Fighter Series)
Akuma is a martial arts master on steroids! He is featured in the UDON comics and originally appeared in Super Street Fighter II Turbo as a hidden boss. He is known as the "Supreme Master of the Fist."
25. Nemesis (Resident Evil 3: Nemesis)
Nemesis is an ugly and extremely powerful character in the survival horror game Resident Evil: 3 that pursues Jill, the protagonist, several times before she finally confronts him.
Nemesis is a bloodthirsty and merciless creature that, when defeated, transforms into writhing tentacles. Not only is he terrifying, but virtually indestructible too.
24. The Darkness (The Darkness)
Although it is your ally as well as your enemy, the Darkness is undoubtedly evil, possessing extreme power and no mercy. The Darkness takes over the protagonist's body, giving him powers but simultaneously controlling him.
This violent psychological horror game has had mostly positive feedback, due to its scary game play and intriguing, demon-like baddie.
23. Charizard (Pokémon)
Charizard is arguably the coolest Pokémon of all time; he's a fire-breathing dragon dinosaur with a burning tail that also obeys your every command. Charizard is available in most of the Pokémon series games (though in some, only possible through trading), and its pre-evolution, Charmander, is available as a starter in Pokémon Fire Red, Leaf Green, Red and Blue.
22. Queen Gohma (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
Another Ocarina of Time classic is Queen Gohma, the main boss in the Deku Tree. Gohma messes you up with her pincers, scales the ceiling and even lays eggs on you. If that isn't enough to increase your fear of spiders, I don't know what is.
21. Inferi (Condemned 2: Bloodshot)
We all love baddies that are there to simply creep you out. Inferi whispers your fate, appears in random places and basically teases the protagonist, Ethan Thomas, all the way through the game. Inferi resembles a man, but with definite demonic qualities such as white skin, sharp teeth, and unnatural eyes.
Inferi is undoubtedly cool. He's a mischievous demon - the protagonist's personal demon, arguably - with a cold heart and a partiality towards doom, death and mayhem.
20. Twinrova (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
Kotake and Koume are the evil witches that are ultimately the boss of the Spirit Temple, and kidnap and brainwash one of the thief girls when the protagonist, Link, is a child. One witch wields fire and the other wields ice; the player must use these opposing elements against them in battle. Upon being defeated, the witches combine to form Twinrova, the second part of the battle.
This was a surprise to players, as the twin witches are old and ugly, before transforming into the beautiful and young-lookng Twinrova. I love how she looks - sexy, frightening and totally unexpected.
19. Gohdan (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker)
Gohdan, similar to Bongo-Bongo in The Ocarina of Time, is a large boss baddie made of a giant head and hands, who appears in a temple to test the protagonist, Link. Gohma, to me, is futuristic-looking as well as being part of the holy temple. Fighting him is also a ton of fun.
18. Psycho Mantis (Metal Gear Solid)
Metal Gear Solid is such a cool game, and really advanced for its time. Psycho Mantis can "read your mind" when you battle him – by naming other games you might have played on your Playstation. Not only is he awesome, but looks great too; his attire is creepy, masks his face and shows toughness. A classic baddie in a classic game.
17. Leanashe (Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a really underrated RPG adventure game with many awesome fantasy creatures. I was always fascinated with the Leanashe, various types of creepy vampiric creatures of Irish legend. Leanashe is little more than a 'pest', but still stuck with me as a really cool-looking creature in the game.
16. Arthas Menethil (World of Warcraft)
Arthas Menethil is also known as the Lich King, the Jailer of the Damned and The Dark Lord of the Scourge. Originally being a hero, he sold his soul for a powerful rune blade, Frostmourn, but ultimately became the first of the Scourge after becoming corrupted. Eventually, the real Arthas ceased to exist, and the Lich King and his body were all that remained.
As World of Warcraft is one of the most played games of all time, Arthas Menethil is an extremely famous bad guy in the Warcraft universe. He's got the coolest sword and awesome armour.
15. Balverine (Fable: The Lost Chapters)
The Balverine are descendants of the much worse creatures Balvorn, who would feast on thousands of humans at a time. The only man who survived became the first Balverine, who aggressively hunt down others to infect them with a bite and turn them into Balverines too. If a person is bitten during a full moon, they turn into the much more powerful White Balverines, who are slain with silver weapons.
14. Elites (Halo)
The Elites in the Halo games put futuristic, badass and awesome all together into one group of soldiers. "Elite" is the perfect name for them. They are fierce, strong and intelligent warriors, who name themselves the Sangheili after their home planet, Sanghelios.
Their armour is really cool, hiding their alien and creepy-looking bodies, except their faces (which remind me a little of Predator). These creatures are evil in Halo and Halo 2, but are actually allies in Halo 3.
13. Owlbear (Dungeons and Dragons)
The Owlbear is both hilarious and terrifying; it's really a joke between D&D players. It has the body of a bear and the head of an owl that can turn a full 360 degrees; both funny and weird, and slightly creepy.
There is a lot of concept art of the Owlbear on sites such as Deviantart. One quality of Dungeons & Dragons is the ability for players to use their imagination to play. This hilarious-looking creature is a magical beast that attacks prey on sight, slashing with its claws and beak.
12. Vegnagun (Final Fantasy X-2)
Vegnagun is a colossal, robotic, beast-like weapon that's been hidden underground for a century. It reacts to hostility with insane destructive power. It's the final boss in Final Fantasy X-2.
I always thought this creature looked really cool - a gigantic robot, yet with animal-like qualities, that is so massive it takes a lot of people attacking different parts of it to defeat it. Not to mention it's being controlled by an angry spirit.
Vegnagun also creates holes in the underground of Spira, Final Fantasy X-2's world, causing bedlam in the Chambers of th Fayth and the temples. An awesome baddie with awesome power.
11. Elder Dragon (Guild Wars 2)
Dragons are one of my favourite mythical creatures. Guild Wars 2 is a massive online role-playing fantasy adventure game with a seemingly endless Beastiary. The Elder Dragons awaken every 10,000 years to consume everything in their path, absorb the world's magic, and destroy virtually everything before going back to sleep, before the cycle begins again. It's about the worst, and coolest, dragon you can imagine.
10. Crawler (Fable III)
The Crawler, sometimes referred to as the Nightcrawler, is the central antagonist in the latter half of Fable III. It possesses people, traumatises them and even has an army of Shadow Children.
Two-faced, alien-like and armour-like, I instantly thought this baddie was too cool to ignore. The Crawler is a formidable enemy in Fable 3, that lives only to consume the world and envelop it in darkness.
9. Jack of Hearts (Nier Gestalt and Nier Replicant)
The Shades are the monsters in the extremely underrated fantasy game Nier, and come in various shapes and sizes. There are some huge Shade bosses, such as Kaine's nemesis, but my favourite is the huge Shade that attacks Nier's village, known as the Jack of Hearts or Jack. It's huge, powerful and terrifying, and takes a long time to defeat.
I could prattle on all day about how much I love this game. The Jack of Hearts appears at a very significant point in Nier, which makes it all the more unforgettable.
8. Hydra (God of War)
Greek mythology inspires some of the best magical creatures such as the Hydra, which appears within the first five minutes of the epic fantasy game God of War. It's big, it's brutal and it's powerful – and one of the coolest looking creatures I've fought on a game.
The Hydra attacks the ships at the beginning of God of War, and you have to fight several of them to progress through the game, including the giant Hydra. With its jagged teeth, evil eyes and bloodthirsty nature, it's one of my favourite game creatures of all time.
7. Pyramid Head (Silent Hill Series)
This is another creature that terrified me to the core. Pyramid Head first appeared in Silent Hill 2 as the protagonist's personal demons, representing his past crimes. Pyramid Head represents some kind of humanoid, maybe a butcher, with a huge, pyramid-like structure on its head (representing death), and carrying a huge sword and dragging it wherever he goes. In some parts of the game, you can hear him dragging it along.
Silent Hill is easily the scariest game series I've ever played, thanks to this guy. It's especially terrifying when he appears unexpectedly; when he suddenly popped up in the sewers, I jumped, paused the game, and sobbed for twenty minutes.
6. Samael (Darksiders)
Samael the demon prince was exiled from Hell and thrown into internal imprisonment, his power stripped and divided between the Chosen. He regained his lost power with the help of War and broke free of prison. He is one of the oldest and most powerful Demons in creation.
I love everything about Samael and his looks: the huge wings, bulging muscles, and definite devil-inspired attire is the perfect look for an evil demon monster.
5. Hansel & Gretel (Nier)
Hansel and Gretel are statues possessed by Shades in Nier, who you fight twice. Their twinned power makes them a formidable enemy; they can shoot ranged magic, and attack with their powerful spears.
Upon the second playthrough, the player can hear all of the Shade's thoughts - and finding out the truth behind Hansel and Gretel's story is fascinating... and heartbreaking.
4. Hades (God of War III)
Hades is the brother of Zeus and Poseidon, and a major antagonist in God of War III. To me, he is one of the coolest-looking baddies in any game, ever, and deserves to be Number 4 on this list.
3. Colossi (Shadow of the Colossus)
Shadow of the Colossus is an incredible adventure game about a young man who steals an ancient sword and battles colossal beasts in order to revive a maiden he loves. This game has been considered by many as a work of art; the monsters, the world, storyline and music have all been renowned.
It's pretty much impossible to choose the 'best' creature from Shadow of the Colossus, as they're all beautifully designed. However, if I had to pick one or two, it would either be Colossus 3 or Colossus 15. Both are pictured below.
2. Big Daddies (Bioshock)
Another extremely popular game is Bioshock, with the giant robotic beasts that protect little girls from danger, known as Big Daddies.
1. Dragon God (Demon's Souls)
One of the most difficult and most awesome evil creatures out there is the Dragon God from Demon's Souls. When it roared in the opening scene, I could almost feel its power. Not to mention those two rows of sharp teeth and huge horns. For me, it's the coolest looking creature in video games.
Video game companies continue to bring us new, exciting, cool, and scary monsters and bad guys who we love to hate. Discovering an awesome enemy can make the game even more unforgettable. Gamers continue to look forward to creative designs by our favourite artists and designers.
© 2014 Poppy
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on April 20, 2019:
Thank you so much for your comment, Clint!
Clint on April 19, 2019:
Great list! One of the few "top #" lists that didn't have any entries I disagreed with.
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on February 28, 2019:
justin degroat on February 28, 2019:
how about every single person from fortnite.
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on July 29, 2018:
Thank you, Natalie!
Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on July 16, 2018:
What a fun topic! You sure know a lot about the monsters in video games! Maybe you should try creating one yourself (: Thanks for an interesting read.
Kai on February 17, 2018:
That is not Colossus 15, that is Colossus 1.
JME MAC on February 08, 2018:
Did I miss it somewhere or what. DIABLO OR THE COW KING (moo moo moo moo moo moo) from Diablo series. Yes, I necroed this post.
Crazy on October 24, 2017:
Where’s the ghost leviathan from subnuatica
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on March 28, 2017:
Didn't know about that one!
FlooD on March 19, 2017:
Where is the Dragon from Metin2?
who was that guy? on November 10, 2016:
where is wheatley!!! there cant be an enemy list without wheatley. and minac is also good i thought
jewe on October 17, 2016:
I feel like the dahaka from Prince of Persia 2 could fit into the list.
Murlock on July 14, 2016:
-a typical murloc
Ultima puppy on July 08, 2016:
Where is ultima from final fantasy xii?
BennieBooty on April 04, 2016:
Haha, very cool article xD
Havn't seen a Murloc in a while^^
Those were some great times, sitting on front of your PC, drinking a nice cup of coffee, listening to some smooth ambient music like this :
and smashing the "§$?!! hell out of these little ?%Q"!!%$ for just beeing such /$&%§"", gnarh, I hate them! xD
Selina Birkin on March 26, 2016:
You missed an important one.
EVERY ZERG UNIT in Starcraft.
Andrei Andreescu from Seattle, Washington on November 21, 2015:
Geesh this brought so many awesome memories back!Fable the lost chapters was the game of my childhood.still looking for it on the internet as the initial cd that I had bought 8 years ago or is badly scratched.played 90% of the games you mentioned and this was awesome to read.
Emma on September 29, 2015:
Great list! Love the Zelda references.. that game was spooky.
Sarah Forester from Australia on June 25, 2015:
Love the list! Big Daddies win it for me.
Link10103 on July 26, 2014:
Never played Kingdom Hearts?? Even more flabbergasted...if you like Disney and Final Fantasy stuff at all it really is a must play.
I would have to say the most memorable and probably one of the few best boss battles I have played in a game was the final fight against Xemnas in KH 2. Out of the like 5 forms he has, the last one was the best.
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on July 26, 2014:
I'm sorry Link but I've never played Kingdom Hearts :( who would you suggest from that?
Link10103 on July 26, 2014:
Nothing from Kingdom Hearts? I am flabbergasted....
Quite surprised I recognized 95% of the enemies on this list. Actually just learned about the Dragon God last week after watching a playthrough of Demon Souls, which I plan on getting soon since I rebought dark souls and managed to beat it properly this time around without crying in a dark corner....
Finblob on July 25, 2014:
Nice list! If you've ever played Dragons Dogma (which I highly recommend) then I think Griffins deserve to be on this list, really fun to fight, especially with Dragons Dogma's combat style.