There are an abundance of villains in the video game industry that it’s incredibly difficult to pick just one as its best villain. There is one that stands out though in every appearance he makes, and elevates every game he’s in. Ganondorf is the best video game villain. Not Ganon, but Ganondorf, the Demon Thief and later the Great King of Evil once he attains the Triforce of Power. He’s cunning, he’s powerful, he’s wicked, and he elevates every game he makes an appearance in. In fact, the Zelda games he appears in are all among the best. While Ganondorf is first mentioned in A Link to the Past and its backstory, he never makes a proper appearance until Ocarina of Time. In fact, of the console games, Ganondorf only appears in three games: Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and Twlilight Princess. He does appear in one of the Four Swords games, but I don’t necessarily count that as a Zelda-proper title. Despite this fact though, his presence is still felt in the entire Zelda franchise. Another fascinating facet of the character is that he is different in each of his appearances, making him dynamic with character development. Ganondorf goes from being a purely evil character in Ocarina of Time to a somewhat sympathetic character in The Wind Waker. Compared to villains like Bowser, or other villains in some of the most storied franchises in the history of gaming, this is not common. Ganondorf still maintains his cunning, his lust for power, and his wicked nature, but a part of his motivation is revealed. The Ganondorf fights are also some of the most enjoyable, epic battles in all of gaming. To put it simply, they’re fun. Ganondorf is a fantastic villain not because of his lust for power or evil nature, but because of his sheer intelligence and cunningness. In Ocarina of Time he manages to deceive the King of Hyrule, gain access to the Sacred Realm, and in the process claim the Triforce for himself, letting everyone else do all the work. In The Wind Waker his goal remains the same as Ocarina of Time (it is the same Ganondorf re: the timeline): bring Wisdom, Courage, and Power together and conquer the world. This may seem simple, but his true motivations aren’t actually revealed until Twilight Princess, which takes place in a parallel timeline. Ganondorf manages to use his cunning nature once again in Twilight Princess to resurrect himself, maintaining a certain level of continuity with the character. He tricks Zant, houses himself and his power within him, and bides his time (Ganondorf is incredibly patient throughout the entire franchise.) His true goal, for all three games he appears in, is finally revealed: to mix light and shadow together to create darkness. This makes sense, as in A Link to the Past he has already created a shadow realm in the Dark World which is parallel to the Light World, which he is attempting to take over as well. Ganondorf isn’t as deep in this title as the others, but his appearance is the most epic in the entire Legend of Zelda franchise. His dialogue is superb. He has four different phases in which you have to fight, making for the greatest boss battle(s) in the history of video games. This is yet another aspect of the character which is revealed that adds credence to the fact that he is the greatest villain in the history of video games. Nintendo is smart and uses Ganondorf sparingly, so he never becomes stale. He appears to be slated to be the villain in Breath of the Wild 2, which will be his first appearance in a Zelda game since 2006. His boss battles are among the best in gaming history, if not the best. He’s cunning and intelligent, which he uses more than his sheer power. He’s dynamic and has a level of character development not usually seen in any villain in a major video game franchise. It doesn’t hurt matters that he’s a part of the greatest gaming franchise of all time. Ganondorf is the best video game villain. Nintendo has crafted a master character in their greatest video game franchise, and it will be interesting how they move forward with the character in Breath of the Wild 2 and add yet another dimension to him.