The 16 Biggest Haters In Video Games

The 16 Biggest Haters In Video Games

It is prime time to be a hater right now. The Kendrick Lamar and Drake beef has been a spectacle to watch unfold over the past few days. Lamar is dropping some of the harshest disses of his career, while Drake says “nuh uh” over a beat. I finally understand why Ancient Rome held gladiator fights.

But who is Kendrick channeling right now as he commits musical murder before our eyes? He’s achieved hater status usually reserved for figures like Judas and Timmy Turner’s dad from the Fairly Odd Parents. But what about the video game characters who have been defined by their hatred? Who has been fueled by the kind of spite that leads to someone dropping a song like “Meet the Grahams?”

Let’s run down some of the biggest haters in video games.

Clockwerk from Sly Cooper

Image: Sucker Punch Productions

Have you ever hated someone’s family so much you replaced your entire body with mechanical parts just to live forever and try to one-up them? If not, then you cannot claim to be a bigger hater than Clockwerk from the Sly Cooper series. Technically, this mechanical bird is only the main villain of one of Sucker Punch’s heist-driven platformers, but his impact on our hero’s psyche and legacy persists throughout the series. This motherfucker was so jealous of the Cooper family’s thieving lineage that he prolonged his life for centuries trying to outdo them. Eventually, he gave up on that part and decided to try and wipe out the Cooper bloodline, killing Sly’s family in front of him as a child. But he didn’t know that Connor Cooper was hiding a child in a closet, which would be his undoing after centuries of robot immortality.

Bowser from Super Mario

Image: Illumination

Mario’s archnemesis is probably the most notorious hater in video games. Bowser is nefarious but he’s also a down bad pathetic loser who persists seemingly out of spite. The absolute hater energy you have to have to continuously kidnap a monarch, try and fail to take over the kingdom, and still insist on showing up to the friend group’s tennis tournament? Unmatched.

Blue from Pokémon

Image: The Pokémon Company

“Smell ya later!” You heard that in his voice, right? You hear the cocky swagger of his theme in your head as he walks away, having burned you by implying that you have a foul odor he has to subject himself to just to be around you. Blue from Pokémon, sometimes known as Gary from the anime, set the blueprint for the series’ rivals. Yeah, some are meaner, some are more terrifying to face in battle, but Blue walked so every variation of a rival character could run. He might be insecure in his own capabilities as a trainer, or he could be angry because you named him PoopButt when you were given the option, but whatever his motivation, every instance you’re in his proximity is a one-sided rap battle that can only be stopped by besting him in battle.

GLaDOS from Portal

Image: Valve

The artificial intelligence antagonist of the Portal series is an incredible shit-talker. GLaDOS initially presents herself as a simple AI that observes your actions all under the guise of monitoring “tests.” But once her mask comes off and you know she’s a vindictive fuck who wants you dead, she starts spitting some of the meanest, pettiest shit she can. Her begrudging partnership with you in Portal 2 is peppered with constant dunks on your character, personality, looks, and the fact that your mother left you on a doorstep, allegedly. She is always looking for a reason to tell you that she wants you dead, and if she can’t find one, she’ll make one up.

Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII

Image: Square Enix

Sephiroth was a decent enough hater to make this list in the original Final Fantasy VII, but the Remake continuity ups his haterdom tenfold. That man travels through the multiverse all to try once again to fuck up protagonist Cloud Strife’s day again in hopes that he’ll be more successful this time around. If that’s not a commitment, I don’t know what else is.

Tinkaton from Pokémon

Image: The Pokémon Company

Don’t let Tinkaton’s cute appearance fool you. There’s a reason this little fairy-type Pokémon carries a giant hammer, and it’s to make the local Corviknight’s lives a living hell. One of the defining characteristics in its Pokédex entries is that it will use its hammer to launch rocks into the sky, aiming for the Corviknight just trying to live their lives in the Paldea sky. If the fact those who study Pokémon know most about you is that you will not leave those poor birds alone, you should be listed as a Hater Pokémon in the Pokédex.

Fenris and Anders from Dragon Age

Image: BioWare

Dragon Age II’s party members exist to embody the political and religious and political conflicts that define its setting of Kirkwall. Fenris, an elf who was enslaved by mages in the land of the Tevinter Imperium, and Anders, a mage freedom fighter, could not be more diametrically opposed. Their relationship is entirely defined by outward disdain for each other, and it’s clear that if they weren’t linked by protagonist Hawke, they’d have killed each other shortly after meeting. But the most hater moment of their relationship comes in Fenris’ final companion quest, in which the player can give him back to his slaver in the last act. If you do this, Anders gets Friendship points. Sure, people are complicated individuals who contradict themselves, but seeing a person who does nothing but advocate for freedom celebrate the enslavement of someone they hate is a profound hater moment.

Theseus from Hades

Image: Supergiant Games

Theseus is the mother of all haters in Hades. You know Theseus’ ship? The idea is that if you disassemble a ship and replace its parts, you have to question if it’s still the same ship. If you were to disassemble him and put him back together with entirely new pieces, he’d still be a self-righteous hater who wants nothing more than to gut protagonist Zagreus. — Moises Taveras

Tonberries from Final Fantasy

Screenshot: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

Tonberries are cute little guys, but they’re also slow, vicious creatures. They waddle across battlefields to try and give Final Fantasy characters a gentle poke with a knife. While the distance may not be very far for the average person, these little stubby boys take whole minutes to cross 10 feet and execute an attack. They are practically doing a whole pilgrimage on their way to stab you and execute a near-instant kill attack. To go on a whole journey just to stab a motherfucker is a perfect distillation of being a hater.

Jack and Miranda from Mass Effect

Image: BioWare

You ever hated someone so much you were willing to die just to prove a point? Then you have not reached the levels of Jack and Miranda in the Mass Effect series. Sure, these two make up and become friends in Mass Effect 3’s Citadel DLC, but in Mass Effect 2, the cheerleader for human extremist group Cerberus and one of their test subjects are ready to kill each other after being forced to work together to stop a threat to humanity. When tensions reach their peak, you have to make a decision to side with one or the other (or use your persuasion points to settle the fight). If you can’t pass that stat check and have to pick one over the other, you lose their “loyalty,” which cuts off the rest of their relationship during the game and puts them at further risk of death in the game’s climactic suicide mission. Letting yourself die because your commanding officer sided with your archenemy is an incredible bit. Shoutout to both of them for untold pettiness.

Goro Akechi from Persona 5

Image: Atlus

You know, there are at least a couple of sources of hatred I could list under why Persona 5’s Goro Akechi is a prime hater in video games. He tries so hard to receive acknowledgment from his father that he starts a career as a detective and becomes renowned throughout Japan for his ability to solve mysteries. But even the fame and notoriety aren’t enough, and it sends him spiraling into more intense resentment, even becoming a hitman trying to gain his father’s approval. It’s all for naught, but his hatred for his father isn’t the only reason he’s on this list. He outright tells protagonist Joker that he hates him, and he doesn’t understand how he can gain the approval of others without dedicating his entire life to being loved and respected. He’s a tragic figure, and I feel bad for him. But in all that training and studying to become someone worth his father’s attention, he also accidentally became a professional hater.

Grunty from Banjo-Kazooie

Image: Rare

Grunty from Banjo-Kazooie is basically the queen from Snow White. The witch covets another woman’s beauty and is willing to engage in some horrifying body horror shit to take it for herself. Honestly, watching Banjo-Kazooie’s Game Over screen is kind of unsettling because you see the witch’s appearance change into a supermodel while Banjo’s sister Tooty gets turned into a witch-like monster. The whole thing is played for laughs, but it’s kinda fucked up. Hater-driven body horror is a new one for this list, I guess.

Kratos from God of War

Screenshot: Santa Monica Studio / Kotaku

The protagonist of Santa Monica Studio’s God of War series has mellowed out in recent years. But before he pivoted to Norse mythology and ax throwing, that man’s sole motivation was violent rage. He was willing to go through any Greek god to reach Zeus, and he did it with such reckless abandon that they had to make a whole new series to basically say, “Hey, whoa, that wasn’t very chill of us.” The god of war went to therapy in God of War Ragnarök’s excellent Valhalla DLC, and therapy cures the hater affliction, even the one you have for yourself. But Kratos’ shenanigans in Greece rival Kendrick’s most vicious verses.

Sonic and Shadow from Sonic the Hedgehog


We don’t even need to explain how these dudes are haters. Just watch this scene from Sonic Adventure 2.

Groose from The Legend of Zelda

Image: Nintendo

Sometimes, the classic narrative structures of being a hater still work. Groose, Link’s rival in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, has a big ol’ crush on the titular princess, and teen love triangles are ripe for hatred. Groose calls Link incompetent in front of God and everyone, tries to keep him from impressing Zelda with his athleticism by sabotaging him at every turn, and is just generally a pest. He comes around at the end when the safety of Zelda and the world is at stake, but we have to give respect to a man so dedicated to undermining his rival in love that he’s willing to make an ass out of himself in front of the same woman he’s trying to woo. Absolute fool behavior, but a hater, nonetheless.

Goro Majima from Yakuza

Image: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio

This dude lives with the sole motivation to fight Yakuza protagonist Kazuma Kiryu. He doesn’t care about anything else because he believes this is the only person who can match his power. When you pivot your entire life to going insane lengths to bother Kiryu, being a hater might as well be your religion. It’s a way of life. Sure, he has other interests, but those are hobbies. This is a 9-5 job, and his 5-9.

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