10 Best Video Game Characters Who Went From Villain To Friend

With recent news from Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga being released just around the corner on April 5, 2022, hopes of seeing Darth Vader once again throw Emperor Palpatine down the reactor shaft are high. The joy of seeing Darth Vader aka Anakin Skywalker join the side of the light and redeem himself has been felt across many game titles.

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For players, seeing once dangerous enemies become loyal allies definitely shows that anyone can be saved if given a helping hand. The resulting enthusiastic player response led the developers to incorporate these reformed villains more deeply into storylines, deepening the lore of the character and the franchise itself.


ten Meta Knight – Kirby Franchise

Meta Knight, debuting in Kirby’s Adventure, was once one of Dedede’s main strengths, acting as an antagonist to the beloved hero Kirby. Although his actions of dispatching hordes of enemies and personally challenging Kirby make him seem determined to destroy Kirby, Meta Knight’s real goal was to train and prepare Kirby for future deadly battles.

Meta Knight’s new heroic role and his growing popularity led to a more substantial and important storyline in later game titles. Many in which he would be a playable character, through side stories or alongside friends in multiplayer.

9 Knuckles The Echidna – Sonic Franchise

Debut in sonic the hedgehog 3, Knuckles is introduced as an antagonist working under the main series villain, Dr. Eggman. As Sonic progresses through the story and continually encounters Knuckles, it is slowly revealed to Sonic and Knuckles himself that he has been deceived by Dr. Eggman the whole time. Following this revelation, Knuckles immediately abandons Dr. Eggman and chooses to ally himself with Sonic.

Knuckles joining Sonic led to his growing popularity and inclusion in the Sonic franchise spanning games, movies, and TV. Knuckles would then become a playable character in normal gameplay, allowing friends to join Sonic’s adventure, doubling the fun for future episodes. Knuckles also paved the way for the growing number of characters to join the fight against Dr. Eggman.

8 Chloe Frazer – Uncharted Series

Chloe Frazer Uncharted Lost Legacy

Introduced in Uncharted 2, Chloe served as the primary companion alongside series protagonist Nathan Drake. Chloe creates a rollercoaster of emotions as she alternates between helping and betraying Drake. Between leaving Drake for dead, saving him in prison, and helping him fight off Lazarevic’s forces, nailing down Chloe’s allegiances is difficult at best.

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Chloe’s story in Uncharted 2 ends on a bittersweet note that endeared her to fans and cemented her as a series favorite. And although she is not a playable character during her appearances in Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3she was an interesting enough character to create her own spinoff game Uncharted: The Lost Legacy where she plays a leading role.

seven Superman – Injustice 2

Evil Superman - Injustice 2

Being synonymous with good and justice, even Superman received the supervillain treatment. After being cruelly tricked by the Joker, Superman has become an almost insurmountable source of evil. However, in the form of another universe’s Superman, he is once again established as a source of justice as the good Superman battles with the evil Superman, once again establishing him as a proven hero.

The introduction of an evil superman has given players more options in Injustice 2 through alternate costumes, allowing the player a wide range of options to choose from. The deepening of the character’s narrative has also been well received by fans, producing another perspective on where Superman lore might be headed.

6 Captain Qwark – Ratchet & Clank Franchise

While Captain Qwark had always considered himself a paragon of good while he was the leader of the Galactic Rangers, he actually worked alongside the bad guys to receive credit and prestige he didn’t really earn. . This ultimately led to him being imprisoned for crimes against the galaxy.

Although initially introduced as a one-note comic character, seeing his reformation through several Ratchet and Clank installments have made him a fan-favorite character. Qwark’s popularity has led to his inclusion in minigames, unlockable character skins, as well as being a playable character in a CO-OP based installment of the franchise.

5 Silver – Pokémon Gold And Silver

Introduced as a thief who steals his first Pokemon from Professor Elm, Silver’s introduction to the series spells harm. Silver’s main narrative focus is to challenge main character Gold, serving as a progressive milestone to test Gold’s Pokémon breeding ability. At the end of the game, Silver finally realizes that he has gone down the wrong path. Silver’s reformation is made evident when his Golbat evolves into a Crobat, which only happens through a high level of friendship and trust.

As the main character of Pokemon games is always the hero who fights against the forces of evil, this does not allow for real character development. Silver’s reformation from good to bad was nostalgic for the character “Blue” from past Pokémon games who similarly became an angry rival to fellow Pokémon master. Silver’s reform deepens the tradition and elevates Pokemon from a simple monster breeding game to a world-class RPG.

4 Kratos – God Of War Series

First appeared in the 2005 game God of the war, Kratos was introduced as a sympathetic character who was cruelly tricked by the god Ares into killing his family. The game then told his story from warrior seeking revenge to hero. Yet, once his ambition was sated, the power and prestige he had acquired led him to become drunk on power, turning him into a corrupt and cruel ruler.

Kratos’ story is one of the few where the protagonist goes from good to bad and then back to good. Kratos’ distaste for what he has become and then making an active effort to change himself is one of the many reasons the franchise has maintained its captivation in gamers’ hearts. Eventually leading it to become a well-known and beloved franchise.

3 Kain – Final Fantasy IV

Kain in Final Fantasy IV

Introduced as the best friend and brother of main character Cecil, Kain acts as both a member of the party and an obstacle to the party throughout. Final Fantasy IV story. Kain’s sibling rivalry with Cecil led to his brainwashing and manipulation due to Golbez’s attempts to separate them. Although Kain betrays the party on several occasions, this is mainly due to Golbez’s nefarious plans.

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Kain’s overcoming a very arduous test in his attempt to truly free himself from manipulation has led him to become a very likable and beloved character. His remorse is made apparent when Kain decides to skip his brother’s wedding as an act of atonement showing that he truly regrets the actions he has committed. His popularity with fans led to his inclusion as a later playable character. Final Fantasy Games.

2 Axel – Kingdom Hearts Series

Kingdom Heart Axel

Debut in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Axel is a character of ambiguous allegiance who constantly alternates between helping and hindering main character Sora. His role as a double agent makes it difficult for both parties to truly count him as one of them, which is boosted by his sarcastic and playful nature.

Through the many spin-offs and finally kingdom hearts 2, Axel truly commits to the side of light and sacrifices himself to allow Sora to overcome a seemingly impossible obstacle. His act of selflessness eventually pays off as he is warmly welcomed to the side of good and even becomes one of the few keyblade wielders who are on the front line in the battle against darkness.

1 Riku – Kingdom Hearts Series

Riku, the main character Sora’s best friend, is the main antagonist and final boss of the original. Kingdom Hearts acting as a major obstacle for Sora throughout the game. When their home island was engulfed in darkness, Riku willingly submitted to the darkness, believing it was the only way to truly help their friend from common childhood Kairi who lost her heart in the dark.

Thanks to Sora’s interference and Riku seeing how Sora was willing to sacrifice himself to save Kairi without hesitation, Riku realizes that the path he chose was less than ideal. Under the tutelage of King Mickey and his own unbreakable spirit, during the events of KH2, Riku joins Sora in his fight against the evil Organization 13 and surprisingly becomes one of the few controllable characters besides Sora and Roxas. Riku’s return to light was and is one of the most memorable examples of a former villain becoming a hero.

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