Games Where You Can Be Evil

Aren’t you tired of being nice? Do you wanna go a little wild? Maybe even evil? Most games will have you play as the good guy, whatever the perspective of ‘good’ means to most people. And being good is a good thing, but games are fiction, and sometimes it’s nice to be a little mischievous.

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And if you can be rewarded for it? Then that’s even better. This isn’t just for the games where things are thematically different for being evil, but when you are tangibly rewarded with something you would never see otherwise when obstructed by things like ‘morals’ or ‘ethics’.

10 Crusader Kings

crusader kings 3 holy roman empire throne of charlemagne

We have a tendency to view the medieval period in Europe, especially those disconnected from Europe, as being a time of bleak colours, serious talk, and absolutely no humour. That’s hardly the case, and Crusader Kings is a great showcase that the medieval period was filled with many colourful and eccentric figures.

Crusader Kings is also very honest about this. There’s no goal, really, but you’ll want to expand your borders. And what’s more fun, building a long lineage and hoping land falls into your hands, or killing some foreign lord after fabricating a claim on their land so it becomes your own? No empire was built on bloodless deeds.

9 Papers, Please

Papers Please gameplay

Papers, Please is a game about the world. Though taking on a Soviet aesthetic, the game portrays a situation that exists around the world, especially during times of strife. You manage the border of Arstotzka as an Immigration Inspector, being the last line between who is deemed worthy to get into your glorious nation.

When was the last time legality defined morality? Papers, Please tasks you with balancing these pesky concepts. Is helping someone who just wants peace in a new home worth it when your own family must suffer for it? Or maybe you simply don’t care, and the allure of that fancy new apartment that’s closer to work is worth the broken lives.

8 Vampyr

Vampyr Doctor Reid Bites A Victim

Don’t Nod has made a great many games across many different genres, but they typically share one aspect – morality. What makes you a good person, and is doing the wrong thing at times the moral thing to do? Vampyr has this at its very core, the lives of the people of London in your trained, bloody hands.

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As a doctor, you are essential to the health of London. Yet as a vampire, blood is sorely needed for you to survive. This landlord is a scourge, why not sup on his blood? No one will miss him. Ah, but fresh blood tastes so good. Why not have another? You are a doctor, you should get to decide who’s worthy of living. Or does that make you a monster?

7 Tyranny

The Fatebinder And Companions In Tyranny

Tyranny is a game that wears its politics on its sleeve. It’s in the very title. You play as a Fatebinder, tasked with restoring and maintaining the order of Kyros, the mysterious figure that rules the land of Terratus. There’s no changing that fact. You are a Fatebinder, and Kyros rules.

There is no opportunity to be ‘good’ in Tyranny, only shades of lesser evil. You can choose to rebel against Kyros, but the system is fundamentally broken. Maybe this is better, but who are you, an enforcer of their rule, to decide? It would be so much easier to just do your job and enjoy a calm, controlled life under Kyros instead.

6 Call of Duty

A gameplay screenshot of a player swimming with their weapon near an explosion in COD Warzone DMZ.

Are you a fan of war crimes? Hopefully, the answer to that question is no, or else there is no hope left for you. Of course war crimes are evil, yet there’s a degree of desensitisation to the actual concept. How many times have you played a game in Call of Duty and triggered a nuke to end the match and felt genuine horror and dismay at what you’d done? Probably not very often.

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Of course, Call of Duty at its base doesn’t really give you the option to be ‘good’, does it? Real war crimes are altered to have been caused by another of those evil nations, not the one you’re playing as. No, you’re the good guy. Remember that the next time you drop white phosphorous on the people you’re told are the enemy.

5 Untitled Goose Game

Two geese in a garden honking at a cross-armed woman

If there was a creature on this Earth that was most inclined towards villainous deeds, you might feel a moral imperative to say it would be humans. But you would be wrong. It is geese. Geese are beings of nought but malice and treachery, and Untitled Goose Game proves it.

The game has you take on the role of a Goose whose sole purpose is to harass people. You could try to be nice about your devious acts, but that would be like playing GTA and obeying road rules – exceedingly boring. Untitled Goose Game lets you express a brand of evil that isn’t about killing people, so you may as well take glee in it. You get a golden egg for it.

4 Baldur’s Gate 3

The Dark Urge in Baldur's Gate 3

Coming from one of the most renowned gaming CRPGs and one of the biggest media franchises in D&D, this entry by Larian is a whirlwind success, and one that isn’t afraid to be frank with its content.

The Dark Urge is just that – a wonderful urge you can’t bear to resist. Truly, does this annoying person you’re talking to really need to be alive? Wouldn’t it be funny to give in to the impulsive thought of eating that corpse? Who’s to say all that is evil anyway? That hand you took is probably going to come in, um, ‘handy’ sooner or later.

3 Infamous

Delsin Rowe looking at his hands in Infamous Second Son

There are two brands of Good and Evil when it is depicted in games – Absurdist, and Deathly Serious. Infamous is of the latter branch, only becoming more Deathly Serious as the games go on. The original two can be comedic in it at times, though still dwell on what it means to harness such power and the responsibility that comes with it.

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Second Son, however, manifests it in very interesting ways. Your powers become more brutal, aiming for instant kills and explosions galore. What’s defined as evil at times can try to be so Deathly Serious that it twists back around to being Absurdist. For example, sex is reserved for evil people, and that seems like a pretty good incentive to kill.

2 Dishonored

Corvo summons a rat swarm to attack a guard in Dishonored

Dishonored is a series that manages to blend the ideas of good and evil in a way that is both over-the-top and thematically grounded. The game makes it very clear to you that killing people is bad. Even the other evil people can be taken care of in a way that is poetically appropriate without death, even if that non-lethal fate is at times worse than death.

Plagues are at the core of Dishonored. If you don’t kill, then the plague subsides. People are healthier, there are fewer rats, and less security. But where’s the run in that? Watching a swarm of rats devour the City Guard is only fair for what they’ve inflicted on you. With all the power you have, you deserve to play around with people. It’s much more fun than hiding away.

1 Fable

A man running through Bowerstone, a fantasy setting filled with trees and taverns.

Deep on the Absurdist scale we have Fable. Fable is a true joy because it knows morality is a flimsy structure when viewed through a societal lens. So its answer to that was stereotypes. You kicked a chicken? Vile behaviour, you now don horns befitting a demon. You helped a cat down from a tree. A saint walks among us, have a halo to announce your divinity.

Fable 2 makes this even more fun with the introduction of Purity and Corruption. You gave a family housing in a beautiful home? How Good of you, here’s a glowing aura. Ah, you are charging them extortionate rent to fill your own pockets. Black hair and a poor complexion be cast upon your corruption.

NEXT: Best Chaotic Evil Villains In Video Games

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