For a lot of non-gamers, Nintendo seems to be a classic video game company with a knack for creating adorable games like Mario or Kirby, but if you’re a real fan, you know that not every game to come out of Nintendo has such a plush look, nor should those appearances deceive you. Even in the most classic of games, there are villains that shouldn’t be taken lightly; honestly, who wouldn’t be spooked by a giant turtle that breathes fire? Not to mention that there are plenty of wicked characters that look like they came from unpleasant dreams, like Metal Face.
Regardless of your own personal opinions on Nintendo’s looks, stories, and characters, you know these games become classics because they're excellent. Everything from their heroes design to the plots that are woven are either downright genius or simple and easy so that everyone can enjoy them, regardless of abilities. While there’s plenty of topics we could look into today with what makes a Nintendo character great, we’ll only be looking at the villain’s portion. After all, a good story does need a good antagonist to get us behind the hero and their cause! Thankfully, Nintendo has had some of the greatest villains we ever got the pleasure of defeating; so much so that they became iconic to both the brand and villain name! Looking into 25 of the most powerful villains Nintendo had to offer, we’ve officially ranked them from who’s the strongest to who’s the weakest.
25 KING DEDEDE
The iconic penguin from Kirby may be adorable, but it’s a little tricky being his friend. Unlike other villains on this list, Dedede is actually fairly innocent in personality. He doesn’t have a wicked goal, he just happens to get possessed by more powerful natures in the Kirby Universe.
His fights aren't typically the hardest a Nintendo gamer has faced, but he’s still worthy of acknowledgement. And with that giant hammer, We’re lucky Kirby’s the one dealing with him and not us!
24 BOWSER JR.
The spitting image of his father, Bowser Jr. isn’t a Nintendo character you want to take lightly. Sure, he looks like a tiny version of his papa, but he’s actually pretty chaotic and utilizes many of the old toys Bowser grew out of.
Because he’s a child, there’s always something about his fights that make him seem sloppy and extremely dangerous. The biggest problem is that we don’t exactly know why he does this stuff, which makes him very unpredictable.
Ambition will take you anywhere, and the Pokémon villain Lusamine is definitely proof of that. The head and founder of the Aether Foundation, you would think she'd be more of a good guy; after all, all she wants to do is help cure injured Pokémon inhabiting her random island.
However, what she really wants is beautiful things to “own,” and even goes as far as to disown her children in order to achieve her personal goals.
22 WOLF O' DONNELL
While Wolf has always been unsuccessful in taking down the Star Fox Team, he’s always been a very determined foe. His tenacity is partially what makes him dangerous, among the fact that he leads an opposing team built on one goal.
The other thing that makes him a very interesting villain is that he does have a deep respect for his opponent. Usually, villains with a personal vendetta only have anger toward their opponent, but not Wolf. After his original fights with Fox, he seems to have a certain level of understanding despite being on the opposing side.
Over the years, we’ve had our share of Pokémon villains get in our way, but Ghetsis is a whole different breed of bad guy. The typical villain for this series has always been either overblown intimidating or downright goofy, but Ghetsis is actually a menacing megalomaniac with incredible charisma.
Unlike characters like Lusamine, he’s actually very aware that he thinks of others as mere tools to achieve his goals, meaning anything and anyone is disposable. You’d think people would catch on, but he’s so charming that it’s a little difficult.
20 FATHER BALDER
Since we have Lusamine on this list, we have to also acknowledge another popular bad parent: Father Balder. The man is almost always trying to manipulate his own daughter into reviving Jubileus, The Creator.
As the last of the Lumen Sage line, he’s incredibly powerful, not to mention the other perks that come with running your own corporation. In a lot of ways, the fact that he’s corrupted makes him a fallen man, but it doesn’t mean he’s no less dangerous.
19 KING K. ROOL
Remember the incredible hype that erupted when King K. Rool was announced for the new Smash? There’s a good reason for that! Not only is this villain iconic, but he’s also one of the few villains that does something new every game we see him in.
He’s always unpredictable, which pairs well with the fact that he’s got a goofy personality. Most of his fan base agrees that it’s a shame he doesn’t show up more often, and we can’t agree more!
We shouldn’t even need to write this entry for you to know this always-iconic character; Bowser will probably always be the leading face of Nintendo’s villains. This mad Koopa always tackles everything with the greatest temper we’ve ever seen.
Bowser’s incredible power seems to be the reason he’s always coming back again and again, regardless of how many times Mario beats him. Is he immortal? He may very well be, considering we’ve seen him melted by lava multiple times and he still returns in the next game.
Bowser may be the face of Mario and Nintendo, but he always sticks to his formula and has become fairly predictable by this point. On the other hand, Dimentio, the leading villain for Super Paper Mario, has a lot of dimension to his personality (pun intended).
He loves to mess with characters out of sheer curiosity and actually sends them to Hell. Literal Hell. If you ask us, that’s incredibly dark for a Mario game! Usually, we just throw a turtle in lava and call it a day, but Dimentio always seems out for more.
Filling the people of Dream Land full of angst, Nightmare is incredibly dark even though the series is so innocent. The worst thing about Nightmare is that he ensures anyone under his power is in a perpetual state of their worst fears.
Everyone is doomed until you, the protagonist, help release them from his hold. As the holder of the Star Rod, he has numerous attacks that make him very difficult to beat. Not to mention that he simply looks spooky compared to everyone else.
The most well-known villain of The Legend of Zelda series has always been one of the worst characters to ever plague our screens, in a good way of course.
As a villain, he was manipulative and incredibly tactful when it came to his overall plans for destruction, but what truly made him powerful was when he was able to get his hands on powerful magics in order to plunge the land of Hyrule into absolute chaos. Even when he only has one section of the Triforce, he’s a mighty foe; let’s hope he never gets all three parts.
14 DARK SAMUS
Whenever we see a typical hero have a wicked clone, it’s a little trippy; after all, when someone that looks like you commits crimes, it’s incredibly troublesome.
Created as a combination of Samus, Metroid Prime, and the Phazon Suit, she had all the best attributes between the both of them, not to mention being the reincarnation of Metroid Prime. Even worse is that Dark Samus seems to be able to merge with other powerful things, such as the Aurora Unit.
13 METAL FACE
This Mechonis has a serious appetite for war that seems to almost never be satiated. The worst part is that, because he’s not a human, it’s almost impossible to take him down; it’s not like he feels pain or anything.
When you have a mechanical body, you’re able to do just about anything, but even worse is those claws that we always have to dodge when fighting him. With no need for rest, it’s hard for our heroes to even catch a break in a battle with him.
The villain of the Lylat System, Andross is an unforgettable face with even more unforgettable power. The mad scientist was never really known for being a good guy, which is mostly why he was exiled to Venom in the first place.
It’s even suspected that his own experiments were what made him mad in the first place, not to mention whatever he’s doing now. It probably wasn’t wise to let him live, seeing as he now holds power over some of the strongest armies ever.
11 PORKY MINCH
Porky may seem like an adorable little boy, sort of, but he’s actually a very sinister and powerful foe. Fueled by his jealousy toward Ness, he began to work under Giygas in order to gain both power and respect. After all, his family has never really been a fan of Ness’.
Not only was Porky able to create his almost indestructible spider mech, but he was also able to become immortal. What’s even more weird? He actually seems like he's able to perform almost at the level of his master.
Any Metroid fan will recognize this space dragon regardless of where he is. With his league of space pirates, Ridley's been able to make an incredible name for himself, and no one would dare try to cross his path without a good reason.
Lucky for us, Samus has more reason than anyone else in the universe to take this powerful foe down! That part where we’re not so lucky is that Ridley often survives by giving himself new enhancements in order to keep coming back for a fight.
Mewtwo may not be a villain like Team Rocket or their spin-offs, but he's certainly been an antagonist for a variation of games before. This Pokémon is exceptionally dangerous, in part because he was made by humans and also because he’s able to use psychic attacks.
Being a psychic-type doesn’t automatically make a Pokémon dangerous, but because of his power level, he’s always been able to take charge of a fight and manipulate those around him. Even Mew has a bit of a challenge fighting him.
8 THE APAROID QUEEN
Andross may be a plague on the Lylat System, but he’s nothing compared to the Aparoid Queen. As the hive mother of the Aparoid race, she’s created quite the assault force to cause immense problems for the Star Fox Team.
In fact, our heroes weren’t even the ones to stop her. Instead, they used an anti-Aparoid bomb that Beltino Toad had to create just for her. She was certainly one of the spookier villains Nintendo ever came up with.
7 MOTHER BRAIN
Speaking of strange alien mothers, Mother Brain could probably beat the Aparoid Queen in a battle if she really wanted to. Unlike the latter, she was not only able to put Samus on edge with her various assaults that she coordinated, but she was also able to learn how to build herself an actual body. The body she chose? A raging dinosaur.
Her origin as an overpowered AI gone rogue should be enough to keep you away from her, but the new appearance should be a warning as well.
6 MASTER HAND
A giant floating hand may not seem like much, but when it’s the Master Hand, you know you’ve messed up. If anything, his appearance is a little weird and leaves plenty of questions, like why would a hand want all of the Nintendo characters to fight each other?
The thing about him is that, once you’re able to fight him, he’s actually very strong! You would think, being only a hand, that he’d be limited. Pair that with the fact that he never leaves the Smash fighters alone and you’ve got one wicked limb.
When you really look at the Kirby series, you start to notice the incredibly weird aspects that seemed into that seemingly adorable game, and Marx has definitely always been one of those characters who just looks freaky.
After tricking Kirby, he was able to make himself one of the strongest monsters in the land. In this new form, he had a variety of strong abilities that made him tough to beat. Never trust something with fangs and eyes that huge.
Based after the Greek God of the Underworld, you had to have known that Hades was going to be an exceptionally tough foe to go against. As the villain of the Kid Icarus games, he stayed true to his title and was made to be an absolute beast.
Not only was he an excellent fighter, but he also had special abilities due to his business with souls and an arsenal of incredible weapons that were extremely powerful.
3 STAR DREAM
If you know who Marx is, and by that association Nova, then you’ve probably heard of Star Dream. Star Dream, like Nova, is another incredibly powerful intergalactic supercomputer that had amazing abilities.
It was so powerful that it was even able to summon Galacta Knight. Knowing that it’s like Nova, there’s a very real possibility that it would be within his abilities to create even more bosses like Marx to go out and attack the universe. Star Dream’s limit is incredible, which is why he was such a tough opponent to fight.
Do you recall the Subspace Emissary from Super Smash Bros: Brawl? If you don’t, you absolutely should! This guy was so powerful, it’s hard to ever forget him.
Tabuu had so much power that it was almost limitless. You had to have known when you saw an ethereal guy literally made of stars with large wings that he wasn’t supposed to be messed with. He not only made Master Hand look obsolete, but was also able to intimidate the many characters and players throughout the game.
Earthbound’s Giygas was one of the most hardcore villains we’ve ever seen before. He is made to be the absolute embodiment of all horror and the bringer of destruction to the universe. Out of everyone on this list, he’s not only the one with the most catastrophic ambitions, but also the one with the power that’s likely to do it.
In fact, part of the reason that he was able to gain so many human followers wasn't only because they wanted something from him, but also that they couldn’t possibly hope to deny him.