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8 Game Protagonists That Are Terrible People

Some good people aren't heroes.
Red Dead Redemption 2 Arthur Morgan Artwork
Image via Rockstar Games

Games have a way of transporting us to places we’ve never been or may never be able to go, with people that we grow to love along the way. But sometimes that love has a funny way of us overlooking the bad things that our protagonist might be doing. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of gaming’s best protagonists, that are actually kinda terrible people.

8 Game Protagonists That Are Terrible People

Image via Naughty Dog

Ellie (The Last of Us: Part II)

Starting off our list is one of our personal favorites, Ellie. Though Joel’s actions in the first game are what set off the chain of events we know as The Last of Us: Part II, Ellie seemingly loses all of her humanity as she goes on a hunt to kill as many of the people responsible for Jol’s death as possible. So while the first game had to do with Joel and Co. just surviving, this story flips the script, making Ellie a cold hunter.

Michael De Santa (GTA V)

Arguably, Michael De Santa is GTA V’s main character, even though there are two others to choose from. Personally, we find him to be the middle of the road, as he isn’t as true a person as Franklin, though he isn’t as evil as Trevor. But in reality, Michael still is kind of a sucky human being. He’s a con man, a terrible spouse, and a father, and he’s easy to sell out his friends. By the game’s end, sure you’ll save him over Trevor, but is it really even worth it?

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Arthur Morgan (Red Dead Redemption 2)

Though Red Dead Redemption’s John Marston was an anti-hero, Arthur Morgan is pretty much an anti-villain, as he’s a deeper grey than his predecessor. Though he questions a lot of Dutch’s motives, he’s still a yes-man goon that will harm anyone he’s told to. By the game’s end, he’s redeemable, but the road was long for Arthur.

Wei Shen (Sleeping Dogs)

When brainstorming characters, one name that was surprising to actually think about was Sleeping Dog’s own Wei Shen. Though he’s an undercover police officer who’s trying to clean up the street of his home, Hong Kong, he’s extremely overzealous with his methods. Wei will often times slam enemies’ heads into fan blades, stab them to death, and even use other methods of extreme lethal force to dispatch those against him.

Darth Reven (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic)

Though most of KOTOR’s story makes you feel like your path is carved out by you, allowing you to build relationships and make important choices on your own, that’s not the full picture. By the game’s end, you find out that you’re a merciless Sith Lord that’s been bringing pain to the galaxy for a long time. Are you redeemed? That’s for you to decide, but the answer is morally grey.

Aiden Pierce (Watch Dogs)

In actuality, any protagonist in Watch Dogs is pretty morally corrupt. They spend time hacking so often that reading personal information or causing a wreck in traffic because they switch lights isn’t anything to them. But Aiden Pierce really is the one who started it, and he’s actually kind of creepy too. There’s just something about his look and demeanor that give him this presence of a serial killer or something. He also thinks he’s above the law, acting as some kind of budget Batman in the process.

Jimmy Hopkins (Bully)

Though Bully’s premise is of the underdog taking down the school bully, Jimmy Hopkins is just as much a sucky person as those he’s trying to put in check. He’s horrible to women, “nerds”, and other peers that are just trying to get through high school. He’s hard to root for as he isn’t an anti-hero, he’s just another villain.

Lee Everett (The Walking Dead)

Though for the majority of The Walking Dead, Lee is framed as this thrust-into-power leader, he had a pretty dark past. He murdered the man who was sleeping with his wife before the world collapsed, and he’s proven to be selfish in various scenarios in-game as well. Though he’s easy to root for, it would be ridiculous to ignore his acts.

So, that’s our list of the game protagonists that we think are also terrible people. Be sure to check out some of our other game lists too, such as “The Most Controversial Games of All Time (2023)”. And don’t forget to like Gamer Journalist on Facebook for even more content!

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