Nintendo games are practically defined by their heroes. From Mario to Link, Kirby, and Samus Aran, the company's iconic protagonists have helped Nintendo become a household name. But no hero is truly worth their proverbial salt without a compelling and enjoyable villain on the other side of the equation. For all you might hate them at the time, it's hard to deny that sometimes the best character in a game is the bad guy. Here are 10 of Nintendo's best villains, ranked. 10. Master Hand Image via Nintendo You might not have thought that a single floating hand could be particularly menacing, but the Super Smash Bros. series has been keen to disabuse players of that notion over the years. Master Hand has been a staple in the games from day one, posing as the final boss of the single-player mode. After smashing your way through one iconic character after another, you'll be greeted at the ominously-named Final Destination stage by a giant gloved hand, ready to pulverize any unworthy foes. Master Hand has been a constant presence in the games ever since, even being joined by its slightly more unpredictable pal Crazy Hand in Super Smash Bros. Melee. 9. Andross Image via Nintendo The grand, overarching antagonist of the Star Fox series, Andross \u2014 or Emperor Andross, to his minions \u2014 is a scientific genius gone bad. After a successful career as a scientist on the planet Corneria, Andross was exiled to the far-flung planet Venom after getting a little too into his work and a little too power-hungry. Left to his own devices in the far reaches of the galaxy, he raised an army to wage war on the Lylat System. By the time the intrepid Fox McCloud and his crew encounter Andross in the games, he's assumed the form of a giant head and hands, leading to a pitched space battle in their trusty Arwings. 8. King Dedede Screenshot by Gamepur Few can deny the constant presence of Kirby series antagonist King Dedede. With his massive mallet and fancy fur coat, the self-proclaimed King of Dreamland has butted heads with the pink puffball countless times, featuring in almost every single game in the series. He even plays a substantial role in the Subspace Emissary mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Still, it's clear that the relationship between Kirby and Dedede isn't always a combative one \u2014 Dedede finds himself helping out Kirby almost as much as fighting against him. Indeed, Nintendo has even appeared to note this, describing Dedede as Kirby's "arch-frenemy" on his official Amiibo. 7. Giygas Image via Nintendo The Earthbound series is bizarre at the best of times, but things really go wild towards the end of Earthbound, or Mother 2. After having their souls transferred into robot bodies, Ness and his friends travel into the distant past to confront the source of all the weirdness. There, they find Giygas, an alien lifeform bent on destroying humanity. The battle is widely considered to be one of the creepiest in gaming history, with Giygas portrayed as a patchwork of tormented souls and making spooky and unsettling comments throughout. Even once the heroes find a way to defeat Giygas, the memory of the fight is sure to weigh on players' minds for a while afterwards. 6. King K. Rool Image via Nintendo Considering that Donkey Kong made his start way back when as a bad guy himself, one would probably think you'd need a suitably larger-than-life antagonist to set across from him once he branched into his own series. That villain is King K. Rool, leader of the Kremlings, archenemy of the Kongs, and unlikely aficionado of the letter K. The good King's tactics tend to involve stealing the Kongs' hoard of bananas and sending plenty of minions after them, but he's more than happy to throw a few punches himself, as evidenced in the finale of Donkey Kong 64 which sees the whole Kong clan facing off against K. Rool in a boxing ring. His penchant for fisticuffs has even seen him score a spot on the roster of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. 5. Wario Image via Nintendo Wario tends to skirt the line of anti-hero these days, so it's easy to forget that he got his start as the main antagonist of Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, in which he takes over Mario Land. Designed as a foil to the iconic Mario, down to his color scheme and inverted M logo, Wario seems eager to be as unpleasant as possible. He picks his nose, eats whole bulbs of garlic, and is driven by an egregiously capitalist desire to Hoard All Money, Ever. Nevertheless, the gang still inexplicably invites him to kart races, board game nights, and tennis matches. He's even had a string of his own games, including the Wario Land platforming series and the WarioWare Inc. microgame collections. 4. Ridley Mother Brain may be the true leader of the Space Pirates and the final boss of many of the early Metroid titles, but Ridley is the one with the real villainous streak. He's a powerful draconian figure with a serious grudge against Samus Aran, and shows up in one form or another in most of the Metroid games. Though the games don't delve too deeply into his inner workings and capacity for evil, the official Metroid manga paints a picture of a cunning and cruel creature, capable not just of senseless killing and violence, but of toying with his victims maliciously and taking pleasure in doing so. Ridley, too, has enjoyed even more of the spotlight since scoring a playable role in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. 3. Team Rocket Image via Niantic Related: How do the Team Rocket Balloons work in Pok\u00e9mon Go? The Pok\u00e9mon series frequently features a villainous team to face off against on the player's quest to become the very best, like no one ever was. Subsequent generations have seen the likes of Team Aqua, Team Magma, Team Galactic, and Team Plasma, but none of them will ever truly hold a candle to the original games' Team Rocket. This group enjoyed a particular boost to their reputation due to the popularity of the anime's iteration, the recurring if bumbling villains Jessie and James with their wisecracking Meowth. But even just the twists in the games themselves, with Team Rocket heavily involved with the development of the iconic Mewtwo and the organization's head honcho turning out to be the final Gym leader, have cemented them as some of gaming's best villains. 2. Ganon Image via Nintendo It couldn't be a list of iconic gaming villains without a shoutout to The Legend of Zelda's Ganon. You'd be hard-pressed to find a harder-working bad guy, endlessly devoted to his pursuit of the Triforce even from the depths of his prison in the Sacred Realm or from beyond the grave. The ubiquity of Ganon has even become something of a joke within the series' fandom, with any newly-revealed villain expected to be overridden by the whims of Ganon in the latter stages of any given Zelda adventure. Whether he's rocking a ginger mane in his Gerudo form of Ganondorf or adopting his hulking boar-like ultimate form, Ganon is a force to be reckoned with, and one of the most instantly-recognizable villains in Nintendo history. 1. Bowser Image via Nintendo Related: What happens when you 100% complete Bowser\u2019s Fury in Super Mario 3D World + Bowser\u2019s Fury? We all knew he had to be on this list somewhere. When you think of Nintendo games, you think of Mario, and you can't think of Mario without his long-time nemesis coming to mind too. Sure, Mario has faced other bad guys over his storied history, from giant alien swords to bean-themed witches, but everyone knows that Bowser is the real deal. Not even the occasions when he's joined forces with Mario and friends, such as in Super Mario RPG or Super Paper Mario, can really besmirch Bowser's reputation as a grade-A capital-V villain. Whenever this guy shows up on-screen, you know things are going to get toasty, whether he's trying to take over the galaxy or vying for the number one spot in a kart race.