Satan, El Diablo, EA...he goes by many names, but throughout he is the Devil - an entity of pure evil, usually ruling over Hell, and always causing trouble for the noble heroes of the world. In videogames, it's no different - well, except you can usually defeat him and end evil's reign forever. Here are ten games that took the highway to Hell with devil characters worth button-mashing right back to the underworld, listed in ascending order of soul-rending terror.
Devils are low-level grunts in the Toejam and Earl universe, so look elsewhere for the moral fright offered by great horror movies and standard Catholic school educations. These red-horned cartoon demons are mixed in with the many Earthlings you need to avoid in the floating-in-space Earth islands you're stranded on. If you were expecting mind-scorching nightmare creatures, please keep in mind you're trying to reassemble your spaceship and return to Planet Funkotron, as a pair of alien rappers who make DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince look like they've seen some shit. It's one of the sillier takes on Satan in gaming, but harshes your vibe just enough to make a fun game trickier (especially when you're caught in a hypnotic hula dance). Still, something tells us this isn't exactly the devil Ozzy Osbourne was singing about.
You may already know the first Puyo Puyo in its Americanized adaptations, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine and Kirby's Avalanche. But did you know the much-weirder Japanese game is a block-dropping battle with an anime Anti-Christ? It's competitive proto-Bejeweled, but with a complex storyline where the Prince of Darkness is more of a Prince of Lisa Frank Color Schemes. Puyo Puyo's Satan isn't interested in stealing your soul. He's too busy making the sun bigger and hotter, because it'll create an Endless Summer where he's surrounded by bikini babes, and because what's life without whimsy? It's like the designers of Puyo Puyo are saying "We're the ones making this thing, and our Satan is going to be the Japanese puzzle game villain version of Leisure Suit Larry."
How scary can the Devil really be when you're half-devil and your dad kicked his ass? That's the question (accidentally) posed by the first Devil May Cry, which somehow lowers the stakes of a confrontation with The Father Of Lies. Yeah yeah, we get it, Mundus is a horrifying three-eyed demon emperor who hated you and your (demon) father. But if Pops kicked his ass already, and you've handled everything else the game threw at you already, how hard is this pocket-dimensional boss battle really going to be? It's as if Shooter McGavin's son was like "I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast, Happy Gilmore Junior!" and expected that to come off as threatening.
The Castlevania reboot has Satan kill Sir Patrick Stewart ('s character), explain that he's orchestrated everything you've done until this point, and attempt to storm Heaven and kill God. He's also voiced by Jason Isaacs, the guy who played Draco Malfoy's dad with such skill that he could creep us out and rock the "Legolas/Edgar Winter Blonde Flow" hairstyle. Terrifying Anti-Christ, right? Well, this Satan is flawed in more ways than the character: he only does anything in the game's ending, the way he's worked into the game demands a tiresome orgy of cutscene mythos-building, and his character design looks like Nathan Explosion with a dark cloud for pants.
At first Emperor Mateus merely seems bent on conquering the world with demonic allies...but it goes deeper than that. He's so evil that his cover story for what he's really up to is "conquer the world." From there, you discover that Mateus defeated Satan to take over all of Hell and become the new Lucifer, because apparently the position is transferable if you're willing to cover your own expenses for travel, gas, and Lakers-colors drag queen ensembles. And late in the game, Emperor Mateus raises the capital of Hell onto Earth, and fighting the Devil on his own earthly turf is a pretty scary, Rapture-y conceit, despite the glitzy Final Fantasy art direction that makes most of Hell staggeringly purple.