Yes I know, I'm stealing ideas from the character thread. xP
Except this narrows it down to villains. As for who I think was best...
Mr. L = Awesomest. Villain. Ever. Who can be more badass and awesome to fight against than this guy and his Brobot? HAVE AT YOU!
OMG, Black Knight from Fire Emblem 9 and 10. Ike's biggest enemy. He murdered Ike's father, can take out whole armies by himself, and has a mysterious background up until you learn who he really is. He's also playable in Fire Emblem 10 for a few chapters in Part 1. Wants to help Daein, but is still badass.
Oh, and I can't forget Vaati. My favorite Zelda villain. He has an awesome theme, awesome personality, and three awesome forms at the end of TMC. He's also plain badass for sneaking into the castle, taking over the King's body, and turning everyone to stone while trying to kill Zelda by taking the Light Force. Vaati ftw.
As for who I think is the worst...
Pathetic. Just completely pathetic. Extremely easy battle, extremely crazy and psycho way of fighting back, and really really retarded looking appearance in the non-mask forms. Majora was the crappiest villain to ever be in a video game, imo, and I hope not even the mask returns.
I've always had a soft spot for Bowser. I can't think of a Mario game where I didn't like Bowser. He often makes me laugh because he's so dramatic. Kefka from FFVI was pretty insane and probably one of my favourite FF villains ever. I also like M. Bison from Street Fighter--I dig his moves, man. Oh, and Donkey Kong--the barrel-rolling son of a *****. Sure, he's a good guy today, but back in the day he would steal princesses, climb ladders and throw barrels. You bad-ass, DK. The ghosts in Pacman; Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde. Nom nom nom. Love those guys. Capn Blue from Viewtiful Joe was cool, too.
As for worst villains? Hm... hated Vaati. He was boring as hell. Hated Shadow the Hedgehog (well, yeah, he does some good later in the game, but eh, he's blacklisted for me). Sephiroth from FFVII--overrated emo pretty boy, eh.
I'm sure there's more, but I'll think of 'em later.
There's nothing more shocking than finding out that you were the enemy this whole time, and that the one you're chasing after is your apprentice. Awesome.
Honorable mentions go to Bowser and King DeDeDe. I love how no matter how menacing nintendo villains are, they just can't help making them absolutely adorable.
As for the worst...
It's really just ridiculous. Wario and Waluigi already exist. Stop cloning your main characters and have them masquerade as villains. It's not cool and it's not original, it's just laughable and stupid.
Kalas, Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean. Baten Kaitos is the only game I've ever played where the character who seems to be the protagonist betrays the party and imprisons/tries to kill all of them part-way through.
It gets even better when you realize that he planned out everything, from deceiving you and your companions, to all the "chance" events that occur.
Baten Kaitos had its faults, but the mid-game twist is one of the best I've ever seen.
Jon Irenicus, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Irenicus gets points for simply being powerful. At the end of the original Baldur's Gate you find out that you are a demigod and have become one of the most powerful people in the nation. Irenicus kidnaps you with barely any effort and keeps you imprisoned for a lengthy period of time.
Later on, when you finally get to truly fight him, you find that he's ludicrously powerful. There are dragons in the game who he could best with barely an effort.
Still, he ultimately wins for the (rather over-the-top) way he is written. He has little real depth, his schemes are all attempts to remove a curse on himself and to find a way to get revenge, but he has far more...presence than he has any right to, make him highly memorable.
You, Shadow of the Colossus.
Not sure I really need say more here, few games give you better incite into a villain than this one, for reasons that will be readily apparent to anyone who has played the game.
Finally, Mythos from Tales of Symphonia gets an honourable mention for being the first villain in any game I'd played to have any sort of actual motivation or depth. It helps that, apparently, every other game set in the same world reveals that he was, in fact, right, and that by defeating him you've likely made things worse.
Alas, few villains, even in the above list, are all that effective. Video games as a genre seem to have trouble in making villains that catch my attention. The ones I remember tend to be ones that are a surprise, or similar. Almost none are well-written, or understandable, or really memorable. It's a shame, and something that developers really need to work on.
Hrm, spoiler tags don't work well for the above, do they? Ah well, best solution for now.
Also: This is not my forum, but the Ranny-baiting stops now.
Uh, what have you been smoking? Majora was easily one of the greatest villains ever considering its background and character developement.
Is that a joke? Majora's background was vague at best and any character development is non-existent. Seriously, when does the mask's character ever develop? Like all the other villians of the Zelda series, he is more or less a generic evil character, but with the least backstory.
I think we can all evidently recall that Majora was a better video game villain than either Luigi and Vaati. The "It's my opinion" argument lost its meaning way too long ago anyway.
Don't be a moron.
The "It's my opinion" is exactly what it is. What, do you think Ranny is only pretending it's her opinion to spite you?
And when did reasons stop being cool, anyway? Majora was a poorly designed boss and had no character. As a villain, I did like poor little Skull Kid, corrupted by the mask, but, hey, it's all subjective.
Personally I'm a fan of a Kain from Legacy of Kain, and how his villianry isn't black and white but, like the rest of the Legacy of Kain world, is made of variuos shades of grey. You never really know what he's up to; he's egoistic and ruthless, yes, but do his violent actions actually have an altruistic end? Plus, he's voiced by a bit of a badass.
He spoke in old english and was stupidly powerful (and you get to play as him at some points throughout the game :3) and was the other half of the protagonists soul. At the end of the game, you can choose whether to merge with him and become the ultimate dragon, or kill him and side with your teamates. I liked the fact he was very regal and not a super crazy bad guy. He knew exactly what he was doing.
One of my favourites though has to be Magus from Chrono Trigger.
Although seemingly evil and demonic, he has such a sad and dramatic backstory that really developed his charater and motive. His dialogue adds to his personality aswell, making him seem very intelligent. Plus, when you have him in your party, he is pretty damn strong, physically and magically.
And i have to say WW Ganondorf is also a favourite of mine. Why did'nt Nintendo make TP Ganondorf as deep as he was D:??
As for the worst...I'd probably say Bellum. Really dissapointing.