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10 Best Games With Aliens As The Antagonists

With the huge success of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, gamers are reminded that there’s a lot of fun in store for them in games that involve alien life. Whether it’s in TV, film, or gaming, there will always be creators and writers who will flesh out the concept that extraterrestrials exist to terrorize humans  (as well as fellow aliens).

From retro shoot ’em up arcade games like Space Invaders to epic RPGs like Mass Effect, there has never been a shortage of games in which aliens are the ultimate big bad.

Half-Life 1 & 2

Half Life 2 UI Update

There’s a good reason why fans are still clamoring for a third installment in the Half-Life franchise. Many critics say that the series from Valve revolutionized the first-person shooter genre by introducing a new and exciting adventure narrative style that had rarely been seen before (and never done as well).


RELATED: 10 Great Games That Began As Mods

The first Half-Life title featured an alien invasion triggered by a failed science experiment. In the game, players will have to thwart the impending alien takeover by beating the being that’s keeping the extraterrestrial portal open.

Mass Effect 2

Amongst other games in the franchise, Mass Effect 2 has received the highest praise from gamers and critics, placing it high among the best BioWare games. Aside from the dynamic story and thrilling action, Mass Effect 2 features one of the biggest and most wicked antagonists in video game history.

Known as the Harbinger, the villain in the Mass Effect series and controlling alien leader appears every 50,000 years to convert all organic life into mindless lackeys. The smooth continuation of the story from the first game, the overarching but well-written alien villain, and improved gameplay have placed Mass Effect 2 on top of other titles in the series.

Space Invaders

A shot of Space Invaders

Released in 1978 as an arcade game but ported for the Atari VCS in 1980, Space Invaders became an instant classic that’s still discussed among the most influential games of all time for its introduction of an exponentially-increasing difficult level.

RELATED: 10 Best Old-School Atari Games

The objective of the game is simple: players have to defeat unending waves of descending aliens by shooting with a laser. However, there is absolutely no way to beat the game and stop the alien invasion. All the players can do is keep shooting until they can’t keep the aliens at bay anymore.

Starcraft 2

Two opposing factions battle it out on an alien planet in Starcraft 2

In Starcraft 2, players need to be smart and make the right decisions in order to overpower their opponents and destroy their structures. The main antagonist in the game is Amon, a malevolent alien who’s keen on destroying the universe and reconstructing it the way he intends it to be.

Despite being released over 10 years ago, there are a ton of reasons gamers should revisit and play the real-time strategy game. Low system requirements, an excellent single-player campaign, and a still-relevant competitive scene are some convincing points why gamers should try Starcraft 2.

Nier Automata

PlatinumGames’ NieR:Automata has an interesting core narrative. Thousands of years ago, aliens took over the planet and created robot monsters whose current goal is to be the dominating species on earth. Present-day in the game, Androids created by humans are fighting the robot monsters in a gruesome proxy war.

Gamers like the game because it contains a complex and philosophical narrative that is not usually found in action RPGs. For players to fully appreciate the game, they’ll have to complete multiple playthroughs and reach the five main endings.

Earth Defense Force 5

Earth Defense Force 5 is the fifth mainline game in Sandlot’s alien invasion series. The aliens that the players encounter hit a little close to home as most resemble various crawling bugs like wasps, ants, roaches, and spiders. To add to that, there are also alien robots, drones, and even frogs that the player has to quickly exterminate.

The great thing about the Earth Defense Force franchise is that any game can serve as a great jump-off point, but Earth Defense Force 5 is considered the best in the series due to its solid gameplay and improved graphics. While some alien invasion games take their narrative seriously, this franchise is beloved for its hammy, B-movie feel.

Aliens Vs. Predator 2

Aliens vs Predator 2

The game franchise of Aliens vs. Predator 2 is arguably the best-known series in gaming involving alien life. Mirroring the film series, Aliens vs. Predator is about the intergalactic conflict between various alien races, and it just so happens that humans find themselves in the middle of it all.

Fans better received the second game in the franchise due to its enhanced graphics, better controls, and engaging campaigns. What’s more, gamers could compete in teams with each other with the online multiplayer levels.



Set twenty years after the first game’s events, XCOM 2 is a turn-based strategy game where players will need to build a supreme customizable character in order to defeat the aliens that have now taken over the earth.

RELATED: 10 Best Strategy Games, According to Ranker

Gamers have noticed how XCOM 2 has worked to eliminate the problems that plagued the first game in the series. XCOM 2 also manages to be a better game by integrating moment-to-moment combat, as well as successfully including a sense of pace to the otherwise dull campaign.

Saints Row IV

While the Saints Row franchise may have started out as a Grand Theft Auto clone, the franchise eventually found its own, more whimsical identity in its fourth and fifth entries. In Saints Row 4, aliens are the main driver of the narrative, and it’s the player’s mission to get to the bottom of the extraterrestrial mystery.

What sets Saints Row 4 apart is its commitment to ridiculousness. In the game, players can find whimsical weapons, out-of-this-world side quests, and outlandish customization options. Also, players will eventually get a superpower of their own choosing in order to defeat the alien invaders.

Gears 5

The Gears crew battles the Swarm in Gears 5

Following COG soldier Kait Diaz, Gears 5 is a third-person shooter RPG where players will have to face and defeat the nefarious Swarm. The main antagonists in the game are an evolved form of the Locust Horde, which is an extraterrestrial race that is thought to have been decimated in the previous games.

The graphics and worldbuilding of Gears 5 are a huge step-up compared to previous games in the franchise. The game also received praise for its additions to Horde Mode, including an expanded class system and an ultimate ability for each playable character.

NEXT: 10 Video Games Where You Don’t Have To Kill The Villain

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