The Call of Duty series has a campaign mode that most miss out on due to a heavy focus on multiplayer. The series focuses on the stories of heroes who fight to protect their country and the people they hold dear. Though there were several throughout the series, there were even more who stood in their way.
The lowlifes in the Call of Duty were motivated by greed, power, or world-domination. They are willing to do anything, even kill their men, to get what they wanted. Call of Duty does not solely rely on common evil villain tropes. Their villains consist of a variety of people who may be cold-hearted killers or someone you considered a friend. People you might trust and respect may only consider you a disposable tool.
Call of Duty’s villains are terrifying because the majority of them could exist in the real world. If left unchecked, they could kill countless amounts of innocent people and destroy cities. That is why you, the player, are tasked with putting an end to their madness. The most satisfying experiences in the Call of Duty series are the ones where you're stopping these villains, not only to save the world, but in honor of the friends you lost in the battle.
Call of Duty does everything it can to show you how evil these madmen can be and how far they are willing to go. With that in mind, we have a list of some of the biggest scumbags of all. This list contains spoilers for the Call of Duty series.
15 Nikolai Belinski
Nikolai Belinski was a Red Army soldier who fought on the front lines of World War I and II. Belinski was a man who wanted power by any means necessary. His bloodlust on the battlefield would soon combine with his personal life as well. He married for political reasons, killing each of his five wives once they were no longer useful to him. He boasts about the murders he committed and how he poorly treats women. Belinski is also a selfish man who does not care about his family and he quickly became infamous in the Communist party.
Belinski was a man so filled with evil that not even Joseph Stalin could look him in the eye. Stalin placed him on the battlefield, hoping he would be forgotten. Unfortunately, Belinski became an experiment used by Edward Richtofen. With the powers of Element 115, he is not afraid to look death in the eye.
DeFalco is determined to make your life difficult in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. He's second-in-command at Cordis Die, a terrorist organization working to take down governments worldwide. DeFalco works closely with the group's leader, Raul Menendez. A professional killer, DeFalco is a quiet man, lacking empathy. He is prepared to do whatever it takes to follow Menendez’s commands, with no questions asked.
DeFalco has no problem torturing and executing others in the name of Cordis Die. He hunts down Chloe Lynch with the intent of kidnapping her. He is happy to execute a hostage in front of her to display his ruthlessness and persuade her to come with him. If you allow him to escape with her, he continues to help Menendez on the U.S.S. Barack Obama. There, he takes more hostages to allow his leader to upload a virus to control all of the U.S. military's powerful drones. Menendez is happy to take advantage of DeFalco’s loyalty, especially when it comes to taking out his enemies.
13 Edward Richtofen
Edward Richtofen was a German scientist and a Nazi Illuminati member. He is the lead villain in the Zombies mode in the Call of Duty series. He is one of the original creators of the Nazi Zombies in Call of Duty: Black Ops I, II, and World at War.
He claims to try and do the right thing, but was known to his victims as "The Butcher." He was not a doctor to his many victims, as Richtofen was more of a torturer who extracted information from his many victims. He was a sociopath who enjoyed killing others. Death, either by natural causes or murder, was only death to him.
With his co-workers, Richtofen used Element 115 in evil ways. He created zombies from living humans. He hoped to create super-soldiers, but that only led to creating zombies. He also created teleportation devices that ran off the power of Element 115. With these two powerful items, he controlled the zombies on Earth, which terrorized living humans.
12 Gabriel T. Rorke
Captain Gabriel Rorke was the former leader of the Ghost team. In Call of Duty: Ghosts, he was left behind during Operation Return to Sender, where he and his men were assigned to assassinate General Almagro in Caracas. The Federation brainwashed him, turning him into a ruthless killer. Now the leader of the Federation Armed Forces, Rorke worked to get revenge on his former teammates.
The anger and resentment made a once loyal man into a cruel and twisted one. He turned his back on the nation he once fought for and became loyal only to the Federation. Rorke became cold-hearted and wanted nothing but the pain and suffering of the Ghost team he once led. He used his training as a soldier to hunt down the men.
Rorke became so obsessed with revenge that he captured his former teammate, Elias Walker. After a brutal interrogation, he murdered Elias in front of his two sons, David and Logan. Rorke thrives on making people suffer, just as he had to suffer after being left to die in Caracas.
11 Lev Kravchenko
Lev Kravchenko was a Colonel in the Soviet military and the right-hand man of Nikita Dragovich in Call of Duty: Black Ops I and II. His cold and cunning ways allowed him to be able to recruit the Vietcong army to align with the Soviets. Though he was not interested in politics, Kravchenko was loyal to Dragovich and followed any of his commands.
Kravchenko was an impatient and aggressive man. His bloodlust started early after killing and mutilating the body of his sister, who refused his advances. He continued his bloodthirsty ways in various countries worldwide, as he shot German soldiers in cold blood and slit their throats, leaving them to die. Through murder and torture, Kravchenko enjoyed watching others suffer.
10 Friedrich Steiner
Friedrich Steiner worked as a scientist for the Waffen-SS, a Nazi organization. Though he was brilliant, he was soon losing himself to different mental conditions. He developed the neurotoxin Nova 6. In its original form, this toxin could kill a human. Steiner refined it so that Nova 6 could instantly kill a person. With the Nova 6, the Soviets were able to use it as a bargaining tool towards the end of World War II.
After Germany had lost the war, Steiner attempted to save himself. He made a deal with the Soviets to provide them valuable information. Even though the power of the Nova 6 frightened him, he continued to refine its power for the Soviets. Steiner proved himself a selfish man. He made sure to protect himself first, even if it meant many would die from his neurotoxin.
9 Joseph Chkheidze
Joseph Chkheidze leads KVA, an anti-Western terrorist organization. Through the KVA, he aims to set the world back into its dark, natural state in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. He hated the West for its dependence on technology, so he wanted to create a utopia where people respected the Earth.
Chkheidze was known by his moniker Hades. Through KVA, he gained power by hurting others. KVA gained the reputation as being one of the most feared and violent terrorist groups in the world, killing thousands under his leadership. Though he wanted to create a world that did not depend on technology, he was prepared to kill its innocent civilians to achieve his goal. He launched an attack on every nuclear power plant in the world to teach people a lesson that they should not be so dependent on technology.
8 Khaled Al-Asad
Khaled Al-Asad was also known as the Second Horseman in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. He commanded a team of soldiers called OpFor and Al-Asad cold-heartedly assassinated President Yasir Al-Fulani on live television. He wanted a war with the West and used propaganda to turn his people against them.
Al-Asad is power hungry and only looking to increase his power in the Middle East, though his rule destabilizes the entire region. America sends its Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance team after him. However, he sent his OpFor troops to fight them off. He teased the soldiers through a television broadcast, knowing he has sent them to death. When they caught up to Al-Asad, on Makarov's orders, they found the warhead in his palace. Before they could escape, Al-Asad happily detonated the warhead. The blast killed over 30,000 soldiers, countless numbers of civilians, and destroyed the capital.
7 Salen Kotch
From an early age, Admiral Salen Kotch disliked the propaganda of democracy and freedom. He believed in gaining power at any cost. Kotch is intelligent, but also an aggressive leader. In Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, during his battles to defeat the United Nations Space Alliance, he became one of the most feared men in the Milky Way galaxy.
While fighting the people of Europa, Kotch killed a commanding soldier during interrogation. Kotch believes that feelings cloud judgments and believes that emotions are no way to win a war. With his Settlement Defense Front, he declareed war on Earth. Kotch attacked the Fleet Week Parade, destroying most of the fleet and most of the civilians. He is cold-hearted when it comes to civilian casualties. Kotch was ruthless in space and on the ground. He would gladly sacrifice his men or his ship, the Olympus Mons, to achieve his goals.
6 Imran Zakhaev
Imran Zakhaev was once a powerful Russian arms dealer during the Cold War. He had a mercenary army working for him along with having a large arsenal at his disposal. He tried to take advantage of the fall of the USSR by hiring former Soviet soldiers. After a battle between Lieutenant John Price and his men in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare which cost him his arm, he returned fifteen years later to declare war on the Russian government.
Zakhaev was an Ultranationalist who wanted to regain control of Russia and restore it to its original regime. He believed that Russia sold out to the West, a part of the world he had grown to loathe. He launched intercontinental ballistic missiles to punish them, even though it meant millions will die. Zakhaev only cares for himself and his country. He would gladly see the Western world destroyed to bring back the Russia he loved so dearly.
5 Jonathan Irons
Jonathan Irons is the founder and CEO of Atlas Corporation, the largest and more powerful private military corporation in the world. He starts off as your friend and even as someone to respectable. You soon find out that he's an evil mastermind that you must take down in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Irons developed a biological weapon, the Manticore. With the Manticore, anyone not using an Atlas DNA implant would die. Irons soon takes his threats to all of the politicians of the world. He intended on using the power of Atlas to make the United Nations follow his commands.
Irons helps you in your fight against the terrorist organization, KVA. However, you then uncovered that you were manipulated and the attacks were allowed to happen. Irons and Atlas Corporation wanted to look more favorable in the public eye. Irons did not care about the public or his people, as he developed weapons that would ultimately hurt them.
4 Nikita Dragovich
Major General Nikita Dragovich is a heartless man with no weaknesses. He does what he wants and makes sure he has competent soldiers who will make sure to accomplish his goals. Dragovich is responsible for creating the brainwashing program that created Soviet sleeper agents.
Dragovich cared little for his soldiers. During the Siege of Stalingrad, he proved he was untrustworthy by failing to call in reinforcements. This betrayal led Viktor Reznov's men to their slaughter at Red Square. After the war, he captured the scientist Friedrich Steiner. Knowing the scientist created the Nova 6, he successfully tested it on Dimitri Petrenko.
Dragovich's power grew over time. Through his brainwashing, he was able to control Captain Alex Mason and have him assassinate John F. Kennedy. Simply, he was a villain who used people to gain power.
3 General Shepherd
Lieutenant General Shepherd starts off as a respected military man in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. After the loss of 30,000 soldiers in the Middle East, his heart turns cold. He decides he needed to get revenge for these deaths and wants to restore his reputation.
With the heroic rescue of Captain John Price, Shepherd laid his plans of war against the Ultranationalists of Russia. He sends Sergeant Roach and Lieutenant Ghost to look for Vladimir Makarov at a safehouse. After confirming intel related to Makarov, he murders both men, turning against both the Task Force 141 and Makarov's men.
Knowing the survivors of Task Force 141, Captain Soap MacTavish and Price, will want revenge, he set them up. He turns his death into a glorious one as a war hero, making Soap and Price war criminals. Shepherd used people he trusted to restore glory to himself.
2 Raul Menendez
Raul Menendez was the ruthless leader of the terrorist organization Cordis Die in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. He was an influential man who was well-loved by his followers, who called him "The Messiah for the 99%." Though he was popular in America, he harbored a deep hatred for the country. America's actions in Nicaragua caused his family to lose their land, his beloved sister, and his father in a planned assassination.
Menendez worked with other countries and powerful arms dealers around the world, such as Lev Kravchenko, to create an Anti-West revolution. He managed to take control of the entire U.S. Military's drone fleet, sending them to attack major cities all over the world. Menendez hoped to incite a war against America. He wanted to take down the U.S. military to allow his organization, Cordia Die, to take over, though he'd eventually fail.
1 Vladimir Makarov
Vladimir Makarov was a brilliant man known to control others like chess pieces. Makarov did what he had to get what he wanted, no matter who stood in his way. During his early military career, he would often lead his teams on brutal raids which wiped out opposing forces and civilians, which gained him the attention of the United Nations. He was forced to resign from his beloved military position and soon resented both the West and the Russian government. He held a deep hatred of the Western world and was a leader within the Russian Ultranationalists.
Makarov continued to try and push the West into a war with Russia in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and 3. "Remember, no Russian" is an iconic quote in the Call of Duty series. Makarov's ruthlessness while killing unarmed civilians in the Zakhaev International Airport during the "No Russian" mission was so graphic and horrific that Infinity Ward included an option to skip over the entire scene.