Throughout history, we have created spectacular characters to serve as inspiration or opposition. Whether we want to see a hero rise to the ranks of divinity or watch a seemingly insurmountable foe destroyed, we have written stories to provide such gravitas. This theme hasn’t slowed in our newest entertainment medium. There are video games allow us to topple deities, reach the ranks of divinity, or reign over others as gods.
A god, often defined as, “a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity,” can be found in countless games, whether the intention was to make them appear divine or not. As a medium inherently aimed at making the player feel powerful, the sheer amount of god-like characters was not only logical but inevitable.
We have been seeing more and more video games get to experience the inclusion of gods from the mythologies created by the Greeks, the Norse, and even H.P. Lovecraft or a creation that is something that is wholly unique.
While there is a genre dedicated to playing as a god over a village, household, etc., but in this list, we will be taking a look at fully fleshed out gods and goddesses within an in-game mythos.
Of course, as with any other form of entertainment, not all characters, let alone gods, are created equally, so here are the 15 most powerful ones we could find!
Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section down below!
20 A Little Too Self-Aware: Monika
Doki Doki Literature Club presents itself as a dating sim, but players are in for a surprise as the game progresses. As the president of the Literature Club, Monika is the only member who is aware that they are all in a video game. At first, Monika subtly uses her newfound powers to adjust the other characters’ personalities to gain the attention of the player. Slowly, Monika increases her hold on the other characters, tearing away at their sanity until she is the only person left other than the player.
In isolating the player, she had to delete the other characters as well as the world itself. Monika explains that she may have corrupted the game beyond repair before showing off her eerie understanding of the game’s file structure and Steam itself, hinting that the player can only stop her by deleting the file containing her character.
19 Only In It For The Money: Time Goddess
When the world only has 30 seconds left, Half-Minute Hero’s Time Goddess is willing to reset the clock indefinitely to help you save it. She implies that she may have been doing so for the past 500 years. While she may seem charitable, the Time Goddess is known for lines like, “I’ll help you, but you’re going to give me the money you get.”
Even the game itself can’t talk about her power without commenting on her greed, describing her with, “She loves money and turns back the clock if you pay her. Hates poor people, loves Ponzi schemes.”
While she holds dominion over the concept of time itself, she has decided that she will only help her followers if they contribute to filling her (assumably already quite full) pockets.
18 Get Inked: Bendy
In Bendy and the Ink Machine, you play as a former animator invited to the studio by his old partner, Joey Drew. Once there, you find out that Joey’s obsession with his creation has grown unhealthy. As you explore, you begin to see macabre experiments including ink and the works of your former partner before finally seeing the Lovecraftian monster manifesting as Bendy, the studio’s mascot.
The player must outrun not only Bendy but also his most devout acolyte (and previous coworker of both Joey and the player), Sammy Lawrence, who wishes to sacrifice the player to him.
While his abilities and motives aren’t entirely evident, we know that The Ink Demon can travel through the ink that floods the studio and even go so far as to create sentient life.
17 Bringing The Thunder: Raiden
One of the oldest characters in fighting games that has remained relevant to this day, Mortal Kombat’s Raiden is the god of thunder and protector of Earthrealm. As the son of one of the Elder Gods, Raiden can teleport and fly but is most well known for his trademark thunder-manipulating abilities. After defeating the fallen Elder God, Shinnok, for the second time, Raiden was able to achieve the status of Elder God for himself. Where the minor gods hold power over an element, as an Elder God, Raiden would have experienced a certain amount of control over all the realms in the universe.
Raiden was able to later rescinded his status as an Elder God to aid his friends in direct combat and attack the Dragon King, Onaga, something prohibited by the Elder Gods because of their strict non-intervention directive.
16 Fabulous And Flamboyant: King Of All The Cosmos
The very first scene of Katamari Damacy shows the King of All Cosmos destroying every single star in the night’s sky. Raised by the previous King of All the Cosmos, later referred to as Papa, the young King wasn’t allowed any imperfection, going so far that his father threw his second-place boxing trophy from a bridge. Despite how fearsome this may make him seem, he is known for his goofy nature and remarkable flamboyance.
When he grew older, he created a game that consisted of rolling things into a ball. While it starts peacefully, picking up items like paperclips and batteries, the game escalates to moving entire landmasses from their place.
Raising his son by making him play this game, The King takes increasingly massive amounts of material from the earth to recreate the night’s sky.
15 Created By Humans: God
Said to have led humans from their savagery, Silent Hill 3’s God is unique in that she did not create humans, but was instead created by humans.
In the time before death, humans fought endlessly, leading a man to offer a serpent to the sun and pray for salvation while a woman presented a reed, praying for joy. God was born from the two and created time, granting humans the possibility of death. After her creation, she, in turn, created two main gods, the red and the yellow, beneath her to guide people in obedience before creating many other gods and angels.
God’s disciples and lower gods shape the events of the entire series, guiding the player towards their goals of resurrecting her so she can lead the humans to their new paradise.
14 Cleansing The World: Meta-God
Throughout the events of Shadow Hearts, the player’s party’s goal is to stop the esoteric sorcerer, Albert Simon, from summoning Meta-God, a being that was worshipped by ancient peoples as a god. Simon had so much faith that the Meta-God could destroy the planet and start anew and went to great lengths, mutating himself and others into horrific, towering beasts.
To call Meta-God the 50,000 light years from its home in the Messier 72 nebula, Simon uses an old temple to create a massive arena and beacon, sprawling three times wider than the Earth and bright enough to illuminate half of it. Simon describes the stage as, “The medium by which God shall bestow a new future, and the world despoiled of human corruption.” After seven days, Meta-God arrives to cleanse the world.
13 A Universal Threat: Giygas
Having originally appeared in Earthbound Beginnings, people refer to Giygas in ominous terms like “the Evil Power.” Despite being raised by humans, the fearsome being that is known as the “Embodiment of Evil” and the “Universal Cosmic Destroyer” was tasked with killing humans to reclaim the knowledge of PSI they had taken. As his power takes its toll on his mind, he slowly loses his rationality and is no longer aware of what he is doing or what he is. With his power intact, but his mind gone, Giygas became a threat to the existence of the universe itself! His energy radiates and deteriorates the rationality of people and animals all over Eagleland, turning them violent. Even weakened, Giygas is a force to be feared!
12 Eater Of Worlds And Dreams: Alduin
Known as the First-Born of Akatosh and The World Eater, Alduin is known for destroying the previous world to create the current one, cementing his presence in the mythology of many ancient peoples. He ruled over the world ruthlessly on multiple occasions, culminating in three Nordic warriors leading him to the Throat of the World and sending him forward in time because they were no match in a fight.
The player of Elder Scrolls: V Skyrim first encounters Alduin when he reappears in the future and destroys the town, saving the player from execution and beginning to reestablish his reign over the human world.
Upon Alduin’s eventual return, the player character must seek the help of other dragons, monks, and even the afterlife itself to stand even a chance against the behemoth.
11 She Can Hold Her Own: Palutena
The chief deity of the playable character Pit, Palutena, is the guardian of the human race. Residing in Angel Land, she is the angelic counterpart to and former co-ruler of Angel Land with the cruel goddess, Underworld Queen Medusa. While portrayed as the damsel in distress in the original Kid Icarus, Palutena grows stronger throughout the series, granting Pit more power and information as he progresses in his quest.
As the series advances, Palutena’s strong points become a primary focus of her interactions. Her wisdom with Hades often being incapable of insulting her without drawing attention to her superior intelligence and her physical strength is shown when she takes her place among the ranks of the fighters in the newest entry of the long-running Super Smash Bros. series.
10 Volcanic Power: Ragnaros
World of Warcraft’s Ragnaros is one of the four elemental lords, known as “He who was ancient when this world was young!” Living in the Firelands of the Elemental Plane, Ragnaros waged war for thousands of years. During the fighting, Ragnaros was able to grow even stronger by absorbing one of the other elemental lords. While they were forced to fight, this does not mean that were opposed to the idea, as evidenced by Ragnaros’s near-constant warring throughout the series.
During a war among the tribes of dwarves, the Dark Iron Dwarves summoned Ragnaros back to Azeroth, which would be their undoing as he enslaved them and used their skills at craftsmanship to create an army of golems. The Firelord was able to take the mountain and create a massive volcano from which he would reign for hundreds of years.
9 The Creator Of All Pokémon: Arceus
Known as The Original One and being credited with creating at least Sinnoh and Ransei, but possibly the entire world, the Pokémon Arceus is said to be the first of its kind. Arceus is said to have existed before the universe itself and brought into being the trio of Pokémon who hold domain over space, time, and antimatter as well as the trio with power over knowledge, courage, and willpower. As it created each member of the two trios before, it may recreate them seemingly infinitely, lending to its power to create and destroy anything, even the passage of time itself.
After saving the world from destruction and being betrayed by humans, Arceus went into a slumber and awaited to awaken and judge the human race.
8 The Beast: Amaterasu
Okami tells the story of the monstrous snake demon, Orochi, and his defeat by the incarnation of the sun goddess, Amaterasu, and a human swordsman. The beast demanded a sacrifice every year, but when it called for the swordsman’s lover, he attacked. With the help of Amaterasu and at the cost of her mortal form, the beast was defeated and sealed away. Years later, when the game takes place, the seal has been broken, and Amaterasu must return to once again seal away the Orochi.
Amaterasu, manifesting as a wolf, makes use of her claws and teeth to fight but holds a much higher power: The Celestial Brush. Using the brush, Amaterasu can significantly influence the world around her, creating bombs, changing the time of day, and much more. These powers allow Amaterasu to save the world not only once, but twice.
7 The Descent: Chzo
Benjamin “Yahtzee” Croshaw’s Chzo Mythos focuses on the interactions between Chzo and Earth. After absorbing all of his rivals in the World of Magick, Chzo became a literal mountain of flesh, relying on a figure dubbed, “The Prince” to harvest the pain and magick he needs to survive.
Chzo’s first foray into the World of Technology was when a druid attempted to invoke him to fight the Romans. Summoning Chzo, “The King,” earned the druid the title, “The Arrogant Man” as he became the first victim and acolyte of Chzo, “The Prince.”
Throughout the series, we see over 2000 years of Chzo and The Prince harvesting the three forms of pain, that of the body, immense physical pain, the soul, death of a loved one, and the mind, the torture of one's mind through boredom, fear, and insanity.
6 An Eye For An Eye: Xel'lotath
Eternal Darkness’ Xel’lotath is the epitome of Lovecraftian deities, from her inhuman name to her twisted appearance to her general insanity. Xel’lotath gets her minions by bombarding the bodies of the dead with “a cacophony of voices” until the sounds torture them back into existence, something far more brutal than the other Ancients would be willing to utilize.
She shows her focus on insanity with the recurring theme of her minions being headless or visually associating the head with pain. Her followers take the form of the undead or abominations that wouldn’t look out of place in a Silent Hill entry.
The evil goddess enjoys blood being spilled for her and wishes to exterminate all of the life on Earth, leaving only her minions and the undead to fight each other for all eternity, feeding her sadistic desires.
5 Neither Man Nor Machine: Asura
Despite whatever your opinions are about Asura’s Wrath, the titular Asura showcases immense power in his quest to defeat the demonic race known as the Gohma. Asura belongs to a technologically advanced race of cyborgs inspired by Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. Like his namesake, Asura is the definition of persistence, being killed on multiple occasions and returning to seek vengeance.
The story follows Asura as he learns more about the events taking place on Gaea and tears into every situation with little to no preparation, led only by his sheer power.
As Asura fights deity and demon alike on every venue from the underworld to the moon, the stakes rise until finally a battle for Gaea tears at the very fabric of space and time.
4 The Ghost Of Sparta: Kratos
No list of gods would be complete without The Ghost of Sparta himself, God of War’s Kratos! For those that don’t know, Kratos earned his title as a result of Ares tricking him into killing his family (a surprisingly common theme in Greek mythology). Ares would later come to regret this when Kratos usurped him and became the new God of War.
Throughout the series, we see Kratos take on nearly every figure in Greek mythology, but that doesn’t stop Kratos; when he runs out of Greek gods, he takes his violent campaign, now accompanied by his son, to the Norse pantheon. While we don’t know a ton about his Scandinavian adventures just yet, the next installment is set to launch in the early part of next year.
3 The Former Scientist: Zanza
A human scientist named Klaus was involved in an experiment to create a new universe. While he succeeded, he destroyed the old one in the process. As he built his world, he became Xenoblade’s Zanza.
Wanting companionship, Zanza created humans as he knew them from the previous world and lived among them. As the world developed, he feared that they would leave him. Fears created by his loneliness and self-preservation led him to create a cycle in which all life would be destroyed and recreated. We see the irony of Zanza’s focus on rebirth as he is killed and returns in another form on multiple occasions.
In the new world which he wrought, Zanza can create and terminate life but is seemingly incapable of being destroyed himself.
2 The God-Destroyer: Akatosh
As the chief deity in nearly every pantheon in the Elder Scrolls series, the Aedra, Akatosh, possesses great power, capable of splitting timelines and destroying other gods. When the human world was unable to keep the Daedra Lord, Mehrunes Dagon, at bay, Akatosh used the previous emperor’s illegitimate son, Martin Septim as his avatar and manifested as a flaming dragon to force the Daedra back into Oblivion.
Believed to be the oldest god, he is said to be the creator of time and the mortal plane, Nirn, itself. There are many variants of a draconic god in many different pantheons, leading in-game scholars to assert that they may be the same being. The prolific Aedra is renowned over the massive continent of Tamriel and places far beyond the mortal realm.
1 Leaving A Legacy: The Golden Goddesses
The trio known as The Old Gods or The Golden Goddesses in The Legend of Zelda consists of Din, Nayru, and Farore; they are the goddesses of power, wisdom, and courage respectively and created one of the most recognizable symbols in gaming, the Triforce.
Before time existed, the universe was in chaos. The goddesses descended, and Din created the world, Nayru gave it order, and Farore created all of the lifeforms that inhabited the land. They left behind the Triforce with the goddess Hylia who would later be incarnated as Princess Zelda.
The Triforce, while a tiny portion of the goddesses’ power, was such a powerful artifact that it would cause the conflict that drives almost every game in the series. The Golden Goddesses have what may be the most potent legacy of any god on this list.