Biggest Betrayals In Video Game History Ranked

Some of the greatest video game betrayals.


Video games have come a long way from their origins, from a single narrative story to encompassing multiple narratives within one story; video games today have much evolved. Meanwhile, with evolution, the plots and stories are bound to develop. With that in mind, we’ll look at the biggest betrayals in video game history in this article.

This list will also consider games ranging from various genres and older titles. So, if you haven’t played many older generation games and wish to without spoiling the story, now is the time to close the article since it will be full of spoilers. However, if you do not mind reading spoilers before playing the game, go ahead, as video gaming’s biggest betrayals await you.

Greatest betrayals in video game history

5. Portal 2 – Wheatley betrays Chell

Wheatley betrays Chell

This is probably the best example of power getting into your head in video game history. In Portal 2, when exposed to greater power, Wheatley’s programming is corrupted, resulting in its betrayal of Chell. While once a companion of Chell and helping her escape, the spherical robot was a delightful companion for the protagonist.

However, as GLaDOS is defeated and is replaced by Wheatley as the main AI, the delightful companion to Chell turns against her. This betrayal of Wheatley is definitely one of the biggest betrayals in video gaming history and purely portrays how power can get to you.

4. GTA San Andreas – Big Smoke betrays CJ

Another biggest betrayal in video gaming history that many would remember from their GTA San Andreas. Malvin Harris, aka Big Smoke, acted as the second antagonist in San Andreas. Once a member of the Grove Street Family gang, Smoke was quick to betray his gang. However, it wasn’t revealed until the climax of the game that Big Smoke has betrayed CJ.

While CJ is exiled from Los Santos, Smoke portrays the image of a good doer who gives it back to society, all the while manufacturing drugs and supplying them in the neighborhood. Through this, Big Smoke encompasses immense wealth and lives in a fortress. Meanwhile, during the mission where CJ enters Smoke’s mansion and kills him, he asks what made him flip up; to this, Smoke replies that he saw an opportunity to get rich and took it without thinking about the consequences.

3. A Way Out – Vincent betrays Leo

Vincent betrays Leo

A Way Out is a great game, and the betrayal by Vincent is as great. While the player focuses on getting Vincent and Leo out of prison by working together and becoming free men, things will not go their way. We can safely see that this might not be the most eye-opening betrayal; however, the way things progress and the two characters sharing thoughts over the course of the story and bonding make this one of the biggest and heart-wrenching betrayals in video game history.

It just so happens that Vincent reveals that he is a cop and uses Leo to exact revenge for his brother’s death. Owing to this progression in the story, no matter what choices players make, one of the two buds will die at the end of the game. Considering the time both protagonists spent together and bonded, it’s challenging to process Vincent’s betrayal.

2. Red Dead Redemption – Edgar Ross betrays John Marston

Edgar Ross betrays John Marston

The betrayal featured in this video game hits different. All the while using the protagonist to do his bidding and then killing him while being a cold-hearted villain. Edgar Ross is arguably one of gaming’s most loathsome villains. As the chief of Bureau of Investigation Director, Ross is tasked to eliminate all the remaining criminals across the West during the turn of the century America. For this task, Ross finds John Marston, an ex-criminal, and tells them that he’d let John and his family go if he kills all the remaining criminals for Ross.

To this offer, John agrees and goes on to do his bidding while leaving his wife and kid at his ranch. However, as John clears all the criminals from the West, Ross reveals his location to the government agents and heads over there with them to kill John. The gruesome incident is tragic and arguably the greatest betrayal in video game history.

1. COD: Modern Warfare 2 – General Shepherd betrays Ghost and Roach

General Shepherd betrays Ghost and Roach

The infamous incident and the greatest betrayal in video game history. A moment that players could not believe as it unfolded before their eyes; the death of the most beloved Call of Duty character, and that too from the hands of an ally. The betrayal of General Shepherd came as a shock to all Call of Duty fans, as the moment in Modern History 2 showed the death of Simon “Ghost” Riley.

Upon having just acquired valuable intelligence that would prevent WW3 from happening, both Roach and Ghost return home to hand over the information. Meanwhile, the duo is betrayed by the very force which sent them to produce the information, the face of which is General Shepherd. However, Soap and Captain Price ultimately get revenge by putting a knife to Shepherd’s head. Following Shepherd’s betrayal, the team is excommunicated and becomes a mercenary force in the next installment.

Greatest betrayals in video game history: Summing up

Having betrayed by a known is equally painful in real life as it is in a video game; since progressing through the game, you get to know the character as they develop and form a bond. And in light of that, the betrayals in video games mentioned above are not only painful to watch but also make us feel empty inside.

Akshay Bhardwaj

Akshay Bhardwaj

A casual gamer, fascinated with everything geeky, mostly found lazing around. I drink, and I don't know things!
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