If a hero is only as good as his villains, then James Bond is quite the hero indeed. Over more than 50 years and 24 official film instalments, Agent 007 has faced off against a truly impressive array of ruthless killers, twisted tycoons, and brilliant madmen. Some wanted to rule the world, others wanted to take revenge, and more than a few just wanted to get very, very rich – regardless, they each proved a bit of a headache for MI6’s finest operative.
That said, not all baddies are created equal, and some of Bond’s enemies rate more highly than others in the eyes of fans. Much like one of our super spy’s trademark cocktails, the best villains to grace the James Bond franchise are characterised by several key ingredients.
First, a great Bond antagonist needs a grand and devious scheme – although these can occasionally go awry, making absolutely no sense whatsoever. Second, they need some kind of gimmick, whether it’s a distinctive gadget or memorable physical skill or ailment. And finally, they have to possess a certain sense of style.
Keeping these three criteria squarely in mind, and limiting ourselves solely to main villains to keep things manageable – so no henchmen like Jaws or Oddjob, sorry – I’ve set out this list of Every Bond villain, ranked from worst to best.