Even though some of the movies set up in the MCU lack the good impactful villain it needs, it has still managed to provide some great villains. These villains have caused a great effect in driving the heroes that we love and cherish. Here are the top 20 villains of the MCU ranked from worst to best.
Thor: The Dark World is considered to be the weakest MCU movie and the main reason for that is that it actually had the weakest villain who no one cared about, at all! Christopher Eccleston who is generally considered as a well-accomplished actor was not able to bring the right flair to the role, and it was not actually his fault as the plot of the movie did not allow him to do much anyway.
The most frustrating performance by any villain in the MCU was without a doubt given by Mickey Rourke as the main villain in the second Iron Man movie. It seemed like he was not even trying and just trying to make money by doing something that is almost equivalent to nothing at all. It is good that he did not survive at the end as he was not a big threat to Iron Man anyway.
People were really hyped to know that Mads Mikkelson was playing a villain in Doctor Strange, but as it turned out his character did not get so much to do and his great acting talents were somewhat wasted. But still, he worked pretty well visually and did put up a good fight against Doctor Strange.
17. Ronan The Accuser
The mad Kree fanatic did a great job in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. even though he did not turn out to be as impactful against the Guardians as he should have been after possessing the power gem especially, he still did great and was really good fun to watch.
16. Brock Rumlow/Crossbones
The reason why Frank Grillo’s Brock Rumlow aka Crossbones made it to the list is because he was a complete badass and we would like to see more of him if possible. He became the one who actually added spark to the big Civil War that broke the Avengers apart.
15. The Mandarin
Guy Pierce was not bad as the villain for Iron Man 3 but people completely lost their minds when the biggest Iron Man villain of all which all the fans were excited about was turned into a stage actor and nothing more. They showed that it was just an act set up by Aldrich Killian! It was supposed to be a big plot twist which didn’t actually fare well with the fans! But apart from that Killian was a fine villain.
14. Darren Cross/Yellowjacket
Ant-Man was one of the surprising hits of MCU as the movie did not actually have anything bad. Corey Stoll did good as Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket in the film, but the reason why he is not amongst the top 10 is because he was too similar to the likes of Obadiah Stane / Iron Monger.
Even though this villain had the shortest role of all, but he surely deserves a Spot in the top 10 list. The Incredible Hulk did need an opponent worthy of his strength, and he got an even stronger one with the Abomination. Abomination showed up at the climax of the movie and gave one hell of a fight for us to witness, almost kicking the Hulk’s ass.
12. Vulture/Adrian Toomes
Michael Keaton’s Vulture was really an amazing villain. The motivations that drive him to pursue that path he does in the movie are very well defined. He was a very well groomed villain by the writer and Keaton’s performance just enhanced the Villain. He fit in the story pretty well and showed his deadly side as well, which Spidey should be afraid of.
11. Iron Monger/Obadiah Stane
Iron Man’s first villain was perhaps the best villain of his Trilogy. Tony faced a real great threat against Obadiah Stane when he was able to make his Iron Monger suit. He almost beat the Iron Man and everyone saw that what happens if the lust for greed and revenge takes over a person with bad intentions.
Ultron was accidentally created by Tony Stark. Stark meant for him to be the protector of the world and bring peace but he misunderstood the notion of bringing peace as he thought that peace can only be brought by the destruction of humanity and starting over. Even though it was not an age of Ultron, it was like a Week, but that Week was pretty destructive and took a great toll on the Avengers, becoming one of the factors that lead to the Civil War.
9. Winter Soldier
Even though the one pulling the strings of the Winter Soldier was Alexander Pierce, he himself was a great opponent for Captain America. He was a real bad-ass in the movie. His brute force was a real treat to witness and his fights with Captain America were just amazing. He was one of the main reasons why Shield fell and the Brain-Washed soldier dd some real damage in the movie.
8. Baron Zemo
Without having any Superpowers, or being a master assassin or a combatant, this villain succeeded in doing the biggest thing of all, dividing a rift between the Avengers, breaking them apart from the inside. He caused a war amongst the Avengers and totally divided them his character motivations were really well defined.
7. Ego – The Living Planet
Finding out that Peter Quill is the son of an entire planet was pretty surprising and then finding out that Quill’s father is the main Bad guy of the movie was even more insane. Kurt Russell did a remarkable job portraying the character and it was also great on the part of James Gunn in writing the character. He set up a great father-son rivalry, and Ego was a really good villain.
6. Ulysses Klaue
Even though Klaue did not have a big role to portray in Black Panther and was killed off very soon, Andy Serkis portrayed the character amazingly well! It is sad that he had to die for the sake of the plot, but the little bit that he did was actually much better than many other villains of the MCU. Klaue was totally entertaining and very threatening at the same time, and we need villains like him going forward!
5. Hela, the Goddess of Death
Thor’s elder sister and the first female villain in the MCU was actually great with what she did. Cate Blanchett’s portrayal in Thor: Ragnarok was just amazing and Hela is indeed one of the strongest MCU villains ever. We would surely want more of her in Avengers 4.
4. Red Skull
One of the earliest Marvel villains we got a chance to see was the Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger. He’s one of Cap’s most nefarious villains as the leader of Hydra. The character earns this spot because his look and the performance was handled extremely well. While he may have died in the film and was a little underutilized, he certainly stands as one of the MCU’s best villains so far. His return in the MCU has opened up the opportunity to do even more in the future.
3. Erik Killmonger
Michale B. Jordon was just remarkable playing Black Panther’s big villain, Killmonger. His story arc was different from the comics, but it was extremely relatable by the fans. He actually was more of an anti-hero whose motivations were totally justified. Again, it is sad that we may not get any more of him as MCU needs great villains like him to continue their story arcs in the future.
Tom Hiddleston is Loki. It’s nearly impossible now to think about Loki without immediately thinking of Tom Hiddleston. His performance brings out the evil and the charm of Loki, the God of Mischief. He has certainly been the best Villain marvel has had to offer that is why he is so heavily featured in the Marvel films. He was so great in Thor that he actually got to take on the Avengers in their first movie, and that performance was even better than the first one.
1. The Mad Titan Thanos
Well, it was a no-brainer that Thanos was going to top this list. He was being set up as the big bad of MCU and he actually proved to be one! He came in, beat every Avenger he fought, sacrificed his loved one for the cause he believed in and ultimately did what no other villain was able to. He was the only one who actually defeated the Avengers, and in doing so, he wiped out half the population of the entire Universe! Thanos was the hero of his own story and we could absolutely relate to his motivations!
Honorable Mentions – Alexander Pierce, Dormammu & Ebony Maw
Alexander Pierce surely deserves a spot in the top 10 villains of the MCU as he was the real leader of Hydra who almost took over the world in a big political thriller! Also, Dormammu and Ebony Maw were great in their own ways, but they just did not get much to do in the big cinematic universe.