Best of Nintendo from the past decade (2010-2019): From revolutionizing the handheld to more great Pokémon

Most annoying characters/enemies

Whether they're intentionally annoying or simply annoying due to bad mechanics, characters and enemies seriously impact our experience with a game. Here are the most annoying characters and enemies we've encountered on Nintendo hardware in the 2010s.

1. Fire/Ice/Electric Keese (The Legend of Zelda series)

Fire Keese The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Fire Keese The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Image credit: iMore)

It doesn't matter which entry you play, the Legend of Zelda series has one of the most irritating enemies ever. Fire Keese are the worst. Not only do they flutter out of reach, but they are also small, hard to see, and they like to flap around, which makes it difficult to shoot out of the air with your slingshot, bow, or hookshot. What's worse is these stupid creatures fly slow enough for you to miss, but ramp up the speed as they get closer to you. Good luck if you have a wooden shield; if you get hit once, it's burnt to a crisp. And yes, you have to buy a brand new one. Ice Keese are just as bad. They turn you into a block of ice and then casually fly away. Honestly, any type of enemy that flaps around in the Zelda series is pretty annoying. Crows, keese, I don't care. Just make them stop! -Sara Gitkos

2. Your rival in every Pokémon game

Hop Pokemon Sword and Shield

Hop Pokemon Sword and Shield (Image credit: iMore)

We saw a major change in Pokémon rivals over the past decade. The first few generations of Pokémon games, you competed against a jerk who was always one step ahead of you. Heck, no matter what Pokémon you selected as your starter, your rival always chose the Pokémon that had a type advantage over you. However, more recent Pokémon games have found a new way to annoy you. With incompetent rivals. For example, Hop in Pokémon Sword and Shield never really grasps how the type system works even by the end of the game. He's always getting beaten by you and acting as a massive tutorial that you interact with throughout the game. It just makes it so I cringe whenever I see him. -Rebecca Spear

3. Insane level creators in Super Mario Maker 2

Super Mario Maker 2

Super Mario Maker 2 (Image credit: Nintendo)

I absolutely love seeing all of the creative things people come up with in the Super Mario Maker 2 community. Seriously, I don't know that I would ever come up with some of the things people create. However, there are also sadistic creators out there who make nearly impossible-to-beat levels. Things like requiring that you jump just right on the backs of flying Koopas for a long stretch while avoiding close-quarter spikes. I mean, I love going onto Super Mario Maker 2 and relaxing with a challenging course. But, there's a fine line for when challenging turns into torture. Curse you, crazy Super Mario Maker 2 level creators! -Rebecca Spear

4. Wesker (Resident Evil 5)

Wesker Resident Evil 5

Wesker was once your colleague, but now he's not. Now he's a monster threatening to bring some ungodly experiments to the masses. Resident Evil 5 features a lot of bosses and monsters for you to fight, and by the end of the game you're exhausted, but Wesker is the last one. He's fast, super strong, and deals a lot of damage. It's always best to save up your Magnum ammo for this one. Otherwise, you'll be stuck having to not only shoot him down but manage your inventory so you can survive. Worst of all? He's not even all that special or terrifying. There are way better bosses in Resident Evil 5 and they come around much earlier in the game. Sure Wesker was your friend so there are emotional stakes, but unless you played some of the older entries in the series, you probably don't care. He's just another annoyingly-tough baddie that you have to take down. -Carli Velocci

5. Ghirahim / The Imprisoned (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)

Ghirahim and the Imprisoned Skyward Sword

Ghirahim and the Imprisoned Skyward Sword (Image credit: iMore)

Skyward Sword featured a lot of interesting things, but it was also a treasure trove of annoying characters, enemies, and mechanics. This ungodly game brought us Ghirahim, the super-strong weirdo who could deflect your sword with his arm. His personality is strange enough, but fighting him was annoying. While battling him, I had to stop my game so many times to re-pair my Wiimote to match the motion controls. It was the only way to beat him and since motion controls were especially error-riddled on Wii, fighting him was a nightmare.

Then there was The Imprisoned. I hated this boss for several reasons: 1.) He had a lame design that looked like something my five-year-old nephew would have drawn. 2.) You defeated him by popping his weird water balloon toes. 3.) You had to battle him not once, not twice, but three times by the end of the game, which seems like a cop-out for including other cool bosses. It just makes defeating him feel like a chore instead of an exciting experience. Maybe that was the point, but I didn't like it. -Rebecca Spear

6. Blue Shell (Any Mario Kart game)

Blue Shell Mario Kart

Blue Shell Mario Kart (Image credit: iMore)

This is a choice all about perspective. If you're towards the back of the pack during a round in Mario Party and unlock the Blue Shell, it's a blessing. However, if you're in first place and doing your best, it can be a curse. The Blue Shell is a joke in gaming, an almost automatic way to ruin the day of the first-place player. It's powerful and gets the job done, which is why it's only given to the players that need it, but can you imagine doing well and then getting hit with one of these? It's a mood killer of the highest order. This past decade has seen a lot of treatises on the Blue Shell from writers across gaming, and while some of them may be a bit hyperbolic, they all come from the same hurt place. It's the pain that can only be felt if you've been hit with the Blue Shell and that's something unique in games. -Carli Velocci

7. The Owl / Na'vi (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D)

Ocarina Owl and Navi

Step back, Gannon. Here are the real villains of the game. Let's be clear; I love Ocarina of Time. However, you can't deny how annoying these characters are. The Owl, while helpful to new players, will...not...stop...talking! This unavoidable conversationalist vomits text on players who mindlessly click on buttons to make it go faster. The worst part? At the end, you will be asked a comprehensive question, and that jerk trolls the entire player base by switching the order of the Yes and No options. Clicking on the wrong one will steal another five agonizing, dialogue-heavy minutes you will never get back. Just as irritating, your sidekick, Navi, is the Karen of video games. She'll scream "Hey!" and "Listen!" at you forever if you decide to take too long getting back to the main quest. Let me do my side-quests in peace! She also helps you lock onto enemies or items, but some of the views make me wonder if she's just trying to get Link killed. She'd probably still be saying "Hello?" to his lifeless body. Like I said, the true villains of OOT. -Sara Gitkos

8. Hammer Bros. (Any Mario game)

Hammer Bros

Hammer Bros (Image credit: iMore)

The one enemy that always trips me up in Mario side scrollers, whether that be Super Mario Maker 2 or New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, is the Hammer Bros. These helmeted villains enchant me with their rhythmic-yet-random hammer throwing and then when I think I've found an opening; I always get nailed. See what I did there? Seriously, though. I'll be running along in the level and then when I notice those falling tools I stop and have to mentally psyche myself up to continue. I'll take a wheel of Boos, rotating flame throwers, a poison mushroom, or an angry sun over the Hammer Bros. any day. Just keep them away from me! -Rebecca Spear

9. Mice . . . or are they rats? (Overcooked)

Overcooked 2

Overcooked is a ton of fun, and Overcooked 2 is even better. But, I will never forget the nightmares from the original. Okay, I'm being dramatic, but if you ever played Overcooked and had to contend with mice in the kitchen, you would understand. They are the single most rage-inducing aspect of the game, and they are only in one or two stages. This is especially true if you are playing two-player co-op. The mice are a kitchen obstacle; they run across the kitchen, steal any food you leave on the counter, and take it back to their little home. This doesn't seem too bad, especially when there's one. But once that dinner rush hits, several more mice scurry across the floor to grab anything you've prepped. The only way to stop them is to punch them. You need to dedicate one person to that, otherwise, nothing is getting done. If there's only two of you, that can make things pretty impossible. Who knew a mouse could make you rage quit a family game? -Sara Gitkos

10. Clem (Luigi's Mansion 3)

Clem Luigi's Mansion

I found every boss in Luigi's Mansion 3 a breeze to defeat except for when I was fighting Clem, the evil handyman in the basement. There's an easy way to defeat him, but it took me longer than I like to admit to figure out what it was. He determines that you'll battle him while on a floaty in a water tank and won't allow you to hit him while standing on land. If you try to use the Poltergust vacuum to suck up his floaty, he notices and throws mines at you. As a further jerk move, once you defeat him, Clem throws the elevator button that you're after into the bottom of the tank, so you have to go after it. He's just annoying from start to finish. -Rebecca Spear

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