Bowser, Super Mario’s evil foe, has been crowned the greatest video-game villain of all time.
The fireball-throwing turtle-like menace, who plots to kidnap Princess Peach, only to be constantly foiled by the plucky plumber, polled 20 per cent of online votes cast on the Guinness World Records website.
Created by Nintendo almost 30 years ago, he pipped newer characters from the gaming world – GLaDOS from the Portal series of games and the Joker from Rocksteady’s 2009 Dark Knight spin-off Batman: Arkham Asylum came second and third respectively.
Kevin Lynch, of the Guinness World Records 2013 Gamer’s Edition, said: “It was really interesting for us to put the vote out to our readers and see who their favourite villain was – Bowser’s top place is no big shocker, but there certainly are surprises in there.
“I think what this list really reflects is that video game villains tend to be a lot cooler than the heroes they’re pitted against.”
Bowser, also known as the King of the Koopas, was introduced in 1985’s Super Mario Bros game.
GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System), the ominous, artificial intelligence computer system from 2007’s Portal and its sequel, was kept off the top of the poll by only a few of the 5,699 votes cast.
Other bad guys in the list include Ganon, from the Legend of Zelda (1996) at No4, Inky from 1980 arcade classic Pac-Man at eight, Donkey Kong at 14 and M Bison from 1990’s Street Fighter at 17. It may not be cool, but Gary Oak, from 1998’s Pokemon Red and Blue, came fifth.