Greatest Arch Enemies of All Time

Perhaps the greatest of all enemies is one that's seems to be the most personal for you. Reasons can vary from familial relationships to being the harbinger for important and tragic events. One thing that still remains is the fact that not only are two people the worst of enemies against one another, but also ones that know the most about each other and are arguably just as important as the most powerful foe and the greatest of allies.

Keep in mind this is "Arch-Enemies", not "Rivals". While both terms are similar, there are some notable differences. A rivalry is more akin to two individuals who could be friends or individuals who have a personal relationship with one another, but compete with one another regardless. Arch-enemies normally don't have any positive feelings for one another, and due to their personal relationship, their enmity is a lot stronger.
The Top Ten
1 Batman and The Joker

Batman and The Joker's relationship is incredibly deep regarding the worst of enemies. Furthermore, their appearances and motives directly contrast one another. Yet, they both share a tragic backstory, with The Joker stating at times that he and Batman aren't too different. Both have become symbols of fear, but Batman also represents justice, whereas The Joker is associated with madness and chaos.

2 Guts and Griffith

The differences and parallels between Guts and Griffith are so stark, listing them down would be an essay in itself. Guts is a lone warrior who wields a gigantic sword, is feared, has little social skills, and fights for his life all the time. Griffith leads an army, wields an elegant sword, is seen as a Messiah, is incredibly charismatic, and has dreams of ruling a kingdom.

Despite this image, their personal characters are a sharp contrast. Guts is remorseful, has a goal of protecting his love, Casca, and leading his own band of travelers. He is actually capable of caring and loving someone. Griffith is a sociopath who only cares about himself and his end goals. He is more than willing to sacrifice anyone if it means attaining something to his advantage.

Post-Eclipse, it gets even more personal, and there are more contrasts. Guts has new goals via slaying the Godhand and forming new bonds with people, whereas Griffith is just fixated on his childhood dream. Guts despises rape while Griffith is a rapist. Guts is fond of children and is hesitant to kill them, while Griffith is willing to let a child die if it meets his goals. Both have a group, but Guts has one that is genuinely nurturing. Whereas Griffith's is composed of honorable apostles and humans, it doesn't change the fact that Griffith himself is lacking empathy and morality.

Guts and Griffith are personal in the sense that they were once friends turned worst enemies, all due to Griffith not being able to comprehend Guts leaving the Band of the Hawk. Griffith was also willing to give up on his dream. In the end, Griffith didn't just care about himself and his dream, but he had absolutely no value of virtue to give towards anybody. After the Eclipse, which saw Griffith sacrifice his entire army to a horde of apostles and rape Casca in front of Guts, Guts still remains a human pushing through his limits. In contrast, Griffith has become a God of sorts. In the very end, Guts is the... more

3 Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty

One of the defining examples of an arch-nemesis. Sherlock Holmes is a "consulting detective". James Moriarty is a "consulting criminal". Sherlock, despite his aloof and cold attitude, is still a good man willing to help others, whereas Moriarty is rotten to the core.

4 Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul

Darth Maul killed Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan's master. Maul himself would be cut in half by Obi-Wan moments later and would spend years in total insanity and madness. After regaining his composure, he killed Obi-Wan's love interest out of revenge. The two would constantly duel with one another during the Clone Wars.

Both also faced tragedy after the Clone Wars due to Chancellor Palpatine. Obi-Wan lost his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, to the Dark Side, and the Jedi Republic was almost extinct via Order 66. Meanwhile, Maul lost his younger brother Savage Oppress, his mother, and any attempts to overthrow Palpatine. Hence, both were forced into hiding.

5 Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort

Harry Potter and Tom Riddle are pretty similar when you think about it. Both had terrible childhoods, were gifted in magic, and were highly regarded by Albus Dumbledore. They also lost their parents in their childhood and were not content outside the wizarding world.

However, for all their similar pasts, the two are polar opposites in their moral agency. Harry was able to love, inspire, and nurture - all qualities Riddle was unable to comprehend. Harry was a great leader who was looked up to by many, whereas Riddle was insecure and killed his followers if things didn't go his way. Harry was also unfazed by his past and kept to his morals, whereas Riddle rejected his Muggle heritage, renaming himself Lord Voldemort and becoming a massive hypocrite when he wants to commit genocide on anyone related to Muggles despite being one himself. The final contrast is Harry being willing to accept death, whereas Riddle is afraid of it, to the point of having his own dead body as his boggart.

Riddle wants to kill Harry for being a prophetic figure who was destined to defeat him at some point. He had a choice between Harry and Neville Longbottom but chose the former simply because of his half-Muggle heritage, brought from his mother. Voldemort killed Harry's parents but was forced into hiding due to a protection spell backfiring his last attack. He started a war because of his fear of death and wanting to prevent Harry from stopping that.

6 Samus Aran and Ridley

Ridley killed Samus's parents, destroyed her home planet, and attacked her adopted family years later. In doing so, he created his own worst enemy. Samus hates Ridley for obvious reasons, whereas Ridley returns the favor due to her constantly overpowering and humiliating him in every battle they are pitted against each other.

7 Spider-Man and Norman Osborne

While Venom is a worthy contender, he sometimes works with Spider-Man in dire circumstances, and the two are more akin to an intense rivalry.

Norman Osborne is definitely Peter Parker's most personal enemy, given their history with one another. Norman is the father of Peter's best friend, Harry. He killed Gwen Stacy, was responsible for the Clone Saga (as bad as that was), and makes it his personal mission to demoralize Spider-Man as much as he can. To the point where he'd even go against other supervillains for simply trying to go against the web-slinger. Furthermore, he tries to kill Mary Jane in the same way he killed Gwen.

There's also the massive contrast in Peter being an ordinary teenager while Norman is a wealthy businessman. Both have an established legacy, Peter as Spider-Man and Norman as the Green Goblin. Lastly, Peter is beloved, a paragon and a symbol of hope and inspiration. Norman is abusive, monstrous, and morally disgusting, even by supervillain standards.

8 Superman and Lex Luthor
9 Inspector Gadget and Dr. Claw
10 Lelouch Lamperouge and Emperor Charles
The Contenders
11 The Flash (Barry Allen) and Reverse Flash (Eobard Thawne)

Barry Allen is one of the most incredible, inspirational, and loved heroes ever.

Eobard Thawne represents lunacy, depravity, and selfishness taken to new levels.

The Flash and the Reverse Flash are essentially polar opposites regarding their morality. It becomes more personal when Thawne, originally a Flash fanboy, becomes the worst antithesis one could imagine. Thawne decides to time travel and make Barry suffer solely for his own satisfaction: killing his mother, making him trip over, lose a baseball match, killing his pet dog, and framing his father for his wife's murder. The list goes on.

12 Star Butterfly and Toffee
13 Goku/Vegeta and Frieza

Frieza was responsible for the extinction of the Saiyan alien race, which also includes Vegeta's father, the king. Frieza would also later adopt Vegeta and treat him as an underling during his time as a member of the Frieza Force.

On a different note, Frieza brutally killed Goku's best friend Krillin, killed a peaceful alien race partially in an attempt to achieve immortality and partially to satiate his own sadism, and threatened to kill Goku's son, Gohan. The end result was Goku achieving a transformation which Frieza was deathly afraid of.

Overall, both Goku and Vegeta utterly despise Frieza, with the latter having a rather racist opinion of the Saiyans himself, instead calling them "monkeys". There's also the fact that Goku is a peaceful, loving, and humble person at heart, and Vegeta would progressively mellow out and become a better individual over time, a stark contrast to Frieza still remaining a callous, genocidal, and elitist monster at his core.

14 Strawberry Shortcake and the Pie Man
15 Sonic The Hedgehog and Dr. Eggman
16 Optimus Prime and Megatron

Pretty much one of the best. They've been popular for about 40 years and are still well-known now. Deserves to be higher. -TheDarkOne_221b

17 Godzilla and King Ghidorah

Godzilla and Ghidorah are as iconic as Batman and The Joker, two sides of the same coin, the yin and yang. They hate each other, but it's their hatred for one another that keeps them going: one light, the other darkness. Order and chaos. Life and death. No monster can challenge Godzilla like Ghidorah, and after 70 years, that's saying something.

18 Mario and Bowser
19 Captain America and Red Skull
20 Scar and Simba
21 Hashirama Senju and Madara Uchiha

Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju started out as friends who lived in a war-torn land. They shared a similar goal of world peace but ultimately became enemies once they realized the true natures of their respective clans. Both also lost their families to one another. In the end, Hashirama remained hopeful, whereas Madara fell into cynicism and nihilism, eventually giving in to the Curse of Hatred. Despite the two establishing a village together, Hashirama would inspire a new generation of shinobi, whereas Madara would become detested and would rather corrupt others into his cause, as was the case with Obito Uchiha.

22 Scorpion and Sub Zero
23 Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
24 Black Panther and Erik Killmonger
25 Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi
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