Best: Auric Goldfinger
He's got the best henchman (silent, hat-flinging Oddjob), the coolest methods for snuffing enemies (paint them gold, crush them in a car-smasher), the clearest motivation (simple greed) and the greatest one-liners ("You expect me to talk?" "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."). German actor Gert Frobe spoke minimal English when he took the part, but his performance is full-bodied, by turns affable and chilling. And his laser-beam vasectomy machine? Sheer genius.

Worst: Ernst Stavro Blofeld
The ultra-diabolical villain of a half-dozen Bond films, overplayed to the hammy hilt by Telly Savalas, Charles Gray and Donald Pleasence. Inspired Mike Myers’ Dr. Evil. Having a white pussycat, a Mao jacket and a secret volcano base full of minions in ­orange jumpsuits is not the same as having a personality.