top 50 banner-01There are a lot of ingredients that go into making an amazing video game. Beautiful visuals and polished gameplay can all add up to create something special. For us though, great stories have always been one of the most important aspects of a game, and you can’t have a great story without fantastic characters. A great character can be many things. It can be a person with an emotional story to tell that you personally relate to, or it can be a character of iconic design that sticks with you for years. The differing characteristics of a great persona makes ranking them on a list all the more difficult, but we think we’ve done a good job of assembling a respectable list of our favorite characters to ever come across our screens.

Note: To make it onto our list, it must be a character that originated or is widely known as a character specifically from video games. (Sorry Batman & James Bond)

Salvatore  (The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker)

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is a game with possibly my favorite cast of characters. As you explore the high seas Link meets a seemingly never-ending supply of goofy muppet-esque NPCs that never fail to make you chuckle at their personality ticks. Chief among these is Salvatore, who runs the battleship style mini game complete with costumes and mouth-made sound effects. To this day John and I still mimic his French accent and shout “Kabloom” and “Splish” at each other. Thank you, Salvatore for years of laughs.   –Adam

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KOS-MOS  (Xenosaga)

While it’s pretty well accepted that the Xeno-series is known for not reaching its ambitious potential, one thing Xenosaga solidified with its very first episode was that KOS-MOS is an undeniable badass. This mysterious android hosts many secrets and an unbelievably powerful arsenal of lasers, rockets and mini guns that she can summon to lay waste to any enemy in sight. I’m hard pressed to remember a JRPG party member in any game with such awesome power as KOS-MOS, and she does it all in high heels.  -Adam

top 40s-03Captain John Price (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)

The Modern Warfare series of Call of Duty games are the pinnacle of the series. They feature an action packed story and memorable characters such as Ghost and “Soap” MacTavish. The best of them all though is Captain John Price. A seemingly invincible badass who not only survives multiple near death experiences, but does it all while rocking an absolutely stellar moustache. With rumors of another Modern Warfare title, hopefully we haven’t seen the last of this iconic soldier.    -John

Waluigi (Mario Tennis)

When he debuted in 2000, Waluigi was not exactly well recieved, but since then he has built up a cult following for his quirky personality and downright weirdness. His self pity and awkwardness make him an annoying (but loveable) member of the Mushroom Kingdom. Mostly appearing in games like Mario Tennis, Golf and the Mario Kart series, we’re still waiting for him to get his moment to shine in a mainline Super Mario title or even better, his own game.   -John

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Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect)

Kirk had Spock, Han Solo had Chewbacca, and on board the SSV Normandy, Commander Sheppard had Garrus.  Tired of the rules and beaurocratic bs of C-Sec, the Turian badass joins up with Sheppard to dispense justice throughout the galaxy and became a fan favorite of the Mass Effect trilogy in the process. You know a character has had a cultural impact when you can buy a full sized body pillow of them. (Google it, you know you want one)   -John

top 40s-06Isaac Clarke  (Dead Space)

While Isaac’s debut to gaming in the original Dead Space wasn’t very impressive in the character-building department, they established his survival skills, back story and laid the foundation for an incredible second act. Dead Space 2 is a haunting psychological thriller that leans heavily on Isaac as a leading character. His inner torment, guilt and struggle with his demons is center stage for Dead Space 2 and really cements Isaac as one of the greatest survival horror protagonists of all time.  -Adam

top 40s-07Kassandra (Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey)

On a quest to put back together the pieces of her fractured family while discovering the ancient secrets of the Templars and Assassins, Kassandra is a strong, powerful protagonist who is the most charasmatic and interesting character the series has seen since Ezio. And although the game does give you option of playing as her brother Alexios, she is by far the better of the two characters. She’s basically Xena: Warrior Princess with god-like powers, which is about all you could ask for in a video game.   –John

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Senua (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice)

You’d be hard pressed to find a more compelling character on this entire list than Senua. Featuring brilliant voice work and motion capture by Melina Juergens, Senua travels to Helheim to rescue the soul of her dead lover, but as a sufferer of psychosis (which she believes is a curse) she cannot trust what she sees or hears with her own eyes and ears. It’s a fascinating portrayal of mental illness that is almost unheard of in video games. And one that you’ll likely never forget.   -John

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KK Slider (Animal Crossing)

He’s a guitar playing dog. I could pretty much end the synopsis there and justify his place on the list, but KK uses his charm and cool to put himself amongst the most iconic Animal Crossing critters. With a weekly spotlight in your town, it is always a highlight of every Saturday night to make your way to KK’s latest venue to take in the tunes. He’s simply the coolest. Awooooooo!   -Adam

top 40s-10Sam Fisher (Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell)

Sam Fisher is an iconic character for a variety of reasons. It could be that he’s the gaming equivelent of Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible, it could be those sweet multi-vision goggles that help him take down baddies across the globe, but if we’re being honest it’s probably the unmistakable voice work of actor Michael Ironside who voiced the character through most of the series. They attempted to replace him in 2013’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist but it just wasn’t the same and Ironside returned to role in 2018 for an appearance in Ghost Recon: Wildlands.   -John

 

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