The Mega Dads Top 50 Video Game Characters of All Time: 30-21

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top 20s-01Frog (Chrono Trigger)

The hands-down, standout hero from arguably the best RPG ever created, Frog (or Glenn) takes an old fairy tale style story of a noble knight turned into a frog and flips it on its ear. This character is not a hapless hopping creature looking for a kiss from a maiden, but rather a badass time-traveling swordsman who wields the worlds mightiest blade on his quest for vengeance. Frog unleashes his righteous strength via the Masamune blade as he seeks out the villainous Magus to avenge the death of his mentor, Cyrus. Of course this is just the start of his true quest that sends him and our heroes to the very edge of tomorrow. Not bad for a Frog. –Adam

top 20s-02Ryu Hazuki (Shenmue)

Ryu Hazuki is that kind of lovable dork that you can’t help but love. After coming home to witness the evil Lan Di murder his father at the family dojo, Ryu sets out on a quest to get revenge and uncover the mysteries of his father’s past. It sounds serious and dramatic enough, but the game is filled with awkward and goofy moments that will leave you shaking your head. He’s terrible with the ladies, gets overly excited about capsule toys, and seems to think there’s nothing wrong with going into a biker bar full of thugs and asking if anyone knows where to find some sailors (all of it delivered with some equally awkward voice acting). For all of his dopiness though, it’s hard not to root for the guy. He’s got a charm and innocence that makes you wish that maybe one day he’ll get his revenge (and the girl.)   -John

top 20s-03Dutch van der Linde (Red Dead Redemption)

Dutch is probably one of the most complex characters on this list. It’s hard to fit into one paragraph what makes him so fascinating, but at it’s core it’s his dual roles as both leader and father figure as well as tragic villain. He loves the members of his crew like they’re family, willing do and risk anything for them. But when things start to fall apart and it becomes clear that their time is coming to an end, his true colors begin to show. He becomes paranoid and erratic, and you realize that the man you once loved might be just as likely to stab you in the back as shake your hand.   -John

top 20s-04Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)

Perhaps the most notorious villain in the entire stable of Square RPGs, Sephiroth plunged his blade in our collective gaming hearts ever so slowly through a wall of flame and torment. Once a revered hero to the citizens of Midgar, Sephiroth’s fall from glory and descent into madness is already legend by the time the player first sees his blade towering from the back of President Shinra. The heroes reaction to his arrival is unsettling and the flashback that pulls back the curtain on this character is a truly iconic sequence in gaming. The masterful way the creators at Square spin his yarn and unveil him to be the true antagonist of Final Fantasy VII would be enough to send shivers down our spines, but his evil and soulless actions throughout the game make Sephiroth a man to truly fear. –Adam

top 20s-05Pyramid Head (Silent Hill 2)

There is nothing to fear but fear itself, and that is exactly what The Red Pyramid is. Throughout Silent Hill 2 Pyramid Head stalks you through the shadows, a manifestation of your characters fear and guilt. The town of Silent Hill itself twists your darkest secrets and turns them into devilish creatures that are hell-bent on feeding on your soul. However none of them are as menacing and terrifying as Pyramid Head. Ancient legend tells that the Red Pyramid was an executioner and his place in Silent Hill 2 is to serve as a totem to James’ guilt for what he did before arriving in town. Pyramid Head never dies, never relents and will not stop until James pays for his sins. –Adam

top 20s-06Kefka (Final Fantasy VI)

What’s creepier than a clown, right? Kefka is a demented lackey to the empire in Final Fantasy VI, showing up to commit dastardly deeds here and there for much of the game’s quest. However as the adventure progresses and his evil actions become more nefarious, it becomes obvious that there is something more at hand with the villainous jester. Once the heroes arrive at the midway point of Final Fantasy VI it becomes clear that Kefka is the worst kind of villain, the unpredictable, unhinged and unstoppable kind. Kefka’s actions on the floating continent literally rips the world apart, leaving it in ashes and our heroes scattered in the wind in one of the biggest cliffhanger moments in the 16 bit era. Kefka ascends to godlike power and the journey to unseat him is a dark and dramatic one that makes Final Fantasy VI truly a masterwork. –Adam

top 20s-07Arthur Morgan (Red Dead Redemption 2)

When Read Dead 2 was first unveiled, Arthur Morgan looked a little bit boring as a main protagonist. I feared that he’d never be able to live up to the high bar that John Marston set in the original game. About halfway through the game though, all of my concerns went away as we got to know Arthur more and more. He’s a complicated, nuanced character who has lived a life full of mistakes and terrible deeds, but you can also see that in his heart he’s a good man trying to make amends. His story is one of sadness, love, loyalty, regret, and ultimately… redemption.   -John

top 20s-08Mega Man (Mega Man)

There have been countless iterations on the character of Mega Man over the years and each one of them has something special that speaks us (except for Battle Network. That’s just crap and you know it). Whether you prefer the original Hero, battling robot masters in the future, or X, the hero who battles robot masters in the even more future, The blue bomber shines in the tried and true formula that he has polished to a fine sheen over the years. But for my money the best incarnation of Mega Man comes from the series that took the biggest deviation in Mega Man Legends. Mega Man Volnutt is a treasure hunter, flying around the world in his airship and pillaging underground tombs while battling nefarious Reaverbots. It was an uncharacteristically fleshed out look at the character that could only be achieved in the RPG setting that game created, and it is the best version of the classic character. –Adam

top 20s-09King of all Cosmos (Katamari Damacy)

Perhaps the strangest character on our top 50 list, the King of All Cosmos is a clumsy, emotionally abusive and possibly drunk celestial being who manages to charm us with his terrible personality. After destroying the stars in the sky he sends his tiny son, the prince, to clean up his mess for him by gathering garbage from earth and creating new constellations to replace the ones he obliterated due to his carelessness. The King is known for his bizarre put-downs, seventies-era fashion sense, and the ability to transport the player via a rainbow that shoots out of his mouth. This dude is weird. –Adam

top 20s-10Clementine (The Walking Dead)

It is not uncommon for games to charge the player with escorting another character through danger, to act as protector to someone who needs you. But Telltales The Walking Dead asks you to not only act as a guardian to the orphaned girl Clementine, but throughout the journey you become her role model and father figure. Your actions shape this little girl and every choice you make is in service of ensuring Clementine can survive in the harsh reality of her world. The little moments you share with Clementine are just as impactful as the major life-or-death ones. One scene in particular stands out to me as I remember my time with this game. The protagonist, Lee, gives Clementine a haircut in one of the quiet moments. Small talk between the two carries this tender scene of strangers who came together under the worst circumstances. It mixes the innocence of keeping a child clean and cared for with the grim reality that with short cropped hair there is less for the feasting undead to grab hold of as the two of you desperately try to escape the horrors of the world. It is an undeniable bond that the gamer forges with this little girl as you usher her to the next chapter of her life. –Adam

Check out the previous installments!

Top 50 Video Game Characters of All Time #50-41

Top 50 Video Game Characters of All Time #40-31

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