I may or may not have a slight obsession with video games. Depends on how much time I can leave for that at the end of the day. I had more time in the past so I was able to spend more hours crushing things with the help of many fictional characters. Here’s my top 10 list of best characters from video games, chosen mainly on their story and iconic value. But to be honest I started with almost 40 characters and it took me a long while to get them down to just 10.
10. Arthas Menethil (Warcraft)
The Prince of Lordareon is the epitome of potential for greatness gone wrong. He was a trained Paladin, in a relationship with a fine sorceress, Jaine Proudmoore, and at some point he would have inherited the throne from his father, Terenas. Yet in his quest for greatness he made the grave error of picking up the cursed runeblade known as Frostmourne, which lead to him becoming a death knight and abandoning all he was. He led the Scourge in destroying his own kingdom, Lordareon, and eventually merged with the Lich King, becoming one of the greatest evils on Azeroth (fictional world) who ruled for years after. And that doesn’t even begin to describe his journey, as experienced by playing him as a character.
9. Kratos (God of War)
Born and raised in Sparta, he had hoped he and his brother would one day become part of the Spartan army. But the gods took his brother away and Kratos had to join the army without him. He got himself a great life, a wife, a daughter, a position as Captain of the army. But the gods were cruel, setting him in a fit of rage which pushed him to murder his family, subsequently stripping himself of his army position. Then he went on working for the gods, challenging the gods, and ultimately defeating the gods with the use of ‘Hope’ from Pandora’s Box. Talk about a damn character arc.
8. Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem)
Does Duke Nukem really need any explanation? He’s Duke Nukem, the self-proclaimed hero who saves the Earth numerous times.
7. Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog)
A blue anthropomorphic hedgehog whose weapon is curling up in a ball and who has the ability to run at supersonic speeds. He impales things on his spikes, he collects rings and power-ups, but most of all he runs and survives.
6. Sephiroth (Final Fantasy)
Born as a result of experimentation by injecting him with extraterrestrial life-form cells while he was still a fetus. When he discovers the truth about his creation he sets on a mission he believes he is destined for — taking full control of Gaia. And thus one of the greatest villains in gaming is born.
5. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
It’s always the darn archaeologists, isn’t it? A young, pretty, smart, and athletic rich and English adventurer wanders from a ruin to a tomb, raiding all the scary and dangerous places around the world. I don’t believe there’s another video games female character as popular as her.
4. Illidan Stormrage (Warcraft)
Deep down, Illidan was just a misunderstood being. Always taken for granted, things never went his way, it seemed like the whole world is conspiring against him, and eventually he just went with the flow. That flow led him to acquiring unimaginable powers, but in the process also committing horrid acts against the inhabitants of Azeroth and that includes his own people, the Night Elves. Eventually he had a bit of a redeeming act where he and his twin brother, Malfurion Stormrage, stopped their quarrel long enough to save the one they were both in love with, Tyrande Whisperwind.
3. Gordon Freeman (Half-Life)
If an experiment ever goes wrong and our land gets invaded by a plethora of alien races, can we please make sure Gordon Freeman is leading our defenses? Because despite him being a theoretical physicist, he does a damn good job in Half-Life leading the uprising against the enemy.
2. Mario (Super Mario)
In the Mushroom Kingdom lives a short and chubby Italian plumber by the name of Mario, who sets on a mission to save the Princess Peach from a Koopa villain called Bowser. Sometimes we also see his brother, Luigi (a tall and skinny Italian plumber). He cannot run fast, but he can jump high and that’s how he gets his enemies — feet on head (thank goodness he’s a bit chubby?). He also collects coin, because… Taxes? And he eats mushrooms, which make him larger or smaller, which can kill him or give him an extra life, which give him the ability to shoot, etc. Let’s just say, while any of the Mario games are fun when you’re a kid, they’re even funnier when you’re a grown up.
1. Link (The Legend of Zelda)
A boy gathers the courage, leaves his home and everyone he knows for the greater good. He decides to follow his dream of fighting the evil forces which are threatening their land. Despite him being young, he manages to master all sorts of weapons, skills, and items, which help him on his long journey. He’s also friends with the Princess Zelda, whom he likes dearly and attempts to win her affections. Eventually, in the end he manages to vanquish all foes and becomes a famous hero in his world. But that’s a very crappy summary of Link. Link is something extraordinary, something that can only be experienced and not explained. Link is legendary.