One of the ways gamers connect to a game is through the main character. "Pong" is fun and all, but it is a tad difficult to care as much about a paddle as it is to care about a person. An engaging protagonist can make or break a video game. Below are our top 11 picks for the best main characters we've ever played as.
11. Nathan Drake – “Uncharted” series
Nathan Drake taught us that an action-adventure game is improved with an indubitable sense of humor. While the gameplay of “Uncharted” was fascinating and fun, it was Nathan Drake’s charm that really drew us in. The man just oozes charisma.
10. Gordon Freeman – “Half-Life” series
While Gordon Freeman was a voiceless character, our complete and total freedom to decide his actions carried a voice for him. Plus, the reactions Freeman caused from the people around him were enough to give us a better picture of his personality. We do indeed love this crowbar-swinging mute with a penchant for trouble.
9. Kratos – “God of War” series
Sometimes gamers need an outlet for all of their pent-up rage. What better character to assist in that endeavor than Kratos, the angriest god in the pantheon. Plus, Kratos’ latest journey in “God of War 4” gave a whole new depth to his character that we hadn’t seen before.
8. Mega Man – “Mega Man” series
Mega Man’s versatility is his biggest selling point. His powers are mutable and ever-growing. As he hops around the screen and gains new abilities, we fall more and love with him. Well, at least we did back when they were making great “Mega Man” games on a regular basis.
7. Cloud Strife – “Final Fantasy” series
The “Final Fantasy” series is chock-full of amazing and unique characters. As such, Cloud Strife proves himself as a fantastic character by being able to stand out from the crowd. His character design is iconic, and his personality was delightfully complex.
6. Lara Croft – “Tomb Raider” series
Lara Croft became the biggest female video game character for a reason. Her unquenchable desire to raid tombs and hold those dual pistols catapulted her into popularity. We can’t even think of the word “tomb” without thinking about Lara Croft now.
5. Link – “The Legend of Zelda” series
Link is the stereotypical perpetual hero, but stereotypes become stereotypes for a reason. His goodness is undeniable, as is his courage. Whenever we play a “Legend of Zelda” game, we are always proud to play as Link.
4. Sonic – “Sonic” series
Sonic has now been relegated to the world of memes, but in his prime, Sonic was a powerhouse of a character. His incredible speed and cool attitude endeared himself to us when we were young. We only wish that the memory of his glory days could be brought back in just one more phenomenal “Sonic” game.
3. Mario – “Super Mario” series
Anyone who has ever heard of a video game has heard of Mario. It is impossible to deny his popularity. Add to that the fact that Mario has consistently appeared in incredible games year after year, and of course Mario ranks high on our list of best video game main characters. Who would have thought a plumber who traverses the sewers could reach such heights?
2. Master Chief – “Halo” series
Master Chief is the epitome of awesomeness. With a gruff voice that rarely speaks more than three sentences at one time, the Chief entrenched himself into this list not by being personable, but by being formidably impressive. We get shivers just hearing him ask for a weapon.
1. Pac-Man – “Pac-Man” series
Pac-Man may be an odd choice for a great main character, but just hear us out. Pac-Man was one of the first characters in a video game with personality. Prior to Pac-Man, you either played a game as yourself or you were some chunky block of pixels shooting at other blocks of pixels. Pac-Man had a spark that was unseen beforehand.