Game Informer’s new issue, being their newest holiday issue since the special 200th issue last November, is counting down some of the top video game characters of all time. Whenever I saw the cover reveal I started to think about my own favorites, which has now transferred over here for your viewing pleasure (?). Keep in mind I don’t play many video games now a days because of my super-busy schedule, although I am able to play a view select titles from time to time.
10) Bowser (Super Papr Mario)-I’ve gotta cut this guy some slack, he’s got determination. I mean after being beaten by Mario so many times you think he wouldn’t have given up by now, but no. It seems like each year he has a new whack-job scheme on how to beat Mario once and for all, and every time it fails. The main reason he makes it on the list is his comedic turn in 2008’s Super Paper Mario, a game that gave us the opportunity to play as the overgrown turtle. Maybe one of these days he’ll finally have the last word, and I wish him the best of luck.
9) John Marston (Red Dead Redemption)-Although I didn’t have much time with the main character of this year’s smash hit Red Dead Redemption, I knew he was a one of a kind character. He’s tough, gruff, and one of the manliest characters I’ve ever had the pleasure as playing as. Every time you fired a bullet or killed an innocent civilian (by mistake or not) as Marsden you knew you looked as cool as humanly possible.
8) Raz (Psychonauts)-Honestly, I could give this spot to anyone in Psychonauts. Tim Schafer’s wildly imaginative sleeper hit is still one of the most creative games I’ve ever had the opportunity to play. It’s sharp writing and memorable platforming is still as fresh in my mind as if I had played it yesterday. Raz, however, was the clever “mind” (see what I did there) at the center of it all, and is to date the best character Schafer’s ever created.
7) Soap (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)-Although technically he’s the main character in Modern Warfare #1, we never get to see Soap’s face or even hear him speak until #2, where he plays your “boss” on a lot of the game’s missions to save the world once again. Even with a mohawk and enough tattoos to fill a Dog the Bounty Hunter fan club, the guy’s still plenty cool to make it on the list.
6) Link-I know James is going to get at me for this one, but I’ve not always been a fan of our classic hero. I just now got into his character in 2006’s Twilight Princess, and that game by itself blew me away. Even though there’s no spoken dialogue in the game, it’s still crystal clear this is a hero’s story, and Link is the classic, timeless hero for the ages. When our generation of video gaming is remembered, they’ll know Link, and his transition from farm boy to infamous hero as the benchmark for all video game epics.
5) Mario-How can you not have a list of best video characters without Mario in it? If you ask anyone that has no clue about video games about video games, one of, if not the first character that will come to their mind is Mario. The chubby little plumber is beyond iconic, and without him many gamers (including myself) and developers would have never picked up a controller in the first place.
4) Dr. Nefarious and/or Captain Qwark (Ratchet and Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal)-Dr. Nefarious is without a doubt my favorite video game villain of all time thanks to his “charming personality”, special tweak that involves him reciting soap operas, and overall…. nefariousness. Captain Quark is what all video game comic relief characters should aspire to be, plain and simple. You could learn a lot from Captain Quark’s adventures facing off against evil zombie robot pirates…
3) Wandrer (Shadow of the Colossus)-Wandrer doesn’t speak much of Shadow of the Colossus, heck, his name isn’t even revealed in Shadow of the Colossus, but it’s the simplicity of his character in how he’s quiet through the whole game, the sheer power he evidently has to take down these colossal… colossi, and the face his entire quest is just to save the one he loves, why, that makes him the Link of our generation. Seriously, if you haven’t played Shadow of the Colossus yet, change that.
2) Kratos (God of War)-There’s a lot more than screaming and truly heinous to the God of War, Kratos. Sure, the (former) man is one motivated by the rage and fury to destroy every last thing that remotely has to do with the gods, but behind that he’s a guy that loved his family. Once that was stolen from him however, you unleashed the unmercifully violent and ungodly terror of a god. It’s that pure motivation as to why he’s doing all of these things that you’re never able to forget, and it makes for a heartbreaking back story to one of gaming’s most captivating characters. It drives his every action and blood-curdling scream, and it makes him my second favorite gaming character of all time.
1) Captain John Price (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 1 and 2) This is no man. This guy is a legend. This guy has been sort of an “inside joke” for developers of the Call of Duty franchise for years me thinks, as he was even in Call of Duty 2 with his glorious handlebar mustache. He kicked all sorts of butt in the 2007 hit Modern Warfare 1, and only a character of his caliber could issue such excitement whenever he makes his beyond grand appearance in #2. He’s arguably the main character of both games, and will continue to be in the third installment. In case you missed that, he’s the main character of arguably the most revolutionary FPS of our time. We follow him from the oceans to the deserts without batting an eye, and you even get to see his awesome origins in a few of MW1’s best levels in his own flashbacks. In a few of the in-game cut scenes all you can do is stand back and marvel at this genius creation of a character. The man not only defines manliness in games, but also how you’re supposed to create a character that you can look up to and by all means emotionally connect to. You whisper to yourself “hoo-rah” whenever it turns out he’s already killed all his captors that you were supposed to save him from in MW2, and at the end of MW1 as he lies there potentially dead, it evoked some of the most profound emotions I’ve ever felt in a video game. He’s like a father in the video game world, and from that first moment he picks you up by the hand and saves you from death in the first mission of MW1 and yells “Come on soldier, we….. are….. leav-ing!!” there’s no doubt you’re gonna follow that guy.