Top 10 Best Video Game Characters of All Time

Think back to those characters who made your heart race during epic battles, the ones who made you laugh with their witty one-liners, or perhaps the silent protagonists who let their actions speak louder than words. From mustachioed plumbers hopping across mushroom kingdoms to armored warriors saving galaxies, each of the great video game characters bring a unique flavor to the gaming world.
The Top Ten
1 Mario (Super Mario) Mario, originally named Jumpman, is the main character of the Super Mario Bros. franchise, created by the creative director and video game designer at Nintendo of Japan, Shigeru Miyamoto. Mario has appeared in almost every Mario game, including games in spin-off series as a playable character, with... read more

People don't like him because he's not cool. Those people are dumb. Mario is much more creative than their Master Chief and whatever.

He's an Italian guy with a stylish mustache who breaks blocks with his fist in mid-air, eats mushrooms to grow, but dies when touching a turtle, and saves a princess from a spiky fire-breathing turtle who surrounded his castle with lava even though he dies when he touches lava. Other characters are just buff guys with huge guns and scars with tragic backstories.

Mario, the plumber who started it all, has saved Peach countless times and has even defeated Bowser countless times. What makes Mario games so fun and enjoyable is the fact that there is free roam. Games like Sonic and Pac-Man have flat screens and limited places you can go. Sure, Super Mario Maker has you running along at the speed of sound, but I'm talking about games such as Mario Odyssey.

2 Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog) Sonic the Hedgehog, trademarked Sonic The Hedgehog, is the title character and protagonist of the Sonic the Hedgehog series released by SEGA, as well as numerous spin-off comics, five animated shows, and an animated OVA.

Mario may have saved the video game industry, and to that, I applaud him, because without him there would be no Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic burst onto the scene in 1991 with Sonic the Hedgehog for the SEGA Genesis and hasn't quite left yet.

In his early years, he was popular around the globe for his speedy platforming, something most games couldn't provide at the time. While his venture into 3D hasn't gone as smoothly as he would have liked, his legacy lives on. With the arrival of Sonic Colors and Generations, as well as Sonic 4, people are starting to realize that the Blue Blur is finally back!

3 Luigi (Super Mario) Luigi, originally a palette swap of Mario named Green Mario, is a major character featured in video games and related media released by Nintendo. Created by prominent game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Luigi is portrayed as the slightly younger, taller fraternal twin brother of Nintendo's unofficial mascot... read more

Best character to live. He's such a good brother. He has a heart of gold and is lovable to the very end. Heck, he's even the best ghost wrangler out there.

His kindness is unmeasurable. Daisy found the right man. He deserved the Year of Luigi (I was so happy that year). Luigi is not in Mario's shadow. He is so generous as well. Mario could use more kindness.

Luigi gets a hot-air balloon for Mario and Peach and how does Mario thank him? He gets in and leaves Luigi by himself. So mean! This guy should be number 1 by far.

4 Kirby (Kirby) Kirby is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Kirby series of video games owned by Nintendo and HAL Laboratory. His first game was created in 1992, and the pink puffball has made his way into the hearts of fans of all ages.

I absolutely adore Kirby. With his cute looks and unique powers, this puffball is one of the most powerful and cute video game characters of all time. Although he is stubborn, you can't blame him. He's a kid.

Kirby did both good and bad things in the Kirby series: he killed off Nova, defeated guardians of pieces of artifacts containing evil entities that he later also destroyed, destroyed countless planets, and killed innocent civilians. However, he also defeated beings like Dark Nebula, Dark Matter, Nightmare Wizard, Marx, and Magolor. But his motives are... questionable. He does it all for pieces of cake and a nap.

That's the only reason Kirby is not my favorite video game character.

5 Yoshi (Super Mario) Yoshi, once romanized as Yossy, is a fictional anthropomorphic dinosaur who appears in video games published by Nintendo. Often appearing as a sidekick and helper to Mario, Yoshi is most known for his appearances in the Yoshi's Island and the Super Mario franchises.

Yoshi is not just the best video game character. He is just the best character from anything! He has the likable personality of Mario and Luigi. He is the cutest video game character, and he is the coolest.

He saves crying babies and islands every day. He also is relatable because he likes to eat like everybody. He isn't afraid to have a different body size, and he doesn't follow any anorexic fads.

Yoshi is my favorite Nintendo character. Yoshis are really cute, and they can fly and eat stuff to help you. Baby Yoshis can do a bunch of awesome stuff too.

My cousins and I used to often fight about who gets the Yoshi if there is only one, or who gets the pink Yoshi. Yoshi is an awesome character and, like I said before, my favorite character in Nintendo.

6 Master Chief (Halo) Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, more commonly known as the Master Chief, is a SPARTAN-II commando of the UNSC Naval Special Warfare Command. He is the protagonist and main character in both the Halo trilogy and Reclaimer Saga.

Uncompromising, heroic, epic. His flaws are his struggle with his own humanity. You can feel it through a simple nod of this helmeted demigod of a man. He is the true definition of a hero.

Some might call him the closest thing to Hercules that has ever taken the body of a man. Others might call him Jesus with a gun. Mario and Sonic are laughable next to this guy. And Link has no real character of his own, no personality, no "that's so Link" moments.

So play with your fairies, eat mushrooms, wear catsuits, hang out with two-tailed creatures while spinning to battle against cheesy bosses. The Chief is going to be saving the universe from genocidal aliens, parasitic zombies, ancient transcendent beings, and he'll do it all himself if necessary. So yeah, hail to the Chief.

7 Bowser (Super Mario) Bowser is the main antagonist of the Mario Bros. Franchise. From kidnapping Princess Peach to simply destroying a fun game between Mario and Friends in the Mario Party spinoff series, this king of the Koopas has set up a certain hatred towards himself amongst the large cast of Mario Characters. He first... read more

I don't like the Mario series, but I do think he is an awesome villain because his entire being is basically two halves of the same coin. If I saw his design without knowing anything about the franchise, I'd say he is a powerful and merciless embodiment of all evil that exists in the world and torments you in the most painful ways possible if you dare to doubt or laugh at him.

But for the most part, he is nothing more than a comical villain, isn't much more of a threat than the Team Rocket trio, yet he is also badass enough to not only survive being thrown into lava, but also come back as an awesome skeleturtle. He rocks!

8 Pikachu (Pokemon) Pikachu (Japanese: ピカチュウ) are a species of Pokémon, fictional creatures that appear in an assortment of video games, animated television shows and movies, trading card games, and comic books licensed by The Pokémon Company, a Japanese corporation. A mascot of the Pokemon franchise, it's... read more

I don't understand why you wouldn't choose Pikachu. It is obviously the most known (besides Mario and Luigi) game character on the list. Personally, I hate all the other characters on the list, so I choose this guy.

Still, he is very popular and has won so many challenges with Ash Ketchum (spoilers if you don't know) and has gone through so much with him. I thought Pikachu would at least be top 5, but you people had to ruin it and choose someone else (unless you chose Pikachu like I did, laugh out loud).

He's one of the cutest Pokémon ever. I can't say much about them, but they're one of my favorite Pokémon. It evolves into Raichu, and I love using Raichu. Really enjoyable to watch and use.

9 Shadow the Hedgehog (Sonic the Hedgehog) Shadow the Hedgehog is a character who appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series released by Sega. He is an artificially created black and red hedgehog whose hover shoes propel him at extreme speeds that rival those of Sonic.

My favorite video game character, he brings darkness and edginess to the table, something no other Sonic character could. As for the game, it's underrated. I think people expected too much from the game.

They mostly hated it because it was different from most Sonic games. But if you think about it, it actually shows what anti-heroes are about. Sometimes they pick good, sometimes they pick bad, sometimes they are neutral, but no matter what, they almost always fight for something if it means they get what they want.

Shadow the Hedgehog is better than people think. The game was completely underrated. Shadow for life.

10 Link (Legend of Zelda) Link refers to several different incarnations of the same protagonist of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series.

Mario and Luigi are literal plumbers that murder mushrooms and turtles. Link is an incarnation of the Hero of Time, wielder of perhaps the most powerful weapon of all time, and the Triforce of Courage. Plus, the games are simply better.

Sonic is a hedgehog. He's fast. Cool. And Kirby is a round gumball that can inhale really hard. I really don't see why he's lower than Pikachu, who is an oversized mouse. Nuh-uh. I'll stick to TLoZ lists from now on.

Why is Link this low? That is absolutely outrageous. He's only number 9, barely even in the top 10. Come on, he's Link. He should definitely be in the top 3, if not number 2.

We can compare him to other characters. Mario, an Italian plumber, wears blue overalls and a red hat with a white M on it. Sonic, a literal hedgehog, can only run fast. Kirby, a little pink guy with a high-pitched voice. Come on, seriously? Compared to a brave knight of Hyrule, wielding the Triforce of Courage, who saves Hyrule time and again from Ganon, he has the legendary Master Sword and Hylian Shield. Meanwhile, Mario jumps on top of his enemies' heads.

The Newcomers

? Yaoyao (Genshin Impact)
? Sigewinne (Genshin Impact)
The Contenders
11 Solid Snake (Metal Gear) Solid Snake is a fictional character and one of the main protagonists of the video game series Metal Gear by Hideo Kojima. He is a legendary soldier cloned from Big Boss's DNA, who is sent to infiltrate and investigate the titular weapons in an effort to stop a potential war.

Solid Snake is the epitome of what all gaming protagonists should be based upon. He's as flawed as he is witty, a soldier who believes in right over wrong. I've never been more engrossed in gaming dialogue than when Otacon rings you up for small talk or just for advice when you get your rear handed to you in a boss fight.

Snake has demons too, and it's subtly displayed in those dialogue moments with the game's NPCs. I even wish Kojima had brought him back for The Phantom Pain.

I was going to vote for Cloud, but Solid Snake is one bad SOB. Snake is a total badass. He is tough, courageous, charismatic, and sacrifices so much to save the world.

I don't understand how people are voting for such vague and shallow characters like Master Chief, Mario, and Link. I love Legend of Zelda games more than Metal Gear, but Link is a mute. Solid Snake has a lot of character depth, so he is the definite winner in my eyes.

12 John Marston (Red Dead) John Marston is a central character and the main protagonist of Red Dead Redemption and Undead Nightmare. He is portrayed by Rob Wiethoff.

He did bad things. He tried to right his wrongs. All that motivates him in the whole game is his family.

As John says it himself to Bonnie, "No one gets forgiven, and nothing's ever forgotten." No matter what he did, the consequences of his bad deeds caught up with him, and he suffered for them. I won't spoil the game, but in the end, he finally gets redeemed. Karma is finally enacted. He pays for his wrongdoing, and his sins are finally absolved, but at a heavy price.

After all, redemption always comes at a heavy price. This brings a whole new light to the name "Red Dead Redemption." Blessed are the peacemakers, Mr. Marston.

13 Samus Aran (Metroid) Samus Aran is the protagonist of the science fiction action-adventure game series Metroid by Nintendo. A galactic bounty hunter, Samus is usually equipped with her Power Suit, giving her access to weapons she uses to battle her enemies.

She's like Master Chief, except that she extinguished two breeds of dangerous predators, she blew up an entire planet, and she was able to sneak into the mothership of the space pirates only with a paralyzer (without her armor). She's just so cool.

She decided not to give a damn about the Space Federation sending reinforcements and to blow up the whole place she was in because there was a major threat inside. She was about to sacrifice herself.

Samus is really cool and intelligent. She has a super fast gunship and has really good items, such as her suit, which has an arm cannon. Before anyone screams at me saying Samus is a boy, then open your eyes, folks, because Samus is really a girl.

She is one of my favorite Super Smash Bros characters. She is also the best female character in Smash or what Nintendo has to offer.

14 Princess Peach (Super Mario) Princess Peach is a major character in the Mario Bros. Franchise. She is the lead female of the The Mario franchise. She is usually the character who needs saved in most Mario Games, but also has appeared as a playable character in the Main-Series Mario Games, including Super Mario 3D World, Super Mario... read more

Peach is a great character. She has a cute design and is a really good character in Super Smash Bros. I love using her in Mario Kart 8 and in Mario Party. She also plays a crucial role in Mario.

Peach haters can shove it because Peach is a good character. They're all just salty because their friend got to Peach in Smash before they could, and then beat their asses. Boom.

Peach gets way too much hate. She's made to be kidnapped, guys. That's her purpose in the franchise. Also, she's made to show girls that they can be heroes too. Mario was my childhood and still is, so I'm not afraid to say I'm a Peach fan. Please stop hating for no reason, like the voice - because you know there's a volume button.

15 Meta Knight (Kirby) Meta Knight is a fictional character from the Kirby series of video games owned by Nintendo and HAL Laboratory. He is one of Kirby's rivals, but occasionally teams up with the pink puffball to defeat a common enemy. Meta Knight is known for his powerful slashing attacks and flight in the Super Smash... read more

I like how he trained Kirby to become a better warrior. He's determined to become the strongest warrior in the galaxy, to the point where he faced Galacta Knight multiple times. His fights are cool, and he's badass.

When he fights Kirby, he always gives Kirby a sword to make it a fair fight, except in Squeak Squad, where his respect for Kirby was lowered by the fact that Kirby does all this just for a cake. In Revenge of Meta Knight, the only reason he wanted to rule over Dream Land is because he finds the citizens to be lazy. Taking that into account, it explains why he respects Kirby. It's because Kirby puts in so much effort to save the world and is not as lazy as others. I find Meta Knight overall very interesting.

16 Miles "Tails" Prower (Sonic the Hedgehog) Miles Prower, more commonly known by his nickname Tails, is a fictional character in Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is a significant main character after the title character Sonic, who is also his best friend.

Tails is Sonic's sidekick and should really be higher on this list. For starters, Tails is one of the only characters who can catch up to Sonic, unless Sega brings back Mephiles or makes a new character. But Tails should at least be higher than Luigi.

This dude should get his own game where he saves Sonic and at least brings back Super Tails.

Sonic wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for Tails. Also, Tails can actually get a girlfriend, unlike Sonic and Mario. Watch Sonic X if you don't know what I am talking about.

Tails also has had some of his own games. What do you think of that, Mr. Resetti? Tails for Smash! Okay, I'm done.

17 Pac-Man (Pac-Man) Pac-Man is the protagonist fictional character of the franchise of the same name by Namco, who was first introduced in the Japanese arcade game Pac-Man on May 22, 1980 in Japan, later released in the United States in October the same year.

Pac-Man is obviously the best video game character of all time. Almost everyone knows about Pac-Man, and many of us grew up with this simple character who was just a little yellow dot that kept on beating and getting beaten by ghosts. His design is so simple and yet so amazing. Although he has grown to wear gloves and some shoes, he is still that simple yellow dot that we loved as a child.

To be honest, I think Mario and Zelda are a bit overrated. They are both about princes saving princesses and being held back by evil villains. Pac-Man was before Mario and Zelda and still has a more original plot than them. He doesn't need a green plumber or a shiny fairy to tell him what to do. Also, he is taking on four villains that can all kill him in one shot.

While Mario has unreal jumping abilities, Sonic can run really fast, and Pikachu can literally shoot lightning, Pac-Man is stuck in a maze with ghosts chasing him. The only way he can get out is by eating. Instead of saving a princess or catching them all, Pac-Man's goal is to stay away from the ghosts as long as possible, until the code devours him up. This simple and somewhat sad story is way better than the saving someone cliché. He is independent, and you've got to feel for the guy. Running away from four murderers until he dies.

The controls play a big part in this, too. Anyone can play Pac-Man with its simple left, right, up, down controls. With almost any other game, the controls need to be understood fully to have a good gaming experience.

In conclusion, Pac-Man is an individual, brave guy with a better backstory than Mario and Zelda and should be number 1 on this list.

Also, how is Snake even on this list?

18 Ezio Auditore (Assassin's Creed)

Ezio's story is more interesting than any of these characters in the top ten. Mario's story is about fighting a giant turtle on steroids. Link's is about saving a princess, which is cliché. Sonic's is about running or something? Master Chief's story is really good, but it still can't compare to the depth and emotion of Ezio's. I don't even know what Solid Snake is, and Lara Croft is just known for being the girl in Tomb Raider.

The thing that sets Ezio apart from these other characters is the pain that he feels throughout his journey. His emotions in Florence when he witnesses his father and two brothers being hanged are unmatched by other characters. Then the transformation from a cunning teenager to a master Assassin is one that I'll personally never forget.

Ezio Auditore da Firenze is, without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest video game character in video game history.

19 Kratos (God of War) Kratos is a fictional character and the titular primary protagonist and anti-hero of the God of War video game series. He is a demi-god who seeks retribution and vengeance on Ares and later, the Greek Gods after he was betrayed and was forced to kill his family .

Kratos is always angry, basically bad, and practically unstoppable. He rescues oracles, undead Pandora, and those who would rather die, which Mario can't compare to.

He's smart, solving every puzzle and trial in Pandora's, Helios's, and the Fates' temples. Even Aphrodite was eager to take him in, rage, gore, and all. Don't tell me you never wished you were the one being made to swing those flaming blades by another bloodthirsty human who wouldn't ease up on the square button.

Man, Kratos should be on top. Yeah, maybe he slaughtered his own family with his hand, but then he repaid it by killing Ares.

After that, he was the one who got betrayed by the Gods of Olympus. I mean, he should be at the top because he does many badass things like killing hydras and slaughtering gods. You know what I mean, right?

20 Wario (Wario) Wario is a character in Nintendo's Mario series who was originally designed as an antagonist to Mario. His motives are driven by greed and he will take the side of whoever will give him the most pay. Although he may seem like just a mean man with no heart, he does have a very tragic past.

I like Wario. He's my main character in Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart. I think he's better than Mario, to be honest. Wario has a good backstory (Mario does too, but Wario's is better).

He doesn't always run around to castles to save a princess, only to be told that she's "in another castle" all the time. Also, how is Wario ranked lower than Peach? I don't hate Peach, but I think Wario is better than her.

If I hadn't played any of the Mario RPGs, Wario would be my favorite Mario character. He is just so funny, and I love how jealous he is of Mario. He's also very cool to watch and play in Smash. He has a great design that perfectly captures his character.

Normally, I don't think main characters contribute to the quality of a game. For example, I don't think the quality of Mario and Zelda would be lowered if you played as someone other than Mario or Link. However, Wario has a motivation to get more money, which is more interesting than just saving a princess or something like that. This makes Wario a character that, if absent from Wario Land, would leave the games still good but not as good. That is, unless, of course, you replace him with someone even better, but that might be a little hard.

21 Spyro (Spyro) Spyro is a series of platform games which primarily features the protagonist Spyro the Dragon and his friend, Sparx the Dragonfly.

Spyro is a classic character and a rare form of hero because he's not an anthropomorphic animal, but an animal nonetheless. He's a super awesome character by himself, and even though you can't really play as many other characters in his games, why would you want to? He's brilliant, witty, and is just way too adorable to handle. And yet he pulls off being totally rad. Cool beans.

Spyro the Dragon is probably one of, if not the greatest, video game characters of his generation. I literally grew up on Spyro, and I believe he is one of the best. The plotlines of most of his games were so well-written, and the games themselves were just amazing.

Except for Enter the Dragonfly. Don't talk about Enter the Dragonfly!

22 Waluigi (Super Mario) Waluigi is a lanky self-centered, brusque young lad as he is considered evil and the main rival of Luigi. Waluigi is shown causing local havoc in most games he appears in alongside his partner Wario. Waluigi is not instinctively evil or the antagonist (not counting DDR), as a matter of fact, he shows... read more

If you've watched any of my Mario character remixes, you know the song. From what we've seen, Wario's personality is exactly the same. He hasn't done anything interesting to be unique. At least I love his design.

I agree that placing him in a game where he could shine, like what they did for Bowser Jr in Bowser Jr's Journey, could make him amazing. Nintendo, please make a new Wario Land with Waluigi as a second player or as an alternate character with different abilities, like in Super Mario 64 DS or The Lost Levels.

23 Steve (Minecraft)

Think about it. He has it so right.

What the hell is wrong with you? It's thanks to Minecraft Steve that we even have skins at all.

The Minecraft fanbase is not bad. It's much better than other games. The songs are beautiful, scary, and legendary. Steve is more powerful than even Asura. Yes, the true Steve, with or without Creative Mode, is extremely strong. He can be overpowered by Creative Mode or by enchanting diamond armor and a sword. Okay, in a fight between Mario and Steve, Steve would easily win, even against Star-Mario, by using just a lava bucket. And in a fight between Asura? No, you have it wrong. The easiest way for Steve to win is to destroy the universe they are in. Did you know that Steve can do that? He's not bad. He's cute, cool, strong, awesome, and Steve is almost a god.

24 Trevor Philips (Grand Theft Auto) Trevor Philips is a fictional character in Grand Theft Auto V, a video game in the Grand Theft Auto series made by Rockstar Games.

When you start playing as him, you better be ready. He could be asleep on some rails, or be in a strip club wearing only his boxers.

What? Trevor is so funny. There's not a single cutscene that sucks when he's involved. He easily deserves the number one spot on this list.

Ah, how I love Trevor. He's the best in Grand Theft Auto V.

25 Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy) Cloud Strife, more commonly known as simply "Cloud", is a fictional video game character, the main protagonist of Square's video game Final Fantasy VII, which is a role playing game released in 1997. He also is the main protagonist of the high-definition version, as well as many of its sequels and spinoffs... read more

I am something of a Final Fantasy veteran myself, but I've never really met another protagonist I've liked as much as Cloud Strife. I really connected with Cloud. I felt and shared his pain.

All the time, I see people on the internet calling him "emo" or otherwise undeserving of the mantle of hero. He was never happy in life, sure, but if you went through what he did, you'd know better. He starts out arrogant and aloof, only really trying to save the world for the sake of a profit. As the game progressed, you really find out just how troubled this guy is. To wit, this guy is a psychological ward that walks on two legs. There's the obvious multiple identity disorder, sure, but as I played further into the game, I picked up hints of post-traumatic stress disorder, some slight bipolarity, and, in the follow-up film especially, depression that he's been stewing in since he was sixteen or so years old. And I felt sorry for him.

If Square wishes to continue that Compilation of FFVII, I wish this kid the best, even if he did sound like he was getting better in DoC.

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