As gamers, we are all touched by certain characters more than others. Beloved fictional figures of inspiration whom we love to explore new worlds as. As I reflect on a new generation of gaming consoles, I’m compelled to share my personal top 10 video game characters with you. So press pause, and read on.
Top 10 Video Game Characters
10 – GLaDOS
Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System. GLaDOS is the artificial superintelligent computer system from the Portal series. She may only be a machine but she is hilarious. Despite how long you’ve been playing or how frustrated you are trying to solve the puzzles, GLaDOS reminds you why you’re saving such a good time. She’s sadistic, sarcastic, and downright cruel. Her jokes are dry and your dignity is always the target. If you do get offended by her, just remember…”This is your fault. It didn’t have to be like this.”
9 – Freya
First appearing as an innocuous Witch of the Woods, this Vanir goddess helps Kratos and Atreus on their journey to Jotunheim. She’s extremely maternal and takes great care with young Atreus, who’s impressionable and motherless. Freya is strong, brave, kind, and just. Even in the face of exile and having lost her Valkyrie powers, Freya is humble and a servant to the woods. My heart was broken in the end when she swore revenge on Kratos. I wanted nothing more than for her to be the adoptive mother to Atreus, AKA young Loki, as told in many lore versions of Norse Mythology. I’ll admit, I’m often a fan of villains and Freya is the most moral villain you’ll come across.
8 – Soap MacTavish
John “Soap” MacTavish first entered our screens on November 5th, 2007 in this little FPS called CoD 4: Modern Warfare. For the next 3 installments, Soap graces us with his Scottish accent as a 22nd SAS regiment soldier. Those 3 MW games were instant classics that skyrocketed not only the franchise to over a decade of fame but led to a lot more saturation in the FPS market. Soap’s journey was heartfelt and his death didn’t just feel like another character dying. It was brutal and hard to accept. After all the years and missions as Price and Soap, to be reminded he is a mortal human was a punch in the gut.
7 – Trevor Phillips
America’s favorite meth head, and Blaine County’s nightmare. Trevor Phillips is the f’d up friend we all should have hated, but loved instead. He’s wild, insane, violent, unstable, and completely psychotic. But he’s loyal, smart, and hilarious. GTA V was one of those games I couldn’t get enough of, even 8 years later. Trevor is one of those personalities you fear, but you crave its madness at the same time. He is the cause of so many cringes, so many laughs, so many dropped jaws. He’s reckless, rocks a mullet, and always has dirt on his truck. A beautiful stereotype, he defines why we love the expressive fantasy of gaming.
6 – Ellie Williams
Ellie was just barely a teen when we first grew to love her innocence. Her naivety was endearing, her dad jokes were cheesy, and her loyalty to Joel was beautiful. It was in her selflessness to willingly sacrifice herself for the betterment of the world that we loved her most. Cherished for 7 years until the sequel brought us a grown-up 19-year-old Ellie. A certified badass. Sarcastic, stoic, highly talented. She swept us off our feet once more as the perfect dichotomy of moral and immoral. It also helps that Ashley Johnson has given two of the best video game performances ever. And we got to hear her play guitar. And sing. The range of emotion in this one character is really powerful and just adds to why we all love her. “You can’t stop this.”
5 – Aloy
Aloy is such an inspirational character. She’s a badass with a huge heart. Even if you chose to react with cruelty during certain segments of the game, she’s still undeniably good. Orphaned, shunned, silenced, left to be clanless. Aloy’s rise to heroism is an exciting, beautiful, incredible journey. She isn’t just brilliant, she’s curious and brave. Determined to fight for her own rights to be a Nora, and for those she loves, Aloy is the quintessential role model for the badass in every female. While her calm demeanor and soft exterior make some see her as boring or one-dimensional, I see the complexities and juxtaposition. With every courageous moment, there is a fear. As the game goes along she’s willing to die to make a difference and she is never rid of that own personal fear. I just absolutely how real she is to me.
4 – Kassandra
Who doesn’t love Kass! Arrogant and humble, sexy but clueless, smart but a big dumb brute. As this demigod seduces and slices her way through the Peleplonesian era of Greece, you can’t help but adore her. Mellisanthi is fantastic as she captures the heterogeneity in this role. Depending on your own perception you may feel sadness and forgiveness, or rage and revenge as you complete the family and cultist arcs. Both are just as believable for her persona. And if you completed the Atlantis DLC, you see more of her selfless and intelligent side. Malaka!
3 – Arthur Morgan
Everybody’s favorite boi! R* did it again in Arthur Morgan. The most lovable outlaw. The nicest wagon robber. Sweetest quick draw expert. I didn’t have the heart to ever ruin Arthur’s reputation in the game. No matter how many crimes I committed, Arthur is always the good guy in my heart. After such a long journey, when the end came, it was hard to finish the storyline to completion. In fact, in 3 playthroughs, I only completed it my first go. I just can’t get past losing him. Watching him fade. Watching him say goodbye to his horse as I tear up each time. Arthur Morgan is a one-of-a-kind character.
2 – Chloe Frazer
Bad girls and villains are always sexy. With access to money and big guns, they rule with ruthless authority and a toxic male-like cockiness. Good girls and heroes are always running away with our hearts. With their heroics, sympathy, and ambition to save the day in the most dramatic of fashion. Chloe is both, all of the above, everything in between. She’s hot, brilliant, sneaky. An excellent thief, a parkour master, a master of firearms. With an extensive knowledge of history, geography, and her family lineage, she’s the ultimate gal. And yes, I’ve had a crush on her since UC 2 came out. Still do.
1 – Franklin Clinton
Franklin stole my heart more than any other character ever has. He’s the perfect blend of street gangster and a big teddy bear. His loyalty is rock solid, he loves hard, he’s always honest. He’s not afraid of hustling, risk, and doing dangerous shit. He’s even polite at the Pink Unicorn in the private dance rooms. Franklin has all the swag. His style, his huge selection of wild barber cuts, his Los Santos Mansion. From riding out in the Buffalo with Chop to grinding the Chopper through LS Hills. Franklin is the damned man and there’s no way you can change my mind about that. Fo’ real. You ciz’aint.