Creating a truly iconic video game hero takes a lot of work, not to mention a clearly defined idea. It’s a skill very few developers have mastered, but while there are many who continue to struggle, a handful of studios have apparently perfected the art, allowing them to create wonderful video game protagonists fairly regularly.
While some series don’t have any prominent heroes, others have several fan-favorite characters tucked away among their rosters, clearly demonstrating that they’re more than just blockbuster wonders. These popular video game franchises feature some of the best video game heroes of all time and are infinitely more enjoyable as a result.
5/5 Grand Theft Auto
That the protagonists of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series can really be categorized as heroes is perhaps a matter of debate. That Niko Bellic and CJ are compelling, well-realized characters certainly isn’t, with most agreeing that the series has some of the most interesting and complicated playable characters in video game history.
3D Grand Theft Auto games have a bit of everythingfrom mainstream gangsters like Tommy Vercetti to diehard psychopaths like GTA 5is Trevor Phillips. There have also been phenomenal vocal performances over the years, and while some are certainly more interesting than others, they are all very well written and tend to show real growth throughout their respective games.
4/5 resident Evil
Given the intimate nature of Capcom resident Evil series, it’s natural for players to sympathize with the games’ playable protagonists and even come to care for them over the course of the series. Confronting seemingly insurmountable odds together is a surprisingly effective bonding exercise, and the players are an integral part of it.
However Leon and Jill tend to be most people’s favoritesthe resident Evil the games feature a wide and varied cast of playable characters, all of whom have their own unique stories. Even characters like Tofu are good for a laugh, which is more than can be said for some of the heroes of some of the other long-running video game franchises out there.
3/5 Assassin’s Creed
Not all Assassinthe creed protagonist is a great hero, but most of them are once all is said and done. Characters like Altair and Ezio kicked off the series with a bang, which paved the way for a whole host of wonderfully realized characters like Bayek and Kassandra to continue their and the series’ legacy.
Although the franchise itself has sometimes failed, it is very rarely the result of a bad protagonist. In fact, there is an argument to be made that some of the Assassin’s Creed games are saved by the force of their main heroes, as was the case with Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate with Evie and Jacob Frye. These characters are often much more memorable than the games they appear in, which is usually a sign of a top protagonist.
2/5 Red Dead Redemption
Just like mainline playable characters GTA games, the Red Dead Redemption The protagonists of the series are not exactly what one imagines when asked to imagine a hero. That’s not to say they don’t deserve the title, with John Marston and Arthur Morgan ranking high on most people’s list of top video game characters due to the complexity they display throughout. from the Serie.
Both men are incredibly flawed, but it’s actually helped them be a lot easier to relate to than any cookie-cutter hero who sees everything in black and white could ever be. Life is complicated, after all, and was even more so in the Old West, so to be condemned John or Arthur because doing what they had to do to survive would be incredibly unfair. Of course, none of them are perfect, but who really is? Plus, it’s arguably their many imperfections that set them apart from other more generic video game heroes.
1/5 Final Fantasy
Because it is one of longest running video game series of all time and his apparent aversion to direct sequels, the Final Fantasy The franchise has seen its fair share of heroes over the years, with some far more memorable than others. For the most part, however, the developers tend to get it right, with Cloud, Lightning, and Cecil among the best video game heroes of all time.
Of course, it’s important to note that these are just the main heroes of the series, with each game featuring a hero party consisting of four to fourteen characters. Once Tifa, Auron, and Sabin enter the equation, it becomes much more one-sided, with no series being able to compete with Final Fantasy when it comes to the sheer volume of incredible characters he’s introduced over the years.