The 20 greatest PlayStation icons of all time

After 20 years, the PS public has picked its faves

Over the past two decades weve seen incredible places and done impossible things. But through it all, its the characters who have stuck with us the heroes and villains we still remember 20 years later.

And so, to mark PlayStations impressive 20 years-old milestone, we reached out to the readers of Official PlayStation Magazine, and asked them to vote to find the greatest 20 PlayStation icons of all time. Long may they reign, and heres to the next 20 years

20. Sephiroth

Known for: Having only the second-least practical sword in Final Fantasy VII.

First out of the gate from PS1s seminal year, Final Fantasy VIIs arch-villain Sephiroth is more than just a pretty, androgynous face: hes also had his DNA spliced with aliens and cooked up a nefarious plan to become Gaias new warrior king. Wheres Cloud Strife when you need him? Further down the list, you say? All right, clever clogs, stop reading ahead.

19. Abe

Known for: Pacifism and coercive psychic abilities.

A heroic escapee from the RuptureFarms meat-packing facility, they dont make heroes like Abe any more if only because hes got purply-green skin, hair like the snapped cord on a bathroom light fitting, and he cant be voiced by Nolan North because his mouth has been sewn shut. Inspired by the plight of South African diamond miners, Abes surprisingly dark mission to liberate his fellow Mudokons from captivity was a blocky PS1 riff on racism and slavery way before games felt the need to get political (but with more chant-based telepathic mind-jacking than is strictly historically accurate).

18. Jak

Known for: Free-roaming exploration. A gobby sidekick.

The jug-eared missing link between Crash and Nathan Drake, Jaks inaugural outing in Jak & Daxter was Naughty Dogs first venture into proper explorable 3D worlds. Together with otter-weasel friend and partner Daxter, Jaks adventuring was a step up from Crashs linear-path platforming and a cartoon sci-fi answer to games such as Mario 64. And while Mario was racing penguins, Jak got speed boats and rideable Flut Flut birds, which were obviously miles better.

17. Ratchet

Known for: Conversing with alien life, then boffing it with a wrench.

Ratchet might be the last surviving member of his species in the galaxy, but even mass extinctions arent enough to get this Lombax down. Or maybe they are, and his chipper demeanour and Pixar-stylings mask a terrible inner darkness. Perhaps thats why when he isnt cracking wise with robo-sidekick Clank or foiling the schemes of Dr Nefarious he spends his time building gloriously outlandish weapons to use on bumbling alien guardsmen. Whatever the truth, Ratchet has engineered himself a special place in your hearts.

16. Dante

Known for: Air-juggling demon scum.

Since strutting onto the PS2 back in 2001 as a canned Resident Evil sequel with haunted house set dressings, weve watched with pride as Dante has grown from po-faced Dracula-lite into a demonic defender so impossibly cocksure that his every uttered syllable threatens to collapse the world into a black hole of smugness and swagger. Sure, his more recent incarnations still have some family issues looming over them but now Dante has the tools to properly work through his emotions. And by tools, we mean possessed electric guitars, pairs of sentient scimitars and axes the size of hatchbacks.

15. Ezio

Known for: Not being Desmond or Altar.

Where Altar had the dubious honour of being the first of protagonist Desmonds ancestors to be forcibly jumped off tall towers over and over, in truth he was little more than a bundle of free-running and horse-riding mechanics swaddled up in a cloak. But Ezio is the real deal: a suave, stylish womanizer who finds plenty of time between managing property empires to shank strangers for money. Oh, and hes got a voice thatll make anyone go weak at the knees.

14. Sackboy

Known for: Stickers, exotic fashions and constructive/destructive lassoing.

Like the result of an experiment to create life from concentrated cuteness, Sackboy is a new kind of hero for a new kind of online multiplayer. Does he shoot guns? No. Does he race vehicles? Sort of, if papercraft horses with spongy wheels count. Sackboy represents competition of a different sort: instead of killing or racing or other PvP staples, the challenge is to see which of your PSN friends can make the nicest things using his near-limitlessly powerful lasso tool a Blue Peter episode on adorably stubby legs.

13. Ellie

Known for: Shivving Clickers and stealing from toy shops.

Ellie is like no other female character weve ever seen before: a stubborn, mouthy heroine who can be belting a villain in the head with a brick one minute and scavenging for precious comic books the next. The antithesis of Resident Evil 4s Ashley, Ellie is at once a typical teenager and a believable product of the horrible world in which she grows up.

12. Joel

Known for: That torture scene. Making Troy Baker into gamings new king.

Were emotionally welded to The Last Of Us no-nonsense father figure in the first 15 minutes of the game, but while the opening segment contains perhaps the storys hardest emotional gut punch, its Joels journey from grunting curmudgeon to surrogate dad for Ellie that brings the whole, rich narrative together into the best story on PS3. That hes a dab hand at walloping monsters with pipes and twisting off kneecaps like Pringles tube tops is just a nice bonus.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

We are the hivemind of the Official PlayStation Magazine, the UK's biggest and best PS4 magazine. Follow us for all things PS4, PS3, and PS Vita.
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