Criminals aren’t the most respected members of society in real life, but they can make for some fantastic videogame characters. Perhaps it's because the game industry is clearly trying to turn our nation's children into a breed of hyperviolent superthugs, just like all the know-it-alls who don’t actually know much of anything keep saying. At any rate, we've chosen our favorite prisoners from gaming history, so read on for our glorification of digital lawbreakers and give them the credit they deserve. If you don’t, they’ll just steal it anyway.

Cody - Street Fighter series

We have to give Cody credit where credit is due. This man isn't afraid of the law, and he demonstrates this by breaking out of prison only to compete in one of the world's most famous martial arts tournaments where anybody could spot him. Some pansies may flee their former captors and keep their heads down, but Cody flaunts his ill-gotten freedom by publicly doing the thing he was originally jailed for - street fighting.

Not only that, but it seems that Cody, like The Joker, can break out of prison whenever he likes, and does so simply because he is bored. This man fancied a break from incarceration and joined the S.I.N tournament for a laugh, without even bothering to take his handcuffs off. You can't get much more badass than that.

Torque - The Suffering

A silent, brooding, fearless man who may or may not have murdered his own wife and may or may not be able to transform into a mutant killing machine. Oh, and he also has the world's most amazing sideburns. Torque was rocking moral choices before moral choices became trendy, with The Suffering being one of the first games to make a big deal out of optional dilemmas that affected the course of the game. Whether Torque was a knight in shining armor or a dyed-in-the-wool villain was up to you.

What isn't up to you, however, is the amount of insanity that Torque has to put up with. Pursued by an army of Geiger-inspired monstrosities, haunted by mad doctors and vengeful executioners, Torque deals with a lot of nonsense, all while trying to remember exactly what happened on the day his wife was killed.

For all the mixed ratings it received, The Suffering was an ambitious and deeply intriguing game, and those chops are enough to make any title great.

Claude - Grand Theft Auto III

One of gaming's most classic escaped convicts, Claude's "silent protagonist" status doesn't take much away from his personality. On the contrary, it makes for some amusing comical moments, as typified by his cameo appearance in San Andreas. Claude is legendary for being our avatar in the first fully 3D Grand Theft Auto, the game that made Liberty City a household name - at least in the screwed up households we know.

It was with Claude that we first sniped an old woman's head off. It was with Claude that we first took down an LCPD chopper behind that police building where it was really hard for the cops to reach us. And lest we forget, it was with Claude that we first slept with a prostitute and killed her to get the money back, scoring "points" for it, as many erroneous news reporters would later claim.

Kuroda Kanbei - Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes

There's nothing better than a man who isn't afraid to live his gimmick. We like Kanbei because he's spun a negative into a positive, turning his status as an escaped convict into part of a brutal fighting style. This vassal-turned-rebel broke out of jail to participate in Capcom's quasi-historical battle for Japan, but rather than take off the handcuffs and remove the giant ball-and-chain, Kanbei has chosen instead to use his restraints as a most deadly weapon.

Instead of acting as a hindrance, that big metal ball is instead being swung around to smack AI-devoid Japanese soldiers in their stupid faces. If that's not devastating enough, he also has a habit of kicking the ball with his own unprotected foot, turning it into an absurd projectile that drags himself along behind. That's stupid... yet ludicrously brilliant.


  • codystovall - December 21, 2013 8:27 p.m.

    I am Cody
  • RebornKusabi - December 22, 2013 11:18 p.m.

    As am I.
  • TheGooseinator - December 21, 2013 5:18 p.m.

    Lee Everett. The Walking Dead's intro has you on your way to prison, and you have the rest of the game to prove not that you were innocent, but rather that you are a better, more caring person than what society has labeled you as. Also, Lee's connection with Clem was one of the most dynamic and heartfelt relationships in gaming, to the point that I shed actual tears during the game's ending.
  • shawksta - December 21, 2013 11:31 a.m.

    2011? Damn Goddamn Capcom and that Cody ending in Street Fighter X Tekken teasing a new Final Fight
  • BladedFalcon - December 21, 2013 11:09 a.m.

    Man... I feel like an old fart now. Usually since I had discovered the site in the late 2010, seeing ClassicRadar articles was cool because they were always things that I hadn't read before, so they felt new to me... Now apparently I've been here for so long that articles I DO remember when they had come out are now posted XD
  • TheGooseinator - December 21, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    Same! Found the site at the very end of 2009, right when I got my 360. Hilarious to see whether or not the articles of "old" hold up. More often than not, they do.
  • Defguru7777 - February 5, 2011 5:03 p.m.

    I always like Billy Coen from Resident Evil 0 (and The Umbrella Chronicles). I just though he looked cool.
  • Darkhawk - February 5, 2011 6:34 a.m.

    > Correction! Cody = Final Fight, not Street Fighter. Would you call Mega Man a Marvel vs. Capcom character? Clearly, Jim Sterling knows nothing about video games!
  • AuthorityFigure - February 5, 2011 1:58 a.m.

    Ganon was a convict? Somehow I missed that. He must have a lot of warrants out on him. Speaking of which, why aren't there any Hyrulian Police?
  • GameManiac - February 4, 2011 9:26 p.m.

    I agree completely with Ganon, especially after Ocarina of Time's ending. I might recall Cody, once I get SSFIV:3D for the 3DS.
  • jackthemenace - February 4, 2011 3:40 p.m.

    "More important than jailing a war hero who misses his daddy"- LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! I Completely forgot Marcus was in prison :L And Ganon is actually an AMZING convict, now you mention it :P
  • Stabby_Joe - February 4, 2011 3:16 p.m.

    The Suffering wasn't a "mixed" game, Ties that Bind on the other hand...
  • SunnyvaleTrash - February 4, 2011 2:47 p.m.

    Wow, I totally forgot about The Suffering. I really enjoyed that game.
  • FanofSaiyan - February 4, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    What about Sly Cooper (even though he's only technically been imprisoned only once throughout the course of his series). His IS a professional thief after all...
  • philipshaw - February 4, 2011 1:52 p.m.

    Great list
  • GorditaSlim - February 4, 2011 12:13 p.m.

    Another fantastic article. I remember playing The Suffering when it was released, and while the game mechanics were mediocre, I loved the game's atmosphere. That's definitely a franchise that I feel could use some new life, whether it be in the form of a sequel or a remake.
  • d0x - February 4, 2011 9:50 a.m.

    While I agree Riddick was at its best for the prison stuff which was about half the game as long as you stuck with the stealth style play the rest was still rewarding from a gameplay perspective. The non prison stuff's only issue was the story. It was just more interesting in prison but otherwise the game and the "remake" are incredible and now you can get it on demand for $20..or less used at gamestop. If you dont have it you owe it to yourself to get it.
  • oryandymackie - February 4, 2011 8:02 a.m.

    @fetalspray No, I'm pretty sure Torque was silent through the entire game.
  • mattdark - February 4, 2011 7:22 a.m.

    Agree with the other posts round here, no love for Jack?
  • Trg564 - February 4, 2011 4:53 a.m.

    How about the character you play as in Oblivion? Then again, you kind of get a pardon from Emperor whatever he's called.

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