The best new characters of 2010


Introduced in… Final Fantasy XIII

In a world filled with the usual Final Fantasy over-the-top melodrama, Sazh's groundedness is absolutely refreshing. He's just a normal dad, who by a random misfortune, got caught in the crossfire of an epic battle between humans and demigods. Sazh's character surpasses all the other characters of FFXIII on every level – he's more likeable, more believable, and his selfless quest to save his young son Dajh – who was torn away from him suddenly during a father-son vacation – had us rooting for him more than any other character. And while we initially cooed over the adorableness of the baby Chocobo who follows him everywhere, ultimately we were even more moved by what it represents – Sazh's compassion for others and his dedication to his son's happiness.

The developers must have fallen in love with Sazh over the course of making FFXIII too, because he has more lines than any other character, even more than Lightning, who's supposed to be the main protagonist. Lightning and Snow's quest to save Serah (Lightning's sister and Snow's fiancée) is intended to be the main storyline, but Sazh steals the show – we felt his heartbreak throughout every step of the journey, and his confrontation with Vanille over her role in Dajh's fate is the most emotionally intense moment in the entire game.

Scott Shelby

Introduced in… Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain’s private eye is a truly wonderful, warm-hearted individual. Caring and sympathetic, if he’s not trying to console a prostitute who’s lost her son, he’s looking after the baby of a suicidal woman. C’mon, just look at the big softie up there. A’wwwwwwwww…

Want more evidence of why he’s one of 2010’s best and most lovable new characters? Then just take a look at this…

Sheeeeeit. We thought we’d destroyed all the incriminating evidence. Ah well. Really, though, who cares Shelby is actually a kid-killing maniac who exploits his job to destroy evidence of his homicidal, extracurricular activities? He’s still one of the best realized characters of the year, in no short part thanks to the damn fine (and thankfully quasi-French-free) performance of actor Sam Douglas. He might be a demented killer who captures and murders younglings, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t also capture our heart.


Introduced in… Fallout: New Vegas

Charmed as we were by Wayne Newton’s turn as radio DJ Mr. New Vegas , his soothingly raspy broadcasts can’t really hold a candle to the real star of the Mojave Wasteland’s airwaves: a towering blue super mutant known only as Best Friend Tabitha. Together with her robot sidekick Rhonda (who may just also be Tabitha doing a different voice), she broadcasts an eclectic mix of classic country and crazed, extravagant threats aimed at her super mutant followers, her perpetually about-to-be-executed mechanic Raul, and any poor, innocent humans who would dare make the trip to her incredibly dangerous lair. She is, in short, the most entertaining thing to listen to in the wasteland, and we’d often stop whatever we were doing just to hear her bizarre chatter.

If you actually make the trip up to Black Mountain (or ”the State of Utobitha,” as she calls it), you’ll find a few ramshackle dwellings, a lot of angry mutants, and Tabitha herself, armed with more than just her radioactive good looks. This may mean you’ll be forced to kill one of the most entertaining personalities in New Vegas, which is a downer. Play your cards right, however, and she can walk off into the sunset with Rhonda after giving you her overjoyed thanks.  It’s a happier ending for her, you, Raul and pretty much anyone else who didn’t get their head caved in with Tabitha’s giant hammer.

Dec 30, 2010

The 25 best new characters of the decade
We've just met them, but we'll never forget them


The Platinum Chalice Awards 2010
The best games of 2010, honored with the glittering trophies and glowing tributes they truly deserve


The celebrity lookalike generator used on videogame characters
Who should play Nathan Drake? Alyx Vance? John Marston? Alan Wake? Computers have the (surprising) answers!


Best of 2010

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  • Sleuth - April 27, 2011 4:46 a.m.

    Legion is fascinating in Mass Effect 2 and I'm looking forward to seeing him in ME3. Alan Wake was an excellent new character in 2010 by the way.
  • soren7550 - January 6, 2011 3:59 a.m.

    Thanks to Eleanore and my good choices, I nearly started bawling terribly. But what about Sir Walter Beck and/or Ben Fin from Fable 3? They were awesome!
  • johnthe5th - January 3, 2011 5:35 p.m.

    You forgot Anthony Higgs!! /s
  • mattdark - January 2, 2011 11:50 p.m.

    I happily agree with the choice of Sazh, out of all the characters in the game, his story seemed to have to greatest part, and his character seemed to have the strongest reason to fight, he truly was the stand-out character for the game.
  • NightCrawler_358 - January 2, 2011 8:26 p.m.

    Haha shelby! the line about him also capturing your hearts was pretty good. Also, if Oswald was in here, maybe you could also include Scott Pilgrim's first videogame introduction? Anyways John Marston is the best.
  • JADENkOTOR - January 2, 2011 2:06 a.m.

    and Jack from ME2 should have made the list. She is number 1
  • JADENkOTOR - January 2, 2011 1:56 a.m.

    John Marston is a total rip off Clint Eastwoods character William Munny in Unforgiven. Marston is cool but not original This is a good list but where is Commander Shepard and Mario and Ezio and Kirby? No Donkey Kong?
  • BurntToShreds - January 1, 2011 11:33 p.m.

    I actually think that CJ from San Andreas cleaned himself up by the end of the game. Sure, he got dragged back into the gang stuff, but he was also being harassed by Officer Tenpenny. He also had to work with weird characters to get back at the people he once treated as brothers. It seems strangely like a parallel to Red Dead Redemption in that respect, except for the part where CJ got a happy ending. I really miss all the wacky stuff Rockstar used to do in GTA. I hope they bring back the same craziness for GTA5.
  • mysterioso2006 - January 1, 2011 7:18 p.m.

    Surprised Lily from FNV didn't make it. Tabitha is equally hilarious, sure, but Lily is much more important to the story (she can become a companion!). And the whole sweet little granny shtick ("What was that, deary," etc.) coming from this monster with that gravely voice was quite refreshing.
  • philipshaw - January 1, 2011 6:25 p.m.

    John Marston has been my favorite character of this year and maybe even the generation by some distance
  • EnigmaSpirit - January 1, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    Does anyone else think Sazh looks alot like Michael from Lost?
  • WickedSid - December 31, 2010 10:23 p.m.

    Oh No! They Revealed the Identity of THE ORIGARMI KEELER! I still get shivers when I think about Marston's Death. Damn, that scene was so great.
  • Overlord153 - December 31, 2010 9:13 p.m.

    @FelixtheCat We can probably tell you like Juri by looking at your picture.
  • sed598 - December 31, 2010 4:16 p.m.

    Really no Chuck Green?
  • kachigop - December 31, 2010 3:50 p.m.

    Wasn't John Marsten technically not new because he was in Red Dead Revolver...? I never played that game though so maybe I'm incorrect. All I know is that RDR was an amazing game and I was so pissed when John kicked the bucket.
  • reaperman22 - December 31, 2010 1:19 p.m.

    i loved Tabitha's broadcasts but unfortunately i had to disintegrate her and the real Rhonda :(.... oh well Raul is a pretty funny character, i probably would of chose yes man as fallout's character though or if you really wanted a super mutant then Lilly would be a good choice, its so funny how occasionally she will just start talking to her second personality or starts talking to her grand kids
  • CaptainSalmon - December 31, 2010 1:10 p.m.

    Loved both Legion and Sazh oh so much. Really annoyed me that they weren't that brilliant when it came down to choosing your squad (for both games). :/
  • ArmTheBomb - December 31, 2010 10:36 a.m.

    Awesome list. I'm glad Eleanor made the list, as I agreed with everything writen below her name in the article. Fantastic character.
  • texasgoldrush - December 31, 2010 9:58 a.m.

    Why isn't Trip on here? Monkey is great but Enslaved really is Trip's story.
  • malakai - December 31, 2010 9:49 a.m.

    zhazz seriously looks like a 40 yr old version of my best mate and that picture with his hand on his chin is actually an injoke between us but its about louis from l4d. the only difference between them is my friend is hispanic not black