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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  • lukel - December 30, 2010 6:09 p.m.

    First John Marston is awesome
  • AlmightyFuzz - December 30, 2010 6:12 p.m.

    Sazh was the only thing I liked about FF13. Except for the fun combat, and the damn pretty world, I really thought the game was rather crap.
  • FoxdenRacing - December 30, 2010 6:19 p.m.

    Another brilliant end-of-year list. A belated Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and joyous occasion for any other holidays celebrated in the GR office, be they as mainstream as Hanukkah or as obscure as Festivus!
  • revrock - December 30, 2010 6:37 p.m.

    Here is a bit of a twist; How about Daniel Craig as 007 in Goldeneye?
  • Robusken - December 30, 2010 6:59 p.m.

    Completely agree with Sazh and Monkey.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - December 30, 2010 7:04 p.m.

    Sazh was actually a really good character- too bad I hated playing his segments. Except for the theme park. That was a brilliant bit.
  • gannsi - December 30, 2010 7:12 p.m.

    Legion and scott shelby!
  • Redeater - December 30, 2010 7:17 p.m.

    Oh how I loved all of these games. Please give me Bioshock 3 and Enslaved 2.
  • g4m3rk1dd - December 30, 2010 7:42 p.m.

    Sazh and the chocobo were the best characters in FF13 hands down
  • 510BrotherPanda - December 30, 2010 8:12 p.m.

    I really like Oswald now; his re-introduction into the Disney fold made me go to YouTube to look up the silent cartoons he starred in, and I now understand what a huge success he could have been if Iwerks/Disney were able to take him from Universal... I'm also sort of biased in his favor because my family has a black rabbit. I haven't played FF13, but Sazh looked like a very likable character from the start. I wished he was in Dissidia 2, but seeing as Lightning is scheduled to be in it, I doubt he'll get a chance to reappear.
  • Korvak - December 30, 2010 8:19 p.m.

    I really liked Monkey but I would have gladly braved a Robot Apocalypse for Trip.
  • Felixthecat - December 30, 2010 8:28 p.m.

    Bayonetta, John Marston, Juri and Sazh are by far the best.
  • Grif - December 30, 2010 8:30 p.m.

    I wish Scott Shelby wasn't the Origami, I mean origarmi killer.
  • Yeager1122 - December 30, 2010 8:49 p.m.

    Legion was great but i also do wish you could have gotten him earlier in the game.
  • MoChilla - December 30, 2010 9:04 p.m.

    I was thinking Enslaved should win an award for something other than gameplay and it had to be for best character: Pigsy. He's great in Enslaved, but shines in his DLC. He's comedic, has a goal, great change in story telling and artwork and best of all Richard Ridings delivery. He can deliver Laughs and emotion (Spoiler: the end is touching.)
  • CH3BURASHKA - December 30, 2010 9:05 p.m.

    Where's the angry Asian Spoilers guy? I miss him...
  • Onepersonwithnoopinion - December 30, 2010 9:09 p.m.

    Might wanna give an honorable mention to Tychus Findley from Starcraft 2 here, but other than that great list.
  • Clovin64 - December 30, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    I totally agree with the choices on this list. Especially Monkey, John Marston and Sazh. Marston in particular is one of the main reasons I enjoyed RDR more than any GTA, for all the reasons you mentioned. He's a far more likeable sympathetic character than any GTA hero. As for Heavy Rain, I warmed up to Scott Shelby faaaaaaaaaar more than any of the other characters. I was gutted when he turned out to be the killer. I kept thinking I had done something wrong to get a crap ending or something.
  • Spocksjock - December 30, 2010 10:18 p.m.

    No Mordin or Alan Wake? I really liked both of them.
  • Dredgon - December 30, 2010 10:46 p.m.

    I love Legion, he is one of my favorite characters in ME 2 along with Thane and The Illusive Man, and I can't wait to spend more time with him in 3 as he was introduced late in 2. I also loved Alan Wake, even though at times he could be a jerk!