3. Yoshimitsu (Tekken / Soulcalibur)
Now, we know what you’re thinking: Isn’t Yoshimitsu that goofball samurai who unfairly fights unarmed combatants with a katana? Well, yes--but he’s also one of the most iconic playable characters in both the Tekken and Soulcalibur series. With a flag on his back and a sword in his hands (be it a tachi, katana, or straight-up lightsaber), Yoshimitsu has been repping ridiculously clothed warriors and leading the Manji clan since the very first Tekken game. We’ll never tire of his self-destructive seppuku move, the way he spins around like a lunatic, his use of swords as pogo-sticks, or his ceaseless, high-pitched squealing.
But Yoshimitsu’s most impressive trait is how frequently his costume changes: Rarely does he ever sport the same attire for two games in a row, and his alternate costumes are always wildly different from their already-inventive counterparts. Dressing as a clockwork puppet, oni-faced swordsman, chrome-plated space samurai, beetle-skeleton hybrid, or nautilus-helmeted fencer--Yoshimitsu dons all these costumes with aplomb, and he wears them oh-so-well.
Franchise runner-ups: Jin Kazama, Heihachi Mishima / Nightmare, Cervantes