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The 30 best Capcom characters of the last 30 years

Felyne/Airou

First appeared: Monster Hunter (2004)

It may be underplayed and misunderstood in the US and UK, but Monster Hunter is popular enough in Japan alone that its currently Capcoms best-selling franchise. Both console and handheld Monster Hunter games sell by the millions in its native land, and merchandise for the series is seemingly everywhere. And the majority of that merch features cute versions of the cat monsters in the game known as Felynes or Airou in Japan.

The in-game Felyne look is perfectly fine, but its the more adorable, anime reimagining thats featured on countless pieces of merch and in occasional spin-off games that we prefer. Airou and his pals are so big in Japan that theyve even crossed over with Hello Kitty and Metal Gear Solid, as well as multiple Capcom titles. Were not sure why the adorable guys have yet to conquer the US, but with cute marketability like theirs, its bound to happen eventually.

Arthur

First appeared: Ghosts n Goblins (1985)

Determination defines so many of Capcoms heroes, but Ghosts n Goblins star Arthur has faced more painful adversity than anyone on this list. Arthurs also the earliest Capcom creation in this feature, meaning hes been taking punishment the longest of anyone in this group. In all that time he never gives up, even in the challenging GnG games, a franchise that has pushed thousands of gamers to rage quit over the decades.

We credit Arthurs heroic spirit to his devotion to the lovely Princess hes sworn to protect. No matter how many times shes kidnapped, Arthur will don his very flimsy armor and march to the gates of Hell to find her. Even if he has to fight Satan with only his underwear to protect him, Arthur cant be stopped (so long as the player can show similar determination with his crazy difficult games).

Albert Wesker

First appeared: Resident Evil (1996)

There arent a lot of bad guys on this list, and we credit that mostly to Capcoms ability to create such likeable heroes. But this list wouldnt be complete without the addition of Resident Evils top super villain, Albert Wesker. The nigh invulnerable bad guy kept popping up in RE games as he slowly honed his plans for world domination, and when he showed up, you knew you were in trouble.

Weskers cold, confident demeanor is reflected in his black leather clothes and ever-present sunglasses, but those shades hide the red eyes that reveal his murderous edge. His superhuman speed and strength were often a challenge when facing him in RE titles, but they became a boon when he was playable in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Even after his death in RE5, Albert Wesker shows no signs of stopping, which is just the way we like it.

Tron Bonne

First appeared: MegaMan Legends (1997)

The Legends franchise was a spin-off that wasnt accepted by all Mega Man fans. But even if series star Volnutt and his 3D world werent embraced by everyone, series bad girl Tron Bonne was. Tron is part of a family of pirates, though shes more of an expert in electronics than sailing. Tron builds all the robots for her thieving family, including the many walking tanks she takes into battle.

Trons greatest asset has to be her squad of Servbots. Theyre the small army of put upon robots that assist her with virtually everything. Thanks in part to their popularity, Trons had much more crossover appeal than Legends star Volnutt. Shes appeared in multiple Vs. games and even got her own PSOne spin-off. Sadly, the Legends series seems to be on ice at the moment, but we doubt weve seen the last of this hot-headed young lady.

Claire Redfield

First appeared: Resident Evil 2(1998)

Chris Redfield was the co-star of the first Resident Evil, but weve always preferred the company of his sister. She first arrived on the scene searching Raccoon City for her brother. She didnt find Chris, but she made became good friends with Leon Kennedy and together they were able to avoid getting nuked by the US government, so well count that as a win.

After the fiery end of Raccoon City, Claire returned to the road searching for Chris, continually running into zombies in her quest. Claires just as handy with weapons as her brother, and isnt half as gullible. Sadly shes fallen into the background of the series, which makes sense she avoided work as a government zombie hunter, but we hope Capcom has plans for her in the future. Heres a suggestion: a co-op focused RE that teams Claire up with the almost as underused Jill. Its your move Capcom.

Vega

First appeared: Street Fighter II (1991)

M. Bison might be the lead bad guy, and characters like Sagat and Seth are certainly imposing, but Vega is our favorite villain from Street Fighter. A psychopath of the highest order, Vega has a pretty face that hides a blood-thirsty soul. He broke all the rules in Street Fighter, what with his ability to climb walls, and a mask and claws that can fall off during battle. The pretty boy Spaniard and his Wolverine-esque blades are burned into the minds of all fighting game fans. .

Vega was once a loyal employee of Shadaloo, but after Bisons defeat he returned to killing for his own pleasure. He made a triumphant comeback in Super Street Fighter IV, but otherwise has been relatively underused by Capcom in their side games. Perhaps hes a little too creepy for mainstream fans?

Asura

First appeared: Asuras Wrath (2012)

Anger, revenge, and hate may be frowned upon by Jedis, but those emotions have fueled many video game narratives. Out of all the angry men of gaming, Asura might just be the angriest of them all. Over the course of his long, painful life, Asuras betrayed by his closest allies, and intends to punch them to death for stabbing him in the back.

Sure, any hero can scream to the heavens for vengeance, but its the ludicrous extremes that Asura goes to that make him memorable. He punches people hard enough to crack the Earth. He screams at the top of his lungs in outer space while drop kicking an enemy spacecraft. And Asura somehow overpowers a god whose finger is bigger than the United States. Even though hes only appeared in one game to date, those feats are enough to put him in the Capcom pantheon.

Poison

First appeared: Final Fight (1989)

Poison has been a favorite of many Capcom devotee despite rarely being playable (let alone appearing) in many games. She must have a certain something that makes all the players want her. We just cant put our finger on it. Poison got her start in the Final Fight beat em up series as a regular enemy, then she transitioned into her new role as a manager for man mountain Hugo in the Alpha franchise. After teasing players for far too long, she finally became a playable character in Street Fighter X Tekken.

Poison holds a distinction as one of gamings first transgender characters, which began as a strange choice in localization but has become a part of the character that she wears with pride. If you take issue with it, thats your problem, not hers. It's that kind of confidence that makes her so appealing.

Strider Hiryu

First appeared: Strider (1989)

Strider is a space ninja from 2048, which is awesome enough to guarantee him a place on this list. Mr. Hiryu is tasked with saving the world Grandmaster Meio and his army of henchmen, whom he cuts down by the hundreds with his legendary Falchion sword. When not slicing people with his famous underhand sword technique, hes uses grappling hooks and animal sidekicks to continually save the day.

While Striders arcade game was a hit, his popularity likely peaked with the Genesis port of that game. It was one of the more visually impressive games in the systems early days, and its massive 8 megabit cartridge made it one of the pricier games of its time. About a decade later he got his first true sequel, and after appearing in multiple side games, wed say hes overdue for a Strider 3.

Mike Haggar

First appeared: Final Fight (1989)

Most video game heroes come from humble beginnings, and they return to their simple lives after saving the day. Mike Haggar breaks that mold by being one of the most proactive city officials the world has ever seen, and that insanity is exactly why we love him. With a physique that rivals The Hulks, Haggar is the mayor of a city plagued by the Mad Gear Gang, and when his daughter is kidnapped, he takes a aggressive role in bringing her back.

Mike teams up with co-stars Guy and Cody to hunt down Jessica Haggar, which gives the mayor a chance to use the wrestling moves he has little time for in his political career. Once the girl is saved, Haggar returned to governance, but he still keeps himself in crazy good shape. You never know when hell next need to do spinning piledriver on a criminal.