Live from the red carpet
Fashion and video games are two things you probably don't immediately pair up in your mind. But think about some of gaming's signature looks. Where would Mario be without his trademark overalls? Where would Solid Snake be without snuggly-fitted active camo? In terms of forging a series, a character's appearance is as important as their move-set.
So when an iconic outfit becomes available in another game, you're faced with an important fashion judgement: who looks better? It's a tough call, but I've tracked down some of the strongest examples of clothing crossover and made the decision for you. Please join me on the red carpet as I analyze...
Naruto as Goku
As seen in: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3
It's a costume that had to happen. Two of the most popular animes of all time were bound to cross over, and not just in a Shonen Jump holiday comic but in a recent Naruto game as well. Perhaps to avoid cries of Super Saiyan sacrilege, Ninja Storm 3 decides it's best not to include Goku himself in the campaign. Instead, Naruto dons Goku's duds as day one DLC in tribute to his manga comrade.
Who wore it better? Naruto may have a legendary fox within his body, but he can't go full Super Saiyan. The gi looks better on Goku, with the baggy ensemble working better with his buff physique.
Lightning as Cloud
As seen in: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
If Square-Enix fans weren't tired of playing dress-up after Final Fantasy X-2, good news: Lighting's combat abilities change with every costume in the third FF13 adventure. Likely to meet the demands of people that still can't stop talking about Final Fantasy VII, the game includes the downloadable outfit of FF7 hero, Cloud. The dark and heavily accessorized clothing boosts Lightning's resistances and unlocks a new heavy attack.
Who wore it better? It's a simple matter of '90s Playstation One graphics versus today's HD visuals that decides the winner here. Lightning looks better in general thanks to high resolution graphics, and that includes when she wears Cloud's getup. Maybe Cloud will have a chance if an FF7 remake ever sees the light of day.
Frank West as Mega Man
As seen in: Dead Rising, Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Franky can don a Mega Man costume in his Dead Rising debut if he finds all the pieces, which is plenty demanding given the game's time limit in a sprawling mall setting. If you can pull it off, the photojournalist is awarded a different running style and idle animation. The look is also available is the "Rising Dead" costume pack for Marvel vs Capcom 3, asking much less of players to allow West to lay into other Capcom characters with mega style.
Who wore it better? The Dead Rising version makes no major improvements, but its return in MvC3 is a great callback - especially when Mega Man himself isn't in the fighter. Still, he's more the mall Santa version of the mascot, lacking the skills of the Blue Bomber.
The Prince as Altair
As seen in: Prince of Persia 2008
In 2008, Ubisoft's Prince of Persia series tried to reboot itself with a cel shaded look. Sadly, it never took off, leading to another reboot a few years after. PoP 2008 never had the success of the previous year's Assassin's Creed - a massive hit that's currently Ubi's free-running bestseller. But Ubi at least attempts to rub off some of that popularity with some crossover costumery. Royalty mixes with the Assassins for a cool reskin, sending the Israeli Altair just a few countries away to the undisclosed Persian locale.
Who wore it better? The prince and the assassin have the same relative level of badassery, with wall jumps, quick combat and desert traversal. But while Altair's life is constantly in danger thanks to what his uniform stands for, the Prince can literally never die in this outing. It's hard to look bad when you're invincible, so the Prince takes this one.
Nathan Drake as Zeke
As seen in: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Uncharted 2 introduced multiplayer to the adventure series, and with massive online shootouts comes customization - not everyone can rock a half-tucked shirt. Rather than overused gun bling or camo armor, Uncharted 2 gives you a cast of characters like Sully and Eddy Raja to choose from - even if they're all just reskins of Drake himself. With the Playstation Heroes Skins pack, Infamous' Zeke becomes an option, making for an unexpected Sony crossover.
Who wore it better? This is a no brainer. One annoys you with constant cell phone calls while you try to save Empire City; the other mantles sandbags, fires rifles, and dodges grenades. Drake all the way.
Bayonetta as a bunch of Nintendo characters
As seen in: Bayonetta 2
It's very likely that Bayonetta 2 wouldn't exist without Nintendo paying up to get the game exclusively on Wii U. The company published the sequel, creating a home for the witch's long-awaited return. And developer Platinum doesn't waste that Nintendo partnership, packing in tons of Nintendo-themed costumes for Bayonetta to wear. Princess, Peach, Samus, Link, even Fox McCloud get remade with her particular sense of style.
Who wore it better? When Nintendo characters bash each other in Smash Bros., most of their attacks are goofy kicks or slapstick punches. Bayonetta still pulls off her badass, acrobatic combos while rocking a sweet Metroid helmet or Zelda tunic, proving a superior level of poise. Bayonetta all the way-onetta.
Sackboy as everything
As seen in: LittleBigPlanet
Little Big Planet is a game focused on two things: creating and sharing. To keep the community creativity flowing, developer Media Molecule offers a constant stream of new creation tools, including skins for LBP mascot Sackboy. He can take the appearance of warriors, super heroes, street fighters, and every animal in the zoo. Seemingly every character to appear on a PlayStation console has had a Sack-makeover.
Who wore it better?Depends on the costume, really. Iron Man can fly and shoot missiles, but Sackboy's Iron Man costume doesn't have any of those features. On the flip side, Sackboy can don Old Snake's uniform and perform more platforming than the grizzled soldier. Has to be a draw.
All dressed up
That's all the time we have at the GamesRadar+ red carpet. Dress up your favorite character and bring them by next time. And tell us in the comments who you think wore it best.
If you want to check out some more cool outfits, check out these 10 costumes that make characters even more awesome (opens in new tab). And for some hilariously stupid looks, check out gaming's most ridiculous alternate fighting costmes (opens in new tab).