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Best game characters of the generation

31. Brucie (Grand Theft Auto 4)

Ah, good old Brucie. In a stand-out game like GTA 4, youd think there'd be a raft of standout characters. But after moody lead Niko and his cousin Roman, theres only one other oddball that really springs to mind: Brucie Kibbutz. A fitness fanatic who claims he loves the ladies, Brucie is chock full of artificially high levels of testosterone, confused by obvious yet suppressed homosexuality. A borderline psycho besides all that, Brucie is an unexpectedly likeable character who lightens up every scene he appears in, and makes GTA 4 all the better for his inclusion.

30. Isaac Clarke (Dead Space series)

For most of us, catching a glimpse of a horrific Necromorph would result not in an honorable urge to save mankind, but a loud "NOPE." No human alive is brave enough to face one down, let alone attempt a mission to destroy their kind for good--except for Isaac Clarke, that is. Isaac's just a normal space engineer caught up in extraordinary circumstances. But the fact that he puts everything at risk in order to destroy the Necromorph threat limb by limb instead of running away, curling up in the fetal position, and waiting out the apocalypse, makes him braver than 99.9 percent of the human population.

29. N (Pokemon Black and White)

For years, Pokemon games had blissfully ignored the moral implications of its world, particularly the idea of capturing animals and making them battle for entertainment. Pokemon Black and White changed that by introducing the mysterious N, an orphan raised among Pokemon. His deep connection to the creatures caused him to question the very nature of collecting Pokemon, a cause co-opted by a cult that many rallied behind. N was ultimately swayed by the heros true love for his Pokemon, but we appreciate that this bad guy had some logic.

28. Cave Johnson (Portal 2)

The founder and CEO of Aperture Science, Cave Johnson is the reason why the characters of Portal and Portal 2 are in our lives. But the exposition for the game isnt the only reason for Mr. Johnson being on this list: hes a certifiably insane character in his own right. Having declared bankruptcy in in the creation of a secret new prototype, Cave funneled everything into recruiting unfortunate participants for wild and unethical experiments. He only exists in letters, recordings and raving sketches on the walls, able to make a lasting impression despite the fact that we never even meet him. And thanks to Cave, we'll never see lemons the same way again.

27. Geralt (The Witcher series)

While some protagonists in medieval tales play the part of the flawless hero, Geralt of Rivia shows more than his share of blemishes. When he's not being pulled into polarizing political dealings, the Witcher's main concerns are making some coin, rolling through the sheets with the ladies, and chopping off monster heads (for money, of course). As you progress through The Witcher's story, you'll discover the details of his forgotten past, the loss of his former love to a cavalcade of spirits called the Wild Hunt, and his ties to king-killing assassins. Geralt's story weaves an intricate plot of mystery that makes him one of the most fascinating characters of this generation.

26. Claptrap (Borderlands 2)

On a world as barren and hostile as Pandora, the CL4P-TP steward robot--or Claptrap, for short--was like a beaming ray of optimism and earnestness. Even when these talkative droids rebelled and threatened our lives, we still couldn't help but love them. And without the presence of the original Fyrestone Claptrap in Borderlands 2 to guide us, we'd still be frozen solid in a glacial wasteland. Other characters insist that Claptrap is a bothersome, friendless loser. They couldn't be more wrong, because we'll happily be his minion any day. Whenever Claptrap hosts a party, count us in--we just can't get enough of the little guy's upbeat attitude and beatboxing skills.

25. Boss (Saints Row series)

Most create-your-own protagonists in sandbox games are entirely devoid of personality. Sure, you can set their cheekbones to your exact liking, and select the voice with which they'll shout generic one-liners. But the 3rd Street Saints' Boss is an interesting character all on his (or her) own. Boss rolls with the punches. S/he may spew pure snark, but when it comes to putting the hurt on the Saints' competition, s/he gets shit done, regardless if that involves beating down the Luchadores with a purple dildo bat, or curing cancer as the President of the United States.

24. Elena Fisher (Uncharted series)

Weve been rooting for Elena ever since Drake unceremoniously ditched her in the first Uncharted. Elena isnt like most female game characters. Shes not overly top-heavy, is headstrong instead of helpless, and yet equates shooting a gun to taking pictures with her camera. She may be a stereotypical twenty-something journalist at face value, but shes so convincingly written (and acted by Emily Rose) that shes one of the most believable and likeable characters in all of gaming.

23. Missile (Ghost Trick)

Missile is quite possibly the best dog in gaming. Pomeranians are typically mischievous, kind of snooty, and much too small to do anything useful. But like all dogs, Missile is fiercely loyal, and does what he can to protect his owners Kamila and Lynne. He may be a yappy little pup--and it's clear that his neighbors hate him--but he does it out of love. You won't find another dog that's as selfless and devoted as Missile.

22. Professor Layton (Professor Layton series)

Skim this list and you'll notice something: video game characters, heroes and villains alike, are a bunch of filthy murderers. They're monsters, slaughtering everyone between them and the artificial checkpoint made to move them forward. Layton, on the other hand, has no blood on his hands. Instead of focusing on violent mayhem, he strives to achieve balance through puzzles. He's a gentleman, through and through, who has no problem taking a break from solving a mystery to help some sheep cross a river in a boat so that they don't get eaten by wolves.