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Top 10 Greatest Video Game Characters

Updated on February 17, 2012
Mario in all his glory
Mario in all his glory | Source

1. MARIO

Mario created as a character for the original Donkey Kong game in 1981 (even before the release of the Nintendo console) which was at the time released on Atari systems has become famous the world over. The character is now part of more than 200 games and has spawned cartoons and a film.

Not bad for an over weight Italian plummer from Brooklyn.

Duke Nukem from the game series
Duke Nukem from the game series | Source

2. DUKE NUKEM

The Duke Nukem character was created by Apogee software and the first Duke Nukem game released in 1991. At the time it and it's sequel Duke Nukem II(1993) were side scrolling games for PC, the second game being released on the gameboy as well. The character presented as a blond short haired muscleman with guns broke into the mainstream with the 1996 Duke Nukem 3D which ended up selling 3.5 million copies.

Although it did take more than a decade to come out with another Duke Nukem game his character remains one of the most enduring.

Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog | Source

3. SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Created in 1991 as the main mascot character for Sega, Sonic games have gone on to sell more than 80 million copies worldwide. Sonic The Hedgehog has been inducted into the walk of game.

Roger Wilco in Space Quest 4
Roger Wilco in Space Quest 4 | Source

4. ROGER WILCO

Roger Wilco created by Mark Crowe & Scott Murphy in 1986 is the main protagonist of the Space Quest adventure game series. Roger is an intergalactic janitor that in each game is drawn into the roll of having to save the galaxy. Often quite silly he somehow always manages to get the job done and sometimes even gets the girl. But like your typical he never lets it go to his head.

Like many software companies that were successful during the 1990s Sierra was absorbed by larger conglomerates and the Space Quest series shutdown. However many many fan made projects exist across the web, a tribute to what Roger Wilco represents.

Bonk in Bonks Revenge
Bonk in Bonks Revenge | Source

5.BONK

Bonk was the main character for the Turbografx 16 gaming console the first to use 16 bit graphics. Bonk, a small caveman with a big head primarily attacks enemies with his headbutting or jumping and hitting them head first. After Turbografx 16 ceased as a console Bonk moved onto the SNES for the game Super Bonk. After this there was a series of mini games released on the Gameboy. Currently there is a new game being worked on for release in 2011 called Bonk: Brink of Extinction.

Gordon Freeman from Half-Life
Gordon Freeman from Half-Life | Source

6. GORDON FREEMAN

Gordon Freeman is the main character of the Half-Life series. He is said to be a theoretical physicist who works for the Black Mesa research facility. After an experiment gone wrong and inter-dimensional portals opened he must fight against the evil forces unleashed into his universe. Freeman is never seen and only really appears in the cover, booklets and commercials for the game. This was due to the creator wanting the player to feel as though they are Gordon Freeman. He never speaks during the game or shows his face, everything is seen from a first person perspective.

Link in Legend of Zelda
Link in Legend of Zelda | Source

7. LINK

Like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario Link has a star on the Walk of Game. His character first appeared in Legends of Zelda released on the Nintendo console in 1986. Link's task usually involves saving princess Zelda. He is to be included in a new game for 3DS called Super Mario 3D Land.

Lara Croft from Tomb Raider
Lara Croft from Tomb Raider | Source

8. LARA CROFT

.A lady who needs no introduction I'm sure, Tomb Raider, the game in which she features was released in 1996. The character and games went one to 9 more sequels as well as spawning two feature films, novels, comic books and theme rides. Lara Croft presented to the gaming world as a big bosom british archaeologist needed little support (forgive the joke) to gain considerable attention in the gaming industry of the 1990s and ended up selling 8 million copies worldwide.

Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong | Source

9. DONKEY KONG

Donkey Kong shared his first game with Mario in 1981. But from those first days of throwing pixelated barrels down at his compadre came a series of games known the world over. Donkey Kong was designed to be twice the size of a normal gorilla and often plays Mario's nemesis in the Donkey Kong vs Mario games. Starring in his own series as well has shown him more as a protagonist however. Donkey Kong has appeared in more than 20 games.

Gage Blackwood from Journeyman Project III: Legacy of Time
Gage Blackwood from Journeyman Project III: Legacy of Time | Source

10. GAGE BLACKWOOD

.Gage Blackwood is the main character of the Journey Project series from Presto Studios. These games were very critically acclaimed throughout the 1990s and in my opinion extremely underated. The title character as seen in the picture is from The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time and is played b a live actor. Incidentally Myst which was a much more commercial game of this period came after The Journeyman Project but somehow managed to monopolize a lot of the market. When Presto studios shutdown as a company the creators of Myst hired most of their staff. In my opinion Myst and all of it's sequels never matched the quality of interaction that the 3rd game Legacy of Time had reached.

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    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      DoctorDarts - I understand, some of the list was more for what I was exposed to that colored my judgement I suppose. Not an exact science. But thanks for reading :)

    • DoctorDarts profile image

      DoctorDarts 5 years ago

      As ever with these lists, there's one or two I TOTALLY disagree with...but agree with the rest. Nice work! :-)

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      johncimble - me too, I'll be permanently living in the 90s but maybe that means I'm getting old :( oh well.

    • johncimble profile image

      johncimble 5 years ago from Bangkok

      when i saw those video game character made me wanna turn back the time i was little again :D

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      KBEvolve - well theres only really two in the list that haven't branched out. Also it's more of a list of what in my opinion are the top 10. Otherwise I'd have to define the criteria on which I am judging them. I don't really intend to do that at this time.

    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 5 years ago from United States

      I agree with thranax. Only five are really iconic. Mario, Sonic, Link, Donkey Kong, Lara Croft.

      The reason is simply that their characters have all branched out from their original games in some way. Either in movies, spin off games, or just in cameo appearances.

      They are all brands.

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Your right. Pac Man is iconic, hm not sure how I missed that one maybe I'll have to do a top 20 when I get around to it.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      I enjoyed this hub, I just have one question. What about Pac Man?

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Which 5?

    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 6 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      Well I agree with 5 of them.

      ~thranax~