Total Nerd The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time  

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A good role-playing game has memorable characters, but a great RPG has characters you will never forget. This list collects the best RPG characters in the history of video games, as ranked by gamers who appreciate a hero who is more than just an anonymous grunt with a gun.

There was a time when such gamers were few and far between. In 1997, Square Enix released Final Fantasy VII to an American audience unversed in the grand storytelling of role-playing games. With rich characters like Cloud, Aerith, and Sephiroth, FF7 changed everything. Soon gamers were swept up in the story, logging hours upon hours of adventuring. It wasn't long after FF7 that game developers jumped on the RPG bandwagon and began weaving tall-tales featuring memorable characters from Sora in Kingdom Hearts to Mass Effect's Commander Shepard.

These aren't cardboard cutouts or bland heroes. These are memorable, complex characters with rich backstories, internal conflicts, and propulsive journeys. Like the games they inhabit, these video game heroes and villains are full of depth and surprises.

See which characters made the list of the top characters in RPGs of all time and be sure to vote up all of your favorites. Do you think we missed somebody? Go ahead and add them to the list!

list ordered by

1
+ - 278 168
Cloud Strife is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Cloud Strife Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

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2
+ - 318 166
Sephiroth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sephiroth Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

3
+ - 164 92
Link is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Link Nintendo Universe, Universe of The Legend of Zelda

4
+ - 227 127
Geralt of Rivia is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Geralt of Rivia The Hexer, The Hexer, The Witcher universe

5
+ - 200 138
Commander Shepard is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Commander Shepard Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3

6
+ - 142 95
Sora is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sora Kingdom Hearts

7
+ - 182 111
Crono is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Crono Chrono Trigger

8
+ - 98 66
Revan is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Revan Star Wars

9
+ - 86 73
Red is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Red Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, Pokémon Green

10
+ - 76 56
Garrus Vakarian is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

11
+ - 111 102
Kefka Palazzo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

12
+ - 92 81
Terra Branford is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Terra Branford

13
+ - 122 95
Aerith Gainsborough is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Aerith Gainsborough Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

14
+ - 80 70
Kain Highwind is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

15
+ - 122 104
Yuna is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Yuna Final Fantasy X

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16
+ - 89 86
Cecil Harvey is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

17
+ - 85 84
Tali'Zorah nar Rayya is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tali'Zorah nar Rayya Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3

18
+ - 79 80
Laguna Loire is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

19
+ - 98 89
Tidus is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tidus Final Fantasy X

20
+ - 72 77
Locke Cole is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

21
+ - 56 57
Zack Fair is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Zack Fair Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

22
+ - 39 24
Frog (Chrono Trigger) is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Frog (Chrono Trigger)

23
+ - 77 75
Balthier is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Balthier Final Fantasy XII

24
+ - 32 20
Rikku is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

25
+ - 58 69
Rydia is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

26
+ - 75 82
Kratos is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kratos God of War, God of War II, God of War III

27
+ - 45 61
Miranda Lawson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

28
+ - 30 36
Arthas Menethil is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

29
+ - 78 93
Mario is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Mario Fanboys, Super Mario Bros., Nintendo Universe

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30
+ - 66 78
Ellie is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ellie The Last of Us

31
+ - 25 33
KOS-MOS is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

32
+ - 34 51
Pikachu is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Pikachu Pokémon The Series: XY, Pokémon 4Ever, Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns

33
+ - 41 58
Diablo is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Diablo Marvel Universe

34
+ - 4 2
Vincent Valentine is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Vincent Valentine Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

35
+ - 29 56
Minato Arisato is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Minato Arisato Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable , Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES

36
+ - 32 63
Vaan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

37
+ - 26 52
Rosa Farrell is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

38
+ - 39 78
Ness is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ness Nintendo Universe

39
+ - 19 31
Laharl is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Laharl

40
+ - 30 61
Golbez is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

41
+ - 29 59
Ranker Video v
Cicero Skyrim

42
+ - 23 50
Ranker Video v
Shulk

43
+ - 22 49
Ranker Video v
Shulk

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44
+ - 14 39
Canderous Ordo is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

45
+ - 1 2
Shujinko is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

46
+ - 1 2
Sub-Zero is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sub-Zero Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Mortal Kombat

47
+ - 25 56
Claude Kenni is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Claude Kenni

48
+ - 23 55
Ryo Hazuki is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ryo Hazuki Shenmue: The Movie, SEGA Universe

49
+ - 26 61
Carth Onasi is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Carth Onasi Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

50
+ - 28 53
Vyse is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Vyse Skies of Arcadia, Valkyria Chronicles