- 1+ 28- 16
First appeared in: Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic (2003)
Set some 4,000 years before the events of George Lucas' canon saga, BioWare's XBox/PC RPG epic Knights Of The Old Republic is arguably the best Star Wars prequel to date (Genddy Tartakovsky's Clone Wars 'toons come a close second). Among its many charms (dual-wield lightsabers! Go Sith!) is its smart characterisation, particularly among the rag-tag crew your character gathers around him/her.
This is best exemplified by the brilliantly twisted HK-47, an assassin droid who joins your team (the name being a derivative of two gun names: Heckler & Koch meets AK-47, although HK also stands for 'Hunter-Killer'). In a wonderfully perverse twist, he's built like a Threepio-style protocol droid and shares that line's politely articulate butlerish speech mannerisms (wonderfully vocalised by Kristoffer Tabori), with which he dryly expresses sociopathic sentiments, including a distain for organic life perfectly summed up by his repeated use of the word "meatbag". Oft imitated (not least by BioWare themselves: see Dragon Age: Origins' prissy golem, Shale), never bettered.
- 2+ 31- 23
Glados Added by: RankerZ
First appeared in: Portal (2007)
GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disc Operating System) is the feminine artificial intelligence that acts as your guide through the Aperture Science's Enrichment Centre in Valve's superbly inventive Portal. Spurring the main character on with the promise of cake, GLaDOS initially takes the form of a benevolent overseer - albeit one that makes slightly anomalous and threatening remarks. It's not until she demands the incineration of your much cherished Companion Cube that the player begins to suspect that the screws in this demented AI are quite literally coming loose.
Yet, for all of her malicious HAL-like conduct, as she begins to lose control of your portal-jumping ways, her increasingly demented, robotic taunts - and often, by her own admission, lies - become a constant highlight, with some of the psychotic asides being nothing less than comedy gold. While she appears to have been destroyed at the game's climax, the inspired end-credit song "I'm still alive" bodes well for her triumphant return in Portal 2.
- 3+ 18- 13
First appeared in Super Mario Sunshine (2002)
Toadsworth is an elderly Toad and Princess Peach's longtime steward, first appearing in Super Mario Sunshine, when he comes along with Princess Peach and Mario to Isle Delfino. He makes a brief appearance in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga at the beginning (where he presents Mario and Luigi with a suitcase) and end of the game; and he accompanies Princess Peach on her trip to Rogueport during Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, keeping Princess Peach very close to him, but ends up losing her. In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, he is with Mario and Luigi when Princess Peach takes an experimental trip back in time. He is also included in Super Princess Peach where he gives Peach a parasol named Perry in the cinema and is seen as a lead guitarist of the band called Peach Hit Five in the music room. He also appeared in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, where he was inhaled by Bowser.
- 4+ 17- 12
Pac Man Jr.
First appeared in: Pac-Man (1980)
He may be the son of Pac-Man, but that doesn't mean he is any better.He may look like an indecisive pie-chart, but the sight of the original om-nom-nommer is as recognisable as McDonalds' Golden Arches or Darth Vader's helmet - the definitive symbol of his medium. And though playing through to the infamous 'broken' level of 256 might seem a little too much (and a little too hard) for some, his unstoppable chomping is as addictive as old school arcade gaming gets, even now inspiring thousands to meet up for the world championships in New York.
- 5+ 14- 10
First appeared in: Grim Fandango (1998)
Picture the scene: LucasArts' Tim Schafer is pitching his latest point and click adventure game after the successes of Full Throttle and The Monkey Island Series. "It's a puzzle game based in a sort of Mexican purgatory where it's the Day of the Dead and everyone wants to get on a gold train to go to the Ninth Underworld. And it's a film noir. And almost everyone's a skeleton. Sound good?"
Bonkers though it may seem on paper, Grim Fandango is universally regarded as being among the greatest games ever made, and that's in no small part down to one Mr Manny Calavera, your host in the Land Of The Dead, your Humphrey Bogart in this undead Casablanca. Suave, passionate, boney, and capable of solving increasingly tricksy puzzles (occasionally involving beavers) Manny is the man.
His speed demon driver, Glottis, deserves a mention for being so big and orange and crazy and all, but for representing just how iconic, beautiful and bizarre Grim Fandango was, Manny wins by a non-existent nose
- 6+ 10- 6
Cortez Added by: Hero
Sgt. Cortez is the main character from the Timesplitters series.
TimeSplitters is a series of first-person shooter video games created by Free Radical Design. The games are often compared to Rare's shooters GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark since Free Radical Design was founded by a group of ex-Rare employees who developed these games. As the title suggests, each game features a time travelling element which enables players to battle in a diverse number of locations set over the span of several centuries.The look of the series is substantially more stylized than most modern first person shooters with character models and expressions emphasizing more cartoon-like qualities and comic book-inspired design. Many of the characters represent instantly recognizable parodies of established pop culture stereotypes (such as the aristocratic English explorer or the suave secret agent).
You can also play against a number of bots in a splitscreen style arcade in addition to your human competators. Not to mention the wide variety of weapons and playable characters like a Ninja Monkey who throws Bricks.
- 7+ 11- 8
Tom Nook Added by: GeekSlayer73
First appeared in: Animal Crossing (2001)
Tom Nook, known in Japan as Tanukichi (たぬきち?), is a fictional character in the Animal Crossing series who operates the village store. He first appears in the Nintendo 64 game Dōbutsu no Mori, released in Europe and North America on the Nintendo GameCube as Animal Crossing. Nook sells a house to players at the beginning of each title in the series, giving them a set mortgage for them to pay and allowing them to upgrade it over time after the mortgage is paid off. He has made several appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series as well. Nintendo's Treehouse localization members Rich Amtower and Reiko Ninomiya argued that, in spite of his perceived greed, described him as a nice person due to taking the risk of hiring someone who was new to the town.
- 8+ 20- 18
Sam & Max
First appeared in: Sam &; Max Hit the Road (1993)
You don't see enough anthropomorphic animals in gaming these days. Nintendo and Sega used to rattle off hedgehogs and gorillas with giddy aplomb, but there's a marked lack of talking badgers and bandicoots these days. Still, among the entire talking menagerie there's something special about Sam & Max. Maybe it's the well-crafted dialogue, voice acting, and total insanity of it all, or it could be just because we're suckers for dogs wearing hats, and rabbits driving cars. Either/or really.
Rare for this list in being a partnership instead of just one character, we'd have liked to have separated them, but what with Max being a bonkers "hyperkinetic rabbity thing" we got scared and kept them together. They're like Rodney and Del Boy, Bogart and Bacall, Mario and Mushrooms. Practically inseparable, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
- 9+ 15- 13
First appeared in: New Super Mario Bros (2009)
King Bills are a sub-species of Bullet Bill that have so far only appeared in the final level of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, World 9-8. Currently, they have not appeared in any other Mario series titles.
King Bills are invincible, and unable to be beaten with any maneuver or item, and can only be avoided by bouncing above them with clouds or avoiding their paths. Even a Star cannot neutralize a King Bill, but it can keep one from harming Mario. The only way a King Bill can be neutralized is by jumping on the end-level flagpole, which is proven by the fact that one chases Mario at the end of level 9-8.
The players are warned about the incoming King Bills in the form of Coins that make a Bullet Bill shape design, and several stone blocks that cannot be destroyed by anything except the King Bill itself. The players must make sure that they aren't standing on any such blocks during such a violent destruction. King Bills will also destroy any other blocks in the area.
- 10+ 14- 12
Dirk the Daring
First appeared in: Dragon's Lair (1983)
When Dirk first blundered into our lives, screeching and screaming at any form of danger, it was nothing short of a revelation. Laserdisc or arcade, however you got your dose of Dirk, it was utterly, amazingly, astoundingly astonishing. Pixels? Pixels? Dirk's better than pixels. You were basically playing a Disney movie� on your TV. In the early 80s! There are no words.
Dirk himself was a brave and highly skilled knight, if somewhat easily scared at times, which all added to the beautiful graphics and design, brought about by ex-Disney animator, Don Bluth. The result allowed this manly man with his tin hat plenty of opportunities to show off his sword swinging skills as he made his way through the wizard's castle, past monsters and ghoulies galore, all with this Disney-esque tone and look that had kids transfixed.
- 11+ 13- 11
Silver the Hedgehog
First appeared in: Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
Silver's primary ability is psychokinesis which is also known as telekinesis. He is able to levitate objects (including himself) and use them as projectiles, and fly. He can also fire shock waves that temporarily paralyze his enemies. He is able to use many standard abilities similar to those of Sonic and Shadow and he can utilize Chaos Control in order to warp through time and space. He is able to transform into "Super Silver" by using the power of the Chaos Emeralds, and he becomes able to use a special "Shield of Light" to draw in and throw any object within a large circular field.
Since this first appearance, he has been relegated to the Sonic series spinoffs, multiplayer games, and small cameo roles. He is one of the main characters in Sonic Rivals and Sonic Rivals 2. He is playable in multiplayer modes in Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, Sonic Free Riders, and Sonic and the Black Knight, though he was known as Galahad in the latter. He also makes an appearance in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. Cameos include briefly being seen in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in the background of Sonic's Green Hill Zone stage, as a trophy and sticker, watching a tennis match in one of the Sonic stages in Sega Superstars Tennis, and in the DS version of Sonic Colors. Silver is a playable character in Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games and a rival boss in Sonic Generations
- 12+ 13- 12
Trenchcoat Mr. X
First appeared in: Resident Evil 2 (1998)
Otherwise known as Tyrant T-103, Trenchcoat or 'Trenchy', this hulking, bald, coat-wearing behemoth literally crashed into Resident Evil 2, thundering through a wall and proceeding to stalk the protagonists like a brain-hungry Terminator. Relentlessly pursuing our heroes, he was designed by Capcom to offer a different kind of opponent from the usual hordes of shuffling dead-heads. Throughout Resi 2, as you waded through rooms full of lickers, zombie dogs and other assorted mutants, it was the constant threat of X's reappearance that left players perpetually on edge.
In addition to being built like a multi-storey car park, X's main weapon was his unpredictability. Just solved a difficult puzzle? Revisiting a cleared corridor? Running for your life? There was no telling when the walking wall of flesh would turn up to rip your arms off and beat you round the head with them. It was an effective mechanic and one Capcom tried to revisit in Resident Evil: Nemesis. Unfortunately, Nemesis never quite captured the silent dread of Mr. X and will forever remain a lesser foe in the Resident Evil Canon
- 13+ 12- 11
First appeared in: Kirby's Epic Yarn (2010)
Angie is a character appearing in the game Kirby's Epic Yarn. Angie will save Kirby when he falls off of the screen into a pit or is squished between two objects. However, the player will lose beads, depending on how many he/she has collected so far and how far he/she is taken back. When a second player is playing as Prince Fluff, either player can press the A button to have Angie carry them to the location of the other player without losing beads. Her description on the Cast section of Patch Plaza says she loves to explore the world.
Her only storyline appearance in the game is right after Yin-Yarn's defeat, as Kirby (and Prince Fluff) are carried to safe ground.
- 14+ 12- 11
The Horned Reaper
First appeared in: Dungeon Keeper (1997)
The thing is about Horny is that he comes in two different versions. In the original Dungeon Keeper, he was merely (yes, 'merely') a badass unit you could summon by sacrificing a Troll, a Bile Demon, and a Mistress - simple. In the sequel he required a huge amount of mana� but he was also practically invincible.
Giant horns, massive scythe, glaring, glowing eyes - Horny was far more than just another minion for your ever-growing dungeon. Largely uncontrollable, he'd happily decimate the armies of your enemies, but leave him alone and unoccupied and the scythe-wielding demon would start to pull the heads off your own creatures as well.
- 15+ 19- 19
First appeared in: Devil May Cry (2001)
With his flowing frockcoat, shock of white hair, razor sharp tongue and twin pistols named Ebony and Ivory, Dante is surely one of the coolest mothers in the history of videogaming.
The son of a notorious demon who dedicates his life to exterminating hellspawn, Dante hasn't always been a darling of the gaming massive; although his cocky attitude and acerbic wit won him legions of fans in the original Devil May Cry, the development team behind the second game turned him into a brooding, virtually silent hero, alienating a fanbase that lived its life vicariously through Dante's arrogant devil-bashing. But by taking a step back in time and showing players a younger, delightfully brash hero in Devil May Cry 3, the series got back on track and returned to creator Hideki Kamiya's original vision of a "cool and stylish guy that you would want to go out drinking with"
- 16+ 18- 18
First appeared in: Fallout (1997)
Based in part on the 'Uncle Moneybags' character from Monopoly, Vault-Boy is the Fallout series' mascot, popping up when you win trophies, pick character traits or watch an instructional video - all over the shop, basically. The bright, shiny, golden-haired smiley face that reminds you just how not-so bright and shiny post-apocalyptica is when you're running about with a gun and the desperate desire just to stay alive of a morning.
Unique in not actually being a playable character, a speaking character, or even a 'regular' character by any definition, he's such a key part of wasteland life, from your pip-boy to your bobblehead collection, and such an iconic symbol of the franchise that there's no-one else we'd ever think of when someone mentions nuclear disaster adventure games. Well, it's true
- 17+ 18- 20
First appeared in: Super Mario Bros (1985)
Koopa Troopas (usually Koopas, occasionally Troopas, Japanese ノコノコ Nokonoko) are common enemies in the Mario series, usually displayed as foot soldiers of the Koopa Troop, under the direct leadership of Bowser. Since Super Mario 64, however, many Koopas have appeared who do not work for Bowser (or any other villain), some of whom even act as allies to Mario during his adventures. Koopa Troopas are turtle-like creatures with shells that come in many different colors, with red and green Koopa Troopas being the most common. Koopas, along with Goombas, are some of Mario's most common foes
- 18+ 16- 18
First appeared in: Silent Hill 2 (2001)
A horrific personification of protagonist James Sunderland's repressed anger and penitence, Pyramid Head has a viscerally striking part to play in Silent Hill 2. Stalking the claustrophobic corridors of the vacant town, he remains one of the few masculine entities in the series and one of the most shocking monstrosities in gaming history.
Muscular, wearing a huge, metal pyramid on his head (it's not just a clever name) and wielding a knife roughly the size of a helicopter blade, he's first seen in twisted copulation with another of the game's nightmare creations and his ongoing, nefarious presence served to keep players in a state of perpetual dread. Game Desinger Masashi Tsuboyama gave him his heavy helmet's painful appearance to suggest its punishment; while his bloodied garments and enlarged weapon were to mark him as an executioner. Yours!
Being an impervious adversary, it's surprising that his presence hasn't been more prominent in Konami's Silent Hill series - recently, making a brief appearance in Silent Hill: Homecoming. Observant fans will note that the geometry-loving masochist actually has an oft-forgotten twin, who makes appearances with him during both games' climaxes.
- 19+ 6- 7
Fishbone Added by: RankerZ
First appeared in: Super Mario World (1990)
Fishbones (also known as Wet Bones) are swimming skeletons of Cheep-Cheeps found in the game Super Mario World, reappearing in later games. They always swim slowly in a straight line, heading to the left. Fishbones can only be defeated by Cape Mario or Cape Luigi's spin attack. They may also be related to some of the other kinds of undead fish appearing in the Mario series.
- 20+ 20- 23
First appeared in: Street Fighter (1987)
Cheaters use Sagat, real men use Ryu! The face of the greatest fighting franchise ever to grace a console, Ryu is an icon who has spanned decades. While synonymous with the Street Fighter franchise, he's also gone toe-to-toe with SNK's finest, The Darkstalkers line-up and half of the Marvel stable, only to emerge unscathed and victorious nine bouts out of ten.
Ryu's look hasn't evolved hugely from his initial appearance (with a slight hair variance here and there - he was ginger in the original Street Fighter, after all); dressed in his white keikogi, red headband and matching gloves, he has remained the definitive beat-'em-up fighter and go-to-guy for the discerning player since the days of SF2. He's mistakenly dismissed as one of the easier characters to master but his accessibility is deceptive - go up against a seasoned Ryu veteran and you'll soon be on the receiving end of a Whirlwind Kick/Hadoken combo to the face. Perfect!
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