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.
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.
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.
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.