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The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

Updated January 6, 2020 20.9k votes 3k voters 30.6k views53 items

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!

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  • 1
    839
    535

    Cloud Strife

    Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
  • 2
    759
    459

    Sephiroth

    Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia
  • 3
    690
    443
    StaB added

    Link

    Nintendo Universe, Universe of The Legend of Zelda
  • 4
    455
    376

    Commander Shepard

    Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2
  • 5
    351
    291
    StaB added

    Revan

    Star Wars
  • 6
    709
    308

    Geralt of Rivia

    The Hexer, The Hexer
  • 7
    444
    242

    Aerith Gainsborough

    Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
  • 8
    296
    265
    Junior53 added

    Kefka Palazzo

  • 9
    393
    381

    Sora

    Kingdom Hearts
  • 10
    468
    275

    Crono

    Chrono Trigger
  • 11
    234
    216
    Junior53 added

    Kain Highwind

  • 12
    244
    226
    James Englebert added

    Garrus Vakarian

  • 13
    296
    293
    Son Goku added

    Red

    Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue
  • 14
    273
    152
    Kenneth Peter Lavine IV added

    Vincent Valentine

    Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia
  • 15
    257
    243

    Kratos

    God of War, God of War II
  • 16
    228
    141
    Tuấn Hoàng added

    Frog (Chrono Trigger)

  • 17
    307
    233

    Yuna

    Final Fantasy X
  • 18
    305
    244

    Tidus

    Final Fantasy X
  • 19
    195
    150
    Cheryl White added

    Rikku

  • 20
    189
    194

    Pikachu

    Pokémon The Series: XY, Pokémon 4Ever
  • 21
    137
    96
    Dunbarr added

    Morrigan

  • 22
    192
    205

    Tali'Zorah nar Rayya

    Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2
  • 23
    221
    191
    Derek Danhauser added

    Zack Fair

    Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
  • 24
  • 25
    143
    153
    Son Goku added

    Minato Arisato

    Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable