Total Nerd The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time  

Jordy Altman
Originally by
12.3k votes 1.3k voters 13.8k views 75 items Embed

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
420 237
Cloud Strife is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Cloud Strife Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

The Greatest RPG Video Games Ever Made The Greatest Fighting Games Ever Made

2
442 220
Sephiroth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sephiroth Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

3
250 148
Link is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Link Nintendo Universe, Universe of The Legend of Zelda

4
322 163
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
206 147
Sora is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sora Kingdom Hearts

6
265 187
Commander Shepard is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Commander Shepard Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3

7
157 115
Terra Branford is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Terra Branford

8
142 103
Revan is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Revan Star Wars

9
251 145
Crono is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Crono Chrono Trigger

10
131 96
Kain Highwind is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Kain Highwind

11
163 133
Kefka Palazzo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Kefka Palazzo

12
111 97
Garrus Vakarian is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
James Englebert added Garrus Vakarian

13
125 117
Red is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Son Goku added Red Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, Pokémon Green

14
187 129
Yuna is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Yuna Final Fantasy X

15
179 127
Aerith Gainsborough is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Aerith Gainsborough Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

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16
125 108
Laguna Loire is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Laguna Loire

17
107 87
Zack Fair is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Derek Danhauser added Zack Fair Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

18
166 120
Tidus is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tidus Final Fantasy X

19
123 112
Cecil Harvey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Cecil Harvey

20
63 22
Vincent Valentine is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kenneth Peter Lavine IV added Vincent Valentine Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

21
104 105
Locke Cole is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Locke Cole

22
79 44
Frog (Chrono Trigger) is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tuấn Hoàng added Frog (Chrono Trigger)

23
94 95
Rydia is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rydia

24
110 122
Tali'Zorah nar Rayya is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tali'Zorah nar Rayya Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3

25
70 41
Rikku is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Cheryl White added Rikku

26
53 61
Arthas Menethil is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

27
104 101
Balthier is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Balthier Final Fantasy XII

28
64 84
Pikachu is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Pikachu Pokémon The Series: XY, Pokémon 4Ever, Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns

29
59 98
Miranda Lawson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Miranda Lawson

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30
45 78
Minato Arisato is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Son Goku added Minato Arisato Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable , Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES

31
106 122
Mario is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Mario Fanboys, Super Mario Bros., Nintendo Universe

32
99 113
Kratos is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kratos God of War, God of War II, God of War III

33
38 58
KOS-MOS is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

34
52 82
Golbez is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Golbez

35
85 109
Ellie is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ellie The Last of Us

36
50 91
Vaan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Son Goku added Vaan

37
39 73
Ranker Video
James Englebert added Shulk

38
22 61
Canderous Ordo is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Canderous Ordo

39
60 83
Diablo is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Diablo Marvel Universe

40
38 75
Rosa Farrell is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rosa Farrell

41
49 102
Ness is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ness Nintendo Universe

42
17 17
HK-47 is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Walker Page added HK-47 Star Wars

43
32 74
Ranker Video
James Englebert added Shulk

The Best Super Nintendo RPGs Ever Made The Best Cities for Young Professionals

44
28 62
Rosa Harvey is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rosa Harvey

45
35 51
Laharl is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Laharl

46
35 79
Carth Onasi is listed (or ranked) 46 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

47
34 74
Claude Kenni is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Claude Kenni

48
38 85
Ranker Video
biggus-_maximus_-dickus added Cicero Skyrim

49
24 36
Lenneth Valkyrie is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Lenneth Valkyrie

50
31 77
Ryo Hazuki is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ryo Hazuki Shenmue: The Movie, SEGA Universe