Total Nerd The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time  

Jordy Altman
Originally by
14.8k votes 1.5k voters 16.6k views 78 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
497 295
Cloud Strife is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Cloud Strife Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

2
331 197
Link is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Link Nintendo Universe, Universe of The Legend of Zelda

3
518 265
Sephiroth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sephiroth Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

4
389 199
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
313 222
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
245 198
Sora is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sora Kingdom Hearts

7
181 138
Revan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Revan Star Wars

8
297 175
Crono is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Crono Chrono Trigger

9
191 157
Kefka Palazzo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Kefka Palazzo

10
188 137
Terra Branford is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Terra Branford

11
146 126
Kain Highwind is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Kain Highwind

12
154 147
Red is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Son Goku added Red Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, Pokémon Green

13
134 125
Garrus Vakarian is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
James Englebert added Garrus Vakarian

14
212 145
Aerith Gainsborough is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Aerith Gainsborough Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

The Most Popular RPG Video Games Right Now

15
216 150
Yuna is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Yuna Final Fantasy X

16
101 39
Vincent Valentine is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kenneth Peter Lavine IV added Vincent Valentine Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

17
200 143
Tidus is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tidus Final Fantasy X

18
144 129
Laguna Loire is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Laguna Loire

19
124 107
Zack Fair is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Derek Danhauser added Zack Fair Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

20
140 129
Cecil Harvey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Cecil Harvey

21
102 54
Rikku is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Cheryl White added Rikku

The Best Comedy Directors in Film History

22
102 60
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
131 140
Tali'Zorah nar Rayya is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tali'Zorah nar Rayya Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3

24
113 121
Locke Cole is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Locke Cole

25
104 109
Rydia is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rydia

26
87 101
Pikachu is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Pikachu Pokémon The Series: XY, Pokémon 4Ever, Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns

27
68 77
Arthas Menethil is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

28
76 113
Miranda Lawson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Miranda Lawson

The Greatest RPG Video Games Ever Made

29
122 118
Balthier is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Balthier Final Fantasy XII

30
118 119
Ellie is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ellie The Last of Us

31
55 93
Minato Arisato is listed (or ranked) 31 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

32
121 132
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
126 143
Mario is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Mario Fanboys, Super Mario Bros., Nintendo Universe

34
31 14
Morrigan is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Dunbarr added Morrigan

35
45 73
KOS-MOS is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

Famous People You Didn't Know Were Married to Each Other

36
37 27
HK-47 is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Walker Page added HK-47 Star Wars

37
56 95
Golbez is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Golbez

38
50 87
Ranker Video
James Englebert added Shulk

39
29 76
Canderous Ordo is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Canderous Ordo

40
58 110
Vaan is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Son Goku added Vaan

41
68 99
Diablo is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Diablo Marvel Universe

42
42 92
Carth Onasi is listed (or ranked) 42 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

The Best Playstation 4 RPGs Released So Far

43
54 117
Ness is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ness Nintendo Universe

44
28 32
Sub-Zero is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kenneth Peter Lavine IV added Sub-Zero Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Mortal Kombat

45
40 88
Rosa Farrell is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rosa Farrell

46
39 85
Claude Kenni is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Claude Kenni

47
36 85
Ranker Video
James Englebert added Shulk

48
35 86
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
30 73
Rosa Harvey is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rosa Harvey

50
19 57
Demi-fiend is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Demi-fiend