Total Nerd The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time  

Jordy Altman
Originally by
14.4k votes 1.5k voters 16.2k views 76 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
482 283
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
317 186
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
511 253
Sephiroth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sephiroth Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

4
374 192
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
178 129
Revan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Revan Star Wars

6
238 188
Sora is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sora Kingdom Hearts

7
304 218
Commander Shepard is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Commander Shepard Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3

8
288 170
Crono is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Crono Chrono Trigger

9
185 153
Kefka Palazzo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Kefka Palazzo

10
180 134
Terra Branford is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Terra Branford

11
142 121
Kain Highwind is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Kain Highwind

12
132 120
Garrus Vakarian is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
James Englebert added Garrus Vakarian

13
149 142
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
212 147
Yuna is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Yuna Final Fantasy X

The Most Popular RPG Video Games Right Now

15
205 143
Aerith Gainsborough is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Aerith Gainsborough Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

16
97 35
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
193 139
Tidus is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tidus Final Fantasy X

18
142 126
Laguna Loire is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Laguna Loire

19
122 105
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
136 126
Cecil Harvey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Cecil Harvey

21
97 52
Rikku is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Cheryl White added Rikku

The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

22
99 56
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
128 138
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
112 118
Locke Cole is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Locke Cole

25
102 107
Rydia is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rydia

26
84 98
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
74 110
Miranda Lawson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Miranda Lawson

28
65 74
Arthas Menethil is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

The Greatest RPG Video Games Ever Made

29
118 115
Balthier is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Balthier Final Fantasy XII

30
54 89
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
112 117
Ellie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ellie The Last of Us

32
125 139
Mario is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Mario Fanboys, Super Mario Bros., Nintendo Universe

33
118 129
Kratos is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kratos God of War, God of War II, God of War III

34
36 25
HK-47 is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Walker Page added HK-47 Star Wars

35
27 13
Morrigan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Dunbarr added Morrigan

Mythical Creatures That Were Found in Real Life

36
42 72
KOS-MOS is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

37
55 92
Golbez is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Golbez

38
48 84
Ranker Video
James Englebert added Shulk

39
28 74
Canderous Ordo is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Canderous Ordo

40
56 104
Vaan is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Son Goku added Vaan

41
68 95
Diablo is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Diablo Marvel Universe

42
26 28
Sub-Zero is listed (or ranked) 42 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

The Best Playstation 4 RPGs Released So Far

43
40 86
Rosa Farrell is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rosa Farrell

44
53 115
Ness is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ness Nintendo Universe

45
41 91
Carth Onasi is listed (or ranked) 45 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

46
35 83
Ranker Video
James Englebert added Shulk

47
38 84
Claude Kenni is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Claude Kenni

48
30 72
Rosa Harvey is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rosa Harvey

49
34 85
Ryo Hazuki is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ryo Hazuki Shenmue: The Movie, SEGA Universe

50
37 59
Laharl is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Laharl