Total Nerd The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time  

Jordy Altman
Originally by
12.7k votes 1.3k voters 14.3k 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
436 245
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 Best Sports Documentaries On Netflix Instant

2
466 224
Sephiroth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sephiroth Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

3
264 152
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
329 169
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
211 154
Sora is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sora Kingdom Hearts

6
274 191
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
147 107
Revan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Revan Star Wars

8
256 150
Crono is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Crono Chrono Trigger

9
132 101
Kain Highwind is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Kain Highwind

10
163 138
Kefka Palazzo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Kefka Palazzo

11
160 119
Terra Branford is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Terra Branford

12
119 99
Garrus Vakarian is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
James Englebert added Garrus Vakarian

13
129 122
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
195 132
Yuna is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Yuna Final Fantasy X

15
186 129
Aerith Gainsborough is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Aerith Gainsborough Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

The Best Playstation 4 RPGs Released So Far The 26 Greatest Pictures of Animals Riding Other Animals

16
111 89
Zack Fair is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Derek Danhauser added Zack Fair Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

17
129 112
Laguna Loire is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Laguna Loire

18
172 124
Tidus is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tidus Final Fantasy X

19
72 24
Vincent Valentine is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kenneth Peter Lavine IV added Vincent Valentine Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

20
125 116
Cecil Harvey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Cecil Harvey

21
88 46
Frog (Chrono Trigger) is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tuấn Hoàng added Frog (Chrono Trigger)

22
117 123
Tali'Zorah nar Rayya is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tali'Zorah nar Rayya Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3

23
106 108
Locke Cole is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Locke Cole

24
96 98
Rydia is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rydia

25
77 43
Rikku is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Cheryl White added Rikku

26
58 64
Arthas Menethil is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

27
109 104
Balthier is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Balthier Final Fantasy XII

28
71 87
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
64 101
Miranda Lawson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Miranda Lawson

The Best Wii U RPGs You Should Be Playing The Reality Shows You Would Most Want to Win

30
47 81
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
109 125
Mario is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Mario Fanboys, Super Mario Bros., Nintendo Universe

32
103 117
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
39 61
KOS-MOS is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

34
53 84
Golbez is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Golbez

35
90 111
Ellie is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ellie The Last of Us

36
52 93
Vaan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Son Goku added Vaan

37
24 63
Canderous Ordo is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Canderous Ordo

38
41 76
Ranker Video
James Englebert added Shulk

39
63 84
Diablo is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Diablo Marvel Universe

40
22 18
HK-47 is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Walker Page added HK-47 Star Wars

41
51 104
Ness is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ness Nintendo Universe

42
38 77
Rosa Farrell is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rosa Farrell

43
9 4
Morrigan is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Dunbarr added Morrigan

The Best Super Nintendo RPGs Ever Made The Top Cars For Teenagers

44
33 76
Ranker Video
James Englebert added Shulk

45
36 52
Laharl is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Laharl

46
35 76
Claude Kenni is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Claude Kenni

47
28 64
Rosa Harvey is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rosa Harvey

48
35 81
Carth Onasi is listed (or ranked) 48 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

49
38 87
Ranker Video
biggus-_maximus_-dickus added Cicero Skyrim

50
16 19
Sub-Zero is listed (or ranked) 50 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