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The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time 

Jordy Altman
Originally by
Updated January 6, 2020 24k votes 2.6k voters 27k views 79 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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list ordered by
1
Cloud Strife is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
2
Link is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Nintendo Universe, Universe of The Legend of Zelda
3
Sephiroth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia
4
Commander Shepard is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3
5
Revan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Star Wars
6
Sora is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sora Kingdom Hearts
7
Red is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Son Goku added Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, Pokémon Green
8
Kefka Palazzo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added
9
Garrus Vakarian is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
James Englebert added
10
Kain Highwind is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added
11
Kratos is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
God of War, God of War II, God of War III
12
Geralt of Rivia is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
The Hexer, The Hexer, The Witcher universe
13
Tali'Zorah nar Rayya is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3
14
Crono is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Chrono Trigger
15
Pikachu is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Pokémon The Series: XY, Pokémon 4Ever, Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns
16
Aerith Gainsborough is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
17
Vincent Valentine is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kenneth Peter Lavine IV added Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia
18
Yuna is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Final Fantasy X
19
Tidus is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tidus Final Fantasy X
20
Minato Arisato is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Son Goku added Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable , Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES
21
Terra Branford is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
22
Rikku is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Cheryl White added Rikku
23
Arthas Menethil is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
24
Frog (Chrono Trigger) is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tuấn Hoàng added Frog (Chrono Trigger)
25
Zack Fair is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Derek Danhauser added Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children