Total Nerd The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time  

Jordy Altman
Originally by
9.4k votes 1.0k voters 12.2k views 70 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
311 186
Cloud Strife is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Cloud Strife Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

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2
346 183
Sephiroth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sephiroth Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

3
187 108
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
261 134
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
220 152
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
161 110
Sora is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sora Kingdom Hearts

7
196 120
Crono is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Crono Chrono Trigger

8
111 77
Revan is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Revan Star Wars

9
124 108
Kefka Palazzo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Kefka Palazzo

10
89 64
Garrus Vakarian is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
James Englebert added Garrus Vakarian

11
106 90
Terra Branford is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Terra Branford

12
141 109
Yuna is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Yuna Final Fantasy X

13
97 88
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
131 105
Aerith Gainsborough is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Aerith Gainsborough Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

15
89 76
Kain Highwind is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Kain Highwind

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16
97 91
Cecil Harvey is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Cecil Harvey

17
96 91
Tali'Zorah nar Rayya is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tali'Zorah nar Rayya Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3

18
111 95
Tidus is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tidus Final Fantasy X

19
85 86
Laguna Loire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Laguna Loire

20
65 63
Zack Fair is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Derek Danhauser added Zack Fair Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

21
45 28
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
77 83
Locke Cole is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Locke Cole

23
85 79
Balthier is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Balthier Final Fantasy XII

24
66 75
Rydia is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rydia

25
38 26
Rikku is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Cheryl White added Rikku

26
91 100
Mario is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Mario Fanboys, Super Mario Bros., Nintendo Universe

27
84 91
Kratos is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kratos God of War, God of War II, God of War III

28
36 41
Arthas Menethil is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

29
47 58
Pikachu is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Pikachu Pokémon The Series: XY, Pokémon 4Ever, Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns

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30
51 70
Miranda Lawson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Miranda Lawson

31
73 84
Ellie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ellie The Last of Us

32
29 38
KOS-MOS is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

33
13 8
Vincent Valentine is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kenneth Peter Lavine IV added Vincent Valentine Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

34
32 60
Minato Arisato is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
4 2
HK-47 is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Walker Page added HK-47 Star Wars

36
42 82
Ness is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ness Nintendo Universe

37
41 65
Diablo is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Diablo Marvel Universe

38
35 70
Vaan is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Son Goku added Vaan

39
27 56
Ranker Video
James Englebert added Shulk

40
26 55
Ranker Video
James Englebert added Shulk

41
32 67
Golbez is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Golbez

42
27 58
Rosa Farrell is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rosa Farrell

43
31 65
Ranker Video
biggus-_maximus_-dickus added Cicero Skyrim

The Best Super Nintendo RPGs Ever Made The Best Action-Adventure Games of All Time

44
21 36
Laharl is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Laharl

45
15 44
Canderous Ordo is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Canderous Ordo

46
32 57
Vyse is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Vyse Skies of Arcadia, Valkyria Chronicles

47
28 65
Carth Onasi is listed (or ranked) 47 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

48
25 60
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
26 61
Claude Kenni is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Claude Kenni

50
47 86
Ash Ketchum is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ash Ketchum Pokémon The Series: XY, Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life, Pokémon 4Ever