Total Nerd The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time  

Jordy Altman
Originally by
9.8k votes 1.0k voters 12.7k views 72 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
319 195
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 How to Get a Girl to Like You

2
199 110
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
357 192
Sephiroth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sephiroth Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

4
270 138
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
169 115
Sora is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Sora Kingdom Hearts

6
227 159
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
116 81
Revan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Revan Star Wars

8
204 123
Crono is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Crono Chrono Trigger

9
93 69
Garrus Vakarian is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
James Englebert added Garrus Vakarian

10
110 93
Terra Branford is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Terra Branford

11
126 112
Kefka Palazzo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Kefka Palazzo

12
94 79
Kain Highwind is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Kain Highwind

13
102 91
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
145 112
Yuna is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Yuna Final Fantasy X

15
100 95
Cecil Harvey is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Cecil Harvey

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16
136 108
Aerith Gainsborough is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Aerith Gainsborough Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

17
97 96
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
87 90
Laguna Loire is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Laguna Loire

19
116 99
Tidus is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tidus Final Fantasy X

20
68 67
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
81 86
Locke Cole is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Locke Cole

22
52 31
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
69 78
Rydia is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rydia

24
52 74
Miranda Lawson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Miranda Lawson

25
51 58
Pikachu is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Pikachu Pokémon The Series: XY, Pokémon 4Ever, Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns

26
87 83
Balthier is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Balthier Final Fantasy XII

27
38 44
Arthas Menethil is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

28
40 28
Rikku is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Cheryl White added Rikku

29
32 40
KOS-MOS is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time

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30
87 94
Kratos is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kratos God of War, God of War II, God of War III

31
93 103
Mario is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Mario Fanboys, Super Mario Bros., Nintendo Universe

32
33 62
Minato Arisato is listed (or ranked) 32 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

33
75 87
Ellie is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ellie The Last of Us

34
18 10
Vincent Valentine is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kenneth Peter Lavine IV added Vincent Valentine Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

35
16 45
Canderous Ordo is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Canderous Ordo

36
31 58
Ranker Video
James Englebert added Shulk

37
28 57
Ranker Video
James Englebert added Shulk

38
43 84
Ness is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ness Nintendo Universe

39
37 72
Vaan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Son Goku added Vaan

40
28 59
Rosa Farrell is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rosa Farrell

41
33 69
Golbez is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Golbez

42
32 67
Ranker Video
biggus-_maximus_-dickus added Cicero Skyrim

43
44 67
Diablo is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Diablo Marvel Universe

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44
26 61
Ryo Hazuki is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Ryo Hazuki Shenmue: The Movie, SEGA Universe

45
27 62
Claude Kenni is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Claude Kenni

46
24 38
Laharl is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Laharl

47
28 67
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
6 6
HK-47 is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Walker Page added HK-47 Star Wars

49
1 2
Fumi Kanno is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Fumi Kanno

50
21 55
Rena Lanford is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Rena Lanford