Total Nerd The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time  

Jordy Altman
Originally by
18.8k votes 2k voters 20.9k 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!

list ordered by

1
474 282
Link is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Nintendo Universe, Universe of The Legend of Zelda

2
616 395
Cloud Strife is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

3
655 332
Sephiroth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

4
473 258
Geralt of Rivia is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
The Hexer, The Hexer, The Witcher universe

5
316 246
Sora is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kingdom Hearts

6
235 186
Revan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
StaB added Star Wars

7
366 277
Commander Shepard is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3

8
359 216
Crono is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Chrono Trigger

9
235 196
Kefka Palazzo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added

10
214 190
Red is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Son Goku added Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, Pokémon Green

11
265 170
Aerith Gainsborough is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

12
223 178
Terra Branford is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added Terra Branford

13
178 162
Kain Highwind is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added

14
153 67
Vincent Valentine is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Kenneth Peter Lavine IV added Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Gaia

15
166 155
Garrus Vakarian is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
James Englebert added

16
259 179
Yuna is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Final Fantasy X

17
249 176
Tidus is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Final Fantasy X

18
172 152
Laguna Loire is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added

19
146 83
Rikku is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Cheryl White added

20
166 153
Cecil Harvey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added

21
155 139
Zack Fair is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Derek Danhauser added Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

22
167 162
Kratos is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
God of War, God of War II, God of War III

23
138 84
Frog (Chrono Trigger) is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Tuấn Hoàng added Frog (Chrono Trigger)

24
125 128
Pikachu is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Pokémon The Series: XY, Pokémon 4Ever, Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns

25
134 142
Locke Cole is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest RPG Characters of All Time
Junior53 added