Aaah, the next-gen consoles. After a great deal of anticipation, they’re finally current-gen consoles. We’re sure you’re enjoying yours as much as we are. We can stare longingly at high-definition YouTube videos ‘till we’re blue in the face. But nothing quite compares to jumping in and experiencing those graphics first-hand. But what about the last-gen machines? That was a pretty spectacular decade, right?
Many of those games will hold a special place in our hearts for decades to come. This depending on your age, that decade may have marked a significant part of your educational years, one or two long-term jobs or maybe even a relationship (if you’re lucky) with a certain gamer girlfriend. More likely, it was the person you were always making excuses to so you could find more time bonding with your favorite videogame protagonists… Or antagonist if you’re anything like some of our more nefarious coworkers here in the office.
Either way, here are The Ultimate Gamer team’s top 11 videogame characters from this outstanding decade. We had enough arguments pinning down the top eleven, so we left it there and they’re in no particular order….
1. Marcus Fenix: Gears of War
Rumor has it that Marcus Phoenix’s jaw was previously employed as an anvil in an old-school blacksmithery in rural England. Who would have thought? Also featured in our article Top 10 Gaming Badasses article
(along with one or two others on this list). Oh, and also the time when we projected the game onto a 40-foot wide building for some supersize widescreen action… we spent many hours staring over the shoulder of this is epitome of a soldier hero.
2. Sackboy: Little Big Planet
Ok, so he’s not quite the raging war machine Fenix might be, but this little son-of-a beanbag played an important role in the previous generation. There were even schools that bought PlayStation 3s so that kids could create calculators and other things in the digital confines of Little Big Planet
. Surely that feat alone makes it worthy of the putting this iconic videogame on our list, does it not?
3. Nathan Drake: Uncharted
Many cynics were skeptical about Uncharted
was it first announced. The game looked like a visual glory fest trying to appeal to be a male Lara Croft but with her….. more endearing qualities. Drake is the every man’s man, taking on the kind of Indiana Jones
style adventure we all wish we could experience IRL. The way the sequences were framed and the way our vulnerable hero stumbled on through the hardships holds a special place in our hearts.
4. Tim: Braid
was a very special videogame indeed. Leading up to the release of this title, the indie scene was bubbling furiously under the mainstream surface like never before. It felt like this was the first title to really smash through the surface and achieve great heights. It played a big role in paving the way for the mass consumption of the incredibly inspiring world of indie games; a contribution to the industry that’s difficult to overstate and that we’ll always be grateful for.
5. Commander Shepard: Mass effect
. He was a man. She was a woman. Blue alien sex happened. Our respective commanders stayed with us through three incredible titles, offering some of the best sci-fi action ever conceived in a videogame. Mass Effect
set the bar unfeasibly high. Our individual roles within the dynamic stories as tangoes with the press, the politics and baddies offered up in the franchise’s game universe were truly unforgettable.
6. GLaDOS: Portal
When the Valve’s Orange Box
title was released on the Xbox 360, the days were young for this of generation consoles. We all enjoyed Team Fortress 2
, but GLaDOS with her satirical, dark sarcasm and cake-hustling promises came from a voice that will be recognized instantly by gamers the world over until the day we die. The character was refined beautifully in Portal 2
to and we can only hope for more in the future.
7. Captain John Price: Call of Duty
Call of Duty.
What can we say? Love it or hate it, this game may have had more of an impact on the gaming industry and civilization as a whole than any other that has come before it. Captain John Price is arguably the pin-up for this most infamous of videogames. He’s earned a place on the list.
8. Master Chief: Halo
What Call of Duty
took to all kinds of next level, Halo arguably started
. The previous generation of consoles saw this franchise go from strength to strength and it seemed like just about everybody and their mothers (often literally) were jumping on board. It brought online FPS multiplayer to the masses in a digestible way that opened up countless thousands to our favorite hobby, helping them understand what it means to be a gamer.
9. Kratos: God of War
The God of War series
for the PlayStation 3 is a franchise that’s genuinely difficult to overstate how ludicrous the epic it really is. What an unrivalled demigod deity of the badass
. Kratos worked his way to the ends of the multiverse as he got manipulated like a pawn of the Gods, taking on the most powerful beings ever conjured up by the great human minds of the history books. We loved puzzling and pounding our way through a graphically spectacular and thoroughly gripping gaming experience.
10. Elizabeth: BioShock Infinite
Arguably the life and emotional soul of the game. We couldn’t go through the article without giving Elizabeth a mention, not least of all because BioShock
should be here, too. Watching this innocent, charmingly naive youth develop into a courageous adult was a pleasure and a wonderful experience to enjoy in between mowing down endless scores re-animated soldiers.
11. Clap Trap: Borderlands
Ah, Clap Trap. The little robot that has delusions of grandeur and who’s only weakness was stairs… Next to electrocution, explosions, gunfire, rust, corrosion, being kicked a lot, viruses, being called names, falling from great heights, drowning, adult onset diabetes, being looked at funny, heart attacks, being exposed to oxygen, being turned down by women and pet allergens… Anyway, he deserves a solid mention if only because he stood out as the
comic relief in a game full
of comic relief.
The next 10 years promise to deliver some truly incredible gaming experiences. We’re looking forward to the various journeys and pwnage this next decade brings us. And here, at the beginning of that road, we turn around briefly to pay homage and salutes to those fond memories of nostalgic goodness we leave behind.