What’s the deciding factor that makes or breaks a great video game experience? What is the sole reason that we wake up everyday, push the power button down on our consoles and devote countless hours of our life to these fantasy-filled landscapes? Is it the setting of these games that traps us in these far away worlds? Could it be the graphics and latest specs that these powerful game engines have to offer? Or do you prefer an engaging narrative, that’s scripted like a full feature film?
For me, the most important component to a great video game experience lies dependent upon the protagonist that carries our story. Whether our hero is a towering brute that handles issues hands on , or a plumber that stomps on all of his enemies’ heads, or a tech savvy genius that sits behind a giant computer screen, these protagonists usually determine how much I enjoy these stories. Below I’ll give everyone my top 5 list of video game protagonists. These posts are obviously my opinions so if you feel differently please feel free to leave your top 5 in the comment section !
-eastsideflee aka el baptain
5. Mario (usually any and every game that has his name in the title)
Rounding out the fifth spot on my list is none other than everyone’s favorite plumber from Brooklyn. Mario is the template and embodiment of a true video game protagonist. Our mustached hero has been saving his princess and the world for decades. No matter how great the task may seem, Mario always get the job done usually putting the safety of others before his own. Oh, and did I mention consistency?
4. Naked Snake/ BIG BOSS (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)
The fourth spot gets locked up by the legend himself, Big Boss. During MGS3 we are treated to one of the greatest video game arcs of all time. Naked Snake (Big Boss) is a CIA agent during the cold war era that is given the mission to rescue a scientist that’s working on a weapon that would become the first “Metal Gear”. During the story, Snake takes some of the biggest L’s in video game history (physically *wink wink* and emotionally) and still manages to dismantle a team of super-powered mercenaries, stop the metal gear, and defeat his mentor while becoming one of the most feared names on the battlefield. Plus he was cloned to give us Solid Snake, thanks, man!
3. Jill Valentine (Resident Evil, Resident evil 3)
The one who survived the horror. Jill is easily one of my favorite video game protagonists of all time. She’s one of the survivors of the “mansion incident” in the OG Resident Evil and has proven that she has what it takes to survive in the face of certain defeat. Her arc as a member of S.T.A.R.S that transitions into to a zombie killing, monster-smashing survivalist is one of the most satisfying arcs ever. Also, she starts out her story with a handgun for your issues with the undead.
2. Sora ( The Kingdom Hearts Series)
Runner-up on my list of faves would have to be Sora, from Kingdom Hearts. Sora is a constant reminder of how friends should treat each other as we constantly see him doing any and everything to protect the ones he loves using the power of his keyblalde. Literally traveling across different worlds to foil the plans of Organization XIII, the Heartless and many other Disney villains. Sora also has one of the best time jumps in video game history as we see him age between the first two games from a kid into a young adult.
1. Marcus Fenix ( Gears of War 1-3)
War hero turned traitor turned legend. Marcus Fenix has been exactly what the COG needed him to be from day one. A leader, a soldier, a brother, but most importantly a hero. Marcus’ arc to redeem his name and the name of his family is as emotionally gut-wrenching as it is beautiful to watch. Giving support fire when needed, rescuing loved ones from the clutches of the Locust Horde, losing loved ones to the Horde (and even becoming a farmer/father?). He has risen time and time again to save whats left of humanity one grub at a time. If there’s one person you want on your side when the shit hits the fan, look no further than the Fenix.