8 amazing black video game characters
As we celebrate a tumultuous MLK Day this year, we look back on a year where the game has never been so extensive and culturally significant, but so far in terms of black representation.
The industry is slowly diversifying, but it has always seemed to lag behind in terms of fair representation. Either way, there are still a handful of well-written, punchy black characters who deserve a shout out today. Here are some of the best black video game characters in games.
Elena – Street Fighter
Elena street fighter
Princess of an African tribe from Kenya, Elena was one of the first playable black women in video game history and a first for the street fighter series when she debuted in Street Fighter III: Next Generation. Elena is a quick and nimble fighter, relying less on punches and more on her Afro-Brazilian dance style of Capoeira to slam her enemies. Its movement is graceful and its fluidity makes it a pleasure to play.
Avery Johnson – Halo
Avery Johnson Halo
One of the most compelling supporting characters in the Halo universe, Sgt. Johnson is not only a source of comedic relief on the show, but an inspiration for Master Chief. His inflated pep talk will make anyone want to step out and gut aliens. His go-getter personality makes him a powerful ally in the Halo universe, and Master Chief wouldn’t be what he is without him.
Anita “Bangalore” Jackson – Apex Legends
One of the toughest characters on the Apex Legends team, Bangalore is a humble but courageous soldier who is much tougher than he looks. His kit is pretty standard for an online shooter, but his proven gear still packs a big punch. She is not only a highly decorated vet, but also a dedicated family lady as she reveals that family is her only inspiration to fight. Not to mention, Bangalore rocks a precise black hairstyle.
Carl “CJ” Johnson – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Carl CJ Johnson
The main protagonist of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, CJ, faces a plethora of social issues throughout the game alongside his colorful crew, all of which have been genuinely written to be black personalities in their own right.
Legendary creative DJ Pooh was tasked with crafting an authentic dark story for the game, and while many of the band’s antics are absurd and exaggerated, the social commentary and criticism throughout the game remains sincere and serious. Tackle real-world racial issues head-on, San Andreas was a revolutionary new chapter in the GTA series.
Cere Junda – Jedi: Fallen Order
One of the only survivors of Order 66, Cere Junda severed ties to his Jedi heritage and went underground. She is haunted by her past, but throughout her return to Jedi: Fallen Order, she confronts her tumultuous past trauma and stands up to take down the organization that destroyed the Jedi. She is (still, sort of) one of the only black characters in the Star wars universe and is also one of the most complex in the series.
Alyx – Half-life 2
Alyx Half Life 2
Biracial daughter of Dr Eli Vance and Azian Vance, Alyx Vance is only an ally of Gordon Freeman in Half life 2. But regardless, she takes Gordon out of plenty of sticky spots throughout the game. She’s smart, a quick fighter, and so popular that the next VR only Half life game will be based solely on his experiences. Half-life: Alyx will be the first game in the Valve Software series since 2007.
Barret Wallace – Final Fantasy VII
As the leader of an eco-terrorist branch, Barret fights aggressively and passionately to protect the environment. Plus, despite his brutal appearance (he literally has a machine gun as his arm), he’s an incredibly empathetic character throughout. Final Fantasy VII. He strives to be a good father to his daughter, Marlene, and always stands up for his friends.
Grand Theft Auto V – Lamar Down: Tanisha Marks visits Franklin Clinton’s “You Ain’t Changing” cutscene
Franklin is one of the most complete black video game characters in history. One of the main protagonists of Grand Theft Auto VHe is by far the friendliest character in the game. He actively tries to put his gang life behind him, despite his toxic family still trying to keep him tied to street life.
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