The Best Gaming Characters That Defined PlayStation
(Pocket-lint) – With PlayStation having been a part of our lives for over 25 years, you can bet each person will have their own choice for which gaming character they like best. The original PlayStation console was released on December 3, 1994 and since then we’ve had hundreds of main characters that we’ve played and loved on all of Sony’s machines, from PlayStation to PlayStation 5.
So imagine how difficult we found it to put together a list of the best characters to appear on PlayStation consoles during this era.
We even had to double down on obvious pairings – those that appeared together in the same game(s). And you might notice one or two that have appeared on multiple platforms. However, they first appeared on a PlayStation console or became most associated with a Sony machine.
Crash Bandicoot made its first appearance in 1996 in the game of the same name on the original PlayStation.
The first game was lovingly crafted by Naughty Dog – the same company that would later be known for the Uncharted series. Crash Bandicoot became so popular that over the next few years it became a franchise with several games including board games, platformers, and racing games. There’s even been a full reboot in recent years.
Sackboy made his first appearance in 2008 on Little Big Planet, PlayStation 3. The lovable little guy became the icon of a series of games with a strong focus on user-generated content and design that encouraged players to “Play, Create, Share”.
Solid Snake has grown and aged with PlayStation over the years.
He actually appeared as one of the main protagonists in the Metal Gear series in 1987, but would reach a global audience with his first PlayStation appearance in 1998’s Metal Gear Solid.
Metal Gear games became so popular in the years that followed that they made their way to other consoles and PCs as well. With Solid Snake indulging in his usual antics – hiding in boxes, sneaking around the world and battling bosses.
Cloud Strife was the main protagonist of Final Fantasy VII – an arrogant and proud swordsman who continues to learn the values of being a hero. It first appeared on PlayStation in 1997 but would reappear later.
Another well-known character from the Final Fantasy series, Squall Leonhart was the protagonist of 1999’s Final Fantasy VIII, on PlayStation. They wielded the iconic gunblade and were given the title of Commander.
Abe was a lowly Mudokon slave who worked at the RuptureFarms meat processing plant in 1997’s Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, on the original PlayStation.
This adorable character soon finds out that his fellow Mudokons are going to be slaughtered and goes on a mission to free them. It was the player’s job to help him do just that.
Cole McGrath was the star of 2009’s Infamous on PlayStation 3.
He managed to gain superhuman powers of electrokinesis in the middle of a package delivery gone horribly wrong with dire consequences. It was certainly interesting enough to see the series continue with more games in the years that followed.
Jack and Daxter
Jak and Daxter was another game franchise launched by Naughty Dog.
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy was also one of the first games on PlayStation 2. Jak is seen as the main protagonist of the series, along with his otter and weasel hybrid sidekick after accidentally mutating from a human to a new species. . The pairing and game design has seen the series gain praise from most critics and fans alike.
Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield
Most players will know these characters by name only.
The stars of Resident Evil games, from 1996 on the original PlayStation. Jill Valentine was also noted as being one of the first playable female protagonists in a video game.
Joel and Ellie
Joel and Ellie made their first appearance in The Last of Us, PlayStation 3 in 2013.
Another classic game series developed by Naughty Dog. It saw Joel and Ellie surviving together in a post-apocalyptic wasteland of the United States. An emotional and immersive story followed in this game and those that followed, capturing the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere.
Kratos, first appeared in the 2005 video game God of War and was also called the “Ghost of Sparta”.
This game was set in Greek times and saw Kratos embark on various adventures including morally ambiguous activities and extreme acts of violence. He is a Spartan warrior, who would later become the god of war after killing Ares. With a lineage that includes being the son of Zeus, Kratos is certainly an interesting character. The character proved so popular that the franchise became a flagship title for the PlayStation brand with many games to follow.
Of course, this list couldn’t be complete without the inclusion of Lara Croft. Not just an iconic PlayStation character, but also a gaming legend. She first appeared on PlayStation in the first Tomb Raider in 1996.
While perhaps not as iconic as some of the characters from other fighting games like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, there’s no denying Tekken’s relevance. It was a big hit in 1995 and Marshall Law was one of our favorite fighters.
Nathan Drake was deliberately designed to be interesting and likeable, rather than just a “cardboard cutout”.
Essentially a young Indiana Jones, Drake was on the hunt for loot while regularly throwing in jokes and sarcastic taunts along the way. We loved Nathan Drake and every game he appeared in. Incredibly, it first appeared on PlayStation 3 in 2007.
PaRappa the rapper
PaRappa the Rapper was the star of one of the most hilarious and awe-inspiring rhythm games of its time. PaRappa the Rapper was a paper-thin rapper dog with a fun persona and a hilarious backstory that sees him desperately trying to win the heart of a flower-like girl named Sunny Funny.
It first appeared on PlayStation in 1996.
Lammy was the star of 1999’s UmJammer Lammy, on PlayStation.
It was the sequel to PaRappa the Rapper and another popular rhythm game with a lineup of fun characters.
Ratchet and Clank
Ratchet and Clank were another unlikely duo that first appeared in Ratchet & Clank on PlayStation 2 in 2002. The pairing of a feline humanoid and a sentient robot in a sci-fi setting created a fun adventure and many future games as well.
Sly Cooper was a sneaky raccoon who first appeared in 2002’s Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus on PlayStation 2.
This game was originally developed by Sucker Punch Productions and proved so popular that several other games appeared in the years that followed.
Spyro is best known for 1998’s Spyro the Dragon on the original PlayStation.
But since then, he’s also emerged as a mainstay for Skylanders. This adorable dragon appeared on a variety of consoles between the first game and Reignited Trilogy in 2018.
Does the legend of Tony Hawk really need an explanation? He is the only real person on the list and first appeared on PlayStation in 1999’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
Written by Rik Henderson. Editing by Adrian Willings.