Who are the most iconic video game characters in history?
From Mario to Master Chief, these are the characters that will never be forgotten in the video game industry.
If you’re an avid gamer, you know that some iconic video game characters are more important than others, and certainly more memorable. While some games have managed to stick with us over time, others just haven’t stood the test of time. But many who have persevered over the years have not only been so because of their gameplay and story, but also because of their iconic characters.
This list will take a look at some of the most iconic video game characters in history and discuss what makes them so memorable. It’s a list that could be much longer, but we’ve taken the liberty of picking the most iconic of the iconic.
Each of these characters has marked the history of video games
Many players see themselves reflected in these characters. Without a doubt, they defined the industry and made it what it is today. Each of these characters has marked the history of video games and continues to influence modern games as we know them today. Even in the 2020s, many of the characters we mention below have made a comeback in one form or another.
Many players see themselves reflected in these characters because they are so compelling and memorable, or perhaps because they represent something players wish they could be or do in real life. If you’ve lived on another planet, were born yesterday, or just aren’t interested in video games, here’s a list of some of the most iconic video game characters.
Pac-Man was the first video game character to be a cultural icon. Pac-Man was originally created in 1980 by Namco employee Toru Iwatani and became popular after appearing on Japanese television. The game has sold over 100 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling arcade game of all time.
Most recent game: Pac-Man World Re-Pac
The yellow circle with a mouth and hands has appeared in over 30 video games and spin-off titles since then, including mobile apps and even movies! It became so popular that it even had its own theme park attraction at Universal Studios Japan called “Pac-Man Pizza Park” which opened in 2007.
sonic the hedgehog
Sonic is a blue hedgehog who first appeared in the classic Sega Genesis game sonic the hedgehog. Since then, he has become one of gaming’s most iconic characters and has starred in over 40 games since his debut. Sonic was created by Naoto Ōshima and designed by Hirokazu Yasuhara.
Most recent game: sound borders
It was intended to be Sega’s answer to Nintendo’s Mario character, as well as rivaling Namco’s mascot-based game series featuring characters such as Pac-Man (who also made it into our list) and the equally iconic Mrs. Pac-Man.
As well as being one of the most recognizable faces in gaming, Sonic also holds two Guinness World Records: one for being the fastest fictional character ever to run on earth and another for having the most sequels in any franchise outside of Mario.
Speaking of everyone’s favorite plumber, whether you’re a gamer or not, there’s no avoiding Mario. If we talk about the definitive iconic character, without a doubt, Mario takes the crown. The iconic character has been in the industry since 1981. His first appearance was actually in the arcade game donkey kong.
Most recent game: Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
Since then he has appeared in countless games and has become one of the most recognizable video game characters ever created. There’s even a Mario-inspired theme park called Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios in Japan with the opening of a new park in Hollywood in 2023 alongside The movie Super Mario Bros..
All 90s kids will surely remember this great character. Lara Croft is a fictional heroine and the protagonist of the iconic video game franchise grave robber. She made her first appearance in 1996 and has since been featured in various other media, such as comic books, big budget films, and animated films.
Most recent game: Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Croft has been revamped several times throughout her story, but has always retained her dual pistols, backpack, and large ammo mags she obtains by collecting ammo boxes and corpses. She is one of the first examples of a strong female lead in video games.
Master Chief is a fictional character from the Halo series of video games. He is an enhanced human super soldier and the protagonist of the series, who also serves as an avatar for players in multiplayer modes. Bungie Studios created the character with the release of Halo: Advanced Combat in 2001; since then, he has been featured in numerous spin-off novels and other media, such as comic books and a Paramount+ TV series.
Most recent game: Infinite Halo
There are many other iconic video game characters. But these are some of the most famous, and they all have their own unique style. It’s exciting to see how much the industry has grown over time, and we can’t wait to see upcoming characters that will become just as popular in the future.