What's an icon? It's something that's so recognizable, that if someone doesn't know what it is, You're like "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!" Since their beginning, Video Games have created some of the most iconic characters and the combination of game sequels, merchandise, cosplay, movies, and TV, are making them bigger every day. It's like they're constantly eating magic mushrooms!
We threw together a list of (in our opinion) the Top 10 Most Iconic Video Game Heroes of all time because it's fun...and it might start a fight or two.
10. Lara Croft
Tiny shorts, tight shirt, backpack, and holsters has become a combination that immediately means Tomb Raider. In a world where a strong female hero is as rare as someone ordering a salad at Taco Bell, Lara Croft was immediately welcomed with open arms. The animation has changed a lot from game to game, but it can't be denied that this powerhouse of a woman has and will continue to stand the test of time as one of the most recognizable video game characters ever.
9. Samus Aran
This Space Pirate fighting bounty hunter has led the way in making one of the most successful Nintendo franchises ever: Metroid. She is so well known that people will know who it is or at least what game she is from by simply showing someone her helmet or the ball she morphs into. Samus' reveal as being a woman is to this day considered one of the most ingenious and surprising twists in gaming. She has continued to remain relevant as well, because of the incredibly varied styles of game play from game to game.
8. Mega Man
Who knew that when Capcom created this robotic lab assistant turned battle robot, that it would end up having over 50 games, comics, manga, cartoons, and more merchandise than a One Direction tour? Creating game play in which selecting levels in the right order is part of the challenge was one of the things that set Mega Man apart. This helped to continue the franchise by allowing for new villains and power ups for every sequel. Oddly, the games did get easier as his popularity grew. Maybe Mega Man himself just got that much better.
7. Master Chief
Want to try something fun? Go to a Comic-Con or Gaming convention and try to not see at least 1 person dressed as Master Chief every 10 minutes. We wish you luck.
Master Chief is truly the most recognizable character from any first person shooter (007 doesn't count). The success of the Halo Franchise has been massive and if you don't play the game, you at least have. If you haven't, you've seen your boyfriend play it too much. If that's not the case, you probably bought Halo for your son or daughter because they wouldn't leave you the hell alone!
6. Donkey Kong
Started from the bottom, now we here. That's literally the game play of the original Donkey Kong game in which you are trying to save a beautiful princess from and evil Gorilla. Then, they completely flip things around and revamp the series and make this giant lovable barrel thrower a hero! That one simple change took him from legendary to Legen-wait for it-dary!
The longevity of Donkey Kong has made it so most of us have a memory of some version of him. Just remember...don't use him in Mario Kart unless you got the skills to do so.
I have an idea. Let's create one of the most adorable characters in history, but make him a Badass that shoots lightning bolts out of it's body! This has proven to be a perfect formula for the most recognizable Pokemon character ever! Featured in countless cartoons, movies, video games, and a card game that rivals Magic: The Gathering, Pikachu has become so beloved that it was named the second best person of the year by Time Magazine in 1999! He's not even an animal, let alone a person. But, Pikachu is so cute and hardcore that we'll let it slide!
If you see the master sword, the triforce, the hookshot, or even a frickin boomerang...you immediately think of Link. We've helped him as a child, a teenager, and an adult, as he attempts to defeat the evil forces of Ganon to keep Hyrule safe and our attatchment to this hero has grown stronger game after game. Also, the Zelda franchise has revolutionized the gaming industry over and over again, starting with The Legend of Zelda being the first game on the NES where you can save your progress.
But, to truly prove to you how iconic Link is, it's simple. If someone doesn't know who Link is, it's not because they don't actually know...it's because they think his name is Zelda!
3. Sonic The Hedgehog
Next up, is Sega's answer to Mario...Sonic The Hedgehog! Spin, Roll, and Dash to protect the world from the evil of Dr. Eggman! He's a gold digger, for sure. But, to be fair, those gold rings help Sonic take damage when going at speeds that were unheard of for a platform game at the time we first saw him.
Sonic has become not just an image of Sega, but like a select few other characters, an image of the video gaming industry in general.
We don't have the facts for sure, but we don't think any other game franchise has had more quarters popped into a machine, than Pac-Man. The concept of the game was simple, and the graphics weren't great at the start. But, the game play was unique, addictive, and difficult. People immediately fell in love with Pac-Man. You can see the proof in the fact that he was originally just a circle with a piece cut out, but we accept him as a "person" anyway. His wife and his kid are okay, but they'll never hold that special spot Pac-Man does. He's kinda like Will Smith in that way.
Duhhhh! We know it's the obvious choice, but there's a reason it's obvious. There is no more iconic video game character. Ever person on this Earth knows who this fire-balling super plumber is! You could show pictures of him to Aboriginal tribes and they would be saying, "It's Mario!", right before they taught you to hunt and forced you to marry the Chief's daughter.
He has truly become the face of video games, and deservedly so. Tons of games, full of fun and innovative game play keeps Mario fresh for ever new generation. Pretty soon, every one will have grown up with an Italian Plumber named Mario. That sounded creepy.
Well, that's our list of the Top 10 Most Iconic Video Game Heroes. Let us know in the comments your thoughts and if you think we missed anything. Also, check out this video for more on the subject and for a damn good laugh!
Geek Out and Game On!!