The Greatest Video Game Characters of All Time
As with films and television shows, whole franchises in the game industry can be built on the strength of a single character. Often the most successful characters will transcend their own industry and move into others. For example, a number of television series and films have been based on the exploits of a video game character, either in animated format or live action. With so many different characters appearing in their own games over the years, which ones have been the most successful and gone on to become icons of the video game world? Here are five of the very best.
Sonic the Hedgehog
The little blue hedgehog with lightning-fast speed and a taste for gold rings first appeared in a cameo role in the 1991 arcade game Rad Mobile. His first major appearance was in the self-titled Sonic the Hedgehog game for the Sega Master system in the same year. Sonic was born out of a need by Sega to create a flagship mascot to rival Nintendo’s Super Mario. Games featuring Sonic have sold over 80 million copies worldwide.
The loveable gorilla Donkey Kong is one of the longest-serving video game characters in existence and actually made his debut way back in 1981. Originally, Donkey Kong was the protagonist against whom players would have to compete, aiming to rescue the damsel in distress while avoiding the many barrels and logs thrown by Kong. Soon he would become the hero of his own series of games on the majority of Nintendo’s games consoles.
Arguably the most famous video game character of all time, the little Italian plumber with the huge moustache has sold more games than any other character in history. This likeable little man has helped to sell many Nintendo DS consoles by the million, in addition to many of Nintendo’s other machines over the years. Such has been the success of the Super Mario franchise that the character has made the leap to comic books, toys, films and even a television series.
It is quite amazing really that what is essentially a little yellow ball has become one of the most famous video game characters in history. The name of Pac-Man has transcended the video game world and made its mark in general culture – there are not many people who would not know that Pac-Man is a video game character. First appearing way back in 1980, Pac-Man is still going strong today and has not lost his appetite for eating those little pellets and avoiding his enemies — Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde.
Undoubtedly the most famous female game character in history, Lara Croft is an inspiration for would-be action heroines everywhere. An archaeologist by profession, Lara debuted in 1996 in the first of the Tomb Raider series of games and made an immediate impact. As with Mario, Lara Croft has conquered other entertainment genres too, including comic books and, most famously, the movies, as she was portrayed by Angelina Jolie in two cinema releases.