We all have our fondest memories from gaming, whether it was the first time you picked up a pad, controller or anything else that you get your gaming hands on or whether it was the first game you laid eyes on. It could have been that it was in the gaming arcades playing Pac-Man or playing Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Megadrive. This got me pondering on my first memories of gaming and this led to the games and characters that got me hooked and gave me my fondest and most memorable gaming experiences to date. So I thought I would write down MY top 10 favourite gaming characters of all time. I warn you, you may be surprised and shocked that there are not certain characters on here that you may expect but this is my top 10 and not everyone’s voted top 10.
Sonic the Hedgehog
I will start of in no particular order but my first real memory of gaming that has remained engrained in my brain until this very day, Sonic the Hedgehog. This toe tapping, ring collecting, blue spinning, jumping hedgehog was my first character I was introduced to in gaming and what a little hedgehog he turned out to be. Everyone who played Sonic will remember starting off in the Green Hill Zone Act 1 and hearing that arcade style music for the first time. This is a game I still on the Megadrive today and Sonic will forever remain my first and fondest memory in gaming.
Snake, Snake!!!!! Anyone who remembers playing MGS will undoubtedly now have this ticking over in their mind and will remain there for the next minute or so. Released only on the PlayStation 1, MGS was a 2 disc game and I couldn’t wait to play this game everyday. We all recollect that angelic voice and swim up to the steps in the opening cut scene and seeing the opening credits on our screen as we began our mission. Another unique option this game gave us was the option to receive in call missions to update us on our progress and supply us with tips. This was the first but not the last stealth based title I enjoyed in my youth. This was also the first title I fondly remember battling through with my brother, coming home from school and taking it in turns to get to the next level. Snake was the badass we all loved to play as, as a child and the series remains one of the most popular to ever grace our gaming souls to this day.
Lara Croft, Tome Raider
The first female we all fell in love with as a child, well maybe a close second to our mums, but it’s close, Lara Croft. I remember playing this on the PlayStation 1 but I do believe this was also available on the PC. It was critically acclaimed, and many critics claimed this as one of the greatest games ever made and from playing it you could see why. This dual gun wielding, puzzle solving, side jumping archaeologist supplied us with hours of frustrating puzzles coupled with awesome gameplay and our first (my first) and probably only female character we all still weirdly fancy to date. My fondest memories was playing this with my cousin at the local youth club on a Friday night and all the kids who didn’t have it queuing to get their chance to play Tomb Raider, even the youth workers were having a go.
Any child with a sane mind who was born in the late 80’s, early 90’s, will have watched, loved and wanted to be like Ash Ketchum a Pokémon trainer. Firstly I remember watching the tv series, then collecting the cards, and then getting my hand on the Gameboy version, Pokémon red. Every kid on my estate wanted to be a Pokémon trainer, a master of Pokémon, we wanted to catch them all. We all new they didn’t exist but this was a huge phenomenon and one that took a young generation by its teeth. I can’t forget choosing my first Pokémon from Professor Oak and going off on my journey to be the very best. Ash Ketchum was a my childhood hero in gaming and on tv and Pokémon still remains hugely popular to this day as a mobile game and on other platforms.
A return for the stealth based hero but in the form of Splinter Cell’s, Sam Fisher. From picking locking, tactical takedowns, the use of retinal scanner and many other unique ways you could use to progress through the game, Sam Fisher was like a badass dad you wish you had. Back then in the early noughties the graphics and lightning in this game were second to none and this helped add to Sam’s already popular attraction as a stealth based assassin. Alongside films and characters on TV Sam Fisher played a part in my childhood. I was around 12 when this game was introduced to me and a few of my friends and we had a video camera that we would use in an attempt to make our own adaptations of this game and as Sam Fisher. I recently bought 3 Splinter Cell titles for my PC due to the nostalgic appeal of Sam Fisher. He is one of my favourite gaming heroes to date.
Gears Of War, Squad leader, Marcus Fenix. A true gaming badass mofo and he was a beast. This games graphics and gameplay were frigging awesome and the game provided one of the hardest boss battles I’ve ever encountered and it had a gripping storyline as well to top it all off. I would look at him and think this geezer is going to wipe out everything that gets in his path, I mean look at him, he’s a gun wielding juggernaut. He also provided me with the ammunition to get one over on my pals at work as I was the first one to kill the boss with Fenix on legendary. I’m still hoping that someone takes on the task of making Gears Of War into a film, it’s been on and off for a while now so I’m really hoping this project doesn’t end up in the bin.
I was addicted to Mass Effect when it was first released. I spent hours on end swapping around my squad and trying new tactics and approaches. You could play the story over and over again and you had the option to use your already levelled up Commander Shepard or start it again with your own named version of Shepard. It had a great story and I had a great time with Commander Shepard tearing my way through the galaxy. He was such a great character, all round great to use and I enjoyed the different dialogue options that were made available to him.
Now I did say there was no particular order to this but I didn’t state that there wasn’t a favourite of mine, well there is. Although you already know that you are destined for greatness and that your character harbours immense power it still didn’t stop me from falling in love with my Dragonborn character. I played as a Nord and I built a character to suit my style of play and I’ve spent well into 200+ hours developing my characters skills. Being able to use dragon souls to power my voice and unlock unique abilities I couldn’t put this character to bed. Endless hours were lost that I will never get back from the Dragonborn but do I really care, the answer is know, they were and still are well spent hours.
Fallout 4 Survivor
Now I’m pretty positive that for many modern day gamers that this particular character would fall onto their list somewhere in the top 10. There are not many dedicated gamers who haven’t picked up a controller or their mouse and keyboard and explored the wasteland as a survivor of a nuclear war. The opportunities that are constantly at your finger tips make changing the post nuclear world with this character an absolute blast (no pun intended). He has also drawn many hours from my days but ones that were used with an intention behind every one.
Ezio Auditore Da Firenze
Last but not least in my top 10 is Ezio from the Assassins Creed saga. I love the Italian language and the culture along with the food and many other things but the fact I could play as an Italian assassin brought me great enjoyment. Travelling around Italy and seeing what the cities may have looked like as well as meeting characters such as Leonardo Di Vinci. Ezio brought me back to the Assassins Creed saga and I loved his whole character and demeanour. I can’t wait to play the Ezio Collection real soon.
Now that is it for my list, as I previously mentioned, not everyone will agree or have the same choices as me and I’m pretty positive that I have probably missed one or two from my list but these are the ones that are engrained in my memory. What are you favourite heroes or even villains from gaming. Feel free to leave your comments and I’m more than happy to talk to you about mine and your choices. Here’s to discovering many more greats from the gaming world.