Video game protagonists, when written well, can be a vital part of the game's experience. A protagonist, who is kind and honest or funny and charming, who also undergoes some character development throughout the story, is the best kind.
There have been many such instances where video games have delivered a great main character who has become the highlight of the series. Players enjoyed playing as these characters, which made them feel cool while also being relatable.
Let's look at some of these video games with some iconic protagonists that have since become favorites and left fans no other option other than to like them. Here are five video game protagonists who players couldn't help but adore.
Note: This article reflects the writer's opinion.
Five video game protagonists that were extremely likable
1) Nathan Drake - Uncharted series
Nathan Drake is a treasure hunting daredevil and the primary protagonist of the Uncharted video game series. Handsome, charismatic, and an action hero to boot, he let players experience what it would be like to be a modern-day Indiana Jones. Appearing for the first time in the video game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.
While at times goofy and possibly selfish, Drake is hard to dislike due to his wise-cracking smart personality. Portrayed by the exceptional Nolan North in the video games, he perfectly brought to life a fictional character that fans would love to play as for years to come.
Drake’s popularity in the video games also saw Sony try their luck at a live-action adaptation in the form of a movie released in 2022. Tom Holland portrayed a much younger version of Drake in the film, which retold the events of a few games, mulled together into a new story. The movie also included a cameo by Nolan North himself.
2) Geralt of Rivia - The Witcher series
The primary Witcher of the Witcher series of video games and the main playable character, Geralt of Rivia, was a character first envisioned by author Andrej Sapkowski for his series of novels.
First appearing in-game media with the release of The Witcher in 2007, Geralt was already a cool protagonist, being the white-haired monster hunter carrying twin swords on his back.
Geralt is the epitome of one of the coolest protagonists in video games, right up there with Batman and John Marston. He is one of the most fan-favorite characters in fantasy, a ladies' man and a great fighter (at least in the games).
While he does appear throughout the series, the third game goes a long way to flesh out his character. He probably has the most logical sense of all the Witchers shown in video games, aside from Vesemir.
He is also a capable father figure to his adopted daughter, Ciri. In addition to this, players can influence a lot of his in-game choices, likening him to their own personality, which easily makes Geraly one of the most relatable of characters.
3) Kassandra - Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
When it comes to the Assassin's Creed series, it is already established that Ezio Auditore will remain in the hearts of fans forever. With three games, it's hard for other protagonists to live up to his legend. Yet still, Kassandra from Assassin's Creed Odyssey is probably the best of the recent games.
Kassandra was the female option to play in the video game, and simply put, she was a blast. Voice actress Melissanthi Mahut delivered a spectacular performance in the role while talking in a Mediterranean accent.
Compared to her male counterpart, Kassandra was a significantly more interesting main character to embody. Charming, funny, and exceptionally dangerous, Kassandra was the Misthios that started her odyssey to kill her father.
By the end, she manages to restore her entire family (if the players play their cards right). She portrays sadness, excitement, anxiety, and anger in such a believable fashion that she was probably the most reactive protagonist in the recent run of the series.
4) Commander Sheppard - Mass Effect series
Players were introduced to Commander Sheppard in the original Mass Effect video game when it launched in 2007. This fearless leader of the space ship SSV Normandy was a customizable character, with the male character’s voice being provided by Mark Meer and the female voice by Jennifer Hale.
Sheppard let players step into the shoes of a stalwart hero who could be played in one of two ways. A self-righteous and calm Paragon or an impulsive and hot-headed Renegade. Either way kept Sheppard’s core personality intact, that of a hero who had a responsibility to his crew, as well as the larger galaxy.
Commander Sheppard had the same feeling as the original Star Trek Captain James T. Kirk, with the space opera setting lending heavily to the theme. Like Kirk, despite Sheppard’s military background, he was a kind-hearted soul with the potential to be compassionate and understanding.
5) Arthur Morgan - Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption also had a great protagonist. However, to be relevant to the times, Red Dead Redemption 2 will be occupying a place on this list. In a story trailer, Arthur Morgan was first glimpsed by fans, which unfairly portrayed him to be somewhat of a goon.
However, when the game was finally released, Arthur turned out to be a much different character. Helpful, friendly, and charming were used to describe Arthur at the beginning of the story.
Not that these things changed towards the end, it's just that players will be too sad to say anything by then. Even if anyone played the game with completely low morality, Arthur would still have at least a handful of redeeming qualities due to plot-specific moments alone.
However, the beauty of this video game was that it allowed a large amount of the protagonist's character development through the optional side quests and in-game activities.
This meant that players got to mold Arthur into someone with a similar moral core as to themselves, yet who still felt like a different character. This feature has made everyone's Arthur Morgan tailored to their own experience, as well as one of the best video game characters of all time.
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