AAG Feature: The Top 10 Gaming Characters of 2010

2nd January 2011 - Every year there is a ton of games. And amongst those games are some great games. And hidden somewhere in that small pile of truly great games are a handful of truly great characters. Iconic characters. Unique characters. Memorable characters. Or my personal favourite; badass characters who you could only ever dream about having on your side in a bar fight… or a nightmare about having them on the other side. But nether less, 2010 was a great year for gaming and like one would expect, had a good supply of handy characters to fill in the gaps of gameplay. So why not sit back, relax, and take a countdown through our Top 10 Gaming Characters of 2010!

10. Noble 6

Appeared In: Halo: Reach
Arguably harder and much cooler than Halo’s ol’ Master Chief, Halo: Reach’s main narrative character is a highly mysterious and unknown Spartan super-soldier, codenamed Nobel 6. A new arrival to the Nobel squad, its up to six to put in his share of the work and help Nobel Team bring the smackdown to the invading Covenant force. His mystery and largely varying skill set make him all the more great, and with the display of power only those who’ve beaten the Reach campaign can vouch for, Noble 6 is all the more worthy to be placed on this list with some of gaming’s greats.

9. Rick
Appeared In: Splatterhouse
I don’t think there is a gamer alive who didn’t find something relatable about Rick while playing Splatterhouse. Well, relatable, or desirable. Cummon, he was a complete geek with a drop dead gorgeous girlfriend and the power to rip creepy monsters to shreds with his bare hands. If that isn’t desirable, I don’t know what is. But all up, Rick was a cool guy doing what he had to do to get by and save the one he loved, even if his power was coming from a mysterious mask that sucked his guts back in and regrew his chopped-off limbs. See again; cool!

8. Bayonetta
Appeared In: Bayonetta
A smoking hot librarian type with hair as clothing, guns on her feet and a slew of insane combos. Bayonetta is one of the coolest, and definitely most unique female leads ive seen in a video game for a long time. The game itself was a pretty spectacular eye feast of massive proportions, with huge set pieces and great character design. Made all the better by this femme fatales deadly moves and stunning accuracy, not to mention how her ‘clothes’ disappeared as you engaged in melee combat. Now, what was this game about again?

7. Kane & Lynch
Appeared In: Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
Okay, technically two separate people. But Kane and Lynch are like Milo & Milk. Like Ham & Cheese. Like Bacon & Eggs. No, not eatable, but one in the same; you cant have one without the other. And the gritty story of Dog Days demonstrates that, bringing these mismatched two together again to fight off Japanese gangsters, international arms dealers and SWAT teams. Probably some of the most badass characters of this generation, Kane & Lynch are a realistic and highly volatile duo with one hell of a story and the balls to match. Lynch is a particularly great character, given his schizophrenia symptoms and emotive background.

6. Illusive Man
Appeared In: Mass Effect 2
I love a good bit of mystery. And I love the mysterious neutral guy who never quite reveals his real intentions or agenda within a story. The story im talking of is the great Mass effect saga, and the man im referring to is the highly shady Illusive Man, Commander Shepards’ boss/saviour/helper/manipulator/ally. He’s a very fleshed out yet mysterious character for what you see of him, and one of the more possibly sinister characters within the Mass Effect universe. Plus, you just gotta love the way he handles things; its almost mafia-like, with dignity, respect and above all, a subtle hint of threatening demeanour. Would you cross this guy?

5. Monkey
Appeared In: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Who is this Monkey guy? Where did he come from? Well, from the criminally underrated Enslaved game - which is loosely based and shares great deals of similarities classic Chinese folk tales and strange 70’s TV show Monkey Magic - comes a man with an agenda. Well, not really. In fact, he doesn’t have much of a meaning. That is until Trip, a fellow slave-to-be forces him to assist her in travelling across the country in search for her family. This is when we bare witness to the building tension and relationship of the two and quickly become sympathetic to both through wonderful and relatable character personalities and some gripping narrative. Monkey is a hard-hitting acrobat with a handful of tricks up his sleeve and arguably one of the more unique action characters of this generation.

4. War
Appeared In: Darksiders: Wrath of War
One of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, War is an outcast entity with pure revenge and fiery justice on his mind. Undoubtedly one of the coolest vigilantes’ in gaming, War is a hard-boiled bad guy wronged by other bad guys. Thus begins a twisted story of moral standing, apocalypse and redemption delivered with ultra-violence and a ton of beastly demons just ready for the killing. At the centre of it all is my main man War, a one-man army about to do anything it takes to clear his name. His aura, personal story and dark personality all go on to make him one of the most engaging and underappreciated characters this year.

3. John Marston
Appeared In: Red Dead Redemption
One of less ‘mysterious’ characters of the little this year, John Marston is a mans man. A man you can respect. And a man you could take home to meet the parents. But John has a past, a dark history which is finally catching up with him. Blackmailed into doing the laws work, John is on a personal vendetta to bring to justice the members of his formed gang in the unforgiving terrain of the wild west. Red Dead Redemption is an epic adventure, and as you play through the many missions you really draw close to John as a character, with his highly detailed voice work and fleshed out personality. This is a fine example of what a modern video game character should be when put at the heart of a narrative. Its almost movie-like.

2. Kratos
Appeared In: God of War 3
No one hits harder than Kratos, and that’s a fact. Well, maybe not, but it should be. He’s one bad motherf‘er, and only betters in God of War 3, the epic conclusion to the God of War trilogy. The game see’s the tribal-sporting God of War go toe to toe against the other mythological Greek gods on a mission or personal vengeance and justice. It’s a pretty typical story, but the pure adrenaline and gritty dark side of the masculine character really pulls it off with flying colours. Never before has the gaming world been dealt such a hard-ass as a playable character, and never again will someone be as successfully awesome as Playstation icon Kratos.

1. Agent Francis York Morgan
Appeared In: Deadly Premonition
Meet Agent Francis York Morgan. But please, call him York. Everyone calls him that.
It’s a risky action putting such an unknown character on to of a list with the likes of Kratos and John Marston, but seriously, this is York we’re talking about. Okay, chances are you don’t know much about this guy. Why? Because you’ve most likely not been subject to the cult hit Deadly Premonition. A game so bad, its actually good. York is an FBI agent who, while never completely clear, has some serious mental issues. A schizophrenic with a deep split personality, or just a lame character who breaks the 4th wall? Its up to you to decide, but one thing is for sure; never before has a game character broke so many rules of design, had such a strange variety of dialogue, pushed so many boundaries and crossed so many line, and above all, been so undeniably strange that you cant help but love every minute of playing as this great video game character and every line that comes from his complex brain and spits out of uncomfortable smile!

Thanks for reading folks, hope you enjoyed the Top 10 Character of 2010 list! Why not jump over to the community forum and tell us what some of your favourite characters of the year are?


Article By John Elliott