The 10 Most Loved & 10 Most Hated Video Game Characters Of All Time

The 10 Most Loved & 10 Most Hated Video Game Characters Of All Time

For many of us, video games have been a constant and ever-present part of our lives since childhood. In that time we’ve come to know and love a plethora of compelling characters across multiple genres, platforms, and distinctive generations. Nevertheless, some of these beloved characters are often accompanied by complete duds that are just as memorable for how annoying and offputting they are. Here’s a look at some of the most loved and hated video characters of all time.

1. Kratos - God of War Series

As a deeply tragic and compelling character in Greek mythology, Kratos already has a wealth of lore to pull from. Even still, developer Santa Monica Studio brilliantly brought the spartan warrior turned God of War to life. From his iconic look to his enthralling narrative arc, Kratos has become a permanent fixture in the world of gaming. 

Kratos CopyImage by jonatnes0 from Pixabay

2. Link - The Legend of Zelda Series

A timeless hero known for his courage and determination, Link has served as the resilient protagonist in one of Nintendo’s most celebrated franchises. The Legend of Zelda series has seen numerous revamps and reimaginings over the years, but the one constant has always been Link and his legendary status in the gaming world. 

Ryan-Quintal-S7Phrjujnea-UnsplashPhoto by Ryan Quintal

3. Master Chief - Halo Series

As the stoic and gravelly-voiced super-soldier tasked with saving humanity, Master Chief has garnered quite a bit of adoration over the years. With his iconic green armour and orange visor, the character has become synonymous with Microsoft’s Xbox — making him an icon of the industry and one of the most recognizable video game characters of all time. 

1024Px-Master Chief At E3 2012 (7351774232)Sergey Galyonkin on Wikimedia Commons

4. Lara Croft - Tomb Raider Series

Lara Croft, the primary protagonist in the Tomb Raider series, is most known for being a trailblazer in a game that set the standard for the 3D action-adventure genre for years to come. As a rugged and intelligent treasure hunter/adventurer, Lara Croft is single-handedly responsible for redefining female characters in gaming, so much so that she’s been the subject of numerous major motion pictures. 

1024Px-Lara Croft Duo (Crop)taymtaym on Wikimedia Commons


5. Geralt of Rivia - The Witcher Series

With a gruff exterior and a celebrated moral complexity, The Witcher’s Geralt is the perfect protagonist with which to explore the gritty and hostile fantasy world of “The Continent”. His fleshed-out narrative arc and quest for love, family, and justice have resonated deeply with fans all over the world, helping to catapult the series to nothing short of a phenomenon. 

Daniel-Lee-Ggt3N2Vhqne-UnsplashPhoto by Daniel Lee

6. Mario - Super Mario Series

As the defacto face of gaming and Nintendo’s undeniable gaming empire, Mario has been a major part of our lives for decades now. The scrappy plumber has seen his fair share of adventures saving Princess Peach and battling it out with Bowser, but through all that gamers are still clamouring for more of the gaming icon. 

Angga-R-Putra-M4M5Jqdx74U-UnsplashPhoto by Angga R. Putra

7. Solid Snake - Metal Gear Series

A character as famous for his voice as his iconic look, Solid Snake has been a ubiquitous figure in the action stealth genre for decades. The tactical espionage expert is known for his convoluted back story and deep philosophical musings, making him one of the most unique and compelling protagonists in gaming. 

1024Px-Old Snake Tgs 2010Nikita (malfet_) on Wikimedia Commons

8. Samus Aran - Metroid Series

As one of the first major female protagonists in gaming, Samus Aran is undoubtedly one of the more legendary figures in Nintendo’s famed roster of beloved characters. Known for her fierce battles against hordes of space pirates (amongst other things), Samus has won fans over with her resilient nature and compelling personal journey, cementing her as one of gaming’s most enduring icons. 

Ryan-Quintal-5Uwstnu0Nze-UnsplashPhoto by Ryan Quintal

9. Gordon Freeman - Half-Life 

As the prototypical everyman dealing with extraordinary circumstances, Half-Life’s Gordon Freeman has been a fan favourite amongst gamers since his introduction in 1998. As the protagonist of one of the most influential first-person shooters of all time, the silent crowbar-wielding scientist has cemented himself as one of the most enduring icons in gaming. 

FreemanPikawil on Wikimedia Commons

10. Sonic the Hedgehog - Sonic Series

The speedy, blue hedgehog catapulted Sega to the stratosphere in the early 90’s and has been an integral figure in gaming ever since. Although suffering a few hiccups here and there, the character is still a major icon in gaming, even spawning a massively popular film series in recent years. 

Nik-Syvy Zkwaxu-UnsplashPhoto by Nik


1. Waluigi - Mario Series

Although many villains come to be just as beloved as their protagonist counterparts, Waluigi is certainly not one of them. Having never actually appeared in a mainline Mario game (let alone his own), Waluigi is mostly known for his irritating cackling and mischievous antics, making him a charmless and annoying side character at best. 

1024Px-Japan Impact 2015 Cosplay Nintendo - 09 (16360179647)Stéphane Gallay on Wikimedia Commons

2. Natalya Simonova - GoldenEye 007

Either help or get out of the way! Apparently, Natalya Simonova — Golden Eye’s primary Bond girl — didn’t get the message because she insists on being far more of a hindrance than an ally. Her lack of self-preservation (bad a.i.) makes her a massive liability in the game's poorly thought-out and infinitely frustrating escort missions. 

GoldenMGM/United Artists on Wikimedia Commons

3. Baby Mario - Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

Like most babies, Baby Mario is needy, helpless, and adorable. Sadly, it's easy to overlook his cuteness when he’s constantly wailing at you when separated from poor Yoshi. His constant crying, although a necessary component of the game’s design, adds a level of stress and urgency that some players simply can’t stomach. 

Babymario.Image by Lidio Saraiva from Pixabay

4. Duck Hunt Dog - Duck Hunt

As one of the more seasoned annoying characters on this list, Duck Hunt Dog has been an integral irritant in our lives since the NES days. Routinely adding insult to injury, the Duck Hunt Dog is known for his infuriating laugh and mocking grimace in the wake of a player’s misfortune, making him an especially despised figure in the gaming world.  

Duck Hunt Video GameShannon Hobbs on Wikimedia Commons

5. Jason Brody - Far Cry 3

Oftentimes an anti-hero is just as compelling, if not more compelling, than your typical run-of-the-mill protagonist. But in the case of Far Cry 3’s Jason, the transformation and character arc just comes across as forced and unconvincing. On top of being a bro-y rich kid with zero personality, the audience is expected to believe that the clueless Jason is somehow capable of becoming a one-man army overnight, making him one of the least likable characters in gaming. 

1024Px-Far Cry 3 At Igromir 2012Sergey Galyonkin on Wikimedia Commons

6. Roman Bellic - Grand Theft Auto IV

As one of Grand Theft Auto’s most needy and incompetent characters, there’s a lot for players to dislike about Roman Bellic. Along with irritating the game’s protagonist, Niko Bellic, this less-than-lovable oaf has a meme-worthy knack for inviting players to go bowling at all the worst times (including police chases and intense firefights). 

1024Px-Grand Theft Auto Iv AdvertisementHelen Harrop on Wikimedia Commons


7. Micah Bell - Red Dead Redemption 2

In a world of seedy outlaws and back-stabbing scoundrels, it says a lot when you’re the character everyone loves to hate. Michah Bell — the scheming and completely unlikable foible to Red Dead Redemption's Arthur Morgan — is a standout in Rockstar Games’ masterpiece, often serving as more of an irritant than anything else. 

ReddeadRhain on Wikimedia Commons

8. Navi - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Sometimes the road to being a despised character is paved with good intentions. That’s certainly the case with Navi, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s persistent and annoying fairy guide. Although she means well, there are only so many times players can listen to her nagging “Hey! Listen” refrain before wanting to hurl their controller across the room. Her persistent interruptions overcome any guidance she might provide.

NaviPiotrus on Wikimedia Commons

9. Preston Garvey - Fallout 4

As one of Fallout’s most demanding and uninspired characters, Preston Garvey has firmly placed himself in the pantheon of deeply unlikable video game characters. Serving as more of a glorified quest generator than a fully fleshed-out character, Garvey has quickly become a meme among fans of the series for his relentless and repetitive quests. 

1024Px-Pax Prime 2015 749 (20405802883)SupportPDX on Wikimedia Commons

10. Moneybags - Spyro Series

There’s nothing worse than being extorted — unless you’re being extorted in the game you just bought! That’s exactly what Spyro’s Moneybags represents: a greedy extortionist who routinely demands players pay him exorbitant amounts of gems to continue playing the game they just paid for. Outside of being an overall nuisance that gets in the way of the player's fun, the opulent bear makes matters even worse by being a total jerk about it. 

Spyro LogoMr.Ajedrez on Wikimedia Commons