Look at all these people who are way better than I am!
With another year comes another batch of new video game characters. Some were very good and memorable, while others were bland and forgettable. Heres five picks from the games I’ve played that stood out as truly unique, entertaining characters this year.
5: Nick Valentine (Fallout 4)
Fallout 4 has a number of likeable companions, but none of them are as unique as Nick. He’s half traditional noir detective and half best bro. His snappy one-liners and comebacks are always a joy to hear thanks to his voice actor, who really nails the noir detective theme he has along with his deep and interesting backstory. What makes Nick even more unique is that there’s nothing else like him in the Commonwealth; he’s the bridge between the creepy gen 2 synths and the even more frightening gen 3 dudes. The Commonwealth is full of synths, but there will only ever be one like Nick.
4: Chumbucket (Mad Max)
The Mad Max video game’s interpretation of titular character Max was a bit of a bland character to me, but thankfully his faithful sidekick makes up for it by having enough personality for the both of them. Chumbucket is the quirky comic relief character, religious preacher, and eccentric mechanic all rolled up into one. What really makes this character, though, is his dialogue. I always look forward to hearing what sort of crazy thing Chumbucket might say next. Whether Chumbucket is preaching about his Magnum Opus or warning me of a nearby sniper, I couldn’t have asked for a better traveling companion to have in a crazy post-apocalyptic world.
3: Rhys (Tales from the Borderlands)
Out of the two leads in Tales of the Borderlands, Rhys was my personal favorite. He is a character who grows and develops very well, starting off as a Hyperion pencil pusher looking for his big break, and eventually becoming a strong, competent character whose whole perspective on things changes starkly. Combined with his inner struggle against the backup program of Handsome Jack, Rhys becomes a complex, likable character. He also has the best sequences in the game, in my humble opinion. Whether he’s fighting off office workers with finger guns or having a confrontation with his former idol in the ruins of Handsome Jack’s office, Rhys’ tale is one that I enjoyed watching. Jack Hills will remember that.
2- Edna (Tales of Zestiria)
In a game full of well-written characters, nearly none of them stand out quite like Edna, the sassy deadpan earth seraph who has a few hundred years of not giving a shit under her belt. When this earth seraph isn’t fighting off enemies with an umbrella, she can be seen bothering Mikleo in what I consider to be the best skits in the game. Her carefully-written personality and dialogue is further improved by Kira Buckland’s amazing voicework. Throw in some clever arsenic jokes and a dialogue about wanting to eat a giant shrimp, and you have the runner up for 2015’s character of the year. Edna steals the show in not just Tales of Zestiria, but the whole Tales Of franchise.
1: Everyone in Undertale
I couldn’t pick just one character to put on this list, and putting multiple on might as well have renamed this to the top 5 Undertale characters. Each character in Undertale is unique and original, ranging from the motherly teacher Toriel, to Sans the lazy pun-making skeleton, to Mettaton the enthusiastic robot game show host with legs to die for. My personal favorite is Papyrus, the dimwitted-yet-enthusiastic skeleton with dreams of joining the royal guard, and cooking skills bad enough to make Gordon Ramsey give up. Toby Fox did an amazing job making the characters all feel so fully-formed. Undertale is full of likeable and memorable characters, and each has the potential to become iconic characters we’ll fondly remember, even well after we’ve beaten the game.