Characters can often make or break the game. In the same way that I find it baffling when devs say that story doesn’t matter, I find it hard to wrap my idea that some people don’t think characters matter, because for me at least, they’re almost always one of the most important elements in any game. Whether your character is well-developed and full of personality like Geralt of Rivia or a vessel in which to place yourself like Gordon Freeman from the Half Life series or a little of both, one thing’s for sure – who they are matters. It’s the person whose eyes you’ll be seeing through (for first person povs) or whose perspective you’ll be viewing the world through (for third person) and personally, there’s nothing worse than an irritating or lacklustre main character. I don’t think that simply because the character doesn’t talk or the game doesn’t go into detail about their past, that automatically means the character’s uninteresting. Gordon Freeman might a silent protagonist, but rather than being boring he’s actually the more mysterious for it. You gain snippets of insight into who he is from how his long-time friends and acquaintances interact with him and what they say about him. Also, being able to put yourself in his shoes makes the game all the more immersive.
The same can be said for all the other characters in a game. A game with mediocre gameplay can be livened up with some interesting characters, whereas an otherwise excellent game with dull generic characters won’t really stick with me. Of course, I don’t mean to say that character development matters for every game, but even games like DotA 2 can be made better with interesting looking characters. So, here’s a list of my personal top 5 favourite characters of all time. These are characters that were invaluable in making the game a memorable experience in some way.