12 Best Video Game Characters of 2018
Throughout 2018, gamers have met a variety of video game characters, with each having unique characteristics. We met a renewed Kratos and his son, Atreus, in God of War. We saw the more charismatic side of Dutch Van Der Linde in Red Dead Redemption 2. But of all the characters to be revealed this year, who were the most memorable?
Alexios/Kassandra (Assassin’s Creed Odyssey)
Also one of the best RPGs of 2018, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey sees the player choose between two protagonists: Alexios or Kassandra. It turns out Alexios was the more popular option, but whoever the player decided to go with, they were met with an incredibly complex character, dealing with both supernatural and familial events all in one well-written narrative. At the end of the day, either character could become a sellsword or a true Spartan hero—all based on the player’s choice.
Android 21 (Dragon Ball FighterZ)
It’s not often that brand new characters created for a video game based on an established franchise stand out, but Android 21 is one of few exceptions. At the beginning of the narrative, she seems like a straightforward, power-hungry Android hellbent on the destruction of the heroes, but as her background and character become more established, players learn she is much more complex than previously thought. Android 21, combining attributes of the fan-favorite Majin and Android races, provides players not only with a unique character concept but a story of family.
Arthur Morgan (Red Dead Redemption 2)
Red Dead Redemption 2 introduces players to Arthur Morgan, who seems like a simple outlaw with unending loyalty. But as Arthur’s friend and mentor Dutch Van der Linde begins to slip and his friends keep dying, he starts on a true journey of redemption. This journey sees Arthur deliver the original’s protagonist, John Marston, from the hands of Dutch and Micah Bell into his family, becoming the John we see doing everything he can to save his family in the original Red Dead Redemption.
Chris Eriksen (The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit)
In the Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, players take control of Chris Eriksen who sometimes goes by his imaginative alter ego, Captain Spirit. As a free lead-in to Life is Strange 2, Captain Spirit lets players explore a world where Chris projects his imagination onto reality. This key aspect of Chris elevates the game beyond the standard narrative-driven game and makes players sympathize and bond with Chris, who is dealing with the death of his mother and a complicated relationship with his father.
Connor (Detroit: Become Human)
Connor is an RK800 android and one of three playable protagonists in Detroit: Become Human. As an advanced prototype, he is designated to cases dealing with deviant androids and to assist the Detroit City Police Department. Throughout the game Connor develops a relationship with Lt. Hank Anderson, which influences his behavior as dictated by the player. Connor can become more human-like or more android-like, depending on the choices made throughout the game.
H’aanit (Octopath Traveler)
In Octopath Traveler, players get to choose between 8 playable characters and see each of their own storylines. One of those characters is H’aanit, a strong-willed hunter with a strict moral compass. Beyond that, though, she is a fully fleshed out character who has a family keepsake she uses when hunting, has a natural talent for acting, is a good cook, but can’t dance very well. These are the kinds of details that make players bond with a character, so combined with her story and her gameplay style, she stands out amongst the other characters.
Joseph Seed (Far Cry 5)
The Far Cry franchise has a bit of a reputation for creating unique antagonists and Far Cry 5 is no exception. Early on, players are introduced to Joseph Seed, or “The Father,” the leader of a religious cult focused on living outside of the reach of modern society. As the player goes about defeating members of the cult and killing Joseph’s family, they eventually learn a terrible truth about the Father, which sets the premise for the forthcoming spin-off but narrative sequel, Far Cry: New Dawn.
A sympathetic character, Madeline endures a number of struggles during her quest to climb Celeste Mountain. Not only is she tested by the difficulties of the mountain, but by a part of herself, thus creating a complex narrative about anxiety and depression. Combined with the excellent platform gameplay of Celeste, it becomes easy to see why this also made our cut for one of the best indies of 2018.
Mimir (God of War)
Although originally an advisor to Odin, Mimir becomes an advisor (of sorts) to Kratos during the events of God of War. Mimir is both an endless source of exposition and the game’s main form of comedic relief. He’s also a tragic character, but one who helps Kratos develop along the way. Without him and many of the other memorable God of War character, the title may not have won Game of the Year at the Game Awards.
Palico (Monster Hunter World)
In Monster Hunter World, players are joined by a bipedal, feline companion who is easily one of the best video game sidekicks. Not only is the AI useful while hunting, but the Palico species helps by cooking food and handling resources. It also helps that players can customize the appearance, gear, and gadgets of their personal Palico, to make the character a little more unique.
Peter Parker (Spider-Man)
Sony’s PS4 exclusive title, Spider-Man, sees the players take on the role of the web-slinging superhero, but also his unmasked counterpart, Peter Parker. Throughout the game, Peter’s relationships are tested and he develops as a character. He is even put through the wringer by his mentor, Dr. Octavius, while also becoming a mentor to the young Miles Morales.
Sadie Adler (Red Dead Redemption 2)
Last, but certainly not least, Sadie Adler is the definition of a powerful woman in a man’s world. After an eventful encounter with the O’Driscolls, Sadie joins up with the Van der Linde gang with revenge on her mind. She may be a little aggressive, but Sadie plays a key role in Arthur’s development as a character.