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Top 10 Memorable Video Game Characters of the 2000s

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Nick Spake By this era, gaming characters had become so real that they practically jumped off the screen. Join WatchMojo.com as we continue our series of the most memorable video game characters with the Top 10 Memorable Video Game Characters of the 2000’s. For this list, we’re taking a look at video game characters that achieved their iconic status in the early 21st century. Keep in mind that we’re limiting this list to specific characters so unfortunately no Big Daddy’s here. Also characters whom have already appeared in our 80’s and 90’s list are not eligible to appear again, so check out those lists if you’re favourite wasn’t on here. Special Thanks to our users "Shamikaru" & "nickaong795" for suggesting this topic on our Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Nick Spake

Top 10 Memorable Video Game Characters of the 2000’s


By this era, gaming characters had become so real that they practically jumped off the screen. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re continuing our Memorable Video Game Character Series with the top 10 memorable video game characters of the 2000’s.

For this list, we’re taking a look at video game characters that achieved their iconic status in the early 21st century. Keep in mind that we’re limiting this list to specific characters so unfortunately no Big Daddy’s here. Also characters whom have already appeared in our 80’s and 90’s list are not eligible to appear again, so check out those lists if you’re favourite wasn’t on here.

#10: Captain John Price
“Call of Duty” series (2004-)

War is hell, but combat is a little less daunting with a captain like John Price heading the charge. Whether you’re playing as Price or following him into battle, this British solider demonstrates everything that makes a great leader. He might fire off insults even more than he fires his M4A1, but behind every insult there’s affection for his men. While maintaining a sense of humor, he’ll tackle each mission with great gravitas. By the “Modern Warfare” trilogy’s conclusion, you’ll truly come to recognize Price as a friend and bother.

#9: Marcus Fenix
“Gears of War” Series (2006-)

While Marcus Fenix undeniably has his badass moments, there’s more to this mounting, grunting juggernaut than just an action hero. Behind his hulking exterior, Marcus harbors a vulnerable side exemplified through the loss of his father, his feelings towards fellow solider Anya, and his duties as leader of the Delta Squad. This gives the “Gears of War” series a true human element with a relatable hero at its core. He’s got a lot of weight to carry on his shoulders, but Marcus’s shoulders are fortunately broader than the entire galaxy.

#8: Max Payne
“Max Payne” Series (2001-)

What really stands out about this decade in gaming is how developers started taking more chances with their protagonists. Rather than being mere shells for players to wear, central characters could now be sensitive, troubled, and not necessarily all that heroic. Gunning for payback after the murder of his wife and daughter, Max Payne is a hardboiled antihero straight out of a film noir. Payne’s emotional journey isn’t always the most pleasant or triumphant, but that’s what makes him such a compelling person to follow.

#7: The Heavy
“Team Fortress 2” (2007)

The Heavy Weapons Guy’s name pretty much speaks for itself. He’s a guy and he carries the most absurdly heavy weapon in all gaming. Even without Sasha, the Heavy could probably crush his opponents with his bare hands. Guns aside, he’s also a highly enjoyable character. In an instant, this Russian can go from gentle giant to cackling madman. There’s something surprisingly delightful about the Heavy’s gleefully trigger-happy nature and his admiration for artillery. That enthusiasm rubs off on the player, whether he’s spinning up his chaingun or just playing poker at the inventory.

#6: Carl Johnson
“Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” (2004)

While it was tempting to include Niko Bellic on this list, Carl Johnson represented an even greater turning point for the “Grand Theft Auto” series. For starters, C.J. was arguably the first “GTA” protagonist that felt like a genuine human being. Sure, this gangsta commits countless ridiculously violent deeds. At the same time, however, C.J. can be compassionate, remorseful, and a voice of reason. Even as C.J. moves up the ranks, he maintains something of a moral code. He’s no saint, but he does his best to get through life.

#5: Ezio Auditore
“Assassin’s Creed” Series (2007-)

Everything in the initial sequel to “Assassin’s Creed” got a massive upgrade, including the main character. Ezio Auditore’s story immediately sucks the player in as this lover turned fighter seeks revenge for his father and brothers while also doing right by his remaining family members. Witty, charismatic, and deadly with a hidden blade, Ezio’s defiantly somebody we’d want as a friend rather than an enemy. His lifelong journey through the Italian Resonance overflows with thrills, heartbreak, and revelations, easily making Ezio the most unforgettable of all Desmond’s ancestors thus far.

#4: Nathan Drake
“Uncharted” Series (2007-)

In the 80’s and 90’s, video games were mainly about the player having an epic journey. Nowadays, though, games have become more about the player having a journey with somebody they truly care about. Smart, funny, resourceful, passionate, and just the right amount of crazy, Nathan Drake is our ideal guide to adventure. Granted, Drake can also be a rapscallion, but that edge somehow makes him even more appealing. Whether falling out of planes or hanging out of trains, we’d accompany this honorable thief to the ends of the earth. … When he’s not selling out to Subway.

#3: Kratos
“God of War” Series (2005-)

Although Religious people have often debated whether god is forgiving or vengeful, there’s no denying that Kratos is a vengeful god. Actually, he’s like a god on steroids, evening ripping Poseidon and Zeus a new one. With that power, however, comes great tragedy. A Spartan warrior that’s be virtually stripped of any humanity, it’s hard to think of a moment in “God of War” where Kratos isn’t committing an act of violence. If you’re looking for an outlet to release your pent-up rage, though, Kratos is the answer to your prayers.

#2: GLaDOS
“Portal” Series (2007-)

From the moment we hear GLaDOS’s ominously calm voice in “Portal,” it’s clear that something’s not quite right. Our suspicions are confirmed once the cake is revealed to be a lie. This genetic life form and disk operating system becomes progressively more fascinating in the sequel, as her surprising backstory is revealed and she becomes an unlikely ally. By the game’s end, she may want us gone, but we just want more of her. A bit like HAL 9000 with sarcasm and singing chops, GLaDOS simply takes the cake.

Before we level up to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Sly Cooper
“Sly Cooper” Series (2002-)

Commander Shepard
“Mass Effect” Series (2008-)

Dante
“Devil May Cry” (2001-)

Alyx Vance
“Half Life 2” (2004)

Ratchet & Clank
“Ratchet & Clank” Series (2002-)

Sora
“Kingdom Hearts” Series (2002-)

#1: Master Chief
“Halo” Series (2001)

While we’ve yet to see Master Chief’s face in its entirety, he quickly evolved into the face of “Halo,” Xbox, and an entire gaming generation. It’s safe to say that this super soldier’s green amour and helmet are forever imbedded into our popular culture. The silent type, Master Chief has only become more intriguing, complex, and identifiable with every passing game, his farewell to Cortana being an emotional highpoint. We can’t wait to continue pealing back the Master Chief’s layers until we fully see the man behind the mask.

Do you agree with our list? Who’s was your favourite video game character for this decade? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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