Who do you consider the best protagonist in a video game?

thejboy88

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Title says it all. Of all the characters who have been main protagonists in video games over the years, which do you consider the best, and why?
 

Kingjackl

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That's a hard one to narrow down. So many good ones.

I'm going to have to go with Lee & Clementine from the Walking Dead. While there are plenty of protags I like or admire, they're the only ones I've ever been truly invested in.
 

StatusNil

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Pacman. Gobbling down pills and being menaced by ghosts through a labyrinth... it SPEAKS to me. Unfortunately.
 

Dalek Caan

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Kingjackl said:
I'm going to have to go with Lee & Clementine from the Walking Dead. While there are plenty of protags I like or admire, they're the only ones I've ever been truly invested in.
I have to second that. I love how the two interact with each other and form a Father-Daughter bond whilist fighting off Walkers, Cannibalistic Farmers and Boatmasters. The best moments of the game are when it's just the two of them talking and helping each other.
 

Maximum Bert

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Probably Mario hes far from my favourite but no other character has penetrated public consciousness like him. Then again best is a very loose word but he is certainly one of if not probably the most successful financially and prolifically.
 

EyeReaper

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My favorite? Probably Create-a-characters that still have noticeable personality traits, so, it's probably a tie between Robin from Fire Emblem: Awakening and the Boss from the Saints Row franchise. I love these guy/lady/ladyguys because, as opposed to other silent protags and CHARs, They feel written into the plot instead of written around it, you know, as they are actual characters instead of walking plot advancement. They also can be a variety of colors, genders, and sexualities, so Choo Cho all aboard the diversity train!

Second place is the adorable Neptune, from the Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise. That's a series that I really only play for the characters(So It'd be nice if characters didn't just up and disappear every game. I miss you GUST), as the combat, story etc. is adequate at best.
 

Silence

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The Nameless One.

Edit: Before someone thinks this is a joke. No, I mean the guy from Planescape: Torment.
 

Aetrion

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Geralt of Rivia, because he's a strongly defined character that exists as the sole protagonist in a story centric roleplaying game. Because of the kind of game he appears in you get to know him and his friends on a much closer level than most characters in games, but at the same time you still get to make all the important decisions yourself. To me this mixture between having a game that is definitively about the character while still letting the player explore wildly different choices makes for a stand-out protagonist that few other games can match in complexity and engagement.

I'm generally a fan of games without a premade character though, anything where I get to decide who I am is generally most to my liking, so I have a strong bias toward characters that are interesting without seemingly taking choices away from me.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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T260G: The scrapyard robot pieced together buy a child who teams up with a drunken exiled samurai to beat up some gangsters.

Then shit gets crazy.
 

BloatedGuppy

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Nameless One or Lee and Clementine. Although I get more attached to blank slate/color-in characters like Shepard, those are the protagonists I can think of that had the most compelling and fully textured characterizations.
 

Ishal

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To play along, The Nameless One.

But honestly games shouldn't really be about the protagonist, at least not in the sense we're talking about here. Games aren't like other mediums where we can sit back and watch the protagonist go through the story. In games we're given the role of protagonist, and by the very nature of that it changes things. We're all different, so we're all going to have different characters. Taken to the extreme, that's where you get character creators.

The "protagonist" in a video game should be the world we explore. Cliche as it is to say that the setting counts as character, it's something that should be taken seriously in games. It's all about the setting. It's all about what we can do in the world. Otherwise, what's the point? If you want compelling characters, go to a medium that can do it better.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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Depends? Are we going with protagonists that have no personality? Link makes a strong contender there. So too Jack from Bioshock 1.

Or are we going with player choosen personality? Shepard or Hawke are staples of amazing-ness. Maybe the Courier or Lone Wanderer, or DragonBorn.

As far as established characters with personalities? Maybe Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite. Heather from Silent Hill 3 was absolutely phenomenal, and one of the few female characters done right(Looking at you Bayonetta fans). Conker is always good too.

Oh, no, hey, I got it!
The one! The only!
 

Barbas

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B.J. Blaskowicz, because he is made surprisingly relatable and engaging by a few scattered lines of dialogue, he makes the best of a very bad situation and he is capable of both violent rage and surprising gentleness when the situation requires it.
 

duwenbasden

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Jan 18, 2012
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I also vote for The Nameless One / The Chosen One / The Boss / The Courier / The Warden / The Dragonborn.

Given a choice between your 100% awesome prebuilt character against my character, I'd always choose my character. Why? Because it's mine. Unless your 100% awesome prebuilt character's ideals and beliefs line up perfectly against mine, it's not really me controlling him/her then isn't it.
 

BoogieManFL

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The Boss (PC) in Saints Row 2. Such a badass.

Lee and Clementine, Walking Dead.

Arthas, WarCraft III

Fallout 2 (PC)

Sith Warrior, (PC) Star Wars The Old Republic
 

Dimitriov

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May 24, 2010
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Hmmmm, this is actually a pretty hard question. I think I'll go with Altaïr from Assassin's Creed. I like his style and he actually has a bit of a character arc.