Empire Online are running a special feature about the 50 greatest video game characters of all time and have voted the man on the left, Gordon Freeman from Half-Life, as the best of the best. The top 10 were:
- 1. Gordon Freeman (Half-Life)
- 2. Mario (Super Mario series)
- 3. Shodan (System Shock)
- 4. The Nameless One (Planescape: Torment)
- 5. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
- 6. Link (The Legend of Zelda series)
- Guybrush Threepwood (Monkey Island series)
- Master Chief (Halo)
- The Lemmings (Lemmings)
- Sephiroth (Final Fantasy 7)
Ouch. Okay, so for starters who will actually remember Gordon Freeman in 20 years time? I don’t think longevity of a game franchise is necessary to be iconic, but Sephiroth only needed one shot to be completely burned into the memories of millions of gamers. Gordon Freeman? Who remembers him like they remember Sephiroth? Bearing in mind that the both games were released at roughly the same time… Come on, there’s no contest! Empire said that Freeman was the best because everyone could pick a little bit of themselves out of him, but does that really mean he’s great?
Mario has been unfairly overshadowed in my opinion. He may just be a simple plumber with a bashful nature and an inhuman leap but he’s iconic. When you think of Nintendo, your thoughts instantly turn to the man in the bright red overalls. Oh, and maybe Link if he was more your thing (I probably am more endeared to the mute wood-elf than the stereotypical moustachioed plumber but hey, I do love him too!). And where the heck was Sonic on this list? Sonic is Sega. To be fair, he was further down but that wasn’t high enough for my liking. I wanted him to be higher. Surely everyone knows about the lightning-fast blue hedgehog?
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that they may not be the toughest, violentest, human characters ever but if you’re thinking of great, then surely just through being icons of their genres, franchises and production companies, that Sephiroth, Sonic, Mario and Link needed more love. Stuff Gordon Freeman.