Top 5 Games With The Best Cast of Characters

2015 had games with incredible stories and narratives thanks to the well written, well animated, and when necessary, well voice acted characters. This list celebrates 5 of Best Casts of Characters gaming had to offer this year, voted by over 200 survey participants. So no complaints about the results allowed!

This list will also show the result of the single most memorable character from all of the games in the survey.

So without further ado, let's dive in and find out what casts of characters we will be remembering from this year!

#5 - Until Dawn
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While making this list I was surprised to find myself including Until Dawn on it, as many of the characters are stereotypes we see in many other horror movies. But in this game that is the point, and you guys put your vote forward and it seems a lot of people agree that Until Dawn, while containing some stereotypes, still had a lot of very well fleshed out characters. A few of them also have very great arcs, I won't spoil anything but some of them are going to surprise you. Some characters are even going to change depending on how you play the game. One character's arc in particular will surprise you so much you will want to play the game over again just to see the changes fall into place that you wouldn't have noticed at first, and that is the sign of good storytelling. Which of course, requires good character development.

#4 - Mad Max
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Mad Max is the one game on this list that had a wide variety of voting results. Most games where basically voted into their spot without much questioning, but Mad Max had tons of votes saying its characters were bad, tons saying they were just okay, and a ton saying they were great. In the end the final results placed it on the list and in the number four slot. And I am glad it did, it would be a mistake to describe the cast of characters in Mad Max as anything less than surprising. The game had a few issues in many areas but the large cast of fairly original characters with defined attributes both good and bad is something Mad Max should be proud of for doing very well. I do wish more of the characters had an arc to their story though, as only a handful of them seemed to change throughout the game. But even with that in mind the game’s characters where extremely memorable and fun to watch.

#3 - Fallout 4
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Characters are not something Bethesda tend to be great at, or for that matter even decent characters are a rarity in their games. I am very happy to say that Fallout 4 is their first huge exception to this rule. With great use of elements in each character that some will consider positive and some negative, the characters in Fallout 4 will mean different things to different people. This is reflected back on the player as the characters will like or dislike certain actions you take based on what is important to those characters. I hope this is a sign that Bethesda has either figured out how to write good characters or finally started putting more effort into characters over environments. Either way though, I hope stronger and more diverse characters is a theme Bethesda continues to work toward in the future.

Single Most Memorable Character of 2015

Before we get to the top two casts of characters, let's see the results for who was voted as the most memorable original character that had not been featured in a game previous to 2015.

The nominees were:
Griffa - Mad Max
Quiet -MGSV
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Quiet
Detective Valentine - Fallout 4
Arkham Knight - Batman: Arkham Knight
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Priscilla - The Witcher 3
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And the Final Results where a bit surprising to me, as we had a tie!
So our two most memorable characters from 2015 were:

Quiet 

Priscilla  

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Pricllla Winer

These were both very different characters from one another but were both clearly very memorable in their own right.

I found it very interesting that the two female nominees both had the same number of votes for them, ending in a tie! Not to mention one character is very talkative in the part she plays, and the other is, well, Quiet! Sorry I couldn't resist you guys made that pun so easy!

Regardless, let's get back to our main event, the best casts of characters. Coming in second place is:

#2 - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
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These last two games were neck and neck with each other but Witcher 3 lost out by just a couple of votes. However, that doesn't mean it's characters are any less incredible. I don't think I've seen this many amazingly well developed female characters in one single game. Not only are all of the main characters in the Witcher 3 both flawed and positive, but we got to see some of the most interesting side characters, with not much screen time, still come off as some really really strong characters. Anyone who's played the Bloody Baron quest line will know what I'm talking about. Even though he is not a likable, or even redeemable, person you still care deeply for him and want to know what is going to happen, which is a sign of great writing. On top of all that I think this game has two of my favorite female characters in video games, that being Ciri and Yennefer. This is the first time I had seen or heard anything about Yennefer and holy hell she surprised me to no end. I did not care for her at first but after spending more time with her in the game she slowly grew to be my Geralt's love interest. The whole arc between her and Geralt could not have been more pitch perfect. Ciri is certainly no exception here. I can’t spoil much but I will say that the conflict between her character’s willingness to be a good person and wanting to just be able to live her life the way she wants is a great internal struggle that is depicted so beautifully throughout the game. And her resolution is more than satisfying. The Witcher 3 is  going to be remembered in the long run for quite a few reasons, but I think it's almost flawlessly constructed characters might be its greatest reason to be remembered.

#1 - Undertale
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I actually haven't been able to play Undertale this year so I'm going to have the final section written by another Twinstiq contributor who actually played the game! Take it away Dr. S!
Creating a single character with depth and charm is no easy task today, despite all the fancy 3D graphics, motion capturing, huge development teams with up to a dozen of writers and whatnot. So imagine the talent that’s inside this Toby Fox guy who more or less single-handedly created the full cast of loveable, unique and deep characters featured in Undertale. Characters so outstanding, that they are already memes. Not to mention the character development that happens through different playthroughs.
So, who’s up for some pasta?
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Thanks again Supreme Leader Strangethumb! As you mentioned it is no easy task to develop a good character in any medium. It is hard enough in a book where all you have is the strength of the writing to bring out memorable characters. But when you move to something like film where not only does the writing for the character still have to be strong, but now you also need someone to be able to act believably as said character. Jump again to games or animated films, this process becomes even more difficult as the acting portion is split in two; The Animator(s) and the Voice Actor of the character. This creates three hard to master barriers to make at least one good character. If even one aspect of the writing, animation, or voice acting are less than stellar the character falls apart. Many would claim animation is not as hard now with the prevalence of motion capture, but as someone who off and on had to animate characters from motion captured key-frames, they are mostly used as reference. Rarely is the pure motion capture performance reflective of the final animation, if used as anything more than a reference for the timing of key poses that are exaggerated frame by frame by an animator. And of course the other two factors are nothing to scoff at either, with all that in mind it is clear to see just how impressive this year as been in terms of the quantity of mostly high-quality characters. Something the  games of 2014 like Titanfall or Watchdogs completely dismissed. And while aspects of those games may have been fine, its characters that drive any medium about them. And with that, I look forward to what great characters 2016 has to offer. I only hope they can be as memorable and iconic as the ones we got this year.

 

 

- Special Thanks to Thomas Ortsik for writing the Undertale section!

And thanks to all the developers of these games and many more that made 2015 one of my favorite years in gaming. :)