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The Top 11 Video Game Heroes Of All Time

Rebecca Johansson

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Max Payne image
Remedy Entertainment

One of the things that modern-day game developers are knocking out of the ballpark is the ability to tell an epic story. And in order to do that, a solid lead and variety of supporting characters are a huge must. We’ve written our top 11 video game heroes of all time.

A great protagonist does more than just look good on a game cover. A great protagonist heightens our attachment to the game because, unlike in films, we’re literally stepping into that character’s shoes and becoming them: thus creating an emotional connection which isn’t easily broken.

Here we’ve compiled a list of the top 11 video game heroes to hit the world so far. Some are straight-up awesome. Others are just incredibly well created. Why not see if one of your favourites is on the list?

11. Geralt of Rivia

The Witcher
Travelling monster-slayer for hire, mutated and trained from an early age to slay deadly beasts, Geralt’s appeal is largely primal. He’s a tough guy who kills things, and his main emotional focus is the death of monsters. But hey, that’s ok. A protagonist doesn’t always have to have a weakness or softer side to make them incredible: sometimes all they gotta do is kill things and look slick doing it.

10. Joel Miller

The Last Of Us
Joel’s a guy who’s really been through the wringer. After losing his only child in the early stages of a killer fungal pandemic, Joel becomes a ruthless and cynical smuggler, going as far as killing innocent people in order to stay alive. But his mission to protect Ellie resurrects some of that kind-natured guy who took a bullet to protect his daughter, and we can’t help but love him for it.

9. Nathan Drake

Uncharted
Imagine Indiana Jones but better (sorry not sorry). Suave, witty, a snappy dresser and easy on the eye, Drake’s the kind of guy you either want to be with, or be. He’s a professional treasure hunter, deep-sea salvage expert, action-pro, and more likeable than Bill Gates’ bank statement.

8. Lara Croft

Tomb Raider
The original female badass of the gaming world; Lara Croft is an English archaeologist, treasure hunter, and tomb raider. Although born into an aristocratic family, she’s far more interested in unearthing powerful and dangerous artefacts. Despite being flawed, taking risks, and making mistakes, she is incredibly human and is as legendary as her exploits.

7. John Marston

Red Dead Redemption
John, John, John… Totally likeable with the ability to be a complete moron. As a former member of the Van Der Linde gang, John is forced by the federal government to hunt down its remaining members. If he doesn’t, then he can never see his family again. John dreams of a nice rancher’s life with his family, but can’t help being drawn into the world of an outlaw…

6. Ezio Auditore

Assassin’s Creed
Suave, charismatic, mysterious. Think of him as a murderous Italian Nathan Drake and you’re 90% there. Master assassin Ezio is on a quest for vengeance against the Templars and their Grand Master, Rodrigo Borgia, who ordered the execution of his kin. Although he’s a cold-blooded killer, he lives by a set of principles and values his family as highly as his own life.

5. Aloy

Horizon Zero Dawn
Finding a well-rounded and completely human video game character is a rarity. Finding one that’s also female is even rarer. But that’s exactly what Guerrilla Games did with Aloy. Though curious, determined, and benevolent, she’s also incredibly blunt and sarcastic. It’s these nuances that make her so incredibly real – and it doesn’t hurt that she’s a kick-ass warrior to boot.

4. Max Payne

Max Payne
A tortured soul whose only desire is to avenge the death of his family. But what really makes him so likeable is his brutal honesty about himself and those around him. That and the fact that he’s got real swagger and is a total badass in bullet time.

3. Arthur Morgan

Red Dead Redemption 2
No list would be complete without a lovable rogue, Arthur Morgan. Although he has no qualms about robbing you blind, the cut scenes show you deeper aspects of his personality. The way he cares for John Marston and his son, Jack. How he saves Karen from the creep in Valentine. And his love for the gang and the unity they share. Hats off Rockstar, you played a blinder with this one.

2. Leon Kennedy

Resident Evil
From rookie cop to Secret Service agent, Kennedy’s endured some of the toughest crises imaginable without breaking a sweat. He survived an evil cult, being injected with a parasite, and escaped a town overrun by zombies. And through it all, he maintains not only perfect hair but composure and raw endurance to match.

1. Kratos

God of War
This macho hyper-violent warrior out for revenge is a real cathartic adrenaline rush to play as. But he’s also tortured by his violent past, and after exacting revenge against his father, the Olympians and the Titans who betrayed him, he escapes and has a son, Atreus. His determination not to let Atreus become the man he used to be, as well as his desire to be the father that he never was, makes Kratos a truly great protagonist.


That’s our top 11 video game heroes. Is there anyone else you would like to have seen on the list? If so, leave us a comment below.


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Animal Crossing vs. Stardew Valley

Victoria Newell

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Animal Crossing vs Stardew Valley image
Nintendo & ConcernedApe

In the world of video game escapism, there are generally two options. Become a hero, mowing down enemies and saving the world…or engage in fun, relaxing physical labour. Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing are both games that focus on building a community and town. While both of these games have similar goals and objectives, they definitely have their own pros and cons. So to which escapist town should you retire? We’re looking at Animal Crossing vs Stardew Valley.

Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing hit the world hard in the early weeks of the pandemic. The most recent iteration of the game; Animal Crossing; New Horizons released for the Nintendo Switch on March 20, 2020. But the game itself has been around since April 14, 2001, starting its journey on the GameCube.

You play as the Villager, who moves to a new town and takes out a housing loan from the infamous Tom Nook. To pay off your debt, you can sell fish, fruit, bugs, or fossils; donating those same items to Blathers’ museum. Once you’ve paid off your debt to Tom Nook, he graciously expands your house and grants you a new loan. It’s a classic tale of capitalism.

There’s plenty of stuff you can do in addition to working on your housing debt as well. You can design the interior of your house, collect rare items, work on completing the museum, and meet your neighbours. The other townsfolk are a collection of cute animals who will move in and out of the Village. You can celebrate holidays, birthdays, and special events, exploring the Village and the animals who live in it.

Now New Horizons takes the classic Animal Crossing formula and adds a little twist to it. Instead of living in the typical Village, you arrive at an uninhabited island. Tom Nook, alongside his nephews, Timmy and Tommy, have bought an island and are offering you and three other townsfolk a new life on a brand new island. Besides to paying off your housing debt and decorating your house, you can also decorate the entire island and make decisions about its layout. This is the most autonomy the player has had over the layout and look of their village, as well as the townsfolk who reside there.

Animal Crossing is a peaceful experience with pleasing graphics and music. It’s a classic game; with the Villager and staple Animal Crossing characters like Isabel being playable Smash characters. It has been an established and loved game for over twenty years.

But Animal Crossing, specifically New Horizons, is not without its flaws. The game moves in real-time, and while you can cheat and time jump, it can definitely become monotonous. New Horizons is also lacking in events. The game has decided to release new features in free updates as time goes on. For example, the ability to swim and dive was added to the June 22nd update, four months after the game’s release. New holidays, furniture, and characters also prop up in updates. New Horizons also has a crafting feature, and while it adds a new element to the game, it makes it significantly harder to get the furniture and design pieces the player desires. The townsfolk also have limited dialogue options, and interacting with them can become boring.

In an effort to make New Horizons feel new every few months, it comes across as feeling incomplete. It is easy to feel as though you’re doing chores, rather than playing a game.

Stardew Valley

Similar to Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley is also a game about building up a village and home. Both games are designed for peaceful escapism to a quiet town. But Stardew Valley absolutely has its differences from Animal Crossing. It’s a much newer game, coming out February 26, 2016, and is playable on several consoles; PC, Playstation, Xbox, Switch, iOS, and Android.

You play as the Farmer, moving to your deceased grandfather’s farm to escape the monotony of life in the big city. You earn money by selling your crops, fishing and mining. Stardew Valley also has a pretty large crafting feature; like Animal Crossing.

But where the character interactions in Animal Crossing or meant to be cute or humorous with very little long-term consequences, your relationship with the other residents in Stardew Valley are a massive part of the game. You can even marry another character and have children with them. Once you reach certain relationship levels with them, you may receive a cut scene giving you more insight as to who they are. These cutscenes reveal an intricate and interesting larger story taking place in the valley.

There is also a combat feature because as you mine, you encounter monsters. Some cute 8-bit creatures to get your heart racing. There are mysteries to unlock throughout the valley as well. Supernatural elements abound through sightings of mermaids, woodland creatures, and the cooky Wizard.

Stardew Valley has seasonal events as well. They are cute and low-stakes events where you can get to know the other residents of the Valley and enjoy each other’s company. There are larger events as well, progressing the longer you live in the Valley, that have long-term implications for the community.

Simply put; Stardew Valley has significantly more to do than Animal Crossing and a much more elaborate plotline. But where Stardew Valley is more intricate than Animal Crossing, it is also more complicated. There is a lot to keep up with, and sometimes it feels as though there are not enough virtual hours in a day to get done all the Farmer needs to do. Time in Stardew Valley moves fast, with each hour passing by in increments of ten minutes, seven seconds in real life between them. If your Farmer is awake past 2am they will pass out, so you have to be in bed at a reasonable time.

Even though Animal Crossing can become boring in its simplicity, Stardew Valley becomes almost overwhelming. Do you focus on the Farmer’s love life? Turning a fast crop profit? Upgrading your house? Exploring the mine? Because there is definitely not enough time in the Stardew Valley day to do it all.

Furthermore, to the graphics snob, it should be noted that Stardew Valley is an 8-bit game. But the game design is beautiful, and the music is cute and relaxing.

The Village or the Valley?

In the question of Animal Crossing vs. Stardew Valley, the answer comes down to one thing. Do you want to do simple tasks to take your mind off the stresses of the day? Then your answer is Animal Crossing. Do you want to dive into an intricate world with nuanced stories, prepared to put some work into your farm? Stardew Valley is your game.

They both scratch the same itch. Simplistic escapism in the form of simple tasks and cute stories. The question is how you scratch that itch.


Thanks for reading our Animal Crossing vs Stardew Valley article. Which side do you fall on? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.


Read about seven Nintendo Switch games to get excited about HERE.

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