Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Video games have been a part of our lives for over four decades now, and with their ever-evolving storylines and characters, they have captured the hearts of millions of gamers worldwide. Among these captivating characters, there are those who have stood out and won the hearts of players, making them the most loved protagonists in video games. But who among these beloved characters stands out as the most adored? In this comprehensive analysis, we will delve into the world of video games and uncover the most loved protagonist, exploring their unique traits, impact on the gaming industry, and the reason behind their enduring popularity. Get ready to embark on a journey through the world of video games and discover the protagonist who has captured the hearts of gamers everywhere.

Characteristics of a Beloved Protagonist

Empathy and Relatability

  • Understanding the audience’s emotions and experiences
    • A protagonist that is able to connect with the player on an emotional level is often seen as more relatable and likable. This can be achieved through the use of a protagonist that is struggling with similar issues as the player, or by giving the protagonist a distinct personality that resonates with the player.
  • Protagonists with distinct personalities and backgrounds
    • Players tend to form a stronger connection with protagonists who have unique and well-defined personalities. This can include protagonists with strong moral codes, those who are struggling with personal demons, or those who are simply eccentric and quirky. Additionally, protagonists with diverse backgrounds and experiences can also add to their relatability, as players can see aspects of themselves in these characters.

Strong Moral Compass

When examining the characteristics of a beloved protagonist in video games, a strong moral compass stands out as a crucial element. A protagonist with a strong moral compass embodies the values of integrity, fairness, and justice, making them an admirable and relatable figure.

Standing for What is Right

Protagonists with a strong moral compass are often depicted as champions of truth and righteousness. They stand up against oppressive forces, fight for the downtrodden, and strive to create a better world. Examples of such characters include Ezio Auditore from the Assassin’s Creed series, who battles against corrupt political powers, and Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher series, who defends the innocent from supernatural threats.

Clear Sense of Justice

A strong moral compass also involves having a clear sense of justice. These protagonists seek to uphold the law or create their own sense of justice when the system fails. For instance, Phoenix Wright from the Ace Attorney series is a lawyer who fights for the innocent and ensures that justice is served. Similarly, Red Dead Redemption’s John Marston has a personal code of honor that drives him to pursue justice for his former outlaw gang.

Additionally, protagonists with a strong moral compass often grapple with the complexities of their chosen path. They may struggle with the ethical implications of their actions or the sacrifices they must make to maintain their ideals. This inner turmoil adds depth to their character and makes them more relatable to players, who may also face moral dilemmas in their own lives.

Overall, a strong moral compass is a vital characteristic of a beloved protagonist in video games. These characters embody the values that players strive to uphold, making them inspiring figures that players can root for throughout their gaming journey.

Personal Growth and Development

When it comes to creating a protagonist that gamers will love, personal growth and development is a crucial element. Gamers often connect with characters who evolve throughout the story, overcoming obstacles and personal struggles. This section will delve into the details of how personal growth and development can make a protagonist more lovable.

  • Overcoming Challenges: One of the primary reasons that gamers love to see a protagonist grow and develop is that it allows them to overcome challenges. This can include physical challenges, such as defeating enemies or solving puzzles, as well as emotional challenges, such as overcoming fear or learning to trust others. By seeing the protagonist grow and change, gamers feel invested in their journey and want to see them succeed.
  • Personal Struggles: Another important aspect of personal growth and development is the protagonist’s personal struggles. These struggles can be internal, such as dealing with feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt, or external, such as dealing with a difficult family situation or a personal tragedy. By showing the protagonist’s struggles and how they overcome them, gamers can relate to the character on a deeper level and feel more invested in their journey.
  • Character Arc: A well-crafted character arc is essential for a beloved protagonist. This involves taking the character on a journey from their starting point to their ultimate goal. Along the way, they should encounter obstacles and challenges that force them to grow and change. A strong character arc can make a protagonist more lovable because it shows that they are capable of growth and change, and that they are willing to work hard to achieve their goals.
  • Realistic Development: While personal growth and development can be a powerful tool for creating a beloved protagonist, it is important to make sure that the development feels realistic. Characters should not suddenly become completely different people without any explanation or motivation. Instead, their growth should be gradual and believable, based on the events and experiences that they have gone through.

In conclusion, personal growth and development is a crucial element in creating a beloved protagonist in video games. By showing the character overcoming challenges, dealing with personal struggles, undergoing a strong character arc, and developing in a realistic way, gamers can become invested in the protagonist’s journey and feel more connected to them.

Engaging Storytelling

Captivating Narratives and Plot Twists

A key element in creating a beloved protagonist is crafting captivating narratives and plot twists that keep players engaged and invested in the story. These elements are often woven into the fabric of the game, driving the player’s motivation to continue playing and exploring the world. A well-crafted narrative can make the player feel like they are part of the story, emotionally connecting them to the protagonist and their journey.

Dynamic and Memorable Characters

In addition to captivating narratives, a beloved protagonist is often surrounded by dynamic and memorable characters. These characters can be allies, enemies, or even the environment itself, but they all play a role in shaping the protagonist’s journey. A beloved protagonist is often defined by their relationships with these characters, and the player’s investment in these relationships can make the story even more impactful. Memorable characters can also provide a sense of nostalgia, bringing players back to the game even years after its release.

Overall, engaging storytelling is a crucial component in creating a beloved protagonist in video games. Through captivating narratives, plot twists, dynamic characters, and memorable relationships, players are drawn into the world and become emotionally invested in the protagonist’s journey.

Top Protagonists in Video Games

Key takeaway: To create a beloved protagonist in video games, it is important to develop a character with empathy and relatability, a strong moral compass, and a sense of personal growth and development. Engaging storytelling, dynamic and memorable characters, and an iconic weapon can also contribute to a protagonist’s appeal.

1. Mario (Super Mario series)

Classic platformer with timeless gameplay

Mario, the iconic character from the Super Mario series, has been a beloved protagonist in the world of video games for decades. Created by Nintendo, the Super Mario series is a classic platformer that has been entertaining gamers of all ages since its debut in 1985. The game’s timeless gameplay, simple yet challenging levels, and lovable characters have made it a staple in the gaming industry.

Kind-hearted and determined protagonist

Mario is a kind-hearted and determined protagonist who has become a symbol of goodness and courage in the gaming world. He is a humble and unassuming character who is always willing to help others, even when it puts himself in danger. This heroic quality has endeared him to players of all ages, making him one of the most beloved characters in video game history.

Furthermore, Mario’s determination to save Princess Peach and restore peace to the Mushroom Kingdom is an inspiration to many players. His relentless pursuit of justice and his bravery in the face of danger have made him a role model for gamers everywhere.

Overall, Mario’s enduring popularity as a protagonist is a testament to his timeless appeal and the lasting impact of the Super Mario series on the gaming industry.

2. Link (The Legend of Zelda series)

Epic adventure across multiple console generations

The Legend of Zelda series has been a staple of the gaming industry for over three decades, and it has been credited with pioneering the action-adventure genre. Throughout its various iterations, the series has consistently followed the exploits of its titular protagonist, Link, as he embarks on an epic quest to save the kingdom of Hyrule from destruction. Each new installment of the series brings new challenges and enemies for Link to overcome, making the franchise a perennial favorite among gamers of all ages.

Skilled warrior with a noble spirit

Link is a skilled warrior, trained in the use of a variety of weapons and fighting styles. He is known for his bravery and determination in the face of danger, and he has a strong sense of justice that drives him to take on even the most formidable foes. Despite his formidable abilities, however, Link is also a compassionate and empathetic character, always willing to lend a hand to those in need. This combination of strength and compassion has made him a beloved figure among gamers, who have come to admire and respect him for his noble spirit.

3. Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII)

Introduction to Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII, a role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix, was first released in 1997. The game’s storyline revolves around a group of rebels fighting against an evil corporation known as Shinra, which is draining the planet’s life force. The protagonist, Cloud Strife, is a former member of Shinra’s elite force, known as SOLDIER, who joins the rebels in their fight against the corporation.

Cloud Strife as a Complex and Mysterious Protagonist

Cloud Strife is a complex and mysterious protagonist who captivates players with his conflicted personality and intriguing backstory. Throughout the game, players learn about Cloud’s past, including his time as a SOLDIER and his traumatic experiences in the war. This complex character development makes Cloud a relatable and beloved protagonist among gamers.

The Mako Energy Source

The game’s storyline is set in a world where the planet’s life force, known as Mako energy, is being drained by Shinra. Cloud’s journey is not only about fighting against Shinra but also about understanding the consequences of using Mako energy and finding a way to save the planet. This deeper meaning to the story adds to the intrigue and appeal of Cloud’s character.

Iconic Weapon: The Buster Sword

Cloud’s iconic weapon, the Buster Sword, is one of the most recognizable symbols in gaming culture. The sheer size and power of the sword make it an impressive and intimidating weapon, which is fitting for Cloud’s character as a former SOLDIER. The Buster Sword also serves as a symbol of Cloud’s past and his journey towards redemption.


Cloud Strife, the protagonist of Final Fantasy VII, is a complex and mysterious character who captivates players with his intriguing backstory and deeper meaning to the game’s storyline. His journey to save the planet from the evil corporation Shinra and understand the consequences of using Mako energy makes him a relatable and beloved protagonist among gamers. The iconic Buster Sword, his weapon of choice, is a symbol of his past and his journey towards redemption.

4. Ezio Auditore (Assassin’s Creed II)

Rich Historical Setting and Engaging Story

Ezio Auditore, the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed II, is set in the rich and historical setting of Renaissance Italy. The game’s story follows Ezio’s journey as he becomes a member of the Assassin Brotherhood and battles against the Templar Order. The game’s narrative is a key factor in its success, with its intricate plot and well-developed characters keeping players engaged from start to finish.

Charismatic and Resourceful Protagonist

Ezio Auditore is a charismatic and resourceful protagonist, making him a fan favorite. He is a skilled fighter and assassin, able to navigate the game’s world with ease. Players enjoy controlling a character who is both powerful and cunning, able to take on any challenge that comes his way. Additionally, Ezio’s character development throughout the game is well-done, with players becoming invested in his story and growth as a character.

Overall, Ezio Auditore is a well-designed protagonist who embodies many of the qualities that make for a great video game character. His rich historical setting, engaging story, and charismatic personality make him a standout among other video game protagonists.

5. Geralt of Rivia (The Witcher series)

Geralt of Rivia, the protagonist of the popular video game series “The Witcher,” has captured the hearts of many gamers and fans alike. Created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, Geralt’s character has since been adapted into a hit video game series developed by CD Projekt Red.

Dark and Mature Fantasy World

The world of “The Witcher” is set in a dark and mature fantasy universe, filled with political intrigue, monsters, and morally ambiguous characters. The game’s storyline is deeply rooted in Slavic folklore, with influences from other mythologies, making it a unique and captivating experience for players. The game’s atmosphere is rich and immersive, with a focus on storytelling and character development, which adds to the game’s appeal.

Skilled Monster Hunter with a Tragic Past

Geralt is a skilled monster hunter, possessing supernatural abilities and a unique fighting style known as “signs.” Players take on the role of Geralt, navigating through a vast open-world, battling various monsters and creatures, and completing quests. Geralt’s tragic past is a significant aspect of his character, which adds depth and complexity to his personality. Players can explore Geralt’s backstory through the game’s narrative, further enriching their understanding of his motivations and actions.

Additionally, Geralt’s relationships with other characters in the game are well-developed, adding to his appeal as a protagonist. His dynamic with his love interest, Yennefer, and his loyal friend, Ciri, are particularly noteworthy, showcasing Geralt’s capacity for love and loyalty despite his gruff exterior.

Overall, Geralt of Rivia’s intricate character design, coupled with the game’s rich storytelling and immersive world-building, has made him a fan favorite among video game protagonists.

6. Joel (The Last of Us series)

Emotional Post-Apocalyptic Story

Joel, the protagonist of The Last of Us series, is a character that resonates deeply with gamers due to his role in an emotionally charged post-apocalyptic story. Set in a world overrun by a fungal infection that has destroyed civilization, Joel is a smuggler who must navigate the dangers of this new world to survive. The game’s narrative is driven by Joel’s relationships with other characters, particularly his bond with Ellie, a young girl who may hold the key to finding a cure for the infection. As players follow Joel’s journey, they become invested in his growth as a character and his efforts to protect those he cares about.

Protective and Experienced Protagonist

Joel’s role as a protector is a key aspect of his appeal as a protagonist. Throughout the game, he is faced with numerous challenges that require him to use his skills and experience to keep himself and Ellie alive. Whether it’s navigating a hostile environment, fending off infected creatures, or avoiding dangerous human factions, Joel consistently demonstrates his ability to adapt to new situations and keep his wits about him. This aspect of his character makes him an endearing and relatable figure, as players can’t help but root for him as he battles against the odds to keep Ellie safe.

Additionally, Joel’s character is shaped by his past experiences, which are gradually revealed throughout the game. These experiences have hardened him, but they have also made him more empathetic and willing to take risks to protect others. As players learn more about Joel’s backstory, they gain a deeper understanding of his motivations and the sacrifices he is willing to make for those he cares about. This adds an extra layer of depth to his character, making him a complex and nuanced protagonist that players can’t help but admire.

Influence of a Beloved Protagonist

Impact on Game Sales and Popularity

A beloved protagonist can have a significant impact on the sales and popularity of a video game. Research has shown that there is a strong correlation between the popularity of the protagonist and the success of the game. This is particularly true for long-term franchises, where a beloved protagonist can help sustain the franchise’s popularity over time.

For example, the protagonist of the Final Fantasy series, Cloud Strife, is one of the most beloved characters in video game history. His popularity has helped to drive the success of the Final Fantasy franchise, which has sold over 120 million units worldwide. Similarly, the protagonist of The Legend of Zelda series, Link, is another iconic character who has helped to make the franchise one of the most successful in video game history, with over 80 million units sold worldwide.

Furthermore, a beloved protagonist can also have a positive impact on the game’s reception by critics and players alike. When players are invested in a character’s story and development, they are more likely to be engaged with the game as a whole. This can lead to positive word-of-mouth and reviews, which can in turn drive more sales and popularity for the game.

Overall, the impact of a beloved protagonist on game sales and popularity cannot be overstated. By creating memorable and relatable characters, game developers can tap into the emotions of players and create a deeper connection to their games, which can translate into long-term success for their franchises.

Fan Communities and Cosplay

The impact of a beloved protagonist on fan communities and cosplay cannot be overstated. These cultural icons inspire a wide range of fan-created art, cosplay, and fanfiction, all of which serve to deepen the connection between the character and the audience.

Protagonists as Cultural Icons

Beloved video game protagonists often transcend the medium itself, becoming cultural icons that resonate with people beyond the realm of gaming. These characters have the power to capture the imagination of millions, fostering a sense of identification and affiliation among their fans. They may represent a particular value, ideology, or archetype that resonates with players, making them feel seen and understood in a world that can often feel isolating and overwhelming.

Fan-Created Art, Cosplay, and Fanfiction

Fan communities are often a breeding ground for creativity, with fans expressing their love and admiration for their favorite characters through various forms of fan-created content. Art, cosplay, and fanfiction are some of the most prominent examples of this phenomenon, showcasing the immense impact that a beloved protagonist can have on the lives of their fans.

  • Art: Fan-created art, including fan art and fan comics, has become a ubiquitous presence in the online landscape. These works often explore alternative scenarios, character dynamics, and themes that resonate with the fanbase, providing a platform for self-expression and exploration. By creating and sharing their art, fans can connect with one another over their shared love for a particular character or franchise, fostering a sense of community and belonging.
  • Cosplay: Cosplay, or costume play, has become an increasingly popular form of self-expression for fans. Many cosplayers take on the persona of their favorite video game protagonists, embodying their characters’ traits, mannerisms, and even dialogue. Cosplay events provide a platform for fans to showcase their creations, interact with like-minded individuals, and engage in immersive roleplay. The shared experience of cosplaying as a beloved protagonist can create a profound sense of connection and understanding among fans, reinforcing their emotional bond with the character.
  • Fanfiction: Fanfiction, or fan-written stories, has been a staple of fan communities for decades. Many fans use fanfiction as a means of exploring alternative storylines, character dynamics, and themes that resonate with them. By writing and sharing their stories, fans can engage with their favorite characters on a deeper level, delving into their emotions, motivations, and inner worlds. Fanfiction also provides a platform for self-expression, enabling fans to explore their own ideas and perspectives within the context of a cherished franchise.

In conclusion, the influence of a beloved video game protagonist on fan communities and cosplay cannot be overstated. These characters inspire a wide range of fan-created content, fostering a sense of connection, identification, and belonging among their fans. By engaging with their favorite characters through art, cosplay, and fanfiction, fans can explore their emotions, express their creativity, and connect with like-minded individuals, deepening their emotional bond with the character and the world they inhabit.

Impact on Game Design and Development

The presence of a beloved protagonist in a video game can have a significant impact on the game design and development process. Developers must carefully balance gameplay and storytelling elements to create a compelling and engaging experience for players.

One key aspect of this balance is incorporating player preferences and feedback. Developers must consider the opinions of their audience when designing the game, as a protagonist that is well-liked by players can contribute to a game’s overall success. This can involve conducting surveys, focus groups, and playtesting to gather feedback on the game’s protagonist and other aspects of the game.

Another factor to consider is the character’s role in the game’s narrative. A beloved protagonist can help drive the story forward and create an emotional connection with the player. This can be achieved through a well-crafted character arc, relatable personality traits, and engaging dialogue.

Moreover, the design of the game’s world and environment can also be influenced by the protagonist. A beloved protagonist can help make the game world feel more immersive and realistic, which can enhance the overall gaming experience.

In conclusion, the impact of a beloved protagonist on game design and development cannot be overstated. Developers must carefully balance gameplay and storytelling elements, incorporate player preferences and feedback, and craft a compelling narrative to create a successful and engaging video game.


1. Who is the most loved protagonist in video games?


There are many beloved protagonists in video games, but one of the most popular is undoubtedly Mario from the Mario series. He has been a staple in the gaming industry for decades and has captured the hearts of gamers worldwide with his endearing personality, relentless optimism, and unwavering determination to save Princess Peach. Other contenders for the title of most loved protagonist include characters like Link from The Legend of Zelda series, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series.

2. What makes a protagonist lovable in video games?

There are many qualities that can make a protagonist lovable in video games. One of the most important is relatability. Gamers want to feel a connection to the character they are playing as, and they are more likely to love a protagonist who they can see themselves in or who they can root for. Other qualities that can make a protagonist lovable include bravery, humor, kindness, and a strong sense of morality. A protagonist who embodies these qualities can become a beloved icon in the gaming world.

3. Are there any negative aspects to being a beloved protagonist?

While being a beloved protagonist can be a great honor, it can also come with its challenges. For example, gamers may have high expectations for a beloved protagonist, which can put pressure on the character and the developers who create them. Additionally, a beloved protagonist may be difficult to reinvent or change, which can limit the creative direction of the franchise. Finally, a beloved protagonist may be the target of backlash or criticism if they make mistakes or are perceived as failing to live up to expectations.

4. How does a protagonist’s design contribute to their lovability?

A protagonist’s design plays a crucial role in their lovability. A well-designed protagonist can make them more relatable, more visually appealing, and more memorable. For example, a protagonist with a unique and recognizable appearance, such as Mario’s distinctive red and blue jumpsuit, can make them more easily identifiable and lovable. Additionally, a protagonist’s design can convey important aspects of their personality, such as Link’s rugged and adventurous appearance or Lara Croft’s confident and fierce demeanor.

5. Can a protagonist become unlovable over time?

Yes, a protagonist can become unlovable over time. If a character’s actions or personality change in ways that are unappealing to fans, or if the franchise strays too far from what made the character popular in the first place, gamers may begin to lose interest in the protagonist. Additionally, if a franchise becomes stale or repetitive, gamers may grow tired of the protagonist and the franchise as a whole. To maintain a protagonist’s lovability, it is important for developers to constantly innovate and evolve the character while staying true to their core qualities.

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