Can you guess who the top video game character of all time is?

A roundup of the video game characters
(Image credit: DerpyLulu)

From Italian plumbers to electric-powered creatures, we all have our favourite video game characters, right? But have you ever thought about which characters would make a top 50 list? Well, now you don't have to, because we've just discovered Guinness World Records' top 50 most popular gaming characters. 

Before you start immediately tallying up who you think you would make the list, let me warn you – the results are pretty surprising. The characters were voted for by 13,000 gamers back in 2011, and of course, there are some pretty familiar faces among the line-up but also some plot twists (kind of upset that the Chihuahua from Nintendogs didn't make the top 50). If you're feeling inspired by all this game talk, then why not treat yourself to one of the best games consoles of all time?

A close up of super mario

Can you guess who came first place? (Image credit: Nintendo)

Sitting proudly at the top of the list (see below) is Mario, Link from the Legend of Zelda and Master Chief from the Halo series. It's a strong top three, and we like that both Nintendo and Xbox characters are being represented at the top, but below these three, things start to get, er, a little weird. 

When I think of the best video game characters, the first few that spring to mind are the likes of Pikachu, Sonic or even Ezio from Assassin's Creed. But fans have voted those three pretty far down the list, with Pac-Man and Lara Croft placing higher than the three. We're pretty shocked to see Little Big Planet's Sackboy right at the bottom of the list, as well as Sypro at 39, and Bowser at 47 (seriously guys, did Gay Bowser-gate happen for no reason?). 

1.    Mario (Donkey Kong, Nintendo, 1981)
2.    Link (The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo, 1986)
3.    Master Chief (Halo: Combat Evolved, Microsoft, 2001)
4.    Solid Snake (Metal Gear, Konami, 1987)
5.    Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII, Square, 1997)
6.    PAC-Man (PAC-Man, Namco, 1980)
7.    Lara Croft (Tomb Raider, Eidos 1996)
8.    Gordon Freeman (Half-Life, Valve, 1998)
9.    Kratos (God of War, Sony, 2005)
10.  Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega, 1990)
11.  Crash (Crash Bandicoot, Sony, 1996)
12.  “Soap” MacTavish (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Activision, 2007)
13.  Nico Bellic (Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar, 2008)
14.  Samus Aran (Metroid, Nintendo 1986)
15.  Ratchet (Ratchet & Clank, Sony, 2002)
16.  Nathan Drake (Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Sony, 2007)
17.  Captain Price (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Activision, 2007)
18.  Kirby (Kirby’s Dream Land, Nintendo, 1992)
19.  Marcus Fenix (Gears of War, Microsoft, 2006)
20.  Pikachu (Pokemon Red/Green, Nintendo 1996)
21.  Yoshi (Super Mario World, Nintendo, 1990)
22.  “CJ” Johnson (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Rockstar, 2004)
23.  Mega Man (Mega Man, Capcom, 1987)
24.  Sam Fisher (Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Ubisoft, 2002)
25.  Shadow (Sonic Adventure 2, Sega, 2001)
26.  Jak (Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Sony, 2001)
27.  Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem, Apogee, 1991)
28.  Dante (Devil May Cry, Bandai, 2003)
29.  Naruto (Naruto: Konoha Ninpoch, Bandai, 2003)
30.  Altair (Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft, 2007)
31.  Zelda (The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo, 1986)
32.  Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII, Square, 1997)
33.  Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong, Nintendo, 1981)
34.  The Prince (Prince of Persia, Broderbund, 1989)
35.  Ezio (Assassin’s Creed II, Ubisoft, 2009)
36.  Leon S (Biohazard/ Resident Evil, Capcom, 1996)
37.  Ash Ketchum (Pokemon Red/Green, Nintendo, 1996)
38.  Guybrush Threepwood (The Secret of Monkey Island, LucasArts, 1990)
39.  Spyro (Spyro the Dragon, Universal, 1998)
40.  “Ghost” Riley (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Activision, 2009)
41.  Goku (Dragon Daihikyoe, Epoch, 1987)
42.  Max Payne (Max Payne, Rockstar, 2001)
43.  Jill Valentine (Biohazard/ Resident Evil, Capcom, 1996)
44.  Princess Peach (Super Mario Bros., Nintendo, 1985)
45.  Larry Laffer (Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, Sierra, 1987)
46.  Augustus Cole (Gears of War, Microsoft, 2006)
47.  Bowser (Super Mario Bros., Nintendo, 1985)
48.  Eddie Riggs (Brutal Legend, EA, 2009)
49.  Ryu (Street Fighter, Capcom, 1987)
50.  Sackboy (LittleBigPlanet, Sony, 2008)

There are certainly a few names I would like to rejig, but I'm pleased to see that Crash Bandicoot, Kirby and Ash Ketchum all made the top 50. I'd like to add a couple of modern names to the list that wouldn't have been out back in 2011. I would chuck Brewster the barista pigeon from Animal Crossing in the mix, as well as Professor Layton from the detective game series. 

I'm probably going to spend all afternoon curating my own top 50 list now, just so my favourite characters can have their moment. But in the meantime, if you'd like to brush up on your gaming knowledge, make sure you check out our roundup of the best Nintendo Switch games. Or if you'd rather upgrade your gaming set-up, make sure you have a look at our guide to the best L-shaped desks

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Amelia Bamsey
Staff Writer

Amelia is Creative Bloq’s Staff Writer. After completing a degree in Popular Music and a Master’s in Song Writing, Amelia began designing posters, logos, album covers and websites for musicians. She now enjoys covering a range of topics on Creative Bloq, including posters, optical illusions, logos (she's a particular fan of logo Easter eggs), gaming and illustration. In her free time, she relishes in the likes of art (especially the Pre-Raphaelites), photography and literature. Amelia prides herself on her unorthodox creative methods, her Animal Crossing island and her extensive music library.