The most recognizable video game characters of all time

Video games have exploded in recent decades from a niche hobby to a global cultural institution. However, video games, particularly console and PC games, still have a limited reach for some audiences. Some people go through their lives without even touching a controller.

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However, that doesn’t mean that these people are totally ignorant of gaming. On the contrary, video games have become so culturally popular that some of their most iconic characters can reach those outside the medium, whether they are company mascots, present in other forms of entertainment, or simply inescapable in pop culture.



10 pac man

pac man

Games Pac-Man Power Pellet Ghost Attack

pac manThe titular character is inescapable due to his long career. He has appeared in video games since the 1980s, serving as one of arcade gaming’s most prominent icons. This has given him a lasting presence in pop culture that many other video game characters lack.

Most people will recognize Pac-Man by sight. Its distinctive appearance of a circle with a mouth makes it unmistakable. Also, he is one of the first characters that non-gamers will imagine when they think of arcade games. Pac-Man is a nostalgic reminder of childhood for some and a symbol of an entire subculture for others.

9 Lara Croft

tomb Raider

Lara Croft has directed nineteen tomb Raider games since 1996. It has long been one of the most distinctive protagonists in gaming due to its long history, distinctive design, and rendering. She is well known to some non-gamers because of the movies. there have been three tomb Raider movies since 2001, some of which have achieved respectable box office numbers.

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However, the fame of Lara Croft goes further tomb Raider games and movies. He has entered the mainstream of pop culture. In particular, the design of her has made her one of the first genuine sex symbols in video games. Her design and the debates around it have made the character known to the general public.

8 Steve


Steve walks through a field with Alex climbing in the background in key art for Minecraft

Minecraft it is by far the best selling game of all time. It has more than 200 million copies since 2011 and has become a giant of global pop culture. Minecraft it has become iconic of the 2010 games as a whole. This popularity has brought him a kind of cultural ubiquity.

Non-gamers may be exposed to Minecraft from various sources. Non-gaming parents almost certainly know this through their children. Internet users are exposed to memes, YouTube videos, news, and more. People who don’t play the game may not know the name of MinecraftSteve’s protagonist. However, they certainly recognize the blocky design of him for everyone.

7 Geralt of Rivia

The Wizard

The WizardGeralt de Rivia is one of the most iconic video game protagonists of recent years. He is a clear fan favorite among gamers due to his cool aesthetic, compelling characterization, and central role in some of the most popular games ever. In addition, however, he has become well known to people outside of gaming.

For one thing, Geralt’s origins are in print. The Wizard it has been a series of short stories and books for much longer than a trilogy of video games. Besides, The Wizard It has recently become a mainline show on Netflix, directed by the popular celebrity Henry Cavill in its first few seasons. This has dramatically increased the character’s pop culture exposure.

6 Pikachu


Pokémon Sun and Moon Mime Ash Pikachu Female Pikachu

He Pokemon The franchise is much more than just video games. It is known for its trading card game, merchandise, television show, and more. However, Pokemon has its roots in gaming. As a result, his mascot Pikachu, first introduced in pokemon red and blueHe is one of the most recognizable video game characters in history.

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Pikachu’s role as PokemonThe mascot of is not limited to video games. It’s the result of his iconic partnership with Ash Ketchum in the Pokemon anime. This has greatly boosted his profile both in and out of gaming. Pokemon and Pikachu are so well known to the general public that it has been reported by major news sites that Ash became World Champion to millions of non-gamers.

5 main boss


aura is one of the oldest and most influential first-person shooter franchises still running today. Its protagonist, Master Chief, is a beloved and iconic character in gaming. His simple design, his stoic personality, and his long place in 21st century gaming history have earned him many fans.

Master Chief’s status as an emblem of one of the most profitable gaming franchises has landed him in pop culture. He is also the mascot of Xbox, one of the consoles most recognized by the public. The recent Halo series has enhanced his pop culture profiles, particularly the debates surrounding his characterization.

4 ellie

The last of us

The last of us he has some presence outside of the games due to his immense prestige. Many gamers hold up the franchise as an example of video games as art, sparking scholarly debate. This has increased the awareness of the game in the public eye. As a result, co-star Ellie has become one of the PlayStation mascots and is known to many people.

Various other things have catapulted Ellie into prominence. The controversy over The Last of Us Part IIThe story of has been divisive and pervasive enough to become mainstream news. Also, HBO The last of us The series has proven to be a consistent success, reaching high ratings during its one season. It has helped make the franchise much more popular.

3 Mario


Mario gesturing from behind in Super Mario

Mario has been a gaming icon since 1981, with the release of donkey kong. He has since gone on to direct his own series at Nintendo, complete with many other subseries, crossovers into other franchises, and many more. Players can’t go more than a few months without seeing Mario in something.

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However, the character’s prominence extends outside of the Mario games. He is the general mascot of Nintendo. Nintendo’s prominent place in pop culture has made it well known. He Super Mario Bros. Movie it’s unusual in that everyone who saw it probably knew who Mario was beforehand. He is the most recognizable character in gaming by a long shot.

2 the doom slayer


Condemn it has the unusual accolade of being one of the first truly controversial video games. In addition to being a pioneer of the first-person shooter genre, it’s been making headlines for decades. Doom’s history includes numerous people and groups protesting the inclusion of demons and the occult.

As a result, Condemn has fame and notoriety. Gamers know him for pushing a beloved genre forward and its successful revival in Condemn (2016). It is known to the general public as a controversial game in which players fight their way through the hordes of hell.

1 Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic The Hedgehog In Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog is an icon of the 16-bit gaming era. He has spent time as a fierce rival to Mario for the most recognizable character in gaming. Although he has fallen behind the old enemy of his, Sonic remains undeniably known to the public. He is the first ‘attitude pet’ in the games and the one with the longest lifespan.

In particular, Sonic’s profile has been raised in recent years in live action. He Sonic the Hedgehog The movies have shown unexpected hits, popular with many audiences. Additionally, the widespread controversy over Sonic’s appearance in trailers for the first film became a mainstream media sensation.

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