Well here we are, presenting you with another Source Gaming Choice article. Last time we looked at New Stages. This time however, we’re going to be doing something a little different, and far more ambitious. In light of Cloud’s reveal as a future downloadable Smash character, there has been a lot of heavy debate within the community about 3rd Party characters. More than ever. Today we’re going to be looking at who is left from gaming that constitutes as an All-Star of gaming.
Following this set of guidelines:
1: They must have impacted gaming in some way.
2: Their franchise must have some kind of legacy in video game history.
3: The character must have some kind of impact in its own franchise.
4: That character must be a gaming icon and recognizable.
The SourceGaming team has voted (and heavily debated) many, many characters that we deemed to be All-Stars. Below you will find a list of the characters we considered to be gaming All-Stars, ordered and arranged by how many of us deemed that character to be worthy of the All-Star moniker.
We have also set up a poll for you, the readers to vote on. Please vote in this poll, and get spread the poll around as much as you can! The results will be used in SourceCast #5.
Solid Snake: – Arcaira, Frostwraith, gameonion, Nantendo, Nirbion, PushDustIn, TheAnvil, Spazzy_D, Smashchu,
Written by Smashchu
Snake, the legendary soldier of fortune, has long since established himself as a gaming icon. Created by Hideo Kojima, he first appeared in Metal Gear for the MSX in 1987. However, the series, and Snake, really hit it big with the Metal Gear Solid series, first appearing on the Playstation in 1998. The series eventually spawned numerous hits and spin-off games, with the most recent game, Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain, topping the sales charts the month of its release. Snake’s, with his CQC, sneaking, box related shenanigans and needing to repeat what he just heard, has managed to infiltrate his way into the video game hall of fame. It’s no doubt his prestige was a big reason Sakurai included him in Brawl’s roster.
Bomberman – Frostwraith, Nantendo, PushDustIn, TheAnvil, Nirbion, gameonion, Spazzy_D, Smashchu
Written by Spazzy_D
Super Smash Bros. is, primarily, a mascot fighter. Mascots, from Mario to Mickey Mouse, act as the face of the companies they represent. Bomberman is the mascot for Hudsonsoft, a company that (before being absorbed by Konami) had a very long and very storied history in the video game industry. Do I really need to say more?
Just in case I do, Bomberman is one of the most recognizable characters in video game history. He has been featured in over 70 games on almost every console imaginable as well as on mobile platforms and in arcades. The White Bomber has also been featured in several anime and manga adaptations. The battle mode, first introduced in Bomberman II, is frantic multiplayer fun, and Bomberman often pushed the limits of what consoles could do with simultaneous multiplayer. Two great examples of this are Super Bomberman on the SNES, which allowed for 4 players, and Saturn Bomberman, which allowed for a whooping 10. Hudson even made specials versions of the multi-tap for both systems in shape of Bomberman’s head!
Master Chief – Arcaira, Nantendo, TheAnvil, PushDustIn, Frostwraith, Nirbion, Spazzy_D
Written by PushDustIn
Possibly one of the newest all-star on this list, Master Chief was created by Bungie Studios in 2001. Since the launch of Halo, Master Chief has propelled to the forefront of iconic characters from both Microsoft and the Xbox brand. Halo: Combat Evolved is currently ranked the 17th best game of all time on Metacritic, and has pushed the FPS genre on consoles to widespread popularity. Halo has built modern shooters with its regenerative health, and the ability to only hold two guns. In addition to the online multiplayer, this has streamlined shooters and many other franchises owe their success to Master Chief. The suit and character itself is incredibly iconic spawning a lot of merchandise and has become instantly recognizable for gamers and non-gamers alike.
Lara Croft – Frostwraith, Nantendo, Nirbion, PushDustIn, Spazzy_D, TheAnvil
Written by PushDustIn
Lara Croft is one of the most iconic female characters in gaming history. She made her debut in 1996 on DOS, Saturn and the Playstation. Gamers quickly fell in love with Lara as they raided tombs and searched for hidden treasure. Originally owned by Edios, the property and Lara Croft has found a new home at Square-Enix. Tomb Raider was recently rebooted, much to critical and fan acclaim. Tomb Raider hasn’t been just a game…it’s been made into comics, movies and even an amusement park ride. Nathan Drake has often been referred to as the ‘male version of Lara Croft’ by Lara Croft has inspired countless video games and has a wide reach in terms of popularity and iconography.
Rayman – gameonion, Nantendo, Nirbion, PushDustIn, Spazzy_D, TheAnvil
Written by TheAnvil
Rayman, perhaps more than any other character on this list can stand shoulder to shoulder with the current crop of 3rd Party characters. Boasting combined total game sales of approximately 40 million, Rayman made his debut in the 1995 game; Rayman. Marvelled for its invigorating gameplay and excelling in music and design, it was the best selling 2D game on the Playstation. Rayman’s next adventure shifted the direction towards 3D platforming, and was regarded as “the most impressive feat of game design and execution the platforming genre has ever seen” by IGN. Continuing on through main series games, party games and spin off games, Rayman has done it all. A character who has appeared in all forms of media and has arguably transcended the video game industry itself to become a household name.
Tetromino – Arcaira, Nantendo, Nirbion, PushDustIn, Smashchu, Spazzy_D, Written by Nantendo
While some may argue that the Tetronimo is not really a character per se, there is no arguing that these 5 blocks are not just as iconic as the likes of Super Mario and Pac-Man. Tetris is one of the most famous franchises in all of videogame history and some even consider it the perfect game. The Game Boy version of Tetris helped to launch the original Game Boy and sold as staggering 35 Million copies making it the systems best-seller and the Tetris franchise is the 8th best-selling video game series of all time having sold a total of 140 million copies. The game is so simple that anyone can pick up and play it which began a new wave of gamers from the young to the old. This simplicity helped to completely reinvent the puzzle-genre and make a mold that future puzzle games, like Puzzle League, would follow. The Tetronimo is an icon and has appeared in all sorts of media from board games, to TV shows, to movies. Whatever happens to the video game industry from now on, one thing can be assured. Tetris will still be around in some form.
Banjo & Kazooie – gameonion, Masked Man, Nantendo, Nirbion, TheAnvil
Written by TheAnvil
Banjo first debuted all by his lonesome in the Nintendo 64 mega hit; Diddy Kong Racing. Shortly thereafter, he transitioned from the comfort of ensemble cast member to co-starring in his own long-running series of games along with his Breegull friend; Kazooie. Achieving huge levels of commercial success and critical acclaim, Banjo-Kazooie improved upon and arguably perfected the 3D platforming genre, inspiring all of its kind that followed. In addition to the even more successful sequel; Banjo-Tooie, over the years the Banjo-Kazooie franchise has crossed the threshold into many different genres of gaming. Including a special guest appearance in the SEGA racing game; Sonic & Sega All-Stars racing with Banjo-Kazooie. Most recently, several of the Banjo-Kazooie games were repackaged in Rare’s compilation game; Rare Replay.
Banjo & Kazooie together have gone on to be recognized as one of the most popular and iconic duos in video game history.
Crash Bandicoot – Frostwraith, Nantendo, Nirbion, PushDustIn, TheAnvil
Written by Frostwraith
Crash Bandicoot debuted in the game of the same name, first released in 1996 on the PlayStation, shortly after Super Mario 64. One of the first 3D platformers, the game attained popularity and spawned several sequels and spin-offs. The third game, Crash Bandicoot: Warped, was the first non-Japanese Crash game to surpass 1 million sales in Japan, and was easily one of the biggest successes of the console, selling over 7 million copies worldwide.
Its art style and characters were subjects of praise at the time and, being one of the most popular franchises of the PlayStation brand, Crash is still fondly remembered by gamers nowadays. Naughty Dog, one of Sony’s most important development studios and the developer of the franchise’s first games, remains active nowadays and producing games regarded as being high quality. One could say that Crash’s success contributed to that.
Although the IP was sold in the late 90’s, losing the Sony exclusivity, the series had continued to get new titles. Currently owned by Activision, Crash’s last game was released in 2010 and the franchise remaining dormant since then.
Dr. Eggman – Arcaira, Frostwraith, Nantendo, Nirbion, TheAnvil,
Written by Arcaira
The Sonic franchise has had a long, and varied history, but a few things remain constant; Sonic goes fast, there are lots of rings, and Dr. Eggman is the bad guy. Dr. Eggman was featured as the main antagonist of every main-series Sonic game from 1991 – 2007. He always captivate us as a villain by pulling out his crazy contraptions and ridiculous schemes, and by having a truly sinister appearance. Even in more recent games when he has not been the main baddie, he has made an appearance or been mentioned basically every time, meaning he has the second best attendance record of a character in a Sonic game , besides Sonic of course (sorry Tails…).There have been dozens of spin-off shows, comics and tie-ins of all sorts, and Dr. Eggman has almost always made the jump alongside Sonic. Dr. Eggman has had a lasting and definitive role as an iconic game villain, and would be perfect paired alongside his longtime rival.
Professor Layton – gameonion, Masked Man, Nantendo, Nirbion, PushDustIn
Written by Nantendo
In the era of the Nintendo DS and Wii, Nintendo had decided to focus their efforts on a more casual audience. One genre that Nintendo believed would help is the visual novel genre as people loved reading books. This is when Level-5’s Professor Layton was introduced and instantly became a classic. Professor Layton took people’s joys of reading and puzzles and combined the two in order to make a game that people could get sucked into while never getting bored. The first game in the series sold very well, especially in the UK where the gaming market is considered one of the worst. The Professor himself has gone on to have his own movie, manga series and a crossover title. He has even affected those outside of his own series, as the games studio, Level-5, have greatly risen into the public eye as one of the great video game companies and by keeping the same style introduced in Professor Layton, have gone to make the well-received Ni no kuni and the incredibly popular Yokai Watch franchise.
Scorpion – Arcaira, Frostwraith, Nantendo, PushDustIn, TheAnvil
Written by Arcaira
When you think of Mortal Kombat, Scorpion is probably who comes to mind. Him and his rival Sub-Zero are the only 2 characters who have been consistently playable through every iteration of the Mortal Kombat franchise. He dons the iconic yellow robes and mask that has been a mainstay in the series, and has what might be the most well known ‘combo’ move in the series, Scorpion’s chain grapple. Scorpion has essentially become the posterboy for Mortal Kombat at this point. Seen the box for the most recent entry, Mortal Kombat X? It’s Scorpion. The game before that? Scorpion fighting Sub-Zero. Mortal Kombat undeniably made huge waves. The game was so controversial at launch that it was one of the primary reasons why the ESRB rating system exists. If the Smash series is going to truly pay homage to it’s predecessors in the fighting game scene, then we need a ‘Mr. Mortal Kombat’ and enter alongside ‘Mr. Street Fighter’. Scorpion is unquestionably the All-Star or Mortal Kombat, and therefore an All-Star in gaming history.
Simon Belmont – gameonion, Frostwraith, Nantendo, PushDustIn, Spazzy_D
Written by Spazzy_D
Simon was, for a time, a MAJOR industry icon. Castlevania was huge in the 8 and 16-bit eras, and Simon was easily the face of the series (appearing in more entries than any other character). He even held the distinction of being one of two third party characters (the other being Megaman) on the old Captain N cartoon. Castlevania is not the juggernaut that is once was, but it is still a known commodity to modern gamers due to the handheld games and relative success of the Lords of Shadows games. Speaking of, Simon was one of the three protagonists in 2013’s Lords of Shadows – Mirror of Fate on the 3Ds, which makes him far from irrelevant in today’s market.
Spyro – Frostwraith, Nantendo, Nirbion, PushDustIn, TheAnvil
Written by Frostwraith
Spyro happens to be one of the one of the first video games I have played. A very popular video game series back in the 90’s and probably one of the biggest on the PlayStation console, in which the first three games were released, the franchise eventually lost its Sony exclusiveness with releases on several of the next generation’s consoles including the PS2, GameCube and Game Boy Advance.
Following the acquisition of the franchise by Activision, Spyro eventually starred in the Skylanders series that give birth to the innovative concept of tying character figures with video games, each figure offering different content for the game and also able to store game data that could be used on different copies of the game. The idea took off and other companies adapted this idea as well with new IPs such as Disney Infinity and Nintendo’s amiibo figures.
From a popular and recognizable platformer title to kickstarting toys-to-life gaming, Spyro carries a legacy of his own and is certainly among the most recognizable characters in the medium.
Steve (Minecraft) – Nantendo, Nirbion, PushDustIn, Smashchu, Spazzy_D,
Written by Smashchu
Minecraft has exploded from a small, blocky project to one of the biggest gaming franchises in recent years. The title has already sold over 20 million copies, and at the heart of the game is your blocky character, typically named Steve. Your character survives in a harsh world, and you have to make tools and shelter to service. And, of course, you can build a bigger fortress, better weapons and mine for coveted diamonds. The game has become extremely popular and has established itself, along with the blocky, tree-punching protagonist, among the gaming pantheon.
Honourable Mentions (less than a majority vote)
Angry Birds – Nantendo, Frostwraith, PushDustIn, Spazzy_D
Frogger – TheAnvil, gameonion, Spazzy_D, Arcaira
Gordon Freeman – Nantendo, PushDustIn, Spazzy_D, Arcaira
Heihachi – TheAnvil, Nirbion, PushDustIn, Frostwraith
Heavy (Team Fortress) – Spazzy_D, Nantendo, PushDustIn, Nirbion
Jill Valentine – TheAnvil, Nantendo, PushDustIn, Spazzy_D
Phoenix Wright – PushDustIn, Nirbion, gameonion, Masked Man
Prince of Persia – Spazzy_D, Nantendo, PushDustIn, Nirbion
Q’Bert – TheAnvil, gameonion, PushDustIn, Arcaira
Sora – PushDustIn, Nantendo, Frostwraith, Nirbion
Space Invader – Arcaira, TheAnvil, Nirbion, Nantendo
Ezio Auditore – Nantendo, PushDustIn, Spazzy_D
Glados – Nantendo, Nirbion, PushDustIn
Kratos – Nantendo, Spazzy_D, PushDustIn
Prince (Katamari Damacy) – PushDustIn, Masked Man, Spazzy_D
Tails – TheAnvil, Frostwraith, Spazzy_D
Alucard – Nantendo, Spazzy_D
Chun Li – TheAnvil, Frostwraith
Doom Guy – Spazzy_D, Nantendo
Duke Nukem – PushDustIn, Spazzy_D
Guybrush Threepwood – Nantendo, Nirbion
Ken Masters – TheAnvil, Frostwraith
Leon Kennedy – TheAnvil, PushDustIn
Nathan Drake – Spazzy_D, Nirbion
Ryu Hayabusa – Nantendo, Arcaira
Sim – PushDustIn, nantendo
Do you agree with our choices? Who is a gaming All-Star? Remember to vote in the poll, and sound off in the comments below!