15+ Iconic Video Game Protagonists You Missed Playing

Did you miss those characters that made your gaming experience memorable? Here’s a list of 15 past video game protagonists. Enjoy reading!

15 Past Video Game Protagonists You Missed Playing

Today, we live in a world with great games to play. In video game history, there have been thousands of games developed and sold on different platforms. Isn’t this the best time to live? Having said this, I missed those characters I played a few years ago, and some were truly remarkable. They made my childhood gaming experience awesome! With these, I’d like to present the 15 past video game protagonists you missed playing today.

Since there are just way too many characters nowadays, we filtered the selection by:

  • Appearance: Appearance in recent games or remastered games is okay as long as the character appeared in the PS3 era or earlier.
  • No superhero games! Sorry, but they’re so awesome that we must exclude them from the list! We will create another post just for them.
  • One character per game only: Since there are remarkable characters in some games, we need to pick one to give a chance to others.
  • Any Role. The characters may be playing the leading role or the secondary role. Either way, it is okay as long as this character left an impression to us gamers. 
  • The original game or remake is okay. It’s okay if the protagonist appears in a classic game or if the game has been remastered or remade. 
  • Gender. Male or female characters are okay, as long as they are remarkable! 
  • There have been no recent games since last year (2022). Ooofff, there are way too many remarkable protagonists that won’t be included because of this! So sorry, Kratos of God of War, Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII, Samus Aran of Metroid, Mario of the Super Mario Brothers franchise, and Link of Legend of Zelda! You won’t be participating in this list! But don’t worry; I am featuring you in another article. 

Dante – Devil May Cry

Dante is the iconic video game protagonist of the “Devil May Cry” series. As a half-human, half-demon hybrid, Dante is a mighty demon hunter who operates a demon-hunting business called Devil May Cry. With his signature long, white hair and a penchant for devilishly funny one-liners, Dante exudes a charismatic and cocky persona. Dante has appeared in the Devil May Cry series, and he has left a mark among gamers!

Dante battles against demonic forces and otherworldly threats, often in pursuit of revenge or to protect innocent lives. He wields various weapons, including his iconic sword, Rebellion, and dual handguns, Ebony and Ivory, enabling him to unleash lightning-fast and acrobatic combat moves. 

For me, the first game is great and difficult to beat! 

Devil May Cry 5 - Dante
Devil May Cry 5 – Dante

Dante’s combat style emphasizes stylish combos, fluid movement, and a devil trigger ability that grants him enhanced strength and agility. Behind his devil-may-care attitude lies a deep sense of justice and a dedication to saving humanity from evil. Dante’s charisma, incredible skills, and unwavering determination have made him one of gaming’s most beloved and enduring characters.

Playing as Dante is fun because I get to do different combos and variations of his skills. I also feel sorry for the bosses in this game because they receive punishment for Dante’s sword and gun skills! 

Source: donguri990

Sam Fisher – Splinter Cell

Sam Fisher is the iconic character in this great game, Splinter Cell. This game is known for its gameplay, which is based on stealth action-adventure. Whenever you see a green light at the head of a video game character, you’ll immediately say, That’s “Splinter Cell’s trademark of his night vision goggles! ”

Splinter Cell: Blacklist - Sam Fisher
Splinter Cell: Blacklist – Sam Fisher. Source MckIceAndFire

Unfortunately, as of writing this article, there are no new developments for this game, but who knows? They might want to create a remake or have someone continue where Ubisoft left off.

This is one of the games I really wanted to replay, and I also look forward to the remake of this freakin’ awesome game! Come on, Ubisoft! This is a hidden gem waiting to be revived! The new generation of gamers must be introduced to this game! 🙂

Video Source: Ubisoft

Commander Shepard – Mass Effect

Whenever I think of games related to “outer space,” the first thing that comes to mind is undoubtedly this one, the Mass Effect series! This game occurs in a distant future where technology has advanced dramatically and alien civilizations have colonized. The iconic character in the trilogy is the famous human character, Commander Shepard, who rallies all the alien races to fight against the most significant threat, the Reapers.

Source: Mass Effect

Commander Shepard etched a memory in my childhood because the story of this game is just really freakin’ good! It’s good that the Legendary Edition has been released on PS4 and PS5 so that we can replay this epic game. It is also available in the PC game pass!

Many gamers say the second installment, Mass Effect 2, is the best in the series. But for me, the third was the best! I love the story’s plot, and among the past video game protagonists, Command Shepard is very different because he’s a badass leader who rallied all the races to unite as one to fight the Reapers!

Mass Effect 3 Shepard
Mass Effect 3 Shepard

Oh, and bonus tip: if you want to enjoy more, choose renegade mode (red answers) to experience a funny yet savage version of Commander Shepard. I was also surprised to see Shepard smacking down the council! Here’s a glimpse of what I’m talking about. Please do me a favor and try not to laugh!

Source: Big Dan Gaming

Welltall – Xenogears

Xenogears was one of the early games in the PSOne era. This game features a turn-based “Active Time Battle” where the players’ attacks are based on the buttons they press. Nowadays, it is considered one of the classic games. 

What I liked about this game is how the story unfolds and the battle system where the players fight on foot and inside their gear! Welltall is the name of Fei’s robot, or so-called “gears.” Imagine a robot doing martial arts, beating enemies, and later evolving into a more powerful robot with unlocked skills. It is amazing! I’d love to experience the Triangle Square X and O combo and turn-based combat, plus the martial arts this robot can perform! 

This game has dramatically influenced the JRPGs available today. Still can’t visualize? Watch these two short clips! The first is man-to-man combat, and the second clip is gears battle!

Source: Pun Kaiser
Source: Pun Kaiser

Rumor says there is a remake under development for Xenogears. If that is true, a great move for this game will be re-introduced to the younger generation!

Hey Square! Make this game available on the Nintendo Switch, and the gamers will go crazy and take our money!😆

Jim Raynor – Starcraft II

This game is also way ahead of its time. Starcraft has one of the best stories out there. This game was released in 2010 and is only available on PC. I had only heard about this game but hadn’t played until 2022, and man, I missed a lot! I really should have played it earlier!

Starcraft 2: Jim Raynor
Starcraft 2: Jim Raynor

The Human Campaign is my favorite. Its story is about a bitter mercenary captain, Jim Raynor, finding and turning the love of his life, Sarah, into a human again. Sharing it here would be an understatement. I urge you to play the campaign to unfold the story!

Another tip: play in hard mode for the extreme challenge! The enemies are more aggressive and have bigger HP, but it’s bearable and thrilling! You’ll understand what I’m saying when you play the last mission of the Human campaign! 🙂

Source: StarCraft

This is one of the games that I will not uninstall on my PC! If you haven’t played this yet, give it a shot!

Solid Snake – Metal Gear Solid

If you don’t know Solid Snake, you missed the fun, amazement, and great experience this game series, Metal Gear Solid, has to offer! Snake has been an icon to gamers like me, and Metal Gear shaped our childhood!

Snake - Metal Gear Solid Delta
Snake – Metal Gear Solid Delta

Metal Gear is a series of games developed by world-renowned creator Hideo Kojima. Developed by Konami, it has been a worldwide hit! The player controls a legendary soldier, Solid Snake (or sometimes Big Boss). In MGS V, The Phantom Pain, he is referred to as the “Venom Snake.” He is on a one-man mission to infiltrate enemy bases and territory to stop the terrorist attacks. 

This past video game protagonist, Snake, is one of my favorites. Snake has been etched into the hearts of gamers. In 2023, the remaster of the game will be available on PS5, so the Metal Gear games 1–3 will be available to younger audiences. Get ready to get hooked and entertained with this legendary game!

Source: Konami

The remarkable scenes that I wanted to replay in Metal Gear Solid are: 

  • Epic boss fights with Revolver Ocelot, and Cyborg Ninja chops off Ocelot’s hand!
  • The brutal hallway before the boss fights with the Cyborg Ninja
  • Psycho Mantis! If you’re fighting him now, how the heck will you beat this freak? 
  • The tower with so many floors and the enemies keep on coming!
  • Snake is tortured – and no continues, my friend! 
  • Epic fight with the Metal Gear Rex! 
  • The surprisingly long ladder climb while you listen to the epic song
  • The long battle with sniper boss, “The End” in MGS3: Snake Eater

I also found an opening cinematic that was upgraded to 60FPS! Let’s enjoy and relive this!

Video Source: Snazzy AI

Wei Shen – Sleeping Dogs 

Wei Shen, who? You might not have heard of his name, and whenever you hear a game with “dogs,” you automatically think of Watch Dogs, which is another excellent game but different from this one.

Sleeping Dogs is an open-world, action-adventure set in Hong Kong. The protagonist is a Chinese-American martial artist and undercover police officer named Wei Shen, and his ultimate goal is to take down the Sun On Yee Triad organization. This game was released on PS3 as well as PS4. This is action-packed and violent, and please don’t play it when your kids are around because there are too many bad words and gruesome actions here.

Watch this short movie clip, and you’ll appreciate that Wei Shen is one of those badass video game protagonists!

Source: Sleeping Dogs

Imagine Batman’s melee combat but in a martial arts setting. Isn’t that amazing? It feels like you’re watching a movie while playing this game. Pick this game up if you’re looking for something brutally awesome and fun!

And a gentle warning: This game is brutal. Literally. You’ve been warned! 🙂

Source: MK

Sam Gideon – Vanquish

Sam Gideon is a highly skilled soldier and the main playable character in the game, Vanquish. He is a member of an advanced task force called Bravo Company, tasked with defending Earth from a hostile invasion by a powerful and technologically advanced enemy known as the Order of the Russian Star.

Sam Gideon: Vanquish. One of the past video game protagonists that are amazing
Sam Gideon: Vanquish

Sam also wears a state-of-the-art Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS) that grants him enhanced speed, agility, and strength. He embarks on a mission to stop the Order of the Russian Star and their devastating plans.

Source: IGN

Other games could have received better reviews, but for me, playing this game is quite an experience. True, their characters and storyline aren’t as solid and memorable as the others, but this is still a great game for me! 

Nathan Drake – Uncharted Series

Who doesn’t know this guy? Every gamer from the PlayStation has heard the name Nathan Drake. Nathan is the protagonist of one of the Naughty Dog’s greatest games ever created, the Uncharted series. He is a treasure hunter and professional thief who embarks on thrilling quests searching for ancient artifacts and lost civilizations. With his rugged charm, quick wit, and a combination of physical prowess and intellectual acumen.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - Nathan Drake Train Wreck Scene
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Nathan Drake Train Wreck Scene

The Uncharted series is one of the greatest video game franchises of all time. There are many notable characters aside from Nathan. Sorry, we can only choose one per franchise, so let us stick with Nathan in this entry. 😁

Drake is known for his resourcefulness and ability to navigate dangerous situations with agility and cunning. Whether scaling ancient ruins, engaging in intense gunfights, or solving intricate puzzles, Nathan always finds a way to prevail. Nathan even finds a way to defeat choppers, survive a train wreck, and even a falling cargo from tens of thousands of feet above the ground! 

Which one do you think is more epic? The train opening cinematic or the airplane scene? Let’s watch these videos and decide which one is better!

Video Source: LoadScreen
Video Source: Joy of Gaming

Regina – Dino Crisis

When talking about dinosaurs, this game automatically comes to mind! And, of course, the story’s pretty and skillful main character, Regina. She is the main protagonist of the survival horror video game “Dino Crisis.” This is another one from the classic games category that we, as gamers, are very much waiting for a remake! 

She is a skilled and capable special agent working for a top-secret government organization known as S.O.R.T. (Secret Operation Raid Team). Regina is sent on a mission to a remote research facility, where a catastrophic event has unleashed dangerous dinosaurs.

Dino Crisis: Regina
Dino Crisis: Regina

Many gamers of this generation don’t know Dino Crisis. That’s why many decade-old gamers demand a remake of this iconic game! I want to relive the survival horror type of this game and let those who didn’t play the classic experience this one! 

It’s like Resident Evil, but the enemies are dinos of all sizes! You better check out this one if you haven’t!

Aya Brea – Parasite Eve

Hey, there’s another PSOne entry here! +1 to the classic games list! Aya is the protagonist in the early game, Parasite Eve. She is an NYPD officer involved in a supernatural crisis when a mysterious organism called “Eve” awakens within her mitochondria, granting her unique powers. Aya’s journey unfolds as she battles Eve and her monstrous creations to save humanity from destruction. In Parasite Eve 2, Aya is tasked with investigating mysterious occurrences in a remote desert town called Dryfield.

What I liked about this game is that Aya has developed unique abilities like healing, fire, and telekinesis. 

One of the past video game protagonists - Aya Brea of Parasite Eve 2
Aya Brea – Parasite Eve 2

Should they remake Parasite Eve? 

Yes, definitely! Many gamers will follow the story. With the current-gen console’s performance improvements, it would be great to see Aya Brea in action and the continuation of the Parasite Eve series. 

Nathan Hale – Resistance 1 & 2

Nathan Hale is a former U.S. Army Ranger, who becomes humanity’s last hope in the fight against an alien race called the Chimera. His story began when the Chimeran virus infected him during a European mission. Still, instead of succumbing to its effects, he gained enhanced abilities, which he used against the invading forces. 

Resistance 2: Nathan Hale
Resistance 2: Nathan Hale

What I love about this game is the story of humanity losing to an alien invasion. Having a slim chance of winning and surviving is engaging and makes you want to discover how the story unfolds. Let’s just put this scenario in video games, not real life, right? 

Source: Insomniac Games

Whew! After watching this trailer, I feel like getting my Resistance 2 DVD game on my shelf and popping it inside my PS3 console! This game has one of the great past video game protagonists and must be replayed!

Lightning – Final Fantasy XIII Series

Claire Farron, or Lightning, is the main protagonist in the game Final Fantasy XIII. Lightning is a former soldier of the Guardian Corps in the city of Cocoon and becomes an unwilling l’Cie, a chosen individual with magical powers and a mission to fulfill. She is a determined and skilled warrior, initially driven by a desire to save her younger sister, Serah. 

Lightning's epic battle in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
Lightning’s epic battle in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Her character, fighting styles, and weapons make this game want to be replayed by many. I was surprised at the PS3’s capabilities when I first played this! Apart from a little confusing story of the l’Cie and Pulse l’Cie, this series is fantastic! My favorite is XIII-2 because it has expanded the game further! 

I also discovered that some of my gaming peers in the PlayStation Philippines bought their PS3 consoles because they wanted to play the Final Fantasy XIII series! Despite the so-so reviews and feedback from many, this game is still one of the masterpieces that Square Enix released!

Source: PlayStation

Gabriel Belmont – Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Gabriel is a member of a group of holy knights dedicated to fighting evil, the Brotherhood of Light. He started on a journey to save the world from the evil Lords of Shadow, who had plunged the land into darkness and threatened to resurrect an ancient evil. He wields the Combat Cross, which is incredible because that weapon can be used as melee and has magical abilities! 

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Gabriel Belmont. One of the past video game protagonists you should play
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Gabriel Belmont

Unfortunately, in the second game, Lords of Shadow 2, Gabriel became the vampire lord known as Dracula, and the member of the Brotherhood of Light has now turned into an enemy and is being hunted by his former group! 

Driven by a complex mix of sorrow, anger, and regret, Dracula must confront his inner demons and make choices that will determine the world’s fate. 

Source: IGN

Should developers remake Castlevania: Lords of Shadow? 

This game has a great plot and is a must-play! Many gamers nowadays need to see how great the storyline is. And in addition to that, many people would want to witness vampire and monster-slaying games! 

Please make it easier than a Soulsgame! 😄

Off-topic: The Lords of Shadow 2 game is surprisingly rare, I cannot get a copy of it nowadays!

Dante – Dante’s Inferno

Now we’re talking about a masterpiece, “The Divine Comedy,” turned into a game! Dante is a skilled and brutal warrior who embarks on a perilous journey through the nine circles of hell to save his wife, Beatrice, from the clutches of Lucifer. 

Fueled by love and vengeance, Dante battles hordes of demons and grotesque monsters using his scythe and holy cross, gaining new abilities and weapons as he progresses. 

Source: Electronic Arts France

Dante’s Inferno is interesting because you must travel to a place almost everyone wouldn’t dare, the nine circles of hell! I enjoyed playing and beating those monsters from hell, and I want to play this again! 

Dante from Dante's Inferno - One of the past video game protagonists you should play!
Dante from Dante’s Inferno – One of the past video game protagonists you should play!

Still not feeling enough about the past video game protagonists?

Here’s a bonus! We’ve added more to the list to see and rediscover! These past video game protagonists hook us and want us to play these games again, even if they’ve been around for so many years. And please take note: the following characters are not part of the honorable mention; they’re just too freakin’ awesome that we need to include them in the list!

Here’s another batch; get ready!

Lara Croft – Tomb Raider Series

This remarkable woman doesn’t need introductions, doesn’t she? For those who don’t know Lara, she is the iconic protagonist of the game Tomb Raider. The franchise has existed since the good old PS1 days, and even today, this game is still great! I love the most recent Tomb Raider games, especially the definitive edition. The developers showed how Lara transformed from an adventurer into someone who is fierce and can survive at all costs. 

Lara's exploration in Tomb Raider
Lara’s exploration in Tomb Raider

If you haven’t played this game, it is available on the PC game pass as of writing this article. You’re in for a treat! Have fun replaying Lara!

Video Source: GameSpot

Garrett Hawke – Dragon Age 2

Garrett Hawke is the protagonist in the game Dragon Age 2. He is also a versatile character, with the player being able to choose their class and customize their appearance, skills, and personality. Throughout the game, Hawke becomes involved in the political and social conflicts of Kirkwall, navigating the tensions between mages and templars and facing off against various threats, including monsters, bandits, and powerful adversaries.

Garrett Hawke - Dragon Age II
Garrett Hawke – Dragon Age II

The choices and Garrett’s funny dialogue are so engaging that you will love and enjoy the cutscenes! I frequently selected “renegade mode,” or the bottom option, and lol’d at his ridiculous responses. Surely, you’ll enjoy this underrated but hidden gem on the PS3! 

Source: Jenna426

Raiden – Metal Gear Solid Revengeance

Raiden, also known as Jack, is the main protagonist of “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.” He is a cyborg ninja and a former private military company Maverick Security member. Raiden has undergone extensive cybernetic enhancements in the game that grant him incredible speed, agility, and combat prowess.

Raiden - Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance
Raiden – Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance

This cyborg ninja also appeared as a playable character in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and played a massive role in helping Solid Snake solve the crisis. But we’re focusing on his solo game, MGS Revengeance. In this game, Raiden showcases his swordsmanship, and what’s epic is his use of his high-frequency blade. 

Source: Konami

The intro scene and boss fight in this game are epic! The final boss, Senator Armstrong, is one of my most challenging battles so far! So you should try playing this game if you haven’t yet! Argh!

The good news is that Raiden has his own game, so I think it is okay to include him here even though we featured Solid Snake earlier! 

Max Payne – Max Payne 3

This guy is known for his proficiency in bullet time, a gameplay mechanic that allows him to slow down time during intense shootouts. In this game, Max works as a private security contractor for a wealthy family. I also think the bald Max is more badass than his usual appearance. 

Max Payne
Max Payne

Despite not being child-friendly, this game is still great, with a deep and dark storyline. I love it when I play Max and use his bullet-time skill to beat multiple hostile enemies in one go! 

Source: Rockstar Games

Megaman / Rockman

As a child, Megaman was my favorite superhero! Some call him Rockman or Mega Man (separate names, but it is spelled Megaman—one word). Megaman is a robot created by Dr. Light and Dr. Wily. Later on, Dr. Wily betrayed them and reprogrammed most of his robots, which were the bosses of different levels in the game. What I love about Megaman is his character design and his buster cannon. Another cool feature is when he beats a boss, he will gain a new weapon, and he can also gain other upgrades along the way! He also explodes when he runs out of HP and when he falls into a hole or a pit! 

I only played a couple of games here, but this game was one of my most unforgettable experiences! Good thing the legacy was released in NSW! 

Video Source: Nintendo

Currently checking out the marketplace on the Megaman Legacy Collection game for the best deals, lol!

And that’s it! This is a pretty long and exhaustive list, but I guess we covered some of the best video game characters and protagonists available today.

From first appearance to remake versions

My childhood was awesome because I witnessed the evolution of video games. I saw the first appearance of some of the protagonists here, and I also got to see how much these games have improved since the developers released the remake versions. There are many unforgettable characters here. Watching these trailers again excites me to play them! They may not be the best characters of all time, but they certainly left a mark on most of us early gamers! In the past decade, the games have been very few, plus we’re young and do not have a job yet, so we cannot buy all of them. Nowadays, the video game industry has significantly evolved over the years, and too many great games have been developed and forgotten. 

Surely there will be more memorable characters, and they will be added to this list, or perhaps I will create a new article instead. And since most well-known characters are featured here, I’m sure you have added many games to your backlog! I have written an effective article that I believe will be helpful to you: 9 Effective, Time-Saving Hacks So You Can Play More

Video games to series adaptation has begun!

Did you notice that film producers are now slowly adapting video games into series and movies? As of writing, the most recent game to air was the Fallout series! Hopefully, they put it in a Disney Plus or Netflix series so we can watch it (I currently do not have an Amazon Prime subscription, lol). 

Final Thoughts

Which past favorite video game protagonists do you wish to play and experience today? Is your favorite character included here? I am pretty sure that I didn’t cover them all! Please write your comments down in the comments section, and let’s discuss them!

Recommended Reading:

I hope you had fun reading this article! Here are some highly recommended articles you should check out as well.

11 Video Games with Epic Intros
19 Great Video Game Skills and Superpowers We Want in Real Life
11 Fantastic Technologies in Video Games We Wish Were Real

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