When you’re dealing with a packed roster of great characters like PlayStation’s, picking the best of the bunch is no simple task. You need to limit yourself with some harsh criteria, or else you’ll end up with a top 30 list. The six iconic characters on this list have memorable personalities and great games that have secured their immortality. When you hear the word “PlayStation,” you think of these guys.
6. Jak and Daxter (Jak and Daxter Series)
This man and ottsel duo reinvented the platforming genre with a perfect blend of snarky humor and dark drama. The strong silent type and the obnoxious loudmouth may not be the most original pairing, but there’s a childhood bond at the core of Jak and Daxter’s contrasting personalities that sets them apart from most buddy teams.
While the Jak and Daxter franchise boasts great shooting mechanics and epic storylines, the titular pair gave it legs. These guys survived the major tonal shift from their simple, childish debut game to the more serious, GTA-like Jak II, and the decision to upgrade Jak from laid-back mute protagonist to angry loose cannon strengthened his relationship with Daxter. Naughty Dog dropped the ball by letting this series fizzle out, but if they were to put out a reboot, gamers would leap at the opportunity to see these guys back in action.
5. Ratchet and Clank (Ratchet & Clank Series)
If Jak and Daxter made the list, it only makes sense that their Insomniac counterparts would pop up at some point. The Ratchet & Clank franchise’s innovative blend of platforming and third-person shooting may be its claim to fame, but it’s the lombax and robot’s well-drawn personalities and witty banter that sell the games.
The two are a great comedic duo thanks to the combination of Ratchet’s headstrong attitude and Clank’s polite intelligence, but it’s their complementary abilities as mechanic and machine, respectively, that makes them a natural pairing. The games have also done a great job of building their relationship. By having Ratchet and Clank meet in the first game, the series has allowed the fan base to grow with their friendship.
4. Nathan Drake (Uncharted Series)
The most recent addition to the gaming world to make this list is Nathan Drake — a testament to his strong personality. With the skills of Indiana Jones and the charisma of Firefly‘s Malcolm Reynolds, Nathan has carved out his place in the PlayStation pantheon.
This charming smart-ass may be an incredible treasure hunter who can climb like it’s nobody’s business, but it’s his everyman spirit that makes him so relatable. He feels out of his depth in the dangerous situations he gets into throughout the Uncharted series. Nathan may be famous for his quippy lines and devil-may-care attitude, but it’s his genuine feelings for love interest Elena Fisher and partner in crime Victor “Sully” Sullivan that show off his best side.
3. Crash Bandicoot (Crash Bandicoot Series)
For the longest time, Crash Bandicoot was as popular as Mario and Sonic. In other words, he was the PlayStation mascot. Kids and adults have been crazy about this furry dope since his debut in the first Crash Bandicoot, and despite the declining quality of the later games, his fanbase is just as vocal and energetic as ever.
Even though he barely speaks, Crash’s personality is iconic in the gaming world. He’s more than just a silly face; his goofy demeanor and slapstick fighting moves are inseparable from his image. While it was nice to see him spin back into the limelight with the recent N. Sane Trilogy remake, Crash deserves a brand new game that will make young gamers fall in love with him in the same way everyone else did back in the ’90s.
2. Kratos (God of War Series)
By far the most hardcore character in this lineup, Kratos is the embodiment of pure, unadulterated rage. In a series of games about slaughtering the entire pantheon of the Greek gods, the only qualified protagonist for God of War is a violent, unlikable antihero. But despite having an excess of innocent blood on his hands, the vengeful Spartan is one of the most famous faces of PlayStation.
Kratos may be the furthest thing from a good role model, but it’s his relentless thirst for vengeance that allows players to relate to him. Whether it’s Ares manipulating him into killing his own family, or betrayal at the hands of his father Zeus, the demigod always has a motive to plow through any bodies that get in the way of his bloodlust.
1. Snake (Metal Gear Solid Series)
Kept you waiting, huh? This pick may spark debate in the gaming community, but you can make a strong case for Snake being the ultimate PlayStation mascot. He’s been around longer than anyone on this list, and the Metal Gear series has maintained a consistent level of quality since his introduction in the ’80s.
Snake may possess the badass skills, gruff voice, and quotable lines of an action movie hero, but it’s his humanity that makes him such a classic character. He’s never found glory in violence, and his willingness to sacrifice himself for his comrades and the greater good speaks volumes about his selfless nature. Whether it’s the original Naked Snake from the Cold War era or his clone Solid Snake, who started it all in the first Metal Gear, the man leaves a lasting impression that eclipses most video game protagonists.