Top Ten Male Characters in Gaming History (Readers Choice)

Written by PushingUpRoses on March 17th, 2010

A few months ago, I attempted to write a top 5 sexiest male characters list, which turned out okay, but decided recently that I wanted to come up with a broader list. Being sick of the bountiful amount of “Top Ten Sexiest Females” lists that only seem to focus on cup size, I decided to devote this list to the Top Ten Male Characters in Video Gaming History.


When I started my own list, it started to turn into an extended version of the top 5 Sexiest Males. Maybe it’s because I am bias due to my gender, because all of the males I chose were either lovely musclely manly men, or a fixture in my “Male Characters I would like to bone” fantasy. So to fix this little quandary, I took a survey. I took two days to ask 200 people of different genders and different backgrounds the question: “In your personal opinion, who is the number one male in gaming history? Any console, any era.” and came up with a lovely top ten from everyone’s responses. There were a lot of unique responses, but this top ten contains the answers that were given most frequently. Don’t feel bad if your choice didn’t make the list, they were all awesome. I will give you guys the list, then write a few things about the character. And if I don’t know anything about the character, I’ll make stuff up. Here are the final ten, all chosen by you guys. Enjoy!

Number 10 – Leisure Suit Larry

Leisure Suit Larry

Original Console: PC
Games Appeared in: Leisure Suit Larry series
Debut: 1987

I must admit, I was surprised to see enough Leisure Suit Larry answers to make the top ten list. Although I don’t consider him to be one of the best, I consider him to be somewhat of an icon in the gaming world, especially due to longevity and great personality. Leisure Suit Larry, otherwise known as Larry Laffer, is a middle aged lounge lizard, who’s goal in life is to get as much poon as he can in any given situation. The games produced in the adventure game era were very quirky, and fun, however this character slowly died off with the birth of newer, more action based games for other video game consoles. In 2004, developers attempted to bring this character back, sans the original creator, Al Lowe, in the flop game “Magna Cum Laude.” In 2009, they tried again with “Box Office Bust” but without the heart and soul of the game, Al Lowe, it fell short. Regardless of the changes, the original Larry Laffer character will always be remembered.

Number 9 – Megaman


Original Console: NES
Games Appeared In: The Megaman series, and I am NOT naming them all!
Debut: 1987

I thought Mega Man might actually claim a higher spot on the list. His first appearance was in 1987, and is still going strong with new releases. According to my research, there are well over 50 releases bearing the Mega Man name, which makes this Capcom’s most successful franchise. The games are versatile, in that they have been released on many consoles. I can’t speak too much for Mega Man’s personality per say, but…he seems fun lovin’, right? Blue is a good color for him. I think the reason he made this list was due to the impressive amount of games and success that came with his character, not necessarily for earth shattering character personality development.

Number 8 – Pac-Man


Original Console: (I couldn’t determine whether this was released for the Apple II, or the Atari first)
Games Appeared in: The Pac-Man Series
Debut: 1980

So, yeah. Pac-Man. What can I say? I guess he is a male. His name suggests he is of the masculine persuasion. His figure suggests he is an animated pie chart. Because there is a Mrs. Pac-Man, I decided to consider it a male, even though he is clearly not human and more so of an “it” with the word “man” tacked to his name. Again, not too much character development going on here, but Pac-Man IS an iconic character, and one of the most recognizable. You might not know who say, Leisure Suit Larry or Mega Man are, but everyone is familiar with that bright yellow, gluttonous …thing. So I approve of his placement on a list like this. He isn’t my choice, but definitely deserves recognition.

Number 7 – Commander Shepard

Commander Shepard

Original Console: XBox 360
Games Appeared in: The Mass Effect games
Debut: 2007

Now, here is a male character I know literally nothing about, having not played the Mass Effect games. This is a character I would choose solely because he seems to be of the “hawt” nature. However, I will trust the people who voted for him and got him on this list. In my personal opinion, I think this character still might be a bit new to make a top ten list regarding the best male characters in History, but maybe I am wrong. Afterall, the Mass Effects games are..well...MASSively popular and successful. I have been told by the voters that he is strong and all around kickass, so maybe that, and the ridiculous success of the Mass Effect games are enough to justify his placement.

Number 6 – Guybrush Threepwood

Guybrush Threepwood from Monkey Island 3

Original Console: PC
Games Appeared in: The Monkey Island Series
Debut: 1990

There is absolutely no question that the Monkey Island series was, and remains, a very popular series published by LucasArts. These games do a great job of keeping the adventure genre alive, and entertaining. Leading the games is the amiable Guybrush Threepwood, a bumbling pirate type who always seems to win battles by sheer fluke. Which is fine in this girls book, considering MY top male character is Roger Wilco. The popularity towards Guybrush has also spilled onto his voice actor, Dominic Armato, who is saught after by geek girls everywhere. Good character development, good voice acting, and longevity have made this character a favorite of many people, and he would definitely be on my top ten list. I would even put him higher on my own, as I grew up with the character and was very young when I first experienced a Monkey Island game.

Number 5 – Link

Link from the Legend of Zelda series

Original Console: NES
Games Appeared in: The Legend of Zelda Series
Debut: 1986

In looking at other people’s personal top ten lists, I have noticed a pattern. Link is on the top three of every one of them. It’s not hard to see why, he’s appeared in games since 86, and the Legend of Zelda series has drawn in many fans since then. Not only that, but it seems like Link is cos-playing gold these days, I always seem to see several Links whenever I go to a con, including a few “sexy” female Links. See now? This is why I am bias towards making a male list; link is sexy, mrowl! *cough* Anyway. The votes placed Link right smack dab in the middle of the list. Not a bad place for him, I would think. Though the people who did vote for Link defended their choice like it was the word of Zeus. You crazy Link fanatics.

Number 4 – Solid Snake

Solid Snake

Original Console: MSX2 Home Computer
Games Appeared in: The Metal Gear series
Debut: 1987

Having never played the Metal Gear series, I decided that I am not the one who should be talking about Solid Snake. So instead, I asked one of the people who voted for Solid Snake to say a few things about his character, including why he chose him:

“Snake is the definition of a man; with his scraggly beard, raging pecs, and flowing bandanna. He definitely relies on his knowledge of battle for everything, including social situations, combat, and love. Snake is the ultimate badass – he took down a Hind D with a missile launcher. His voice acting also has a lot to do with it: the sexiness of his voice drives women AND men crazy. Snake is incredibly sexually awkward, and is more in love with his guns than women in his life, which makes him fun to watch: he gets off more to his desert eagle than Meryl who is the main female in Metal Gear Solid. His ability to persevere through impossible situations makes him seem so tough, that it makes you feel like you can do anything as well. Young men want to grow up to be Solid Snake, and grown men are disappointed that they’re not.”

Number 3 – Duke Nukem

Duke Nukem

Original Console: PC
Games Appeared in: The Duke Nukem series
Debut: 1991

When I first started doing this survey, I had received so many votes for Duke Nukem that I was sure he would end up in the number one slot, but when I tallied up the votes, he ended up in the number 3 ranking. I can say I have some pretty fond memories playing the original Duke Nukem on MS-Dos, in fact it was one of the first computer games I had even owned at that point. There is no argument that this man is hardcore, although I can’t say I much appreciate his chauvinistic, womanizing ways. Duke hasn’t any superhuman powers, but still manages to kick some major ass despite that. Apparently, he is irresistible, because when I was image searching him, there was an abundance of images featuring him surrounded by women. I better stop talking about him before I managed to convince myself he’s a jerk wad! Here are some notable quotes, since fans LOVE to quote this guy:

Quotes: “Daaaamn, I’m lookin good”, “Shake it Baby!”, “It’s time to kick ass and chew bubble gum… and I’m all outta gum”, “My boot, your face; the perfect couple.”, “You’re an inspiration for birth control.”, “Oh…your ass is grass and I’ve got the weed-whacker.”

Number 2 – Gordon Freeman

Gordon Freeman from Half Life

Original Console: PC
Games Appeared in: The Half Life Series
Debut: 1998

Even though Gordon is a fairly new character, I still think his spot on this list is understandable. His character is introduced as a physicist that ends up in a bit of a conundrum, and finds himself in an epic battle against alien and human forces. When I asked voters why they chose this character why they picked Gordon for their number one choice, the most common answer was “Because Gordon is a true hero.” I think it is impressive when a newer character like this, with not as many games as something like Mega Man and The Legend of Zelda, can hold a higher rank then both of them. So there must be something fascinating about Gordon that sparked so many votes, by women and men alike. I never played much half life, so I am not too familiar with this character, but the amount of votes he got did stimulate my interest.

Number 1 – Mario


Original Console: Arcade
Games Appeared in: Donkey Kong, The Mario Brothers series
Debut: 1981

Well, well. What can I say about Mario that people don’t already know? He started out in Donkey Kong as the “Jumpman” and is now considered one of the most important video game characters ever by many, many people. The Mario games are not just a franchise, It’s a monster. Mario games as a whole has sold over 200 million units, which makes the Mario Series the best selling games of all time. It’s very very difficult to argue with statistics like that. Mario is depicted as a portly, short, Italian plumber. If Mario had looked any other way, or was depicted as a suave beefcake like Duke Nukem, would the Mario Series have been successful? Mario has been in almost every genre of game, spanning from sports, to action adventure, to puzzle, to RPG. Although….no love for Luigi?…

You know, guys, Luigi has been in the game for a long time too. He didn’t even MAKE the list! I think Luigi deserves some love. So here is my honorable mention, who always seems to be overshadowed by his ironically shorter partner in crime: Luigi.


Well, that about wraps it up. Thanks to everyone who voted in this survey, I think it cranked out a pretty good list! Except, next time I want to see more Luigi, and less Commander Shepard. Come on, how unfair is that?


  • Maxameeleon

    Wow, I can see you put a lot of work into this one. Surveying 200 people is no easy task (do I even know 200 people??) I enjoyed reading your views on the characters, and think it's cool you used someone elses description for Snake because you were not familiar. Nice job.

  • OrieElliott

    Commander Shepard is clearly a female character.

  • OrieElliott

    Commander Shepard is clearly a female character.

  • pushinguproses

    -laughs- Why do you say that? Hahaha

  • orie

    The female Shepard was far more bad ass and a much likeable character due to superior voice acting.

  • OrieElliott

    Oh and Big Boss is definitely the shiz. Way cooler than Snake.

  • pushinguproses

    I did get one measly vote for Big Boss. Out of 200, yikes.

  • pushinguproses

    Well, I don't think I knew most of those 200 people, to be honest.

  • DarkShadow

    ya know I was going to vote for Link but you happened to catch me on a very pissed off at the world blow it up kind of day and when that happens i go for tall dark and handsome. hence the Vincent Valentine vote. but i'm glad Link made the list. I greatly enjoy playing Twilight Princess.

  • thewindowkeeper

    I guess *I'll* make the joke: “I'm Commander Sheperd, and this is my favorite article on”

    Seriously, I have a Mass Effect character as a top ten female character: Tali. The writers made her character (and her culture) very interesting, and the designers put her in a suit, that while formfitting, protected her from the elements. Best of all, she wasn't a DDD cup. But, that's neither here nor there. I'm off on a tangent…

  • OrieElliott

    Your welcome. 😛

  • Scarlett

    Well said! And therein lies the problem with everyone who chose Commander Shepard, as technically “he” could be played as a male or female, at least in ME II if not in the original as well.

    Oh, and I love the joke! ^_^

  • pushinguproses

    More people chose Shepard than I thought, I was pretty surprised. I am not fond of the fact the he someone passed Leisure Suit Larry, but I am very bias towards that character anyway. But I still think he is still perhaps too new to be on such a list. One person suggested Ethan Mars from Heavy Rain, and I think he is WAY too new, he hasn't even had time to become familiar to people yet.

  • Scarlett

    I'd say Shepard is up and coming, since the Mass Effect franchise will likely spawn many more “chapters”. (Yep, it really is THAT good!) I don't think he's out of place, but since it can be played as male or female, it probably wasn't the best choice for people to make – though understandable, since the character rawks.

    Now where's my Gabriel Knight? *Sob, Sniffle*

  • pushinguproses

    I don't want to break your heart, girl…but you are the only one out of 200 people that said Gabriel Knight! It's okay, just means you are unique, right? =D

  • thewindowkeeper

    Only 200 people said Gabriel Knight? Sheesh… that's not right at all. I hope they're reincarnated as pitbulls.

    Okay… I'm done now.

  • Scarlett

    FOOLS!!! =P

  • neoscriptor

    Naked Snake sports an eye-patch LIKE A BOSS!

  • neoscriptor

    I vote for “Mostly”

  • Troy aka Bushido

    Mind if I drop a few more 'honorable mentions'?

    -Ryu Hyabusa – the star of the Ninja Gaiden series has been around nearly as long as Solid Snake. His games are TONS harder too.

    -Dante – the star of the 'Devil May Cry' series sports the most wicked style…in fact, the main concept of all his games is style. It isn't how well you kill the demons, but how good you look while doing it.

    -Master Chief – a total man of mystery. In fact, no one has even seen his face before. Still, his one-man-army bravado is the mainstay of the Halo series. Side note, one of my female friends actually named her car 'Master Chief'

  • pushinguproses

    I got a few votes for all three of them, just not enough to make the narrowed list. You are always welcome to give your input though, m'dear! Sorry I didn't catch ya when I was doing the poll process!

  • kevineckert

    I'm kind of saddened by the lack of Ken Masters, but I'll live.

  • Bekefel

    Not enough B.O.B for my liking, PUR.

  • pushinguproses

    Don't blame me, I didn't create that list. -snicker-

  • K1ngfunK

    The best part about Gordon Freeman is the fact that he doesn't say a single word. By not speaking and having the game proceed ENTIRELY from the first-person point of view (no out-of-body cut-scenes or pre-rendered cut-scenes), players can relate to him more. Plus, just the idea of an ass-kicking physicist pretty much gives all nerds an epic hard-on.

  • OrieElliott

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

  • LotusPrince

    I got a real kick out of this list! Fantastic job! I was actually happy with pretty much everyone here. I haven't played Mass Effect either, but Shepard sounds like an up-and-coming icon.

    Also, play more Half Life. Whatever you think of Gordon Freeman, the games are beyond amazing.

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  • Hazem_minkara

    i choose half life because this game is the best and i won hl1 hl2 hl3 and close to win hl4.Gordon Freeman doesnt talk ,why??

    i didnt hear his voice in the game, soo wierd

  • Franco

    Pacman IS a man, since there are a 'ms pacman'.


  • Dreammirror

    I would be interested in seeing -your- personal list of the top 10 sexiest males in gaming -any console, any game; etc etc. Eye candy or smart and witty-your picks of men in games you've played, want to play, read about or whatnot, as long as they were in a video game of some type.