BAFTA Players’ Poll Crowns Lara Croft The Most Iconic Video Games Character Of All Time

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Lara Croft, star of the Tomb Raider franchise has topped a BAFTA players’ poll as the Most Iconic Video Games Character of All Time.

Over four thousand players from across the globe took part in the poll, which BAFTA initiated to celebrate the 20th BAFTA Games Awards.

The intrepid hero of the Tomb Raider series, Lara Croft made her debut in the original Tomb Raider on the PlayStation, PC and Sega Saturn back in 1996. Since then the British archaeologist has plundered ancient ruins in over twenty titles across multiple platforms including Xbox, Mobile and GameCube and has featured in a handful of movies and appeared in comics, novels and more.

Developers Aspyr recently revisited Lara Croft’s first three adventures in the spectacular Tomb Raider I-III remastered, which I praised for its greatly improved visuals and excellent value in our review.

BAFTA’s Most Iconic Video Games Character of All Time poll saw several other retro video game characters make the top twenty list, with the likes of Mario, Sonic and Solid Snake all making the cut.

BAFTA’s Top 20 Most Iconic Video Games Character Of All Time List

Several of the iconic video game characters in front of a BAFTA award.

Here’s the full list of BAFTA’s Most Iconic Video Games Characters, ranked by the amount of votes each character received from the players’ poll.

  1. Lara Croft, Tomb Raider.
    Lara helped usher in the age of 3D action-adventure games with her 1996 debut in the original Tomb Raider. The heir to the Croft legacy, her tenacity and determination make her a formidable for for rival treasure hunters, mobsters and even dinosaurs.
  2. Mario, Super Mario.
    Nintendo’s Mario first appeared alongside the titular ape in 1981’s Donkey Kong. Shigeru Miyamoto’s most famous creation has dazzled players worldwide with a consistent stream of excellent games including last year’s excellent Super Mario Bros. Wonder.
  3. Agent 47, Hitman.
    The genetically enhanced assassin has ‘taken care of’ everyone from media moguls to Sean Bean all while wearing his trademark black suit, red tie, and occasionally, a chicken suit.
  4. Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog.
    The Blue Blur has appeared in almost forty mainline titles since he rolled onto the Sega Mega Drive in 1991 with his total game credits extending to over one hundred appearances. His speed is matched only by his love for his friends and his penchant for chilli dogs.
  5. Sackboy, LittleBigPlanet.
    The hessian hero of LittleBigPlanet is stuffed full of charm and humour yet offers a blank canvas for players to customise him however they see fit.
  6. Pac-Man, Pac-Man.
    Arcade legend Pac-Man just edges out Mario as the oldest character on BAFTA’s list, with the yellow power pill chomper making his first appearance in 1981.
  7. Link, The Legend Of Zelda.
    The saviour of Hyrule, Link has cemented himself as a dependable hero since he first appeared back in 1986. His most recent outings in The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom have delighted critics and fans alike.
  8. Master Chief, Halo.
    Seen by many as the Xbox mascot, Master Chief has led the Halo series since 2001 and now even stars in the Paramount+ TV series, portrayed by actor Pablo Schreiber.
  9. Kratos, God Of War.
    The Ghost of Sparta ripped onto the PS2 as a bloodthirsty general but in recent years, the Greek demi-god has grown and 2018’s God of War saw Kratos balancing his rage with the responsibility of protecting his son, Atreus.
  10. Shadowheart, Baldur’s Gate 3.
    One of two Baldur’s Gate 3 characters to make BAFTA’s top 20, Shadowheart charmed players in Larian Studios’ expansive RPG.
  11. Arthur Morgan, Red Dead Redemption 2.
    The star of Red Dead Redemption 2 gave players the opportunity to live out their gruff, cowboy fantasies with his roguish charms and steel will.
  12. Pikachu, Pokémon.
    Everbody’s favourite ‘electric mouse’, Pikachu zapped into the limelight in the mid-1990s and has since become one of the most endearing and recognisable characters of all time.
  13. Steve, Minecraft.
    Starring in one of the best-selling video games of all time will inevitably win you legions of fans, and Steve’s popularity has also seen him pop up as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  14. Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid.
    The hero of Shadow Moses, legendary game designer Hideo Kojima designed Snake to prioritise stealth over combat to circumvent the technical limitations of the MSX, when Snake first appeared in the first Metal Gear back in 1987.
  15. Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot.
    The shorts-wearing, orange-furred marsupial span onto PlayStation in 1996 and took the gaming world by storm with his zany antics across a plethora of excellent titles.
  16. Cloud Strife, Final Fantasy VII.
    Potentially the most beloved Final Fantasy character of all time, Cloud Strife’s heroics against the diabolical Shinra Electric Company and the evil Sephiroth are as iconic as his blond spiky do.
  17. Astarion, Baldur’s Gate 3.
    Another newcomer, Astarion enthralled players with his debonair mannerisms and rapier wit in Bladur’s Gate 3, which was nominated for Best Game at this year’s BAFTA Games Awards.
  18. Kazuma Kiryu, Yakuza.
    One of the main protagonists of the Yakua/Like A Dragon series, Kazuma Kiryu is easily recognisable by his crisp white suit and his love of karaoke mini-games.
  19. Ellie Williams, The Last Of Us.
    Ellie demonstrates her undefeatable determination time and time again throughout The Last Of Us series, with her resourcefulness and intelligence saving her from death on many occasions.
  20. Nathan Drake, Uncharted.
    Another Naughty Dog character, Nathan Drake’s heroics made him the poster boy for epic adventures during the PS3 and PS4 generations.

The BAFTA Games Awards will take place on Thursday 11th April 2024 and celebrate the best games of 2023 and the creators behind them. How BAFTA conducts the ceremony that celebrates games after a year full of widespread layoffs will draw scrutiny from the games industry, especially with the studios behind some of the nominees shrinking their workforces in recent months.

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