Gaming is filled with tons of interesting stories and characters, and some of them definitely stick with us more than others. We immediately think of those that seem to define the medium, yet others every bit as capable seem to be thrown by the wayside.
Well, no more. We’ve compiled a list of great characters that, for no real reason, aren’t given a second look. For every Michael Jordan there’s a Scottie Pippen, and they’re important too, damn it.
Subject Delta (BioShock 2)
There are plenty of silent protagonists in games, but we’re not sure one has been so ignored coming out of a game as good as BioShock 2. It’s a game that many didn’t feel needed to exist, and to an extent they’re right. But unlike Jack in the original BioShock, Subject Delta has a clear purpose right from the beginning: rescuing his Little Sister. And as the first Big Daddy successfully bonded to his Little Sister, the man’s got tenure. Just forget that, you know, he looks exactly like Bomberman.
Raiden (Metal Gear Solid 2)
We were all surprised to see Raiden transformed into an efficient killing machine of the highest order in Metal Gear Solid 4 and later on in Metal Gear Rising, but let’s throw this at you: Raiden never sucked and was a badass from the jump. At the end of Metal Gear Solid 2, it’s revealed that the plant was just a 1-to-1 recreation of the Shadow Moses Incident from the original MGS. While Solid Snake got high fives for his effort, Raiden got the cold shoulder, even after he fought several Metal Gear Rays. What gives?
Wei Shen (Sleeping Dogs)
Even though Sleeping Dogs sold way better than everyone expected (Square Enix not included because they’re lunatics), not many who played it talk up the story and characters within it. As an undercover cop infiltrating Triad gangs in Hong Kong with martial arts on par with Batman, you’d think Wei Shen would rank pretty high on everyone’s list. Despite all that and his terrific voiceover, players gloss right over him to gamble on cockfights and mahjong.
Cole Phelps (LA Noire)
Hey, we get it. LA Noire was a game with a ton of promise, and while early missions lived up to it the story more or less fell apart as it progressed. But the unassuming Cole Phelps, played by Mad Men’s Aaron Staton, is great throughout. Slowly making his way from beat cop to short-tempered gumshoe, Phelps never fails to impress with his ability to work a case. As unpredictable as that damned Doubt button was, we always looked forward to pressing perps and illegally gathering evidence.
Luigi (Just about every Mario game ever)
Nintendo has proclaimed 2013 to be the Year of Luigi, but we’re calling shenanigans. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon may have recently released, but Mario’s cowardly brother has little else to call his own. His dreams will be the primary setting for Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, but you’ll still be playing as Mario when you’re in there. He’ll have his own starring DLC for New Super Mario Bros. U, but how big can that be? Meanwhile, Nintendo has already promised to unveil a new 3D Mario game, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros. at this year’s E3, just in time for us to forget their second son once more.