While well-written protagonists are always welcome, more often than not they’re not as compelling as their writers wish they were. They gruffly say something about Bravo Team or Point Bravo or what have you, then we roll our eyes and blow something up. Who cares.
We think that there’s something to be said for the strong and silent type. Sometimes, silence speaks volumes. Sometimes, introductions peter out and we just get on with the list of our favorite silent protagonists in gaming.
The choice between Chell and Half-Life’s Gordan Freeman was surprisingly simple. When you’re playing as Freeman, it’s implied that he had a pretty normal social life before everything went to hell. He’s employed as a scientist, after all; it’d be nearly impossible for him not to interact with people both on and off the clock.
Chell, meanwhile, is pretty much locked up by herself. We don’t know for sure what her origins are, but she has no one to talk to but a psychotic, murderous robot. Having to survive on pure instinct, her ability to constantly foil certain death despite no experience with the outside world is damned impressive.
Yu Narukami (Persona 4)
That’s the name that Persona 4’s protagonist was given in the official anime, but you can name him whatever you want — I went with Walter Danger. Walter (I’m calling him Walter, so deal) is an outsider, like so many others. He’s just living with his uncle for a year in the sleepy town of Inaba, and he has to quickly make friends at a new school.
Walter managed to do this with flying colors. Not only did he become friends with a great group of misfits, but he was also a beacon for them to overcome their personal demons. He was their rock. Most of all, he can kick a shadow’s ass like no one’s business. He’s especially good at that last one.
This entry can really be about any of the Pokemon protagonists over the years as they’re all treated more or less the same, but our hearts truly belong to the very first Pokemon Master. Once again, you can call him whatever you wish, but the cartoon went with Ash, so we will too.
In Pokemon Red and Blue, Ash went on a perilous journey through various caves, forests, and several major cities in the Kanto region, all despite being a child. He was able to capture and tame all manner of Pokemon, including imposing creatures that almost any other child would run away from. On top of that, he single-handedly took down a major crime syndicate. What did you do when you were still in elementary school? Not all of that, I bet.