Last Friday, Stealthy Box began its salute to the best voice performances of this generation; those roles that helped defined a generation of gaming where storytelling was taken to new heights. We began our tribute with five fearless female performances, but now it’s time for the men of gaming to take the stage.
Just like the women, this was not an easy list to compile. There are certain to be people who disagree, so we once again ask everyone to share their opinion with us in the forums. This list, we feel, comprises five of the best male voice acting roles of this generation. It is a list comprised of heroes, villains, contract killers, aliens, and absolute maniacs. Please allow us to present our five favorite male voice acting roles of this generation. Once again, spoilers are ahead.
Grand Theft Auto V – Trevor Phillips (Steven Ogg)
Trevor is a maniac. A MANIAC. That’s for sure. However, Trevor is our kind of maniac. He has this charm and charisma about him that, despite the fact that he is completely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. For some reason, you just can’t resist him. Steven Ogg does an amazing job making us feel compelled to follow Trevor even if we are repulsed by the actions we are forced to perform controlling him. Ogg presents a character that always seems ready to unleash a massive wave of pure fury while also on the verge of waxing poetic about a situation.
If anyone else voiced Trevor, we would likely hate the man. He is a killer, a torturer, and a violent lunatic. Somehow though, Ogg made us love this unlovable character. It kind of makes us feel uncomfortable about ourselves.
Batman: Arkham Asylum/City – The Joker (Mark Hamill)
A great hero needs a great villain, and we all know Batman is a great hero. Mark Hamill expertly recreated his role as the Joker from the 1990′s animated series and took it to a new level. As voiced by Hamill, Arkham’s Joker became the defining version of the character, surpassing even Heath Ledger’s infamous film take on the Clown Prince of Crime. Hamill’s Joker was wonderfully sadistic, ever calculating, darkly humorous, and eerily relatable at times. The Joker was always there to taunt the Bat at his absolute lowest, with copious amounts of venom dripping off of Hamill’s every word.
There have been many versions of the Joker done over the years, but it will be quite some time before there is a performance that can match Mr. Hamill.
Assassin’s Creed Franchise – Ezio Auditore de Firenze (Roger Craig Smith)
While Altair was a lot of fun and Connor was sort of okay, Ezio is the man that made the Assassin’s Creed series. We watched him grow from a novice who only sought vengeance to the self-assured leader of the entire Assassin’s Brotherhood. Roger Craig Smith played Ezio’s development to perfection. When we first meet Ezio, Craig is able to make youthful arrogance radiate from his voice. As the “years” go by, that arrogance is replaced by a resonating fury and thirst for vengeance. By the end, only a slight hint of playful arrogance remains, his voice instead filled with the wisdom of a master. Craig’s vocal evolution as Ezio is as amazing as any vocal role this generation.
Without his endearing qualities and ability to change his voice along with the character, audiences would have never loved the character of Ezio the way they do, and the Assassin’s Creed franchise may have ended after only two games. Although Smith has gone on to other roles, including turns as Sonic the Hedgehog and Batman, he will never be better than he was at Ezio. His voice gave a young man of Florence his heart and soul.