There exists a number of male characters that are extremely popular among gamers. Characters like Pac-Man, Kratos, Doom Guy, Sonic, and Mario are regarded as icons in the industry due to their incredibly high level of popularity and how they are still talked about to this day. Yet, what about the less-appreciated male characters? Don't they deserve some recognition as well?
This list will cover gaming's best male characters that don't get the recognition they deserve. A list of underrated female characters in video games will be posted shortly.
Father Nier - Nier Gestalt
The first Nier game was pretty underrated when it came out on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. However, after the release of Nier Automata, it seems like the franchise has grown increasingly popular over time. And now, with the recent release of Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139, there's no doubt that newcomers will be coming in masses eventually.
In Nier Gestalt, the story followed Father Nier, or simply known as Nier, as he went on an epic journey in search of a cure for his sick daughter, Yonah. His quest wasn't going to be a walk in the park in the first place. The emotional rollercoaster he's experienced will make the bravest of men fall on their knees. Nier is a great loving father. He'll do anything to find a cure for his daughter, but at the same time, he will fight to protect the world from the darkness. A very few fathers get the credits they deserve in video games, and I do believe Father Nier is one of them.
Wario - Wario Games
The funny thing about Wario is that even his games are kind of underappreciated. The first time I stumbled across Wario World, I was skeptical about whether I should give it a try or not. However, after launching the game, I found that I've spent hours into the game without even realizing it. What makes Wario underrated is how charismatic and happy he is as he smashes through hordes of enemies using his fists and butt. He is confident, strong and most of all, funny all the time. After all, he's NUMBER ONE.
Despite being an anti-hero, Wario is a lovable character, and I do believe he has several traits which make him better than the well-known Super Mario.
Klonoa - Klonoa Series
Klonoa is a cute platforming video game series that doesn't get the attention it deserves. Klonoa 2 was unfortunately released back in an era where platforming was slowly on its way out. With the rise of first-person shooters and open-world games, the industry was gradually deviating from platformers. Except for some developers who had the guts to defy that dreadful reality at the time. While you hear gamers cherishing other legendary platformer protagonists such as Super Mario, Kirby, Rayman, and Crash Bandicoot, Klonoa rarely gets any mention. Except if it's a video or an article talking about hidden gem platformers.
Regardless, Klonoa is an underrated little thing. He is strong as he stands tall against any challenge that awaits him. Oh, and the Klonoa series is sad at times due to the fact it leaves the player always craving for more. That being said, we can only hope that Bandai Namco revives this underappreciated franchise one day because it needs to happen.
Sebastian Castellanos - The Evil Within
The Evil Within is a survival horror video game created by Shinji Mikami who's renowned for marvelous works such as Okami, Vanquish, God Hand, and most importantly, Resident Evil. The game puts you in the shoes of detective Sebastian Castellanos as he experiences what's inside the mind of a twisted man. The Evil Within is often compared to other psychological horror titles like Silent Hill, Dead Space, Forbidden Siren, and The Suffering due to its emphasis on making the overall world and the surroundings impactful on the player.
You have to admit that what Sebastian Castellanos went through is something even the bravest of men will shudder from. The first game saw you infiltrating the mind of the insane Ruvik and solving riddles after riddles to unlock the mystery behind everything. On the one hand, the second game saw Sebastian descending into the world of Union to save his daughter, Lily. Sebastian Castellanos is brave and clever. He knows when it's time to confront something and when it's best to just hide and sneak away. He's not a superhuman like Chris Redfield, but when it comes to survival, the guy clearly has 9 lives.
Jack Slate and Shadow - Dead to Rights Series
Dead to Rights is often compared to Remedy's Max Payne due to the similar gameplay. Some even label it as nothing but a clone. However, in my humble opinion, I disagree with them. Dead to Rights may incorporate the same gameplay mechanics such as the bullet-time mode, but it also features several aspects that help it flee from being a clone.
Jack Slate may be equipped with dual guns, but he has a sidekick who's got his back as well. And that sidekick is called Shadow, a Wolf dog who is extremely loyal to Jack until the very end and will obey his master unconditionally.
While playing as Jack with Shadow by his side, he can command him to execute silent kills on enemies from behind and turning enemies into shreds. Additionally, Jack can command Shadow to sniff out pieces of evidence that can lead him to solves riddles such as diffusing a bomb for example.
Jack and Shadow make the perfect duo. The wolf-dog makes the job easier for his partner, but Jack has to also protect him from enemies that will always surround him. A perfectly-created pair in my opinion that sadly don't get mentioned these days.
Jak and Daxter - Jak and Daxter Series
It's true that Jak and Daxter was pretty popular at its time, but as time moved on, people began to move on. Hell, even Naughty Dog doesn't seem to have any plans of reviving this masterpiece.
Jak and his sidekick were beloved back in the PS2 era, but it seems that after Ready's At Dawn's take on Jak with Lost Frontier, the franchise would quickly go under the radar. As if it never existed.
Similar to Dead to Rights, Jak and Daxter are the perfect pair. Jak is equipped with several weapons under his belt while Daxter is there to cover his buddy if he ever needs a hand. Jak 3 ends with gamers craving for more adventures, but it seems that will take a while for it to happen.
Wei Shen - Sleeping Dogs
Back in 2009, Sleeping Dogs was supposed to be a part of the True Crime series until it was later canceled by Activision Blizzard back in 2011. Luckily, Square Enix revived the project and had to rename the game while considering it a spiritual successor to the True Crime series. Wei Shen is an ex-gang member who is now an undercover officer tasked with infiltrating a local gang scene known as the Triads.
Wei knows his task won't be easy as he quickly realizes he'll have to confront his friends and family. He may get emotional at times, but at the end of the day, he's strong and capable of accomplishing his job. Also, he may remind some of Jackie Chan at times thanks to his strong martial arts techniques (like pushing someone's head into an air vent).
Apollo Justice - Ace Attorney Series
Apollo Justice is a defense attorney who has operated in the United States and Khura'in. What makes Apollo an interesting character is that he's following Phoenix Wright's footsteps as he solves one trial after another. Thanks to the bracelet he inherited from his long-lost mother, it helps him identify whether someone is telling the truth or not. Phoenix Wright is famous for his "OBJECTION," and Apollo Justice is renowned for his special bracelet.
The Ace Attorney games are some of the best games ever made, and as time goes by, more and more people are discovering them, and that's a good thing.
Prompto - Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV expanded upon the universe from past titles by introducing a vast open world to explore, a real-time action combat system, and impressive visuals. While this is a great thing and the game managed to sell very well, it is sadly not as memorable as classic entries like Final Fantasy X and the original Final Fantasy 7.
Final Fantasy 15 saw you controlling Noctis along with his friends: Ignis Scientia, Gladiolus Ammicitia, and Prompto Argentum. Among these companions, there's one character that we think is pretty much underrated, and that one is Prompto. He is Noctis' best friend and is the most cheerful member of the four members. While he suffers from a sense of inferiority due to not being from a noble class, he knows how to make the trip fun and memorable. After all, he just wants to save pictures of their road trip together.
Karim - Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is a psychological and cosmic horror title that was originally planned to release on the N64, but appeared on the Gamecube back in 2002. The game featured multiple characters, and each of them went through a series of nightmarish situations after they came across the Tome of Eternal Darkness. While some characters in the game are pretty memorable, we think that one person is pretty underappreciated. And that person is Karim.
Karim is almost forgettable in the shuffle of the other characters you control. In the end, he knows he's in trouble, that he has been on a fool's errand, he's been betrayed, and the woman he was romantically pursuing is now dead. Yet, he also accepts that there's something bigger going on, something more important than trying to impress the girl who cheated on him. He becomes a Big Damned (Dead) Hero, committing himself to protect an unspeakable eldritch artifact for eternity (or the destruction of the universe) right alongside the specter of the woman who sent him to his doom. Plus, he comes back at the end to help kill the final boss. What a twist by Silicon Knights.
Stay tuned for our companion list of underrated female characters. Think we missed one? Think some of these characters aren't underrated in the least? Leave us a comment or hit us up on Twitter!