The 30 Most Iconic PlayStation Characters Of All Time

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The original PlayStation was a hit back when it first came out.

And it provided a console where many incredible franchises would get started.

Nowadays the PS5 is going strong and bringing us many plenty of fun experiences.

Although one thing Sony tends to excel at is getting good exclusives, especially from Japanese developers.

These IPs have carried Sony’s machines to new heights. And in turn, they’re carried forward by their unforgettable characters.

As a long-time Sony fan, I decided to put my encyclopedic PlayStation knowledge to good use and rank which of these exclusive characters shine brighter than the rest.


30. Princess Plump

Princess Plump in Fat Princess game

Game: Fat Princess

Princesses in medieval times were mostly left to their own devices, while the men sacrificed their lives fighting one neighbor or another.

A boring life generally leads to overeating – and sometimes, it can get out of control.

After consuming a really addictive cake, Princess Plump loses all interest in anything but eating the sugary treat.

Still, her people love her.

And they’re willing to risk their lives taking Her Heavyness back from her kidnappers – despite the genuine possibility of being crushed under her royal weight.


29. The Colossi

The Colossi - Shadow of the Colossus game screenshot

Game: Shadow of the Colossus

Although calling giant non-communicative beasts “characters” may be a bit of a stretch, they’re definitely the most iconic elements of Shadow of the Colossus.

At the beginning of the game, you’re tasked with killing 16 of these majestic creatures to bring your loved one back to life.

It’s easy at first.

But with each kill, the feeling that you’re doing something terrible starts seeping in.

Each of these beasts has its own creative and unique design, which can be appreciated as a whole from afar or examined in-depth while climbing around their stone-like bodies.


28. Trico

Trico from The Last Guardian game

Game: The Last Guardian

Are you a dog person? A cat person?

Or do your friends call you “Birdman”?

Regardless, you’ll find something to love in Trico – a chimera with a dog’s personality featured in The Last Guardian.

He’s quick to learn new tricks and gets healthier and happier the more love (and food) you give him.

If you’re the brains behind puzzle-solving, he’s the brawn.


27. Connor

Connor in Detroit: Become Human game

Game: Detroit: Become Human

Do robots dream of electric sheep?

Or are they just malfunctioning?

That’s the question asked by Detroit: Become Human, and it’s a question we may have to answer ourselves in the not-so-distant future.

Hopefully we’ll have someone as adorable as Connor making a case for machines.

It’s always fun to watch a seemingly unfeeling machine develop sensibilities and actual agency. It’s doubly delightful when that machine is a little bit too formal and straightforward than necessary.


26. Rikimaru

Rikimaru from Tenchu PlayStation game

Game: Tenchu

When it comes to ninjas, none balance impossible bad-assery and realism like Rikimaru from Tenchu.

This shinobi doesn’t have access to Naruto’s Shadow Clones or Sasuke’s Sharingan.

Instead, he uses stealth and polished killing techniques to achieve his goals.

Rikimaru relies on his inner calm and sharp mind to keep him moving forward toward defeating Onikage.


25. The Doll

The Doll Bloodborne gameplay screenshot

Game: Bloodborne

Some people call Bloodborne a “waifu simulator” thanks to the gorgeous automaton that always awaits your return in the Hunter’s Dream.

I say automaton, but The Doll is indistinguishable from a human being once you’ve gained enough Insight to see her for what she truly is – an adorable caretaker who helps you level up.

There’s nothing quite like being welcomed home by this gentle doll to pick you up after being trashed by Father Gascoigne yet again.


24. Klonoa

Klonoa in Klonoa 2 PS2 screenshot

Game: Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

I used to play Klonoa: Door to Phantomile on the original PlayStation a lot.

Then I moved on to Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil on the PS2, and loved it as well.

And then, Klonoa dropped off the face of the earth, confined exclusively to minor portable titles.

This cutesy bunny/cat is one of the most appealing mascot characters of his time. Even if you never played these games, you’ve probably seen this character in ads or gaming magazines at some point.

He may not be as famous as Sonic. But he’s charming, and his design is fantastic.

I still hope that some charitable soul in the gaming industry will decide to bring Klonoa back in all his glory, so I can inflate enemies like balloons and throw them around once again.


23. Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal screenshot

Game: Twisted Metal

This iconic character from everyone’s favorite vehicular combat franchise started out as your average asylum escapee.

As the series progressed, his design grew increasingly insane.

Setting his head on fire was just the beginning.

Sweet Tooth went from a regular crazy clown to wearing a harness over his hairy dad bod just to look more menacing. And his weaponized ice cream truck looks more and more like a Mad Max vehicle with each new game.

By the time he was in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Marcus “Needles” Kane was a brutal butcher with a gift for killing and an essential part of Sony’s identity.

And really, I think anyone who ever had a PlayStation would recognize that ice cream truck.


22. Nathan Hale

Nathan Hale Character in Resistance game

Game: Resistance

Not to be confused with the American Revolutionary War hero, this Nathan Hale is the bald bad-ass leading the charge against the Chimera during Resistance: Fall of Man and Resistance 2.

Hale was one of my heroes as a teen. No matter how bleak the situation, he just keeps moving forward and killing as many Chimera as he can.

This unyielding resolve helps him wipe out most of the Chimeran fleet during the ending of Resistance 2.

Unfortunately (and spoiler alert here!) he succumbs to the Chimeran virus by the end of the game – but he goes out with a bang, blowing up enemy soldiers left and right with his newfound psychokinetic abilities. A vaccine is also developed from his blood cells, giving humanity a chance.


21. Riku

Riku from Kingdom Hearts game

Game: Kingdom Hearts

What’s a JRPG without a conflicted rival who teeters on the edge of becoming a villain, only to become back as your greatest ally?

This rebellious Keyblade master grew up on Destiny Islands with Sora and Kairi. But his thirst for power and adventure guides him toward the darkness.

He matures a lot after KH: Chain of Memories, and finally becomes a likable character by then – and even an official hero by KH2.


20. Clank

Clank in Ratchet & Clank PlayStation game

Game: Ratchet & Clank

Clank’s striking resemblance to Gir from Invader Zim is far from just aesthetic.

After all, they’re both robots designed for war who turned out to be a little different than the rest of the mechanical soldiers.

Unlike Gir, however, Clank is actually a competent companion for Ratchet.

He may be defective as a warbot.

But as a friend and defender of justice, he’s top-of-the-line.

His intellectual personality is a hilarious foil to Ratchet’s general rambunctiousness – and it works perfectly with his secret agent persona during his eponymous solo game on the PSP.


19. Daxter

Daxter from Jak and Daxter game screenshot

Game: Jak and Daxter

Jak and Daxter is one of the biggest exclusive franchises under Sony’s belt.

And it wouldn’t be the same without Jak’s quirky and chaotic sidekick and best friend Daxter.

In the first game, Daxter is turned into an Ottsel – a cross between an otter and a weasel.

He sees this as a curse at first but relaxes (several games later) when it’s revealed that Ottsels are a superior precursor race.

This unlikely hero is basically Timon from The Lion King, if he was shot out into space.

He loves having fun and making trouble, but he prefers to take the easy way out rather than face danger.

Still, he’s quick to overcome his less inspiring traits when it comes to protecting Jak, and exhibits great bravery when it counts.


18. Raiden

Raiden in Metal Gear Solid game

Game: Metal Gear Solid

Raiden got his start as the unexpected protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, replacing Snake despite the marketing campaign never alluding to his existence.

While that rubbed some people the wrong way, most of us could appreciate Raiden for what he brought to the game’s narrative.

Still, it wasn’t until MGS4 that his popularity skyrocketed thanks to Kojima turning him into a cyborg ninja who wields katanas with his heels.

We see him at his coolest in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, where he slices and dices everything from machine gun bullets to the president of the US.


17. Cole MacGrath

Cole MacGrath from inFamous game

Game: inFamous

Many people have forgotten him by now, but Cole MacGrath was one of the biggest characters on the PS3.

And InFamous was one of the most popular and fun open-world games of its generation.

So people quickly got attached to its protagonist, despite his relatively low charisma.

Part of the reason he slowly faded into obscurity is his undefined personality.

After all, you can play through inFamous as the peace-loving hero of New Marais or its power-drunk tormentor.


16. Kat

Kat from Gravity Rush gameplay

Game: Gravity Rush

Gravity Rush is the tale of a fallen queen who must find the strength within her to reclaim her past.

This gravity-shifting superhero was meant to be one of the flagship characters for the PS Vita.

That didn’t turn out so well, but we were still left with a fantastic game.

Despite losing her memory at the beginning of the game, Kat’s inherent kindness leads her to use her newfound powers to protect the weak around Hekseville.

She’s down-to-earth and intelligent, and her character design is fantastic.


15. The Prince of All Cosmos

The Prince of All Cosmos in Katamari Damacy game screenshot

Game: Katamari Damacy

The stars in our skies are one of the most valuable gifts the world has given us humans.

We see ourselves and our dreams reflected on their ever-burning light – but what if they went out?

That’s exactly what happens at the beginning of Katamari Damacy after the King of All Cosmos goes a little too far with his drinking and completely trashes the cosmic tapestry.

Now it’s up to his adorable son – the Prince of All Cosmos – to roll up some trash and shoot it out into space to replace the starry lights.

He may be five centimeters tall, but this lime-colored hero is worth a cosmos’ weight in gold.


14. Solid Snake

Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid PlayStation game

Game: Metal Gear Solid

I know, I know. You played MGS3 on a GameCube and MGSV on the Xbox One. I mean, Snake was even in Super Smash Bros!

But so what?

Everyone knows only the PlayStation had the goods back when the original Metal Gear Solid came out.

This famous warrior was cloned from the world’s most legendary soldier – Big Boss, then proved himself superior by defeating him in the original Metal Gear (1987).

Well, it was actually his body double.

Metal Gear is a complex series.

Still, with an IQ of 180, fluency in six languages, and perfect physical condition – along with his legendary achievements – Solid Snake has nothing left to prove.


13. Sackboy

Sackboy from Little Big Planet game screenshot

Game: Little Big Planet

The poster boy for the PS3 felt like a weird attempt on Sony’s part to create a well-known mascot at first.

But with time, they’ve proven themselves to be more than marketing.

Sackboy is designed to appeal to everyone by being a blank slate to project our own feelings and personality.

He’s just a tiny burlap doll with a knit pattern and beady eyes. Whatever accessories, colors, and flair you add on top are all you, as is the way you play.

In today’s day and age, where people are obsessed with their identity and showing it to others, Sackboy is the perfect mascot.


12. Dante

Dante in Devil May Cry game

Game: Devil May Cry

Dante is one of those characters whose entire existence is dedicated to being the greatest bad-ass he can be.

This demon hunter is the half-human son of the Legendary Demon Knight, Sparda.

As such, he has the strength of a demon and the sensible heart of a human.

Whether he’s wielding guns or the Force Edge, Dante has proven unbeatable so far.

If the wacky and somewhat playful Dante doesn’t do it for you, maybe you’d prefer his scene kid version from DmC.


11. Jak

Jak from Jak and Daxter game

Game: Jak and Daxter

Both of their names may be in the title of this game, but Jak is clearly more of a protagonist than his Ottsel friend.

Hell, for the sequels released between 2003 and 2005, Daxter wasn’t even in the title!

Jak went from a regular silent protagonist to a dark and brooding character obsessed with vengeance, after being kidnapped and experimented on by Baron Praxis’ in the prologue of Jak II.

This gave the devs a chance to spend some time developing his character, which Naughty Dog did wonderfully throughout the next few games.

Now Jak is an inspiring and mature hero. And a reminder that healing from trauma is possible.


10. Ratchet

Ratchet from Ratchet & Clank game screenshot

Game: Ratchet & Clank

Born in Planet Fastoon, Ratchet is a bad-ass Lombax with a penchant for mechanics.

He actually built his own ship, and it’s no wonder he’d form a close relationship with the robotic Clank.

He’s quite skilled with all sorts of weaponry – as seen on Going Commando – and is always up for an adventure.

Ratchet used to have a dangerously short fuse, but he’s matured a lot throughout the series.

And there’s a lot of series to go through.


9. Kazuma Kiryu

Kazuma Kiryu in Yakuza PlayStation game

Game: Yakuza

Known as The Dragon of Dojima for his exploits as part of the Dojima Family, Kazuma Kiryu is a prime example of a virtuous criminal.

Sure, the Yakuza are the rulers of Japan’s criminal underworld – but they also follow a strict moral code inspired by the Samurai’s bushido.

Instead of money or pleasure, Kazuma is driven by this code of honor and the virtuous feelings in his heart.

Kazuma can’t help but fight injustice, whether it means helping an old lady recover her purse from a thief, or caring for the kids at the Morning Glory Orphanage (which he founded himself).


8. Joel

Joel chara in The Last of Us

Game: The Last of Us

Game characters that parents can relate to used to be quite unusual.

But that’s beginning to change as gaming generations get older.

Now we have stuff like Kratos in GoW (2018), Octodad, and of course, Joel.

After losing his daughter and almost everyone he knew at the onset of the fungal zombie pandemic, Joel went from a happy, caring father to a jaded mercenary – taking on dangerous (and illegal) jobs in exchange for rations.

Through his adventure with Ellie, he reconnects with that dormant fatherly side. And it helps him work through the trauma.

At the end of the game, he’s presented with a difficult choice – and he does exactly what any sensible dad would do when someone wants to vivisect his daughter.


7. Spider-Man

Spider-Man from Marvel’s Spider-Man game screenshot

Game: Marvel’s Spider-Man

Spider-Man video games have been on almost every console since Spider-Man: The Video Game was first released in 1991.

How could he be eligible as a PlayStation exclusive?

It’s simple.

Next to Marvel’s Spider-Man on the PS4, the rest might as well never have existed.

It’s simply the best Spider-Man game ever created, and it’s exclusive to Sony’s machine.

It’s difficult to describe how good it feels to swing around NYC, and they managed to stuff this game full of classic Spidey rivals and references to the character’s trajectory.


6. Sora

Sora from Kingdom Hearts III game

Game: Kingdom Hearts

Everyone knows Sora from Kingdom Hearts.

After all, he’s friends with some of the most famous characters in the whole wide world, such as Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and other Disney celebrities.

Sora is one of those characters whose personality is explored through action, rather than dialogue.

He has always been good-natured and protective of his friends. But he’s had to grow a lot since his first arrival to Traverse Town.

If his colorful design and goody-two-shoes personality doesn’t resonate with you, then maybe one of the many other Kingdom Hearts characters might.


5. Ellie

Ellie in The Last of Us game

Game: The Last of Us

Ellen Page may not have been happy with Naughty Dog’s oddly-similar, suspiciously named character.

But the rest of us love Ellie.

This little girl subverts the damsel-in-distress stereotype while remaining realistic, instead of becoming a perfectly-oiled killing machine in the span of a couple minutes like Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.

But Ellie needs help often, and is quite vulnerable at times. Like everyone is in the fungal post-apocalypse – and she’s always doing her best to carry her own weight.

Years of doing just that may have made her a bit more jaded (and given her PTSD).

But this just makes her more relatable as a strong – but flawed – human being.


4. Nathan Drake

Nathan Drake character from Uncharted game

Game: Uncharted

If you’ve ever felt like Lara Croft was a little bit too feminine for your liking, you’ll love Nathan Drake.

This intrepid explorer brings the Indiana Jones archetype back to life in a modernized fashion.

Drake is attractive, intelligent, and has a great sarcastic sense of humor.

He’s also prone to destroying any archaeological sites he sets foot into, though it’s rarely his fault.

What makes Drake so popular among fans is his “everyman” character.

He’s well-educated and in peak physical condition, but other than that, he could be any of us.

It makes it easier to slip into his shoes.


3. Joker

Joker from Persona 5 PlayStation game

Game: Persona 5

Are we just prisoners of fate, bound by the shackles of society?

Joker sure isn’t.

Throughout Persona 5, we see him fighting injustice at every turn.

This gets him thrown in jail, expelled from school, sent to Tokyo, and thrown into jail again – but he keeps on going.

He’s also a daredevil and effortlessly stylish like few could ever be. Plus he’s got the soul of a rebel, which makes him the ideal leader for the Phantom Thieves.


2. Aloy

Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn gameplay screenshot

Game: Horizon Zero Dawn

I love the world of Horizon Zero Dawn.

The contrast of animal-like machines against the all-natural environment is one of the most fantastical portrayals of the post-apocalypse in gaming – and Aloy is the perfect hero for such a world.

Aloy is an echo of the past – a clone of an ancient scientist and engineer – but she also grew up hunting in the wilds.

Like the untamed world around her, Aloy is more full of life and vigor than her past self.

She represents the new life and cultures that spring up from the remnants of those who came before.


1. Kratos

Kratos from God of war game

Game: God of War

For anyone who didn’t see this coming, Kratos is a multifaceted character who’s been through a lot.

He’s gone from mass-murderer to father, to god killer, to father again – and his tale isn’t even over yet.

The Ghost of Sparta is written very much like a classic Greek hero.

He’s chosen from mortal Spartan warriors to become Ares’ champion, but is repaid only with pain and suffering, as the war god tricks him into murdering his wife and daughter.

Kratos’ odyssey even takes him beyond the borders of Greece into Norse myth, where he tried to live a peaceful life until his wife died and Baldur came knocking on the door.

So much for the Norse pantheon.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.