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The Tom's Hardware Definitive List of PC Games: Most Memorable Protagonist

Are we living in a new "golden age" for PC Gaming? Of course, it is impossible to give a definitive answer. The distance of time and a heaping dose of nostalgia are both necessary prerequisites for any "golden age". And, while it may be easy to argue the merits of one generation over another, one thing is abundantly clear: PC Gaming in 2017 is more widespread and more accessible than ever before. The maturation of digital distribution, a new diversity of platforms, and the adoption of x86 CPU architecture by console manufactures have together, created the perfect environment for a PC Gaming renaissance. PC Gamers have access to more games than ever before, including overlooked titles from past generations and current games that would have been either too costly or too difficult to port. Games are so ubiquitous that you're more likely to hear complaints of having too many games, rather than too few. The number of "good" games is now so great that even the hardest of the most hardcore gamers struggle in their search to find the very best.

To help navigate this brave new world for gaming, Tom's Hardware is in the process of assembling the definitive list of PC games in a number of genres. We've already put a few lists together, but the number of titles is lacking. While the Tom's Hardware Editorial team is few in number, the Tom's Hardware Community is legion. With your input we hope to assemble a list of the best and worst PC games that can truly be called definitive. Over the next few weeks we'll be collecting Community feedback across multiple categories. Once we have a sufficient number of submissions, we'll have the Community vote on the most popular, with a showcase of the winning games on the Tom's Hardware homepage.

This thread will decide the best games with the greatest protagonist.

To help get you started here are the Editorial Team's list:


Geralt of Rivia - The Witcher Series


Lara Croft - The Tomb Raider Series


Cloud Strife - Final Fantasy VII


Commander Shephard - Mass Effect Series


Duke Nukem - Duke Nukem Series


May the mightiest hero or heroine win!
31 answers Last reply
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  1. The first thing that came to mind for me was B.J. Blazkowicz from Wolfenstein. I don't know if you could really call this character a protagonist, I guess it would depend on how you play the game but I really liked HK-47 from the KOTOR games and it's constant comments about your worthless "meatbag" party members.

    From that list I would have a tough time deciding between Geralt and Commander Shepard. Does it have to be main characters? If not I would also add Garrus Vakarian from the Mass Effect games.
  2. Dunlop0078 said:
    The first thing that came to mind for me was B.J. Blazkowicz from Wolfenstein. I don't know if you could really call this character a protagonist, I guess it would depend on how you play the game but I really liked HK-47 from the KOTOR games and it's constant comments about your worthless "meatbag" party members.

    From that list I would have a tough time deciding between Geralt and Commander Shepard. Does it have to be main characters? If not I would also add Garrus Vakarian from the Mass Effect games.

    OT But your avatar is rad. Also, the above is meant to get the list started. Please feel free to submit any and all recommendations!
  3. Gordon Freeman - Half-Life


  4. The Nameless One
  5. bignastyid said:
    Gordon Freeman - Half-Life


    Umm... I like Gordon Freeman, but he is a mute protagonist with no defined personality. He is just the player.
  6. Solid Snake.
  7. bignastyid said:
    Gordon Freeman - Half-Life



    +1
  8. The dude from the first "Postal" game.
    Quote: "The gun knows!"
  9. Rico Rodriguez - Just Cause


    Former race car driver and CIA agent. Full time bad ass and wise ass.
    What's not to like?
  10. Chell from Portal & Portal 2.
    The things that girl goes through - just because she came to a science fair at Aperture Science. She defines perseverance.
  11. I nominate B.J. Blazkowicz and the Doom Guy.
  12. The vault dweller (Fallout 1 & 2)

  13. I don't know if anyone remembers a game called Summoner - was brilliant when it was out, and it's what got me hooked on to RPGs. Still remember the first line "I am Joseph of Ciran. Joseph of Masad. Farmer, cotter, plowman, sahugani, summoner."
  14. I would have to submit Kyle Katarn. The mechanics of being able to be force-adept or a gun-slinger made the character very flexible and multi-faceted.
  15. Hi
    Don't forget Link from Legend of zelda

    OR

    Nathan Drake from uncharted

    OR

    Master Chief from Halo
  16. Where is the Master Chief from Halo series mate?
    Best protagonist ever.
  17. List is for PC games. Legend of Zelda is a Nintendo exclusive and Uncharted is a Playstation exclusive.
  18. bignastyid said:
    List is for PC games. Legend of Zelda is a Nintendo exclusive and Uncharted is a Playstation exclusive.

    You are correct correct. This is the definitive list of PC GAMES. We have no time for puny console gamers.
  19. You forgot this guy from Golden Axe

  20. Emily from Dishonored 2
  21. Max Caulfield / Life is Strange
  22. How can u miss out on solid snake? :D
  23. The Master Chief should make the list. Halo is more of a console game, but the original Halo was released on PC.
    Guybrush Threepwood (Monkey Island)
    Leon Kennedy (Resident Evil)
    Lara Croft should make the list easily.
    I'd want to place the protagonists from the Bioshock series in the list, but they are only in one game at a time. Limits there fame. I'd think Booker Dewitt should be included though.
    Ezio Auditore could be included.

    Oh! And the frog from Frogger. Doesn't really have a name, but certainly is memorable enough.
  24. Adam Jensen from Deus Ex Human Revolution and Mankind Divided
    Commander Shepard from Mass Effect
    Ezio Auditore from Assassin's Creed
  25. chimera201 said:
    bignastyid said:
    Gordon Freeman - Half-Life


    Umm... I like Gordon Freeman, but he is a mute protagonist with no defined personality. He is just the player.


    Speaking or having a defined personality are not requirements of this list. The only requirement is that the protagonist be *memorable* and it's hard to argue that Gordon Freeman isn't.

    The fact that he was a blank slate for the player to project onto within the scope of the phenomenal HL universe is a large part of what makes him so memorable in the first place.
  26. Sarah Kerrigan.

    Yes, she was an antagonist for a large part of the story, but you do play as her at several points and she is the fulcrum of the plot, so I think she qualifies.

    also, Manny Calvera :)
  27. Gordon Freeman and Mario!
  28. kracsnz said:
    The vault dweller (Fallout 1 & 2)



    Maybe the Courrier from Fallout New Vegas...
  29. Link
    Rex Powercolt
    Commander Shepard
  30. bignastyid said:
    Gordon Freeman - Half-Life



    +1
    By miles.
  31. jimmyEatWord said:
    You forgot this guy from Golden Axe




    LOL
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