When it comes to video games, we’ve seen a huge rise in diversity issues. From LGBT games to more protagonists of color, it’s great that games are more inclusive. But that doesn’t mean diversity alone can win.
For example, it’s great to have more black characters, but it’s just as good to make sure those characters make an impact with good writing, great performances, and good acting to deliver their story. Whether it’s surviving the apocalypse or fighting the undead, these characters are both black and influential in video games, and have led to a great introduction to black gamers everywhere.
8 Alyx Vance (Half Life 2)
Alyx was first seen in Half Life 2 as the deuteragonist for the iconic title, and later became the protagonist of her own game, the acclaimed Half-Life: Alyx. A feisty and determined young woman, Alyx has been a prominent figure in the fight against the Association and becomes a useful ally to Gordon Freeman.
Although there are hints of something more to her relationship with Gordon, she still stands out as a great character on her own, as shown in Half-Life: Alyx.
7 Clementine (The Walking Dead)
Telltale Games’ Walking Dead series is incredibly written and has a diverse cast, especially when it comes to deuteragonist turned protagonist Clementine. Fans witnessed her transformation from a helpless child of the apocalypse to a fearsome survivor.
Her character evolves over the years in a thrilling tale of loss and survivor’s guilt, set in the hellish world of the zombie apocalypse. From cute to kind, from bold to survivor, Clementine is definitely a character to remember.
6 Carl Johnson (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)
Carl “CJ” Johnson is the iconic protagonist from perhaps the best entry in the Grand Theft Auto series, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. CJ returns to his home in Los Santos after the death of his mother in a drive-by shooting, where he begins to reconnect with his family and tries to take care of his street gang, the Grove Street Families.
Throughout the game, Carl is presented as a fun, likable and street-smart character who has a great dynamic with the unique cast of criminals and gangsters he encounters. Above all, he shows himself to be a loyal man. And in his fight against corrupt law enforcement, he certainly deserves to be the first black protagonist of a mainline Grand Theft Auto game.
5 Nadine Ross (Uncharted)
The Uncharted series mostly focused on the exploits of Nathan Drake, Elena Fisher, and Victor Sullivan. However, things changed when he introduced the best villains ever: Rafe Adler and his sidekick Nadine Ross. While Nadine was a fun addition to the game, being able to defeat Nathan and Sam in hand-to-hand combat, it wasn’t until Uncharted: Lost Legacy that she truly shined.
Here, Nadine becomes the deuteragonist as she teams up with Chloe Frazer on a treasure hunting adventure. Throughout the game, you learn more about Nadine’s past, her relationship with her father, and her developing relationship with Chloe while being an all-around badass.
4 Lee Everett (The Walking Dead)
The Walking Dead only really took off because of what a fantastic character Lee Everett was. The convict-turned-protector was Clementine’s guardian throughout the first season, and even though his story ends tragically, it’s hard to say he didn’t make an impression.
Lee has his own much more independent character and many emotional moments, from seeing his dead brother as a walker to making his way through the city of the dead to try to find Clementine when she disappears. He comes across as a caring and protective man who will go to great lengths to protect those he loves.
3 Sheva Alomar (Resident Evil 5)
One of the most underrated protagonists of the Resident Evil series, Sheva Alomar, appears as Chris Redfield’s new partner as they investigate a new biological weapon emerging in Africa. Throughout the game, Sheva does her best to be a dutiful and helpful partner to Chris, helping him defeat Albert Wesker and rescue Jill from the villain’s mind control.
Although Chris offers her the option to leave to save herself, she decides not to. Her loyalty and tenacity is admirable, making her an interesting character that fans have been hoping to see in a Resident Evil 5 remake or another game in the series.
2 Marcus Holloway (Watch Dogs 2)
After the lukewarm reception of Watch Dogs, it seemed that there was little chance that a sequel would ever happen. But that’s when Watch Dogs 2 happened. The game took the series in a more comedic and fun direction, which includes its story, featuring fun characters like Wrench, Sitara, and of course, the lovable Marcus Holloway.
Marcus is a charming and charismatic man who stands behind a moral code and even canonically uses only non-lethal methods to deal with enemies in accordance with DeadSec ideology. He has great chemistry with most of the other characters, especially Wrench, and has a fun sense of humor. Much like the game it’s in, it’s a breath of fresh air when it comes to the series.
1 Three Dogg (Fallout 3)
How could you not love the Three Dogg radio show in Fallout 3? For a game whose atmosphere is heavy with grit and darkness, Three Dogg is a welcome respite from the horrors of the Capital Wasteland. However, it becomes even more interesting when you talk to him and understand more about his goal of “fighting the good fight”.
Also, it’s a great idea to have him as a character who comments on recent events in the game because of your actions, which helps make the character a strong presence in the game’s story. Overall, Three Dogg is a great, funny character and it’s hard to imagine Fallout 3 without him.
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