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1. Earthworm Jim
His star may be faded now, but Earthworm Jim was once the coolest character in gaming. That’s because his games featured slick animation, killer gameplay, and awesome character design.
But the character himself has been a loser from the beginning. Jim is just a regular earthworm mutated by a spacesuit, and early promotional materials went out of their way to remind us Jim is spineless (literally) and useless without the suit. And he keeps getting his ass kicked by Psy-Crow, who is possibly the lamest villain ever created!
2. Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong is a downright venerable character. The popularity of the Donkey Kong arcade game helped make video games a cultural mainstay. And the character’s resurgence in Donkey Kong Country and beyond (where he is technically an entirely new DK) has made him a fan-favorite character for generations.
But Kong is more than a bit of a loser. His best friend is a little kid, which is a big red flag unto itself. And he spends all of his time tending to his dad’s old hobby...adding to the banana hoard. Honestly, the modern DK lives almost entirely in his dad’s shadow, and we hate to see it!
3. Max Payne
It’s tough not to like Max Payne. He is basically the love child of every hardboiled detective story ever written, and his games actually made the bullet time from The Matrix into a viable gameplay mechanic.
However, Max Payne himself is a hot mess. He is very likely crazy and most definitely addicted to booze and pills. Sure, this will be familiar to anyone who loves film noir-style characters, but Max Payne is the last dude on the planet anyone will want to model themselves after.
4. Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog is more than just another popular game character or cultural mascot. For better or for worse, he is the face of Sega. And he helped make owning a Sega Genesis back in the day seem cool as hell.
Cool as hell, though, is the last description we’d apply to Sonic. Despite spending all that time in water, this guy never learns to swim. And his speedy powers originally came from his shoes, meaning Sonic doesn’t even have superpowers. And the only people who seem to hang around him consistently are very young (possibly because he likes to stare at the adult animal friends while eating chili dogs...it’s a real power move).
Basically, Sonic is a poser with no appropriate friends and no real abilities. Sad!
5. Jill Valentine
Jill Valentine is a rarity on this list. That is because the character slowly became better over time. But this doesn’t change the fact that she was a major loser when the Resident Evil franchise first began.
For example, it’s laughable that she doesn’t rock a bulletproof vest as her compatriots do. Sure, she couldn’t predict a zombie attack, but she could at least put on the right equipment. And her reputation is clearly overblown: she may be “the master of unlocking,” but this doesn’t amount to anything but badly using a lockpick a few times.
Finally, Jill is considered “the smart one” next to her partner, Chris Redfield. But this is a franchise that frequently reminds us that brains aren’t that useful against zombies (unless you are helpfully offering them a buffet, of course), and she still comes across as a doofus when she almost becomes “a Jill sandwich.”
6. Master Chief
Master Chief is meant to be the embodiment of effortless cool. He is an action hero in a badass suit, and he is never out of one-liners to shout out while talking to Cortana or mowing down Covenant bad guys.
But Master Chief as a person is quite the loser. During his training, even Dr. Halsey noted that he was merely lucky rather than being particularly smart or strong. And his “life” involves just getting thawed out for the latest mission, which makes his skin under the suit look like he’s the Joker.
In short, Chief may be able to “stick it,” but he’s also a dumb, pale weirdo who has no friends outside of a crazy hologram.
7. Mega Man
Plenty of the characters on this list are losers because of their weird personalities. But Mega Man is a loser by design thanks to Dr. Light.
That is because, at heart, Mega Man is a pacifist who never wants to fight. But he is also a child soldier created by Dr. Light to fight in proxy wars against Light’s old college rival. Beyond being nice and fighting, there is basically nothing to Mega Man’s personality, and that’s just downright sad!
Oh, Luigi. Even in the world of the Mushroom Kingdom, poor Luigi is the butt of all the jokes. But beyond living in his famous brother’s shadow, there is a lot that makes Luigi one of the biggest losers of them all.
Luigi is basically a huge coward, despite being the guy who constantly has to bust ghosts. And while the company has given us hints of a thing for Daisy, Nintendo officially maintains that Luigi has no romantic partner. And, of course, we can’t overlook that early attempts to make Luigi the star produced some of the worse games ever made by Nintendo!
You might be wondering how Pac-Man could really be a loser. After all, he is more an idea of a character than an actual character. Unfortunately, that idea is pretty dumb.
Aside from the awesome gameplay, what do we really know about Pac-Man? He is basically a freak with an eating disorder who is not above consuming other creatures if they get in his way. He also doesn’t have a job and seems to mostly sit around eating and sleeping in his old animated series.
Sure, that may be a fun way to kill a weekend. But if that is all someone does, chances are they are a huge loser.
Chun-Li is a beloved character in large part because she was the first playable female character in a fighting game. While that is cool and her Street Fighter II character is great, Chun-Li herself is a colossal loser.
Despite being a highly-trained Interpol agent, her ending in that first game involved her ditching her job and her outfit to “get back to being a young single girl.” This alone makes her shallow, and various media makes her even worse. For example, some crappy old Malibu comics make her lovesick over Ryu, while the infamous Street Fighter movie makes her a journalist instead of a soldier.
Oh, and did we mention every single character in that awful movie manages to show her up? This gaming icon is just a loser all around.