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Why could we not stand Boogerman? I mean...just look at him!
Once you get past the boring design of the character, you’re forced to focus on his special abilities. This includes flying around on farts, flicking snot, and generally being as gross as humanly possible.
Unless you want to recreate the experience of sitting behind the weird, smelly kid in middle school, we recommend you avoid this game and its hero altogether.
Some games age better than others. And that’s certainly true of video game protagonists as well.
Devil May Cry’s Dante is a great example of this. While the game basically invented a new genre for itself, there is nothing “new” about Dante’s characterization. He is basically all of the late-90’s/early-00’s ideas about edgelord badassery rolled into a wisecrack machine with bad hair.
3. Booker DeWitt
Bioshock Infinite is an almost perfect sequel. It retains the core themes of the original game while adding awesome twists and a sweet change of location.
But your protagonist, Booker DeWitt, starts out as a confused alcoholic. Later, we figure out that he’s also a deadbeat dad who might also have it in him to try to take over the world!
Basically, Booker is the kind of “hero” who would be the villain in any other game.
4. Ryo Hazuki
Shenmue represented a real revolution in terms of game design. Unfortunately, the game’s choice of the protagonist was a throwback in the worst possible way!
Ryo Hazuki is kind of the worst of both worlds: with his personality, he is a dumb jerk to almost everyone he meets. And when he speaks, it sounds like the actor was a unique blend of bored and confused.
Long story short? If you meet someone who says they hate Shenmue, chances are what they really hated was Ryo Hazuki.
5. Trevor Phillips
What happens when art imitates reality? Well, that’s when you get a protagonist like Trevor Phillips.
Trevor is an amoral character who isn’t afraid to use torture and other sketchy means to get ahead in life. While this may reflect the amorality of the way many of us play the GTA games, it doesn’t really add up to a character that we want to root for.
The Knights of the Old Republic games are known for their memorable and engaging characters. And then there’s Carth.
Other characters tell you that Carth is a badass pilot, soldier, and all-around hero of the Old Republic. But the Carth you travel with simply whines: whines about Bastila and the Jedi, whines about your character, and whines about his backstory that he clearly wants to tell you about.
Oh, and when you ask about that backstory? You better believe he whines some more!
7. Lester the Unlikely
In another world, Lester the Unlikely (from the game of the same name) would have been a lovable character. As an awkward glasses-wearing dork, he is closer in portrayal to the average gamer than most video game heroes.
But Lester has a useless attack and a hatable personality, right down to his fear of enemies and adventure. It’s basically like the developers saw the old comic ads about nerds getting sand kicked in their faces and decided the skinny weakling should be our hero!
Final Fantasy X was a game with powerful messages about everything from family to religion to grief. But it all revolved around one of the most annoying game heroes ever created.
Tidus is basically a dumb joke with the voice and attitude of your weird little brother. And scenes like his awkward laughter (God, the laughing scene!) basically overpower the other performances in the game (which are quite good).
If you really hate this guy, go read that insane official novel where he gets decapitated after kicking a bomb that he thinks is a blitzball.
Wario is something of an anomaly on this list. That’s because while Wario makes for a great villain and foil to Mario, he makes for a pretty boring and annoying character.
But as a protagonist, Wario is simply motivated by greed. While that is an honest motivation, it doesn’t make for a compelling character arc.
10. Jessie & Zofia Blazkowicz
Wolfenstein pretty much invented the character-driven 3D shooter. And games old and new all revolved around BJ Blazkowicz.
Young Blood tried to change things up by giving us his daughters, Jessie & Zofia Blazkowicz, as playable characters. The problem? They both come across as little more than stale action movie cliches. At times, they channel their father, but all that did was make us want to play a game as the elder Blazkowicz instead.
11. Captain Olimar
Pikmin is a strange little series. It has a devoted cult following, but none of the characters are that memorable.
That goes double for Captain Olimar himself. Despite being a doomed spaceman trying to make his way back to the stars, this guy is basically just a cipher with no real personality.
Basically, you should be wary of anyone who picks Olimar to play in Smash Bros. That player will probably grow up to be a serial killer.
Final Fantasy VIII had some pretty good characters. Too bad, then, that the main character is an unlikeable asshat!
Squall was basically a personality blackhole. When facing everything from declarations of love to the end of the world, all he could really say is “whatever.”
How bad was Squall? He is almost singlehandedly the reason that so many fans hate this game!
13. Jameson Locke
What went wrong with Halo 5? To definitively answer that, we’d be here all day.
But much of the hate comes from the fact that you spend half the game playing as Jameson Locke. He just doesn’t have much personality or anything interesting about him, especially compared to Master Chief.
Over the course of sequels and spinoffs, Raiden became a better character. But in Metal Gear Solid 2, Raiden enraged fans who thought they’d be playing the entire game as Solid Snake.
Aside from that, early Raiden is a whiny character whose existentialist meltdown makes him come across like a bratty little teenager. And maybe Kojima agrees: the sequel game gave players a chance to threaten, hurt, and even kill an enemy that looked exactly like Raiden.
Part of what makes Bubsy so terrible is the cynical character design. This character and his games were clearly ripping off far better mascots such as Sonic the Hedgehog.
It doesn’t help that the Bubsy games are downright awful. After playing Bubsy 3D with this lisping little idiot, you’ll want to crawl into the TV and start hunting this orange menace down for sport!
- REPLAY GALLERY
- 15 Protagonists That Get on Our Nerves
- NEXT GALLERY
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