Top 5 Underrated Heroes in Video Games
Heroes aren’t born, they are made. This a common phrase we hear throughout our media today. Characters in video games aren’t that much different - the majority of heroes come into being because some sort of calamity forces them to become gladiators for good. The problem is that not every hero gets the credit he or she is due. While there are characters who save galaxies and worlds from multi-million dollar franchises, there are some who inevitably get left in the dust.
This is certainly not all of them, and most of these are my personal picks, but these are my top 5 underrated heroes in gaming.
5. Luigi - Super Mario Bros
Luigi has been the second fiddle to Mario for quite some time, and while he has gotten his own games before, they always seemed to get a luke-warm reaction from fans and critics rather than being the best-selling juggernaut his brother is. The big difference is Luigi has more of a personality than Mario, he’s dynamic and interesting. He shows a full range of emotions in Luigi’s Mansion, and out of the two Mario Bros, he always tends to get the least amount of praise for what he does. He goes and saves the princess just as often as Mario - and what does he get in return? Not much, most of the time. Luigi is the unsung hero of the franchise and for me, the green plumber is the better hero.
4. Ness - Earthbound
Ness is a character that has gained popularity in recent years, and his game is considered a Super Nintendo classic. Still, there are still quite a few people that don’t know about Ness in comparison to other RPG characters. Ness started his journey by going out of his way to help a friend (Porky) who didn’t really deserve his help. Later, when going to fight the final boss, Ness sacrificed his own body for a chance to defeat him. His group had no idea if they were going to come back alive, but they decided to risk their own lives in order to try to prevent Gigyas’ destruction of the world. I could have always put the entire cast of Earthbound on this list including Lucas from Mother 3 due to his heroism, but Ness was the one that started it all for his one selfless act.
3. Lee Everett - Walking Dead Season 1
Lee is one of those characters that you don’t consider a hero until you really think about his actions. His actions were almost never black and white morally except for one time: when he chose to take Clementine with him. While characters like Joel and Booker take on their young lady charges as part of a job or mission, Lee does it without even thinking. All three of those characters are well-developed protagonists, but the fact that Lee decided to take on a little girl, a child that would be a burden to anyone else in the zombie apocalypse, without a second thought is what makes him a hero. Lee needed to save the world, break a curse, or even solve a crime to be a hero. The only person Lee ever wanted to be a hero for was Clementine.
2. Raz - Psychonauts
Raz started out as a boy with a dream, a dream to become a well-trained psychic with the ability to control his supernatural powers. After the camp he went to is plunged into chaos, Raz is sent on psychic adventures in order to try to return the brains to the ailing campers and save the world from the evils that lurk within the mind. Raz has some great development with his own problems and issues, being very well-written for what appears to be just a platformer at first. Raz is a fun, smart-aleck character. He's fun to play and a great hero for this platforming, psychic-powers-wielding game.
1. Jade - Beyond Good and Evil
Among video games, Beyond Good and Evil still ranks up there as one of the most underrated gems of its time, as does its main heroine Jade. The story starts out with Jade saving the lives of the orphans she takes care of at the lighthouse, then later on she goes out on dangerous missions in order to get money to support them. Her actions at first are only for the orphans, but later on, when she realizes what’s really going on in her home planet, Jade helps find the truth to to show everyone. Jade is selfless, and even when she is at her lowest, she picks herself up to go save the day. Jade is a well-developed, fully realized character from a game that more people should play.
There are many more heroes that could have been on this list, all are not given the attention that they deserve. Feel free to comment with your own choices for some of the most underrated characters in video games.