Who do you love? Who do you hate?
Last week, we, the PC Gamer team, offered our personal picks for most loved and hated PC gaming characters (opens in new tab). Naturally, our community had their own suggestions—some of them expected, others not so much. I've rounded up a bunch of the most well-argued and persistent objects of distaste and devotion.
Loved: Adam Jensen, Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Blackie62: He's pretty bland for the world he's in, but the writers realized with that blandness comes a great deal of common sense that his motives are ones the audience can easily get behind—mainly that the smart thing is to figure out what the hell is going on here because it's probably bad.
infamousratman: The only videogame character who I could never be evil as.
Hated: Gordon Freeman, Half-Life
Blackie62: I hate Gordon Freeman. That mute asshole has been walking around pretending to be an interesting character for over a decade. GET A VOICE AND SOME DEPTH JERKBAG!
Loved: Mordin Solus, Mass Effect 2
Spoilers for Mass Effect 3 ahead...
SeriousNERD: Mordin Solus, I found his story to be the most memorable of them all, probably the only videogame character I felt sad for when he died.
drdvdplayerhandbook: A shame he had to be introduced when the series started to decline, but everything about his arc is wonderful.
Tim: Such an enjoyable character, that always made me smile. when he died, it made me so sad.
Hated: Claptrap, Borderlands
GabeOnuris: Man, I hate Claptrap from Borderlands, that's the most flavorless character I've ever met in a video game.
Hoebuh: Claptrap's dialogue is so extremely cheesy and annoying that even Jar Jar's dialogue seems decent by comparison.
Michael Collins: I couldn't agree more, one of the most annoying characters ever invented. The thing I never got with it is, are we supposed to like it, or give a fig what happens to it?
Loved: Max Caulfield, Life Is Strange
Jordan Pool: I'm probably biased because the game really forces you to like her, but I like that she is a good person who swears a shitload and isn't afraid to talk bad about people who deserve it. Too many games try to make the main character likable to the point where they are basically saints. I'll let go of the fact she thinks the FF movie was the best sci-fi movie of all time, or that she listens to Bright Eyes, or that she says "wowsers" more than once in her lifetime. She has a bit of grit to her character and uses her time travel powers in a way that isn't totally evil, but isn't always totally good either. Although some of her decisions are up to you, you still get the feel she has a side of her that will always fight back.
Hated: Rendon Howe, Dragon Age: Origins
Uponmysoapbox: If you've never played the Human Noble Origin in Dragon Age: Origins, then you can't understand the depths of my hatred for this man.
Marcoolio: That right there is the reason why I always come back to Human Noble every time I replay Origins. You have a personal connection to both Howe and Loghain that you just don't get with the other backstories. The Human Noble has a lot more motivation to get back at those men, and the decision toward the end concerning both their fates is made that much harder for it. I've tried the Mage storyline and it just paled in comparison.
Loved: Big Boss, Metal Gear Solid V
Jon Lisboa: What Konami did with what was once a generic cardboard '80s villain, turning him into something much more interesting than the standard protagonist himself (Solid Snake), was amazing.
Hated, Roman Bellic, Grand Theft Auto IV
Joshua Gillis: Fucking bowling.
rolex94: "Hey Niko! Its Roman, let's go bowling"
Loved: Aela the Huntress, Skyrim
Chaser: My favorite would be Aela the Huntress from Skyrim. A character well developed enough to bear half a quest line in that game was rare, so she stood out. And after that, she could follow my Dragonborn around as a stealthy, bow-wielding killing machine that complimented my playstyle even better than teaming up my Infiltrator with Garrus and Thane in ME2.
Hated: Lamar Davis, Grand Theft Auto V
Covarr: Here's Franklin, attempting to make a legitimate—if half-hearted—attempt to ditch crime, and right behind him is Lamar, ready to fuck it up at every opportunity. Lamar is responsible for trapping Franklin in scenarios where he really doesn't have any choice but to break the law, repeatedly making him an unwitting accomplice, and then ruining his own ill-conceived plans so that it's up to Franklin to rescue his sorry butt. Lamar exists at that dangerous crossroads between stupid and manipulative, regularly posing a threat to himself and everyone around him, often for no gain at all.
Loved: Alyx Vance, Half-Life 2
r_w: She is just the best. The writing, animation and voice acting made me care for an NPC for the first time and her AI scripting meant that the character work was never ruined by the gameplay. I actually love replaying HL2 all the way through to play fetch with her and Dog (honorable mention for best robot) instead of just starting at Ravenholm.
Steve Crook: That [zombie growl] in the dark (opens in new tab). Hated her for that, taking advantage and all. Loved her for Ravenholm. Just shows what good writing can do...
Hated: Jason Brody, Far Cry 3
Aria Stock Loc: He's your typical entitled kid who happens upon an island and cries every time he has to kill someone. After killing enough people, he thinks he's a bad bum. Instead, he kind of feels like a typical American white boy pretending to be a Rakyat warrior. He reminds me of Desmond Miles in many ways. He's got that whiny, naive feel about him.
Matys: I understand in part we're supposed to hate him and that it's supposed to set a message for you in the story, but that never really reached me.
Loved: Handsome Jack, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Nick Becker: I can answer both questions with one name: Handsome Jack. BL2 made me absolutely hate the dude, but BL:TPS made him one of my all time favorite characters.
Zanard Bell: I love me some Handsome Jack. He could've easily been a vault hunter, but all of these personality deficiencies were highlighted in the Pre-Sequel and thus broke down to the dastardly villain we see today. He is a master manipulator, even when he was supposed to be your ally.
Hated: Preston Garvey, Fallout 4
Spess Mehreen: I got so sick of his Minutemen radiant quests that I didn't bother rescuing him on my second playthrough. I'm a Paladin of the BoS now, and Preston is still trapped in Concord where he belongs.
Loved: Lee Everett, The Walking Dead
Covarr: He's an interesting character, spends the entire game trying to overcome his flaws and make up for his past, and is generally complex no matter how you choose to play him. He represents, to me, video game writing at its very best.
Hated: Booker DeWitt, Bioshock Infinite
JStar: He's just an all around unpleasant guy from start to end, and not really redeemable just because of the crap he had to go through in life. Actually, he was pretty much the sole responsible for everything being so horrible in the first place.
Peasant: I hated everything about Infinite in general except for the great setting, but I have honestly never encountered a cast as insufferably, woefully bland as this game's. Even Songbird was relegated to being a forced throwback to the first game, along with the plot itself. Barf.
Loved: Sam & Max, Sam & Max Hit the Road
Evropi: Technically two characters, they are the greatest buddy cop duo ever made. Sam is a very goofy 'voice of reason' (kind of...) and Max is a very excitable, hyperaggressive rabbit. Man the writing in this series is good. I still haven't played the original but I know it's on GOG and will get it one of these days.
Hated: Arkham Knight, Batman: Arkham Knight
drdvdplayerhandbook: God, what an insufferable annoying brat. The worst part is that the game doesn't see it that way. The developers really seem to believe they've written a compelling character instead of the whiny, laughable dingbat (heh) we ended up with.
Gimhana Fernando: A boasting, repetitive surfer bro imitator who turns out to be a whiny brat with surrogate daddy issues.
Loved and Hated: Alan Wake, Alan Wake
Reza Gerami: I love Alan Wake. He's a narcissistic grade A asshole of the highest order, constantly rolling his eyes at the stupid rednecks and even LITERALLY writes passages in his novel about how everyone around him feels threatened by his wits, success and good looks. Probably the only video game protagonist who fights evil ghosts while wearing a jacket with elbow patches. He still makes me laugh when thinking about him.
r_w: I'm not sure if he is my most hated of all time, but I just got around to Alan Wake and the titular character is the one that jumps out right now. It's less that he is Cole Phelps bad, he's just such a step down from Max Payne and I expected that level of character from a Remedy protagonist instead of the wet blanket I played as for hours.
Hated: Zhorik, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
Sable Keech: "I said come in, don't stand there."