PlayStation has developed numerous games over the years for fans to enjoy. Each title offers a well-crafted narrative, an excellent cast, and mesmerizing worlds for players to get lost in. None of these worlds would be as great without its protagonists, though.
To celebrate PlayStation’s legacy in the gaming industry, we’d like to highlight some of the best protagonists they’ve created over the years. Whether it’s their precious personality or the way they’re written, these are some of PlayStation’s best protagonists’ yet.
As usual, we would love to hear your thoughts about our picks in the comments below.
Sly Cooper (Sly Cooper series)
Sly Cooper was among many PlayStation fans’ childhood heroes. He’s a clever, devious, and cunning anthropomorphic raccoon who enjoys traveling the world with his friends Bentley and Murray. He stems from a fun 3D platformer series that emphasizes stealth and contains some fun puzzles and minigames. Instead of battling enemies in the open, Sly adores working in the shadows.
He can pickpocket enemies for cash, deliver a beating with his cane, and has battled many dangerous foes with wit and strength. Sly’s known for being a calm individual during drastic situations. Sly wasn’t always the kindest of individuals, though. He used to scold Bentley for his slow performance and spoke ill toward Murray. Over time, Sly learned to be more considerate of his comrades.
With many excellent thief-oriented skills and fighting abilities, Sly Cooper is one of PlayStation’s best protagonists yet. Hopefully, PlayStation will announce a new entry since the fourth Sly Cooper game alludes to a possible sequel.
Aloy (Horizon Zero Dawn)
The Horizon series gave fans a fun world filled with robotic dinosaurs and beautiful scenery. Nonetheless, this vast open-world houses many incredible people, and Aloy’s certainly one of them. She’s the series’s protagonist and harbors incredible huntress-like skills. As a genetic clone of 21st-century roboticist and engineer Dr. Elisabet Sobeck, Aloy’s tasked with defeating a rogue AI named Hades.
Hades plotted to wipe out all life by reactivating the Faro Plague, which was war machines that slaughtered life on Earth. Not only does Aloy defeat Hades, but she uncovers the truth about her origins and the mysteries that lie dormant in her world. Aloy’s intelligent, tech-savvy, and an expert marksman with her specialized bow and arrow. On the other hand, Aloy isn’t a fan of laws and can feel a tad sarcastic and blunt toward people.
This is due to her having little social interaction with people during the first 18 years of her life. Nonetheless, Aloy exhibits strong emotional resilience and doesn’t let anything get in the way of her mission. While she does become distraught after discovering the truth about herself, she picks herself off the ground and becomes more optimistic about life. Despite being one of PlayStation’s newest protagonists, Aloy’s left a huge impact on gamers worldwide and deserves some recognition.
Kratos (God of War)
After Crash Bandicoot set sail for Activision, many wondered who’d fill in his shoes as PlayStation’s mascot. While the company doesn’t have a solid choice like Nintendo or Microsoft, many often refer to Kratos as the company’s main star nowadays. He’s the protagonist and anti-hero of the God of War series with incredible strength and skill.
He is a demi-god who sought revenge against Areas and the Greek Gods after being betrayed and forced to kill his family. After going to war with several deities, Kratos embarks on a perilous journey with his son, Atreus. Kratos has undergone dramatic changes in the reboot. He’ll still get angry and ferocious when he’s provoked but as an older man, he knows how to tame his wild emotions.
Kratos also undergoes severe depression for his actions and tries hiding his mistakes from Atreus. While he establishes a strong connection with his son, Kratos still holds other godly figures in low regard. Based on the amount of depth given to Kratos’s character over the years, he’s definitely one of PlayStation’s finest protagonists.
Nathan Drake (Uncharted)
Nathan Drake is a brave, intelligent, and skilled treasure hunter. He’s spent all his life studying ancient history and can escape tight binds when he least expects it. He winds up marrying a woman named Elena Fischer and has a child with her named Cassie by the end of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. If only Nathan’s childhood was just as magical as his adult years.
As a young boy, Nathan’s mother died from suicide. This entices his father to insert Nathan and his older brother, Samuel, into the catholic orphanage called the Saint Francis’ Boy’s Home. From this point forward, Nathan would develop an interest in exploring, researching, and befriending an American treasure hunter named Victor Sullivan.
Since his orphanage days, Nathan became capable of investigating lost ruins, wielding and shooting weapons, and escaping terrifying situations with ease. He’s known for being a sarcastic individual and can’t tolerate stressful situations when pushed to his limits. However, if his friends’ lives are on the line, he’ll do everything in his power to protect them from harm.
Ratchet (Ratchet & Clank)
Ratchet is another childhood icon from PlayStation’s line-up. He’s a skillful Lombax born on the planet Fastoon with street smarts, an adoration for adventure, and has invented nifty gadgets during his lifespan. Ratchet was once a sarcastic and carefree individual at the start of his series. Thankfully, Ratchet’s robot companion Clank led him down a noble path and helped Ratchet become more mature.
Some examples include Ratchet attempting to sacrifice himself to rescue captured heroes in Ratchet & Clank: Deadlocked. Another would be when he chose to reason with the villains in Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus. These instances show Ratchet’s undergone some incredible mental development compared to the crude behavior he established at the start of the first game.
Additionally, Ratchet is a capable fighter. He’s speedy, tactical, and well-versed with tools. He normally uses his iconic wrench to solve mind-numbing puzzles or to deliver a beatdown on his foes. He’s shown to be an expert pilot and can master any vehicle he encounters, even if it’s his first time driving it. Alongside his remarkable endurance, Ratchet has become one of PlayStation’s best lead characters.
Joel Miller (The Last of Us)
Naughty Dog is one of PlayStation’s best developers. They’d worked on countless titles from Crash Bandicoot to The Last of Us. Like PlayStation, Naughty Dog evolved and developed many story-rich adventure games with charming characters. One of those is Joel Miller from The Last of Us. What makes Joel special to most PlayStation fans is that he’s fully human.
He is not a fierce warrior that can destroy gods or an inventor with gnarly gadgets. He’s an ordinary human that many players can relate to and sympathize with due to his past and present hardships. Not only does Joel have to battle with the loss of his daughter, but he’s in charge of protecting humanity’s remaining cure for the zombie-like plague that engulfed his world.
It’s a lot of pressure that no one wants to endure, especially for a man who lost his source of happiness. Thankfully, Joel develops a similar father-daughter connection with Ellie, the girl who holds the cure. Despite his saddening past, Joel is a skilled fighter and marksman. This is evident during his battle with the game’s several crooks and monstrosities.
Jak (Jak & Daxter)
After building upon Crash Bandicoot’s lore and characters, Naughty Dog started work on a new action-adventure title for PlayStation. Jak and Daxter feel more expansive and rich than Crash Bandicoot. Many critics praised the Jak & Daxter series for containing vast worlds, memorable characters, fun gameplay, and magnificent storytelling.
Jak and Daxter’s bond remains strong, despite Jak being partially responsible for Daxter’s ottsel transformation. Both characters have clashing personalities but manage to pull through in every tight scenario they endure. Jak’s known for being a hardcore and fearless adventurer with an impulsive attitude. He develops later after being experimented on with dark eco.
Jak also harbors incredible powers. With his eco-channeling abilities, Jak can heal himself, teleport, shoot fireballs, and increase his physical strength. The dark eco allows Jak to transform into Dark Jak. As Dark Jak, he receives an increase in strength and durability, but it puts him in an uncontrolled rage-like state. Thankfully, Jak learns to control his alternative form thanks to an oracle’s assistance. While his adventure may have come to a close, many people valued their time with this heroic protagonist.
Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII)
Final Fantasy VII was to PlayStation what The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was to the Nintendo 64. Both games hold well-written characters, epic bouts, imaginative settings, and superb storylines. Cloud Strife is one of the franchise’s most significant characters next to his antagonistic counterpart, Sephiroth. He’s an excellent swordsman with a lot of room for growth.
At the start of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud appears arrogant with a sharp focus on completing missions. Underneath his proud bravado, however, lies a man with a caring soul who doesn’t know how to convey his feelings to people. When he learns more about his past, Cloud develops a deeper understanding of what it means to be a hero.
Cloud has many skills and weapons to back-up his strong exterior, though. After undergoing Hojo experimentation, Cloud possesses vast super-soldier-like strength, speed, and agility. Toward the game’s climax, Cloud becomes more extroverted and delivers speeches to motivate his party to triumph over their opponents. All in all, Cloud is a fantastic protagonist worth mentioning on this list.
Crash (Crash Bandicoot)
Crash Bandicoot has been beloved since the early days of the PlayStation 1 and he’s appeared in an array of different titles, including a wickedly fun kart racer spin-off. The mix of 2D and 3D platforming, combined with a notoriously harsh difficulty spike in both Crash 1 and Crash 4 make Crash a must-play for any platform enthusiast.
The series also features a great antagonist in Doctor Neo Cortex, while the wildly imaginative array of villains that crop up across the games make for a wildly enjoyable catalogue of memorable fights.
No list of Playstation protagonists would be complete without including the crazy Bandicoot making an appearance!
Sackboy (Little Big Planet)
Sackboy is a comfy bundle of sunshine that’ll brighten anyone’s day. He’s practically the PlayStation version of Yoshi and Kirby due to his charming looks and personality. Sackboy represents imagination and creativity well through his design and abilities. He’s a creative hero from Craftworld whose willing to protect everyone from dangerous threats.
At the start, Sackboy didn’t harbor many traits, so players could attach their characteristics to him. However, Little Big Planet 2 and onwards featured more cutscenes that helped the developers flesh Sackboy out. However, Sackboy displays brave and selfless behavior through his heroic actions in Little Big Planet 1. He’s also not easily swayed by the villain’s offers.
In Sackboy: A Big Adventure, the game’s villain Vex offers Sackboy a chance to join his side. However, Sackboy refuses him. Sackboy often forgives people who don’t threaten his or others’ lives. However, if the villain wanted to redeem themselves, Sackboy would shower them with support. Sackboy is a notable hero with many colorful abilities to fend off evil. While he may not have impacted some people’s lives, there’s surely a reason why PlayStation still keeps this admirable, crafting child around.
So, there we have it, our pick for the best PlayStation protagonists of all time!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!