10 Best Xbox Protagonists of All Time
Microsoft had its studios create numerous games over the years for fans to enjoy. Each title offers a delightful narrative, a memorable cast, and vibrant worlds for players to get lost in. None of these worlds would be as great without its protagonists, though.
To celebrate Microsoft’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 dark goals, horrid personalities, or the way they’re written, these are some of Xbox’s best protagonists yet.
As usual, we would love to hear your thoughts about our picks in the comments below.
Master Chief (Halo)
John 117, better known as Master Chief, is essentially Microsoft’s mascot character. He’s been with them since their first foray into the gaming market on the original Xbox system. Master Chief is a Spartan-II commando for the UNSC Naval Space Warfare Command squadron. He spends his life exploring numerous environments while battling The Covenant.
John started off as a selfish individual who only wanted to claim victory for himself. After battling the Covenant with his allies, he grew to become more selfless, tenacious, and tactical. While John can succumb to fear, he doesn’t let it control him. He likes to pursue life-threatening situations stoically and isn’t devoid of cracking dry remarks against others.
Furthermore, John can wield many weapons and pilot numerous vehicles. John also shares a close relationship with his companion, Cortana. She often helps him get out of tight situations. Even if a person isn’t a Halo fan, there’s no denying Master Chief’s legendary status in the gaming industry.
Marcus Fenix (Gears of War)
Master Chief is to Mario what Marcus Fenix is to Link. Gears of War is the next gaming series you’d think of when discussing Xbox games with your pals. This game harbors excellent third-person shooter combat, gritty environments, and gripping narratives. Marcus Fenix is a great protagonist with a tragic backstory, a stellar personality, and excellent combative skills.
He’s led his group against the Locust threat multiple times. While he’s lost a few folks along the way, Marcus strives to give it his all in every fight he’s a part of. He’s a natural-born leader with a no-nonsense policy. He’s not entirely intimidating, though. He’ll hear his men out if they conjure up an excellent strategy. Nonetheless, he expects his men to follow his orders without question.
Although he’s aggressive in and out of battle, Marcus shows care for his family and friends. Sometimes, he’s willing to put himself in harm’s way to protect those he holds dear to his heart. Marcus can wield numerous weapons from his iconic Lancer Assault Rifle to the Sawed-Off Shotgun. With his strength and determination, Marcus has proven to be one of Microsoft’s best protagonists.
Banjo and Kazooie (Banjo-Kazooie series)
While Banjo and Kazooie were Nintendo characters at one point, they’re more viewed as Microsoft beings in this day and age. The two are an inseparable duo who go on various adventures to maintain peace in their world. They often battle countless creatures and people like the evil witch Gruntilda. Where Banjo provides the brawn, Kazooie provides the wit and mobility for the team.
These two harbor unique dialogue exchanges. While Banjo’s shown to speak proper English during the events of the Nintendo 64 game Diddy Kong Racing, he’s known for speaking gibberish alongside Kazooie in their series. On that note, Banjo feels more well-mannered and easy-going than Kazooie. Unfortunately, Banjo’s not the brightest bear as he tries to make witty comebacks but fails miserably.
Banjo can be mean when he’s angered, though. As for Kazooie, she’s a wise-cracking, sassy, and hot-tempered bird. She likes poking fun at everyone she and Banjo meet. However, she never tends to poke fun at Banjo because of their strong friendship. She occasionally pecks at his head but doesn’t do anything to severely upset Banjo. Together, they’re an iconic duo many gamers want Microsoft to bring back on their current platforms. Hopefully, that day will come.
Senua (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice)
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is an emotionally-draining title filled with crude imagery and mature themes. The game’s protagonist embarks on a journey through Viking Hell to rescue her fallen lover’s soul. Senua’s a troubled woman with a saddening past and many mental health issues. Despite the horrid quest she embarks on, Senua’s known for having a reserved personality.
She’s a character who’s experienced abuse of many calibers. Senua endures many common fears like panicking when she finds herself alone in the dark. However, Senua’s not a total pushover. She’ll preserve through treacherous obstacles to accomplish specific goals. Senua will not back down from a battle and is always ready to draw her weapon out if the situation calls for it.
Senua also suffers from severe trauma that takes the form of female voices called The Furies. These beings can be extremely helpful or nerve-wracking to Senua. They can help her navigate puzzles or drill her head with multiple doubts and warnings to terrify her. While she’s not as well-known as the three stated earlier, Senua has a lot of complexities that make her one of Xbox’s best protagonists yet.
Joanna Dark (Perfect Dark)
Kazooie’s not only incredible protagonist Rare created. Joanna Dark is an incredible protagonist from the Perfect Dark series. She’s an enforcer agent known for her flawless performances that earned her the moniker “Perfect Dark”. Joanna’s the type of individual who craves praise but doesn’t like trusting people. In Perfect Dark Zero, she appears hot-tempered, reckless, and destructive.
Thankfully, she appears calmer during the events in Perfect Dark. Personality aside, Joanna’s a highly skilled marksman with incredible martial arts skills. She can sniff out trouble instantly and can pilot many different vehicles. She’s known for pulling off multiple personas if her employers request it.
Whether it’s hacking a database for information or maintaining a false identity, Joanna’s always up for the challenge. Even when she’s at her lowest point, Joanna will do whatever it takes to get the job done. With her strong determination, excellent agent skills, and incredible emotional development, Joanna Dark is one of Xbox’s best female protagonists yet.
Razputin Aquato (Psychonauts)
To some folks’ surprise, Banjo-Kazooie and Conker aren’t the only platforming mascots under Xbox’s control. Razputin Aquto (Raz) is the protagonist for Xbox’s creative and mind-being action-adventure series, Psychonauts. He’s a charismatic young psychic who would want to be recognized by his peers and fellow citizens. Like Banjo, Raz is eager to help anyone in need.
He displays great patience and understanding for those he meets. He’s also an excellent performer and trapeze artist, thanks to his family’s training regimes. Raz mixes his circus skills with his psychic powers to pull off magnificent stunts in Psychonauts. He can assess situations quickly due to his sharp wit, too.
Nonetheless, Raz isn’t without his issues. He’s known for being overly ambitious and tends to make reckless mistakes. However, he’s narcissistic and will own up to his mistakes and accept all punishments. Thankfully, all his effort in Psychonauts 1 pays off as in the second game he becomes a junior Psychonaut.
Ori (Ori and the Blind Forest)
Ori is the titular protagonist of the Ori series. They’re a spirit who gets separated from their family. Ori embarks on a quest to save the forests of Nibel from a treacherous force. The second game has Ori undergo a similar journey with a different forest, only this time Ori must reunite with their adopted sister Ku due to a storm separating the two.
Ori’s one of those characters whose nature depends on the player’s actions. However, the character displays distinct personality traits outside of the players’ actions. For example, Ori displays child-like innocence during the game’s prologue segments. Ori’s shown to be reliant on their caregiver. Over time, Ori displays heroic integrity during dangerous bouts.
Even on the brink of death, Ori doesn’t lose hope. Ori’s shown some compassion toward creatures they met. Even those who cross toward the dark side will receive Ori’s helping hand. With their bravery, selflessness, and supernatural abilities, it’s difficult not to like Ori for what they represent in the grand scheme of things.
Jago (Killer Instinct)
For some people, it’s hard to pinpoint who the protagonist is for a fighting game. Each fighting game carries a roster of well-designed characters who often have incredible personalities and stories to share. For Killer Instinct though, many consider Jago as its main protagonist. He’s a mysterious monk from the region of Tibet.
He seeks to quell the evil within himself by competing in the Killer Instinct tournament. His ultimate goal is to defeat a being called Ultratech, though. Jago’s known for being a collected and stern individual. He likes spending most of his time in solitude and isn’t friendly toward others. Nonetheless, Jago is willing to accept help from others when he’s in dire need of it.
As one would expect, Jago’s a skilled martial artist and swordsman. He can channel incredible power from the Tiger Spirit which allows him to dish out incredible attacks involving light and fireballs. He’s a monk you don’t want to anger or mess with.
Conker the Squirrel (Conker’s Bad Fur Day)
Conker is an intriguing character compared to most mascots. He’s not as dumb as Crash Bandicoot and isn’t as child-friendly as Mario. He’s a drunk, selfish, and foul-mouthed squirrel who gets roped into an adventure he’d rather not embark on. Although he appeared cute and charming during his debut in Diddy Kong Racing, he throws that all away in his 3D platforming title, Conker’s Bad Fur Day.
Conker wasn’t as terrible in his younger years. He was a happy-go-lucky squirrel who listened and obeyed his parents. Unfortunately, Conker learns to disobey his family and goes on a drinking spree. This results in him adopting an ignorant, carefree attitude about life. Despite treating people like dog feces, Conker holds some good in his heart.
Even though he treated his spouse Berri poorly, he cried for her when she perished. Conker can perform various attacks like punching, kicking, and using his tail as a propeller to reach high places and fly. He’s shown to be a decent marksman with pistols, too. If Mario represents the good side of platforming protagonists, Conker represents the ill-hearted ones.
Jack Joyce (Quantum Break)
Quantum Break is an intriguing, story-rich action game. It has engaging themes revolving around time manipulation and defeating fate. Jack Joyce is one of the characters you’ll control during your adventure. He works alongside the game’s antagonist Paul Serene to assist him with a time machine Paul and his brother William created.
Unfortunately, tampering with the time machine causes a fracture in time. This results in Jack becoming an enemy and target of Monarch Solutions, led by Paul. When he learns Paul murdered his brother, Jack embarks on a quest to avenge William’s passing. Jack was a troublemaker in his past life but remained loyal to Paul and William.
He’d take any odd jobs to sustain a great life for himself. He wasn’t a fan of authority but wasn’t against taking on illegal tasks. After the time machine malfunction incident, Jack obtains Chronon abilities. This allows him to move and exist within stutters of time. From creating shields to protect himself to predicting outcomes before they occur, Jack is one of Xbox’s best time-wielders to date.
So, there we have it, our pick for the best Xbox protagonists through the years!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!