Monday, November 29, 2021
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The 50 most iconic characters in PC gaming

PC Gaming has so far given us decades of incredible characters, with their memorable faces and stories leaving an indelible mark on our hobby. They’d make quite the line-up, with fearsome warriors and many-tentacled cosmic monsters standing next to sad teens and adorable critters. Developers can’t seem to stop spitting out heroes and villains that take up residence in our minds. Indeed, when it comes to the best characters in PC Gaming, you could probably fill a list from the work of a studio like BioWare alone. 

But which PC gaming character is the most iconic? Who is the best representative of the big box beneath your desk and most deserving of a statue, or at least a high quality, poseable figurine? That’s what we’re deciding to celebrating 50 years of games This list is dedicated to the people, monsters and megalomaniacal AIs who epitomise the hobby, who first spring to mind when you sit down and boot up your computer for a long night in.

 50. Announcer – Unreal Tournament

(Image credit: Epic)

Unreal Tournament’s announcer is such an icon of PC Gaming that he doesn’t have to show his face to be recognised. Hovering unseen above Unreal Tournament’s sci-fi battlefield, this booming, disembodied voice would call out the grisly events of the match. Phrases like “First Blood!” “Headshot!” “Double-Kill” and of course “M-M-M-Monster Kill!” will be ingrained in the minds of anyone who played Epic’s 1999 multiplayer masterpiece.

49. The Abominable Snowman – Skifree 

(Image credit: Chris Pirih)

Skifree’s Yeti may not look like much to modern eyes, just a nondescript grey blob with stick arms and legs. But this grinning monstrosity was the terror of the school IT lab back in the 1990s. If you passed the 2,000 metre mark in Microsoft’s lo-fi skiing simulator, the Abominable Snowman would begin to chase you, and wouldn’t stop until he caught your doomed skier and swallowed them whole.

48. Commander Keen – Commander Keen series

(Image credit: Epic)

It’s strange to think that the FPS as we know it exists because id Software were denied the right to port Super Mario Brothers 3 to PC. In response, the team led by Romero, Carmack and Tom Hall made their own version of Mario, and the result was Commander Keen, a sci-fi platformer about an eight-year-old boy wearing a football helmet exploring alien worlds. Keen was id Software’s first taste of success, and while the studio would go on to make much bigger titles, Keen’s colourful helmet-and-sneakers combo remains an icon of early ’90s PC gaming.

47. Kyle Katarn – Jedi Knight series

(Image credit: LucasArts)

PC Gaming’s own Jedi Master, Kyle Katarn was an Imperial pilot who turned rebel agent in 1995’s Dark Forces. Originally characterised as a cocksure Han Solo knockoff, Katarn’s character matured as he learned the ways of the force in Jedi Knight and Jedi Knight 2, before becoming instructor to the player-created protagonist of Jedi Academy.

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