Gaming has given birth to numerous icons over the years. Whether real or fictional, they’ve helped make our past time what it is today. It just wouldn’t be the same with talented creators like Shigeru Miyamoto, or all-conquering characters like Lara Croft.
So, this being Video Game Day, we’re inviting you to celebrate some of the very best gaming icons with us. In no particular order, here are 10 of the biggest influences on the gaming world!
When you think video game, chances are this man enters your head first. Mario has been many things since his 1981 inception: plumber, painter, golfer, boxing referee. But he’s got one role above all else, and that is Nintendo’s lovable mascot.
2. Shigeru Miyamoto
Mario is, of course, the product of legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s amazing brain. Both talented developer and visionary ideas man, Miyamoto has created many icons over the years, from Zelda, to Donkey Kong, to Samus, and more.
3. Lara Croft
Starting life as the treasure-hunting heroine of PlayStation’s 1996 platforming adventure, Tomb Raider, Ms. Croft has now fronted dozens of games across multiple platforms, as well as several Hollywood films too.
Make sure you check out her latest excursion this Friday!
Get Shadow of the Tomb Raider from GAME here
4. Gabe Newell
Valve’s co-founder is a games industry heavyweight. First he brought us 1998’s Half-Life, which some consider the greatest game of all time. Then he helped to create Steam, the largest PC gaming digital distribution service. Our one wish is to hug him.
5. Master Chief
It’s ironic that the face of Microsoft doesn’t actually have one, but Master Chief’s appeal lies in letting you project yourself into that battle-scarred armour. Along with his AI helper Cortana, the super soldier has been the figurehead of Xbox’s awesome Halo shooter series since 2001.
Sitting comfortably alongside Mario in Nintendo’s pantheon of gaming greats is Link, star of the groundbreaking Legend Of Zelda series. A system-seller from as far back as 1986, and with Link’s spectacular debut on the Switch, his games have remained must-plays throughout.
7. Hideo Kojima
One of gaming’s few genuine auteurs, Hideo Kojima is responsible for the phenmously successful Metal Gear Solid series. Both grand visions and genius details are his stock in trade. With his next game, Death Stranding, you can comfortably expect the unexpected.
This year’s God Of War on PS4 offered a different side to Sony’s snarling deity killer. Now star of a touching tale about family and fatherhood – OK, and fighting massive ogres – Kratos is a master of reinvention.
Namco’s old-school icon got his start gobbling ghosts in the mega popular 1980 arcade game, Pac-Man (although back then he was called ‘Puck Man’). Collaborating with Google, Facebook, and Nintendo proves he’s still relevant today.
Of all 800+ Pokémon in existence, none are more well-known than Pikachu. The electric mouse was there in the Game Boy titles that started it all, and now all manner of merchandise bear his smiling face, including bags, burgers, and jumbo jets.