Gaming’s Greatest Artificial Intelligence Characters

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Which is the most iconic artificial intelligence character in gaming? From evil AI masterminds making your life a misery to super-smart AI allies sorting out your problems before you even know about them, artificial intelligence characters make their presence in our favourite games very real indeed.

So here’s a selection of our favourites. And while we’re on the subject of super-futuristic technology, don’t forget to check out our list of the most iconic robots in gaming too.

best artificial intelligence characters ai video games halo

Which is the most iconic artificial intelligence character in gaming? From evil AI masterminds making your life a misery to super-smart AI allies sorting out your problems before you even know about them, artificial intelligence characters make their presence in our favourite games very real indeed.

So here’s a selection of our favourites. And while we’re on the subject of super-futuristic technology, don’t forget to check out our list of the most iconic robots in gaming too.

1. Cortana

See her in: the Halo series

best artificial intelligence characters ai video games halo cortana

Cortana’s wry little asides in stressful situations are one of our favourite things about her. She’s been there for us from the very beginning of the epic Halo journey, and while for now her fate still hangs in the balance, we’ve got our fingers crossed that she’ll be back at our side when Halo Infinite arrives in Holiday 2020. And one hardworking Halo fan has even managed to find a Cortana-themed clue hidden in the trailer…

2. EDI

See her in: the Mass Effect series

best artificial intelligence characters ai video games edi mass effect

It took Joker a little while to warm up to EDI, but we thoroughly approved of her from the beginning, and she certainly proved herself to be an invaluable ally in a pinch. After a while, she even got herself a body so she could come along on adventures with us properly.

3. Mother Brain

See her in: the Metroid series

best artificial intelligence characters ai video games metroid mother brain

Recurring baddie Mother Brain may look like just a squelchy mass of brain-goo (with added spikes), but don’t be fooled – she’s a supercomputer so smart she makes Sherlock Holmes look like a dunderheaded buffoon. She’s also got access to a terrifying robot body which she can and will use to chase after you, so whatever you do, don’t call her defective.

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4. SAM

See him in: Observation

best artificial intelligence characters ai video games observation sam

Normally, the AI character is the one busy helping us, but in Observation the tables are turned. You play as Systems Administration & Maintenance, also known as SAM, the onboard AI system keeping Dr. Emma Fisher’s space station functioning. Then a mysterious error causes you and the whole space station to experience a series of catastrophic failures. As you come back online, it’s down to you to fix all the errors and broken technology, and decide just how human your actions are going to be.

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5. GLaDOS

See her in: Portal and Portal 2

We’ll just say it: although GLaDOS tried far too many times to kill us, held back rather a lot of crucial life-saving advice, and took great pleasure in denying us our hard-earned cake, we can’t help but admire her. And who could have guessed how great she was at singing? We’ll just leave this here…

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