The very best video game character designs are the ones that are instantly recognisable, even if you’re just looking at a dramatically-shaded silhouette. And while super cool costumes or iconic weapons are a big help in that department, it’s often the hairstyles that set a hero or villain apart from the crowd. Japanese RPGs are particularly good at this.
So let’s take a look back at some of the amazing video game hairstyles that have graced our screens and influenced our style sensibilities over the years. Some are iconic, some are jaw-droppingly… er, unique, and some are actually pretty cool.
See him or her in: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
We’ve only seen male Eivor in the trailers so far, but you can also play as a female version and you can bet your life her haircut is just as cool. Granted, she probably hasn’t got the same awesome facial hair, but we’re huge fans of this asymmetrical side-braid thing. Full marks for sheer Viking style.
2. Leon Kennedy
See him in: Resident Evil II Remake
If you’re anything like us, when you first booted up the game you were probably struck by three main thoughts: firstly, that cheeseburger was frighteningly realistic, secondly, everything looked incredible, and thirdly, Leon’s artfully tousled hero-hair deserved an Oscar in its own right.
See him in: the Kingdom Hearts series
We’re seriously impressed at Sora’s ability to keep his spikes spiky despite the sheer amount of near-death experiences his magical adventures throw at him. We’d also like to extend an honourable mention to Rapunzel in Kingdom Hearts III for having magical glowing hair that doubles as a grappling hook and weapon, but she’s got magic to help her out. Sora’s spikes are 100% human effort.
4. Seymour Guado
See him in: Final Fantasy X
There are quite a few Final Fantasy characters who were strong contenders for this list (Final Fantasy VII’s Sephiroth and Final Fantasy XV’s Ignis Scientia were both narrowly beaten to the top spot), but we’ve gone with smooth-talking villain and half-tree person Seymour. Just take a minute to admire the sheer architecture involved in this hairstyle. Either he’s got some structural supports concealed in that haircut or he’s using a heck of a lot of hairspray, but either way it’s left us weak at the knees.
5. Paul Phoenix
See him in: Tekken 7
It’s an open question whether Paul Phoenix or Seymour Guado uses the most hairspray here, but we’ve got to hand it to Paul for being brave enough to rock what’s clearly a labour-intensive hairdo when he leads such an active lifestyle. Maybe it’s a ruse to distract his enemies while he sneaks in a punch?
See him in: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
It’s stylish, but it’s also practical. When you’re busy being the ultimate shinobi, scaling soaring castles, sneaking across rooftops, and fighting off gigantic dragons, you don’t want to waste time pushing your hair out of your eyes. Sekiro was way ahead of the man-bun trend.
See her in: Bayonetta
Bayonetta’s a walking style statement anyway, but her hair’s the icing on the cake. We love the red ribbon and gold chain accessories, and the fact that her hair is capable of summoning demons is kind of cool too.