Compiling a list of the greatest gaming heroes of the 2000s is no easy task.
There are so many great game characters introduced every year, and what one person loves about a character may not be universal. Not everyone loves Sonic's 'too-cool-for-school' attitude, for example.
However, there are times when a character's greatness simply cannot be denied.
When a character makes enough of an emotional impact, performs amazing feats, becomes the face of their game or just has a stand-out personality, that's when you know you've got something truly great.
With this in mind, there's a good chance that you'll recognise a lot of the characters on this list. All of them have had an impact on gaming in some way, and all of them have resonated with gamers all over the globe in one way or another.
These are the heroes who have defined this generation, who have shaped the gaming landscape and who have ended up being some of the best the medium has to offer.
For now we're limiting ourselves to just looking at characters from the 2000s, so even though some characters got better over time, they cannot be counted.