10 Greatest Next-Gen Video Game Heroes

Cranky Kong is great but Donkey Kong is top banana...

Tekken 3 Jin Kazama
Namco

In the world of video games, some heroes find love, settle down, and have a family after they save the world. But as those children grow up, they might follow in the footsteps of their mother and father, joining forces with their parents in their adventures.

Now, introducing family members to expand a video game franchise is nothing new. (It worked perfectly for Ms Pac-Man.) Even though this technique can come across as a shallow cash-grab (again, Ms. Pac-Man), there are occasions where it totally pays off. In fact, there are times where the child or grandchild of an iconic video game character surpasses their progenitor in every single way.

Kazuya Mishima is one of the coolest fighters in the Tekken series but his son, Jin, is a more complex and tragic figure. Mega Man saved the world a dozen times but his powers pale in comparison to his successor, Mega Man X. Cranky Kong was the original Donkey Kong but his grandson is the first ape you think of when you hear that name. Here are the ten greatest next-gen video game characters.

10. Baby Pac-Man And Jr Pac-Man

Tekken 3 Jin Kazama
Namco

Children of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man

When Pac-Man hit arcades back in 1980, Namco could've never imagined how successful their little maze game would become. When they realised how much of a money-maker Pac-Man was, the company started churning out sequels left and right. Even though Ms. Pac-Man is the most well-known spin-off, it's basically the same game as its predecessor.

Baby Pac-Man, on the other hand, is very different. This 1982 game combines the mechanics of the original with pinball. The player must blast the ball around the machine to progress through the video game.

If you were a Pac-Man fan who wanted a more traditional game, you could play Jr Pac-Man, which was released the year after. The layout is the same except the maze is twice as big, causing the camera to pan left and right to follow the titular Junior's movements.

Baby Pac-Man may be the least known member of the Pac-family but he deserves more credit since it was the first game in the series to try something completely different. A hybrid of pinball and a video game is pretty standard nowadays but few people at the time considered the two formats could be fused together.

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James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Supervillains Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85