Gaming is littered with great characters - villains, squadmates, NPCs and of course, the protagonist themselves. With sequels, franchises and sagas commonplace in the medium, most get time to build a legacy.
For this lot though, one game was all they needed to make an impact. Some of them may yet return in the future, though for some their race is surely run.
Some of these characters have deeply affecting stories which stay with you long after the screen fades to black... others are just a great laugh. Gaming characters run the gamut, so this list has to as well. While some might have had a more emotional impact or have quote-unquote ‘better’ writing, they’re all massively memorable in their own way.
Some were even trailblazers for trends which followed them later. Even if they only had one game, their influence can be felt in others far and wide.
Whether they provided great fun, touching stories, tough foes or a unique experiences, each of these characters only needed one game to make it count. They’re fantastic characters, and each give their games some great replay value.
10. Martin Walker - Spec Ops: The Line
Spec Ops: The Line was a game we clearly weren’t ready for in 2012, and we still might not be ready for it if it released today. A scathing commentary on the entertainment inspired by war, the game initially offers up Martin Walker as your typical big, brash and bold war hero.
As the story goes on though, Walker begins to crumble, and so grows into a much more effective character.
He's somewhat unique for a major game, in that he's both hero and villain. Not a broody, does-whatever-it-takes dark antihero, but a genuine villain.
Walker and his squad are in Dubai, charged with searching for survivors in the warzone. However, over the course of the game, Walker (and by extension, you) must commit several atrocities, the most harrowing being dropping white phosphorus on a civilian population.
There is no evil Russian, Arab terrorist or dastardly mastermind for Walker to overcome. Spec Ops: The Line instead presents war in the most stark of terms, and war is hell.
Seeing Walker go through all that, seeing him suffer psychologically and struggle to come to terms with his decision makes him a hugely complex character, and one who left a big impression on players.