10 Video Game Character Redesigns The Fans Actually Liked

A lot of change can come from 22 years.

Final Fantasy 7 Tifa
Square Enix

Sometimes, video game characters get a makeover. They change their aesthetic, their outfit, or their whole attitude. Like real life, sometimes these changes are well received, and at other times they aren’t.

The new looks for badass/Iron Man rip off Bomberman and sexy Tiny Kong we’re both received terribly, for example, but some are quite popular.

There’s a few caveats here too. Characters like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro The Dragon have been around for so long that they’ve gone full circle. Both started with iconic designs, were given poorly received ‘edgy’ looks (Crash with tribal tattoos, Spyro with a squished face and permanent snarl), then were rebooted back to their original look.

These two don’t count, as the popular designs weren’t really changed, just reverted.

Also, several characters have been given a massive graphical upgrade since their debut, but unless the costume has been changed along with them, this kind of tweak has been discounted too.

There’s still plenty of characters who’ve gone through a traditional makeover, either through their physical appearance or just their costume. Despite redesigns often getting bad press, these ten went down a storm with their fanbase.

10. Pikachu

Final Fantasy 7 Tifa

It was tempting to pick one of Sun & Moon’s Alola forms here, with Alolan Marowak, Raichu and Exeggutor in particular getting praise from the community.

However, they’re different forms as opposed to redesigns; letting them in then opens the door for whether or not Mega Charizard could qualify, and it just seems more hassle than it’s worth.

So, drawing a line under it, new Pokémon forms don’t count. While we’re at it, neither do bad sprites like Mew’s initial horrifically ugly design, as these were bad graphics, not design. Pikachu though, as his anime popularity soared, received a fully fledged makeover.

More accurately, Pikachu got personal trainer. Its sprite in Red and Blue is, to put it mildly, chunky. Not only that, it’s tail was wire thin and there was just something... off about it.

At one point, Clefable was the chief pick to be franchise mascot; with a Pikachu like this, you can see why.

Ash’s Pikachu though had a slimmer frame that curved with the shape of its limbs, rather than just being a big electric ball. This Pikachu was the one used in Pokémon Yellow and every game since, and Pokémon hasn’t really ever looked back.


Self appointed queen of the SJWs. Find me on Twitter @FiveTacey (The 5 looks like an S. Do you get it? Do you get my joke about the 5?)