Throwing players straight into their worlds, video games are home to some of the most iconic characters in pop-culture. With players spending potentially dozens of hours getting to know the various faces they'll be spending time with during their respective narratives, games have been able to create some of the most impactful and heartfelt stories in recent years.
Whether it's John Marston's struggle to make amends for his criminal past in Red Dead Redemption or Ellie's gut-wrenching search for revenge in The Last Of Us Part 2, there are many characters who have undoubtedly left a lasting impact on audiences.
But not all video game characters are created equally. While there is a plethora of well-written characters, both in major and minor roles, who play pivotal parts in shaping the narrative, there are also a lot of characters that aren't as great.
More disappointing though are great characters who are wasted in their own games. Whether it's because they're criminally underused, fail to leave the impression they should, or are landed with a fate they did not deserve, there are some video game characters who really deserved better.
Beware of spoilers for the following: Psychonauts 2, Alan Wake, Saints Row 2, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Resident Evil 6, Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, Resident Evil: Village, Dark Souls and The Witcher 3.
10. Sam Boole - Psychonauts 2
After over 15 years of excruciatingly long waiting, fans of early 2000s platformers finally got their hands on Psychonauts 2.
Picking up shortly after the previous game left off, the sequel was everything players were expecting and more. It combined colourful and imaginative platforming with a surprisingly heartfelt plot that touched on various mental health issues. There was so much contained in this quirky, mind-hopping adventure, in fact, that it was inevitable that some great elements would become overshadowed.
One of which was the fantastic Sam Boole.
One of Raz's fellow interns, Sam is the older sister to the lovably dim-witted Dogen from the previous game and the granddaughter of Psychonauts founding member Compton. She's also one of the best written and funniest characters players will meet in this - or any other - game.
Unfortunately, however, Sam is criminally underused. Aside from appearing at a few key points throughout the game to lend Raz a hand, Sam is relegated to the sidelines with nothing else to do.
Thankfully, players can catch her at the diner busy making pancakes with some woodland critters. It's the funniest interaction in the game, and reminds players just how fantastic a character she is.