With PlayStation having been a part of our lives for 25 years, you can bet that every single person will have their own choice for which games character they love the best. The Original PlayStation console came out on 3 December 1994 and since then we have had hundreds of lead characters we’ve played as and loved across all Sony’s machines, from the PlayStation to the PS4.
Imagine therefore how hard a task we found it to come up with a list of the best characters that have appeared on PlayStation consoles in that time?
We even had to double up the obvious pairings – the ones that appeared in the same game(s) together. And you might notice one or two that appeared on multiple platforms. However, they either appeared on a PlayStation console first or became most associated with a Sony machine.
You might have your own favourites that we’ve missed out – in which case please feel free to use the comments section below to let us know which characters you fell in love with over the years. But we do think that every character in our gallery is a true PlayStation all-star (even if they might not have actually appeared in the eponymous fighting game).
So, in no particular order, flick through the gallery and relive some of those great memories.
Crash Bandicoot had his first appearance in 1996 in the game of the same name on the original PlayStation. The first game was lovingly crafted by Naughty Dog – the same company that would later be best known for the Uncharted series. Crash Bandicoot became so popular that in later years it would go on to turn into a franchise with several games appearing including party games, platform games and racing games too. There’s even been a full reboot in recent years.
Sackboy made his first appearance in 2008 on Little Big Planet, PlayStation 3. The loveable little dude went on to be an icon of a series of games with a strong emphasis on user-generated content and design that encouraged gamers to “Play, Create, Share”.
Solid Snake has grown and aged with PlayStation over the years. He actually appeared as one of the primary protagonists of the Metal Gear series in 1987, but would come to a worldwide audience with his first PlayStation appearance in 1998’s Metal Gear Solid. The Metal Gear games became so popular in the years that followed that they made their way to other consoles and PC too. With Soldi Snake getting upto his usual antics – hiding in boxes, sneaking his way around the world and battling it out with bosses.
Cloud Strife was the main protagonist of Final Fantasy VII – an arrogant and proud swordsman who goes on to learn the values of being a hero. His first appeared on PlayStation in 1997 but would appear again later.
Another well-known character from the Final Fantasy series, Squall Leonhart was the protagonist of 1999’s Final Fantasy VIII, on PlayStation. They wielded the iconic gunblade and was given the title of Commander.
Abe was a lowly Mudokon slave who worked at the RuptureFarms meat processing factory in 1997’s Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, on the original PlayStation. This lovable character soon discovered that his fellow Mudokons are due to be slaughtered and goes on a mission to free them. It was the player’s job to help him do just that.
Cole McGrath was the star of 2009’s Infamous on PlayStation 3. He managed to acquire superhuman powers of Electrokinesis when in the middle of a package delivery that went horribly wrong with terrible consequences. He was certainly interesting enough to see the series continue on with more games in the years that followed.
Jak and Daxter
Jak and Daxter was another game franchise kick-started by Naughty Dog. Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy was also one of the first games on PlayStation 2. Jak is seen as the main protagonist of the series, with his otter and weasel hybrid sidekick tagging along after he’s accidentally mutated from human into a new species. The pairing and the game design saw the series acquire critical acclaim from most quarters and from fans alike.
Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield
Most gamers will know these characters by their name along. The stars of the Resident Evil games, starting in 1996 on the original PlayStation. Jill Valentine was also noted as being one of the first playable female protagonists in a video game.
Joel and Ellie
Joel and Ellie made their first appearance in 2013’s The Last of Us, PlayStation 3. Another classic game series developed by Naughty Dog. This saw Joel and Ellie surviving together in a post-apocalyptic wasteland of the United States. An emotional and immersive story followed in this game and the ones that followed, grabbing the hearts and minds of gamers around the world.
Kratos, first appeared in the 2005 video game God of War and also went by the name the “Ghost of Sparta”. This game was set during the Greek era and saw Kratos embarking on various adventures including morally ambiguous activities and acts of extreme violence. He is a Spartan warrior, who later becomes the God of War after killing Ares. With a bloodline that includes being the son of Zeus, Kratos is certainly an interesting character. The character proved so popular that the franchise became a flagship title for the PlayStation brand with plenty of games to follow.
Of course, this list couldn’t possibly be complete without the inclusion of Lara Croft. Not just an iconic PlayStation character, but also a gaming legend. She first appeared on PlayStation in the original Tomb Raider in 1996.
Though perhaps not as iconic as some of the characters from other fighting games like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, there’s still no denying the relevancy of Tekken. It was a big hit in 1995 and Marshall Law was one of our favourite fighters.
Nathan Drake was purposely designed to be interesting and loveable, rather than just a “cardboard cutout”. Essentially a young Indiana Jones, Drake was out on the hunt for loot while regularly dropping sarcastic quips and taunts along the way. We loved Nathan Drake and every game he appeared in too. Unbelievably he first appeared on PlayStation 3 in 2007.
PaRappa the Rapper
PaRappa the Rapper was the star of one of the most hilarious and awesome rhythm games of its time. PaRappa the Rapper was a paper-thin rapping dog with an amusing character and hilarious back story that sees him desperately trying to win the heart of a flower-like girl named Sunny Funny.
He first appeared on PlayStation in 1996.
Lammy was the star of 1999’s UmJammer Lammy, on PlayStation. This was the follow up to PaRappa the Rapper and another popular rhythm game with an amusing character line up.
Ratchet and Clank
Ratchet and Clank were another unlikely duo who made their first appearance in 2002’s Ratchet & Clank on PlayStation 2. The pairing of a feline-like humanoid and sentient robot in a science fiction setting made for a fun adventure and plenty of future games too.
Sly Cooper was a sneaky racoon who first appeared in 2002 Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus on PlayStation 2. This game was originally developed by Sucker Punch Productions and proved so popular that several other games appeared in the years that followed.
Spyro is best known for 1998’s Spyro the Dragon on the original PlayStation. But he’s since then appeared as a mainstay of Skylanders as well. This lovable dragon appeared on a variety of consoles between the first game and Reignited Trilogy in 2018.
Does the legend that is Tony Hawk really need explanation? He’s the only real person on the list and first appeared on PlayStation in 1999’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.