For a long time voices in video games were rare, and, believe it or not, a key feature in a video game. We used to have to read dialogue and make the voices ourselves using a little something called imagination. I remember being excited when the voice saying “pass the puck” or “Blades of Steel” came out of my TV while playing a Nintendo. It was rare. Now it’s expected. There is a lot of great voice acting in video games and there are a couple of reasons for this. Talent and an actual personal investment to the character who is being portrayed. The following top ten is not about the best voice actors but rather the best voices acted. Thanks to these voices we loved/hated the characters and a big part are due to the voices supplied by the actors that gave real personality to who they were portraying. It’s like if someone else did the voice of Homer, it wouldn’t be the same. This is the Top Ten Voices Acted.
Back to the Future is on the same line as Ghostbusters. Do not mess with it. I will nerd-rage as much as the people raged over Mass Effect 3′s ending. I will bitch and complain if something is done to the series that I don’t agree with. When I heard there was going to be a new Back to the Future game I already hated the idea. Not only was it going to be a point and click adventure styles game but Michael J. fox would not be reprising his role. Instead it was someone named AJ LoCascio. I cursed that name and threw darts at this faceless name for a long time. While I was too busy being fat and stupid I decided to watch some behind the scenes of the game and saw this clip with AJ LoCascio describing how he got the job…
I bought the game…twice. That clip alone had me sold. Not only was the game fun, the story made sense and gave you plenty of “what if ?” scenarios. AJ LoCascio did an amazing job as Marty McFly and I would love to have “What the hell is a gigawatt?!” as my new ringtone. He succeeded in what most people fail to do, making that character his.
9. Aaron Staton – Cole Phelps – L.A.Noire
L.A.Noire is the sort of game you either love or hate. It’s an interesting experience, that’s for sure. You play as a cop names Cole Phelps who works his way up to Detective. He’s the most human character ever and apparently the most bipolar. One minute he’s calmly talking to a rape victim and the next he’s telling her it’s her fault. Mind you, this is because of you selecting whether you think she’s lying or telling the truth. Cole Phelps isn’t perfect but he is human, and the emotion is brought to us by the voice actor who is also the face of Cole; Ken Cosgrove–d’ah, I mean Aaron Staton.
He makes Cole either a great person, or, a complete asshole. The acting is strong making the character strong. From his awkward moments of ” I’m sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking” to his emotional moments, great job all around.
Useless Trivia- You might know him from Mad Men too.
8. Terrence C. Carson – Kratos – God of War
Kratos is the ultimate bad ass. I mean who fights gods? Seriously. Hercules fights Hades but Kratos fight Hercules…and wins. With his constant weapon deflation from series to series and his uncanny ability to get out of hell Kratos is the man!
Kratos also has a sad past…sort of. Well OK he’s a lunatic and sort of a selfish asshole but we all know this because…well. He speaks.
Terrence C. Carson provides the angriest and menacing voice ever. Kratos doesn’t have the emotion of laughter. Just anger, like the WOW kid. He’s always angry, always looking for revenge and doesn’t care who stands in his way. If it wasn’t for that damn voice we couldn’t relate to such a jerk but thanks to Terrence C. Carson, who I’ll just call T.C because we are friends (we are not) we have a great voice for a great character.
Useless trivia- also the voice of Sword master on Afro Samurai
7. Ellen McLain – GlaDos – Portal
The Protagonist in Portal does not speak…like…at all. You’re not really sure who she is and anything you do find out about her is because of GlaDos. Even then it’s questionable since GlaDos keeps calling her fat and we all know that the protagonist isn’t. What makes Portal a great series is not only the great puzzles and mind-bending moments, but also it’s the great story told throughout without cut scenes.
Ellen McLain brings GlaDos to life with her voice acting. Sure there is some electronic filter to give her more of a robotic sound but personality is just that…personality. GlaDos is a jerk, a sarcastic, evil jerk. This is all brought to life by Ellen’s fantastic work. Yes Wheatley is also great but come on…we play Portal for more GlaDos.
Useless Trivia- also the voice of the Combine Overwatch in Half-life
6. Logan Cunningham – The Narrator – Bastion
Besides Bastion being beautiful looking title, it’s also a fun little adventure with some RPG elements added. Obviously we here are big fans of sprites and Bastion does not disappoint. From the beautiful art to the fun gameplay there’s one thing that made the game stand out. The narrator. Logan Cunningham provided the voice of the narrator and his voice will make the guy who sang “chocolate rain” sound like Strawberry Shortcake.
From the dry-with humor to the self-awareness the Narrator made the game tie into one coherent story.
5. Mark Hamill- The Watcher – Darksiders
Yes, Mark Hamill plays the Joker. But he’s been doing that since Batman the Animated Series. No, he’s not on the list for that. He’s on the list because for a while I hated him. In Darksiders you’re stuck with the Watcher. An annoying demon that stops you from doing what you want. He’s not a friend of yours but more like an evil mother who taunts you at every chance. He will kick you when you’re down. Then do his famous laugh. Sure I can’t help but hear a little bit of the joker while hearing him speak but he does crazy oh so well.
Useless Trivia- Mark Hamill is not only Batman’s biggest villain but also Spider-Man’s, playing the voice of Hobgoblin in Spider-Man: The Animated Series cartoon
4. John DiMaggio – Marcus Fenix – Gears of War
John DiMaggio is not only the voice of Bender Bending Rodriguez but also the voice of Marcus Fenix from Gears of War. He also commentated on the very underrated Wii game Madworld, and was hilarious.
Bringing the amount of emotion to a big tree-trunk of a man must be tough. For me to look at Marcus and think “you know what he needs? A hug!” is proof that bringing personality to a character works with voice acting. Playing Marcus for three games made that voice a staple in the game. Sure his incredibly loud shouts of “Revive me!” makes you cringe, and his grunts and groans sound like a tank being pulled upside down, but damn does it bring character. John DiMaggio is definitely no stranger to voice acting but when it comes to video game characters he is known for Marcus Fenix, just as much as he’s known for Bender.
Useless Trivia- He kicks ass as a beat-boxer too
3. David Hayter – Solid Snake – Metal Gear Solid
Solid Snake is a bad ass…well obviously. But besides the fact that he sports a beard better than mine, his voice is also more rough and less nasally than mine too. His voice is what makes Snake, Snake. How many times have you said “Colonel!” or “Otacon!” while talking about this character with friends? David Hayter gave us a voice to never forget but also does a very impressive job of making us care for the character even if the writing is sloppy and confusing at times.
Sure the same voice is used for Naked Snake, but keep in mind that Naked Snake is the original Solid Snake. You see…Solid Snake is actually a clone of Naked Snake, therefore the genes are all spliced up and the La Li Lu Le Lo of the coherence-ness of it all makes this one extravaganza that you will not forget…that made no sense whatsoever, welcome to Metal Gear.
Useless Trivia – Does THIS sound familiar? Yup, that’s David Hayter too.
2. Charles Martinet – Mario & Company – Super Mario Series
Charles Martinet is to Nintendo what Mel Blanc was to Looney Toons. He is the voice of not only Mario, but of Luigi’s, Wario and Waluigi as well. Sure they usually just involve “oh”, “wa-hoo” and laughter but you got to remember something. Before Mario had his “it’s-a me, Mario” with his soothing, cartoony voice, he sounded like this.
Yes. He had a Brooklyn accent. Super Mario 64 didn’t change that but rather…of all games. MARIO FUNdamentals of all things! Like I said, since Mario doesn’t really have a full conversation with anyone (besides in text) what he does say we remember. From Wario’s menacing laughter in Mario Kart 64, to Luigi’s calling out “Mario” in Luigi’s Mansion. It’s all because of this guy.
Useless Trivia- Also the announcer in Super Punch Out!
1. Nolan North – Everyone Else – (Nathan Drake) – Uncharted +
If Charles Martinet is the video game version of Mel Blanc than Nolan North is the Dan Castellaneta of video games. Seriously this guy is in everything! Remember how Mark Hamill played the joker in Arkahm City? Well Nolan was the Penguin. Remember how Ellen McLain was the voice of GlaDos? He was the background turrets. Remember how David Hayter was only snake? Well Nolan was the Prince in Prince of Persia, Desmond Miles in Assassin’s Creed and of course Drake from Uncharted. That’s like
being three big heroes at once. It’s all him.
He’s seriously a great voice actor bringing a different tone and personality to different characters. JUST LOOK AT THIS MANS IMDB PAGE. He’s not only main characters but probably the guy who spits in the background in Grand Theft Auto IV. How would you know he isn’t?Hell sometimes he’s so good he’s talking to himself.
Nolan North is very under appreciated for the other work he does besides the big three. He plays a lot of different characters in a lot of different games, which is very impressive. Hopefully he continues doing what he’s doing for a long time, because in all honestly he does it so very well. Owning up to every character he played and putting a voice and wit to every character, Nolan North does the best voices acted.
Useless Trivia- did you know he’s also God? Which one? Well Hades in the first God of War title, I’m telling you he’s everywhere!
What are your favorite voice actors? Do you agree/disagree with the list? Leave a comment below!