We've all read articles about iconic video game characters bursting onto the scene and defining a generation, but what about the characters that influenced the industry and changed the trajectory of gaming forever? Each console started with a bang and the ones that remain successful today are because of a few heroes fighting against their rivals on the frontline. But who had the biggest say in setting the gaming bar higher?
Sure, you'll be able to guess who holds the crown, that's no secret. And if tasked with jotting down the top 10, you'd likely get 5 or so correct, but ask yourself this: do you know WHY they influenced the industry? Some were created as a direct response to Mario, others were formed to re-defined the gaming demographic, and some paved the way even before that overalls-wearing plumber was dreamed up by a Japanese man in his laboratory. They led the way for their gender, their console, and in some cases, a whole new style of gaming. Sega, in the early 90s drew level with Nintendo in America, but do you know the character that shot him down and made Nintendo king again? It may not be who you think. Questions like this are only the beginning of things that you are going to learn about, so be prepared to expand your mind and enjoy!
10 Crash Bandicoot
7 Master Chief
6 Nathan Drake
4 Lara Croft
3 Sonic The Hedgehog
2 Donkey Kong
By this point, the number one entry should really come as no surprise. Mario revolutionised the gaming world and turned it into an industry. He gave Nintendo their face, their marquee man and a launching pad into success. But he wasn't just the catalyst for the big N, as he also sparked Sonic, Crash and every other cartoon hero that has defined generations since his first motion on the screen. His heroics were so profound that they gave him a brother (Luigi), a pet (Yoshi), a damsel in distress (Peach) and an iconic villain who he will duke out with until the end of time (Bowser).
These characters have become masters of their own games and are as recognisable as any other gaming cast out there. Parties, sports, mario kart, Olympics...the releases have been endless, and they continue to wow audiences all over the world. Nintendo is currently struggling against Sony and Microsoft, but there are still yearly Mario releases that deserve a play. For what started the industry should never be forgotten.
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