8. Jade – Beyond Good and Evil
Though Beyond Good and Evil was by all measures a commercial failure, the game was loved by critics and fans alike. I think it’s safe to say that Jade was a big part of what made the game so enjoyable. Tough and driven, yet emotional and very humanly flawed, Jade didn’t only rely on her combat and stealth skills to bring down an alien conspiracy, but also a method that’s often overlooked in games – photojournalism. The subtle hint at a mysterious past and her effortless chemistry with support characters just add to her likeability. Forget Lara Croft, Jade is by far the best female protagonist in video gaming.
“Who do you think you are? Did you think you’d actually be able to make a difference? Well Woof, you were wrong boy… completely and utterly wrong… There’s nothing anyone can do… “
7. The Boss – Saints Row Series
Ever since developing a voice in Saints Row 2, the leader of the Saints has been one of the most hilarious yet psychopathic characters in gaming. An absolute joy to play, he/she is to my mind the best possible example of a customisable protagonist that has a personality outside the player. However you chose to build your character – whether a scrawny cockney in a flat cap, or a gothic femme fatale, or a giant moustachioed bodybuilder with the voice of a Hispanic woman – the Boss was always one badass motherf***er.
“Where’s a septic truck when you need one?”