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10 Games With Beautiful Character Design

The most beautifully designed characters in video games

Video games haven’t always been nice to look at.

Games have gone from being just a bunch of squares on a screen to full blown high-definition picture perfect realism in what seems like such a short time.

In and among all of the beautiful games that have come out in the last few years, there are some that stick out as having incredibly beautiful character design. Whether it’s because they’re ultra-realistic or simply a showcase of exceptional creativity, some games’ characters stand head and shoulders above the rest.

The following is a list of 10 games that really focus on the little details in their characters. Click on through to see our picks.

Want to support GameSpew? If you decide to buy any of the games on this list, please consider using our affiliate links, included below each entry. It won’t cost you anything extra, but we’ll get a small slice of the purchase. Thank you.

The Last of Us Part II

There’s no question that The Last of Us series has some of the best game design ever. Period. We were impressed with the first in the series which introduced players to this harsh world for the very first time. Seeing how realistic these characters were made us that much more connected to them after experiencing their long journey.

Now, a few years have passed and The Last of Us Part II’s character design has only improved. We’ve been able to see Ellie mature in front of our eyes; she now has tattoos, but has gained muscles, no doubt from how fit you must be the survive in this world. Joel, too, has gained a few more grey hairs. Each character has been intricately updated based on how they really would have changed in this unforgiving universe.

More than that, improvements in technology has allowed Naughty Dog to bring them to life like never before. Character animations and facial expressions are unrivalled here, and the attention to detail put in by the development team is astounding. Ellie squints in bright light, and if she finds an item, she’ll actually put it in her bag. It won’t magically disappear like most other games. It’s that level of detail that makes The Last of Us Part II‘s character design so incredible and unforgettable.

Read our review of The Last of Us Part II

Buy The Last of Us Part II on Amazon

Hades

hades

Ever since Hades came out, we have not stopped thinking about these characters. Supergiant has outdone itself this time. With characters like Zagreus, Nyx, Hades and Persephone, how could anything else compete for our affections? Not only does the game have fantastic gameplay mechanics, an engaging story and fantastic graphics, but the character design for each and every person you speak to is top-notch.

What we love about Hades’ character design most, though, is that the characters aren’t hyper-realistic. They are cartoonish and some are strange, but a game doesn’t have to have realistic characters to have standout character design. And Hades is the perfect representation of that.

Read our review of Hades

Until Dawn

PlayStation-exclusive horror title Until Dawn has a cast that includes some well-known actors, and their character models are instantly recognisable. Hayden Panettiere and Rami Malek look exactly like themselves, which is still impressive now – nevermind back in 2015 when the game first launched. If it wasn’t for some awkward mouth movements, we could’ve been tricked into thinking we were watching a movie.

It isn’t just the main characters in Until Dawn that are well designed, though. The antagonist(s) are very creepy (in a good way), and it’s abundantly clear that a lot of thought went into the look of the horrifying killer that the protagonists encounter.

Read our review of Until Dawn

Buy Until Dawn on Amazon

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII Remake 2 (1)

We’ve always loved Final Fantasy VII and its characters of course, but Final Fantasy VII Remake brought them to life like never before. In the game, players take control of Cloud Strife who has recently joined an eco-terrorist group whose goal is to stop the megacorporation Shinra from using his planet’s life essence as an energy source. Equipped with his Buster Sword, Cloud himself has never looked better.

But, let’s not forget Tifa in her adorable boots, or Aerith wearing her white dress and red jacket. Everyone loves to see their favourite characters get a face lift, so to speak, and seeing these Final Fantasy characters go from cuboid figures to gorgeously realistic people is no exception. They look amazing.

Read our review of Final Fantasy VII Remake

Buy Final Fantasy VII Remake on Amazon

Uncharted 4

Since its start in 2007, the Uncharted series has always had very detailed characters, but it was with Uncharted 4 that Naughty Dog really blew its players away. The game’s setting is absolutely enchanting, but that’s a different top 10 list, so we’ve got to focus on those lovely characters.

Nathan Drake has never looked as good as he does in the fourth instalment of the series. From the small grey hairs starting to show on his head to his forehead wrinkles and range of facial expressions, the sheer amount of detail that went into redesigning Drake and the rest of the cast is phenomenal. Not to mention how gorgeous the antagonists Nadine and Rafe are… you’ve got to love the ones that play hard to get.

Read our review of Uncharted 4

Buy Uncharted 4 on Amazon

Alien: Isolation

Now, we’re not sure if xenomorphs count as “characters” per se, but they should. Goodness gracious, it looked great in Alien: Isolation. That’s not the reason we’ve put the game on this list though: it’s of course the fantastic animations of the beautiful Amanda Ripley that has earned Alien: Isolation its place on this list of games with beautiful character design.

Even though for the majority of the game you just get to look at Ripley’s hands, a huge amount of effort has gone into her character design. It might have been a while since the game first released, but we certainly haven’t forgotten how good she looks in the cut scene where you’re first introduced to her. And let’s not forget just how great a job the character designers did at making Sigourney Weaver look just like her younger self in Alien: Isolation’s Crew Expendable DLC.

Buy Alien: Isolation on Amazon

Overwatch

Overwatch made it to the list not only because of one or two good-looking models, but because of how amazing each and every character is in their own way. Each time that players think that Overwatch can’t top itself, it takes everyone by surprise. The game started with a roster of 21 gorgeous characters with complicated and extremely well-designed changeable skins for each. Since launch, more characters have been added, all impressing as much as the one before it.

We all have our favourites, but whether you’re a Zarya main or Hanzo’s your guy, there’s no denying that each and every one of them is absolutely beautifully designed.

Read our review of Overwatch

Buy Overwatch on Amazon

Horizon Zero Dawn

When Horizon Zero Dawn released back in 2017, it made a big impression on players. At the time, it was one of the most magnificent-looking open world games ever released. Even now, four years later, it’s still stunning. When it comes to the character models, you can really appreciate the time that went into the details; even in large crowds of random silent characters, you can tell that each one is different and the creative design team outdid themselves in every way.

It’s particularly obvious with Aloy and Rost, who at the beginning of the game steal the screen, and dare we say distract you from being able to appreciate anything else. Each race portrayed in the game contrast brilliantly, and every single character oozes their own individuality. It’s a huge credit to Guerrilla Games that they’ve been able to breathe so much life into characters despite being part of such a big, sprawling world.

Read our review of Horizon Zero Dawn

Buy Horizon Zero Dawn on Amazon

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt deserves to be on this list for no other reason than Geralt of Rivia himself. Geralt, as many know, is the main protagonist of The Witcher 3, and boy does he know how to steal the show. Okay, perhaps that’s a little unfair; Geralt isn’t the only beautifully designed character of the game. He’s one of many – CD Projekt Red did an incredible job of bringing to life a varied and beautiful cast of characters.

Yennifer, Triss and Ciri stick out to us as some of the more memorable characters, but Dandelion, Vesemir, and Shani are notable as well. Sure, it may be a few years old by now, and technology has improved since The Witcher 3‘s initial release, but it’s still clear to see just how brilliantly designed its characters are. Not only are they gorgeous, but they realistically change throughout the game, which is a wonder to behold.

Read our review of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Buy The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on Amazon

Injustice 2

If you haven’t had the chance to appreciate how freaking gorgeous Injustice 2’s characters are, please do us a favour and just look at them. Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and of course the powerful Amazon herself, Wonder Woman, could steal our hearts and smash them to pieces – and we wouldn’t care because we’d get to watch them do it. The men are nice too, but boy do those ladies look great.

While you’re beating each other to a pulp, be sure to take time to enjoy every last detail of all those superheroes and supervillains. It’s especially rare to see a fighting game take so much care in creating realistic characters, and we’re absolutely here for it.

Read our review of Injustice 2

Buy Injustice 2 on Amazon

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