Best Video Game Character Tournament – Round One Part One

You guys nominated a whopping 371 video game characters for this tournament! From that field, exactly 128 characters received five upvotes or more. I’ve arranged them into eight brackets of sixteen, trying to split the characters up by franchise as much as possible (you guys nominated a lot of Mario characters).

To vote in this bracket: Please add an upvote to the character in each matchup you’d like to see advance. Please don’t add discussion to the matchup threads. Instead, create a new post for discussion. This makes it easier for people to see and vote on the matchups.


  • The characters who made it into the tournament are skewed heavily towards the retro. In particular, out of the top sixteen characters, the most modern character is GLaDOS — all other characters in the sixteen are from the 80s or early 90s.
  • The oldest character in the tournament is the Left Paddle from Pong. The newest characters in the tournament are Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn, Mae Borowski from Night in the Woods, and Morgana from Persona 5.
  • Twenty-two of the characters, or ~17%, are female. This is, of course, largely a reflection that video game characters, particularly retro ones, skew heavily male. The most popular female character by upvotes was GLaDOS.
  • GLaDOS was also the most popular villain by upvotes, and the most popular character from a Western-developed game.
  • Carmen Sandiego was the most popular non-white character by upvotes.
  • Ellie from The Last of Us was the most popular LGBT character by upvotes.
  • Unsurprisingly, joke/meme characters gathered a lot of votes, boosting characters such as Error, the Duck Hunt Dog, the I-Block and the Youngster from Pokemon who says “I like shorts, they’re fun and easy to wear!”
  • The Mario franchise, of course, had the most nominated characters join the tournament. I didn’t even bother counting this because there were clearly so many of them.

Notable Omissions:

  • Back in the day, these video game character polls would often come down to Link vs. Cloud Strife. While Link is one of the top vote-getters, Cloud was nominated too late to make it, even though we have quite a few Final Fantasy characters in this poll.
  • You voted in almost every Mario character under the sun except for Princess Peach. Her space counterpart, Rosalina, is here though!
  • Commander Shepard was nominated multiple times but no nomination got enough upvotes. They’re not here, but several of the more popular Mass Effect companions are.