From well spoken villains to gruff protagonists, Brits have made many popular characters – not only within video games, but wider media as well. It’s a great honour to represent my nation’s accent on the site’s Youtube page, a role I undertake with an immense amount of humility. This Top 5 list will count down the best examples of British characters in gaming. To appear on this list, a character has to be British in their respective game, rather than purely bearing the accent of their voice actor, so while I extol the performance of Stephen Merchant, Wheatley will sadly not be appearing in this list. Additionally, it’s just one entry per franchise.
5 – Haytham Kenway – Assassin’s Creed
Kicking off the list is the well-mannered Haytham, son of Black Flag protagonist Edward and father to Connor Kenway. What makes Haytham interesting is his position as a Templar as a contrast to his Assassin father and son, the latter of whom he frequently clashes with throughout the events of Assassin’s Creed 3. Having both family member’s ideologies put them at loggerheads with one another, along with them both getting heavily involved with the politics of Colonial America made for an intriguing plot, and although Black Flag is often seen as the more fun title, Haytham helped make Assassin’s Creed 3 what it is.
4 – Tracer – Overwatch
With the British flag displayed proudly on her gear, Tracer brings her chipper attitude and signature catchphrase to the Overwatch roster. Tracer is also popular with the LGBT community, as it was revealed in a comic that she was in a relationship with a woman. Overwatch 2 has been announced, and Tracer is likely to feature heavily in the story, as fans will undoubtedly want to see a more in-depth look at the character.
3 – Hoxton – Payday
Switching from posh southern accents to a gruff northern one, the Sheffield-born heister and swearing enthusiast Hoxton takes the number 3 spot on this list. One of the 4 original members of the Payday gang, many were disappointed to learn that Hoxton would not return as a Brit in Payday 2, and that the mantle had been taken up by fellow heister Dallas’ younger brother, an American. The original Hoxton character was so popular that demand from the community led the developers to release a free mission in which you rescue your former colleague from prison and have him rejoin the crew, with him becoming playable in other missions. The newer Hoxton now has his name changed to Houston, after his older brother. The story arc added for Hoxton for when he finally returned was that he was left behind on a previous job and was not too happy about being replaced. The developers included a nice touch whereby if you are calling in game commands to Houston, Hoxton refers to him by some colourful words rather than by his codename, allowing you to unleash a tirade of foul language that would make even Gordon Ramsay proud.
2 – Captain Price – Call of Duty
The existence of the Modern Warfare titles essentially necessitates the one entry per franchise rule, otherwise most of the list would be filled with with Call of Duty names. Soap, Gaz and Captain Mctavish could all make that list, but narrowing it down to 1 choice, it would have to be Price, everyone’s favourite cigar toting, hat wearing badass. The man does it all, brutal takedowns, one liners, monologues and sombre goodbyes. He’s been giving us memorable moments and quotes for over a decade, and very few can do it better.
1 – Lara Croft – Tomb Raider
It couldn’t really be anyone else could it? The Tomb Raider series’ leading lady combines brains, wit, braun and sex appeal all topped off with an upper class British accent. One of the most recognisable video game characters of all time, Lara Croft has appeared in countless games since the mid-90s, and although they have not all been hits, the franchises’ successful reboot in 2013 showed that the character, now a younger version of Lara, still resonates with gamers to this day.
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