This was a joke to the editor that was turned into a serious idea, and I’m sad to admit I probably haven’t learned my lesson. Aside from that, though, there’s list after list of the “hottest video game women” out there on the internet, right? It’s time for our virtual boys to get a little love. I list my top five, as well as a few honorable mentions, because, frankly, I had too hard of a time picking just five. Is it hot in here, or is it just them?
Practically every male protagonist from every Final Fantasy game, ever
Ask any gamer out there, and they can probably tell you. These boys have got it all: Great hair, great gear, and tear inducing romances with girls just as pretty as they are. For the most part, even the ones that aren’t considered the leading heartthrob still manage to strum a few strings. These boys could fill a countdown on their own, and, to be fair, I couldn’t pick just one. So instead, I gave them a chance to share the spotlight.
Kaidan Alenko (Mass Effect series)
Kaidan’s a talented biotic and faithful companion. He’s handy in combat, and (because he’s not so handy outside of it) he’s nice eye candy for Shepard aboard the Normandy. He’s the spitting image of face model Luciano Costa (which is a great quality), and his voice is super smooth. Throw in his endearing dedication to Shepard, his borderline obnoxious sweetness, and his upstanding morals, and he’s practically the guy every mother hopes her daughter will bring home. Unfortunately, his good guy attitude took the backseat to the list’s more assertive characters, and he was beat for a spot in the five.
Alex Weiss (Tomb Raider 2013)
I liked Alex. I liked Alex, a lot. From his subtle, snarky outwards attitude, to his sweet, secret way of crushing, he had all the makings of that 80’s teen romance “best friend who gets the girl.” Plus, he’s a raging geek, and any boy with the molecular structure of caffeine tattooed on his neck is a man after my own heart. While I was happy with Lara’s lack of a romantic subplot, I was still pretty bummed out by how everything went down—hurt, even. Unfortunately, his limited appearance in-game wasn’t enough to rank him a spot on my top five.
5. Ezio Auditore (Assassin’s Creed II, Brotherhood, and Revelations)
I could just throw it out there that Ezio (and Desmond and Altair) were modeled after Francisco Randez and leave it at that. But I won’t. Instead, I’ll mention that he’s witty, charismatic, and, let’s not forget, fabulously wealthy. Though his younger years were riddled with questionable activity, Ezio grew into quite the man. Even though he makes a living off of killing others (the ones who deserve it, of course!) he exhibits a generally compassionate, respectful attitude towards others and life in general. Plus, all those years of scaling buildings means he’s got to be in great shape, right? Not to mention, old Ezio is a total silver fox (see above).
4. Dante (DmC: Devil May Cry)
I’ll be the first to admit I was reluctant to accept Dante’s new look. I mean, Dante’s original character design was the object of my virtual affection for years. He was the poster on my teenage wall (literally). But I guess his Nephilim charm eventually won me over. In real life, he’s the kind of guy I’d avoid like the plague—the low-life, yet extraordinary charming bad boy. In fact, I could count plenty of reasons I’d want nothing to do with him based on the first few minutes he’s on screen alone. But, despite his mouth and cocky attitude, Dante eventually shapes up to be a dependable, trustworthy protector against a particularly nasty threat, and he kind of grew on me. Plus, I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t easy on the eyes.
(The hair is a really nice change, too).
3. Booker DeWitt (Bioshock: Infinite)
Booker was an unexpected surprise. He’s a soldier-gone-PI with a heavy past, but he’s trying to right his wrongs, one tear at a time. Unlike other protagonists from the Bioshock franchise, Booker had his own personality; he begins as a serious, slightly sarcastic man with a bit of self-loathing thrown in and eventually grows into a compassionate, strong-willed individual through his adventures with Eilzabeth. He’s efficient in combat and easily adapts to situations. Dewitt is a man to get things done. Plus, his voice (by Troy Baker) and his eyes are smoldering.
2. Nathan Drake (Uncharted series)
Nathan looks good. He sounds good (He’s voiced by Nolan North, after all). He’s one hell of a shot, and he’s a history expert. He’s witty and just all around charming. He’s quite possibly the new Indiana Jones. He’s the most plainly human of my top five, and that only adds to his charm. Sure, he dodges bullets, shoots some of his own, and always manages to get the job done, but he handles it confidently and humorously. Nathan’s one of the most human male characters we’ve seen in awhile, and he’s loveable for it.
(Also, if you’re still not convinced, please see his perfectly chiseled chin.)
1. Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect series)
“But he’s not human!” I know, I know, but he is one hell of a turian. As a matter of fact, ask anyone, and they’re almost guaranteed to tell you “he just has that turian charm.” He’s a veteran officer of C-sec, was a former Spectre candidate, and, when he got so fed up with everything, he gathered his own team and attacked crime at his roots. He’s kind and compassionate outside of battle but ruthless when in combat. By the end of the third game, he’s one of Shepard’s closest companions, if not the closest, and he has one of the biggest character developments out of all of Shepard’s crew. Add in an endearing, awkward approach to romance, and a dreamy voice, and it’s practically impossible to resist his charm. Plus, you’d never have to worry about tech problems with him around. You can’t beat his calibrating expertise.