Hello blogger and gamers of Game Informer!  I was going to try to go to other types of media like movies and more music with these lists, but I just can't seem to get my mind together for those lists.  So I'm returning to gaming...which proves to be just as difficult, not because I have so few choices but because I have so many!  Over my years of gaming, I have played as many top-notch characters, and a few are no-brainers.  Again, though, putting them in an order that I like is difficult.  Anyway, after getting my mind together for them all, I have made a list.  Just like my top 10 games, there is only one entry per series.  Here it is.

10. Sly Cooper

       Sly Cooper was one of the first characters that I really liked.  His confidence and charm were good, but his skills and his search for his family's dark secrets were what got me hooked.  Piecing together the various parts of the Thievious Raccoonus was fun and very interesting, and Sly's obvious growing love for his own enemy, Carmelita Fox, made the series even better.  Sucker Punch's skill in making great characters and great stories is very evident here.

9. Jak

       Honestly, I was between choosing Jak and the little orange guy standing next to him.  Jak and Daxter was a part of a time in gaming when there were plenty of good series starting (like Sly Cooper, Ratchet and Clank, etc.) for the PlayStation 2.  These series were filled with fun and laughs, but behind them were usually a deeper, more emotional story. That's why I chose Jak over Daxter.  Bottled up in Jak was a past of pain and heartbreak, not to mention never knowing his father.  I won't tell exactly what captivated me so much to save it for those who might be playing the HD collection, but that deeper, darker past is the reason for Jak's turmoil.  It unlocked something in a strong character that I hadn't seen often, weakness.  And for my young gaming mind, that was captivating.

8. Kratos

       Many, like I used to, just see Kratos as a big, angry meathead.  When you find out why he's like that, however, you understand the chaos and pain that got him into this situation.  If killing your own family and getting enslaved for ten years isn't enough, try getting betrayed and stabbed by your own father.  To death and back (three times), Kratos has been through a lot.  This all ends in his suicide, when he lets the hope within him from Pandora's Box flood the world.  All that, revenge, and then the ultimate sacrifice for the world he's destroyed.  I'd say Kratos has more layers than an onion.  That's what makes a really good character.

7. Vito Scaletta

      Most of Vito's childhood was consumed in the crime-consumed slums of Empire City.  That's a hard life, and with his best friend, Joe, he gets by with petty theft.  After time in the war, he reunites with Joe and gets involved in the life of crime and the Mafia.  Soon, he is consumed by greed and doesn't see the chaos that he's caused between the feuding families.  A character can be just as captivating when it's ignorant to it's own faults, and Vito is a prime example.

6. C.J.

       C.J. was once consumed by the life of crime and moved to Liberty City because of it.  When his brother dies, he finds out that his family and gang are still fighting with the others and must take action.  This takes him to other parts of San Andreas, in a fight with his best friends and other gangs, and in a vicious feud with corrupt cop, Tenpenny.  This all comes from him just trying to make things right again, the only way he knows how.  With guns, blood, and his accidental trust of others.  

5. The Vault Dweller

      In truth, the Vault Dweller is just the general name for your character on Fallout 3, but there's a personal story that character, whether you are evil or good.  If good, you have followed in your selfless father's footsteps and acted on his plans until the end.  To save spoilers, that's the only possible ending that I'll give, but there are several endings, all giving a different personal story to the troubled life of the Vault Dweller and his father.

4. Jason Brody 

      The main protagonist of Far Cry 3 begins as a young young adult who's ready to party and have fun.  That gets him captured along with his friends and put on the market for slavery.  After escaping Vaas, who almost takes center stage ahead of him, he must suck up his fear and do what he can to get his friends back.  That means becoming a warrior and killing those who oppose him.  We get a very subtle growth from Jason as he gets more used to killing and, at the turning point (in my opinion) of the story, begins to enjoy it.  The war on the island consumes him, and I'll only go that far for the sake of spoilers.  Either way, the very subtle character growth of Jason Brody was fantastic.

3. John Marston

      Read Dead Redemption gives John Marston a very clear motivation for his journey through the Wild West, the federal agents from the city, threatening to take away everything he loves.  The former outlaw must jump into the sins of his past to protect his family and himself.  This long journey, even taking him in the middle of a civil war in Mexico, ends in one of the most tragic endings I've seen in gaming.  That story and John Marston were two reasons I loved Red Dead Redemption so much.

2. Agent 47 

      For the first four games, Agent 47 wasn't much of a character.  Fans like me saw him as more of an indestructible man with absolutely no guilt, no matter what he did.  The only human quality I saw in him was his companionship with Diana Burnwood, most evident in Blood Money.  In Absolution, however, when Diana was killed, showed us a different side of Agent 47, the guilty side.  Then I noticed that, over the four games, Agent 47's bond with this woman had been building.  This was the only human he had a connection other than a hit with.  That connection was either a pure stroke of story-telling genius or just dumb luck on IO's part.  I don't care because it was awesome, and the Agent immediately became one of my favorite characters.

1. Solid Snake 

      This was also a very close one between Solid Snake and Big Boss, but I chose Solid Snake simply because of his story.  Whether you like or dislike the series, there is no denying that Solid Snake has gone through a lot.  You try going through everything in Metal Gear, then Metal Gear 2, then Metal Gear Solid, etc.  Solid Snake is not only an awesome character, but he is a very emotionally compelling character, too.  The ironic thing in the series is that by creating Solid Snake, Big Boss achieved four things.  He was able to create his own heir, his own murderer, the perfect soldier, and, finally, the recreation of The Boss.  Other than The Boss herself, only Solid Snake understood what it was to be loyal to the very end, through so much that only the strongest, most willing person would ever be able to do it.  Only Hideo Kojima has ever been able to create such depth and humanity in one character in a series of video games.

      Please comment on my choices, leave your own opinions, and leave your suggestions as to how I can make these lists better.  And as always, thanks for reading.