Consoles are great, aren't they? Such a wonderful invention. In the past, they had helped us experience affordable, quality gaming, from home. Now, they act more as an all-in-one entertainment system for the home. Providing high-definition gaming, at its finest, right from the comfort of our living rooms. When we think of the gaming industry today, we don't just think PC, we think PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo. These big names have helped to pave the way for our gaming convenience, and along the way, they've given us some big names to play with.
It's these stars that are the focus of today's article. I'm talking about taking all your console favorites (Mario, Link, Spyro, Master Chief...) and dragging them, kicking and screaming into their old age. Or at least, as old as we can take some of these characters. Let's be fair, anthropomorphic creatures (Sonic, Starfox, Ratchet...), how do you determine their old age? Do you go by the age limit of the animal in reality or take a more human approach to their age?
I hope to open your mind to some of your beloved console stars in the older age. Finding some of these guys was harder than you'd think. For a start, it wasn't a case of just finding thirty video game characters, it's finding the ones that are both interesting and have some sort of image depicting their older age. Massive thanks to everyone who helped me formulate entries for this list including Epic Gamers on Facebook.
29 Ready To Retire... (Super Mario)
In some games, we have to accept that we will never see our protagonists age and move on with their lives, Mario is one such title. The game is almost twice my age and Mario hasn't aged one second in all this time. That doesn't mean we don't want to see Mario as an old man, the artist has done a great job here. Mario can barely muster the energy to make the invincibility powerup spring out of the box, let alone take on Bowser. Sorry Princess Peach, looks like our persistent plumber is ready to retire - so should Princess Peach for that matter?
28 A Link To The Future... (Link)
Link is one of Nintendo's key players in the Console Market, this high-definition rendering of him as an old man touches the hearts of the community. Link's another character we'll never see as an old man, so its good to see this reinterpretation of the Zelda protagonist.
Created in 2010, this rendition of Link looks like it would be better housed on the PlayStation or Xbox markets. A very talented piece that really opens our eyes to accepting what Link could possibly look like as an old man.
27 To Be Frank With You... (Franklin)
Grand Theft Auto has been a hefty monopoly for Rockstar. The limitless content they provide to their fans for Grand Theft Auto: Online for free on a regular basis has really made the player-base happy. But, GTA is a never-ending fountain of content, especially as far as the modding community sees it. This Franklin mod for Grand Theft Auto's single-player experience sees our protagonist a little grey around the top. This is a pretty good idea of what we'd expect Franklin to look like in his older age.
26 Speaking Of Ancient Relics... (Lara Croft)
This glorious reinterpretation of Lara from the Tomb Raider series paints our renowned treasure hunter in her old age. She doesn't look like she could do much climbing now, let alone anything else. If you think the butler was annoying, imagine how annoying it would be pulling your hip out on the very first climb of the game. I'm not fully convinced Lara could carry much, she'd be all on trying to carry the groceries nevermind anything museum-worthy.
25 Marvel-ous Kirby... (Kirby)
Another star who's never going to get old. Kirby is one of Nintendo's most beloved stars and this image helps broaden our minds to how we might see Kirby in his old age. Well, to start, he'd have to inhale someone who's old right? The artist decided to choose Stan Lee, creator of Marvel comics as Kirby's prey.
Remember kids, everybody gets one!
After our vacuum-mouthed hero gobbles up Stan Lee he is left looking somewhat as he is depicted above. Maybe he's going to scribble up some mad superhero cartoons for his next adventure? Let's go Kirby-Lee!
24 Sonic Just Got Cool Again... (Sonic The Hedgehog)
Throughout his gaming career, Sonic the Hedgehog has been believed to be fifteen years old, this picture reimagines him to be a lot older, as though all the years have caught up with him at once. Can't stay fast forever I suppose? Or can you? Sonic looks as ready as he'll ever be for a fresh adventure, something more adult maybe? Hedgehogs don't live to be crazy-old anyway, so it's safe to assume that Sonic won't get much older than this? This is a well-made fan-art of Sonic that really gets the imagination going for Sonic fans.
23 Big-Sisters... (Little Sisters)
The Little Sisters of Rapture are a staple in any good adult gaming diet. BioShock featured these creepy, little sisters as a key part of the gameplay. Do you harvest them or rescue? This fan-art portrays older versions of the Little Sisters, Big Sisters? Traditionally the Little Sisters are protected by the Big Daddies (the guy from the BioShock cover), this artist dares us to think different. Although the idea of these little kids aging is absurd, all is forgiven in the name of open-mindedness. Disney's BioShock anyone?
22 The Wisdom Effect... (Sackboy)
This Kung-Fu outfit pack allowed us to dress Sackboy like a real godly looking presence. This older look to Little Big Planet's Sackboy works well as he portrays something god-like from an oriental story of old. Considering you're creating worlds like a digital god, you may as well look like one too.
If you get bored building, we could always spar?
This older version of Sackboy makes him look wiser and like he has a lot more constructed levels under his belt. If you don't see the fun side of looking all old and wise and stuff, you could say he has a striking resemblance to Tekken's Heihachi.
21 Pokémon Slow... (Ash & Pikachu)
Often the brunt of countless internet jokes, Ash Ketchum is the Peter Pan of the Nintendo world, in that, he never ages - or remembers his past adventures? Looking at the Pokémon games, we never see anything age really. Even our Pokémon who we travel alongside never age. This is one of the only images on the net that depicts a Pokémon in its old age. Since Pikachu is the star of this piece, it's only fair the attention is directed at him. All I can say is that he doesn't look like he could charge a set of triple-A batteries. Ash shouldn't have to worry about electric shocks anymore.
20 Trixie Dixie... (Dixie Kong)
Here's a small timeline of Dixie Kong from the Donkey Kong franchise up and into her 70s. One of the lesser-known protagonists from the series, she's still a fan favorite and that's why she's here. Becoming somewhat of a bubble-blowing buccaneer of the high seas, this version of Dixie Kong looks somewhat spooky. The picture paints a thousand words, imagining how this image of Dixie Kong could pan into future endeavors of the Donkey Kong gang is all part of the fun.
19 Era Of The Dragon... (Spyro)
There's two kinds of gamers, those who like the new Spyro design from Skylanders, and those who don't. Personally, I fall into the latter category, as does this fan. They take the traditional Spyro look and then zip him years into the future, showing us an adult Spyro.
The dragon's look holds a strong resemblance to his younger self.
The image paints pictures of a future Spyro game where we see Spyro in his adult life, perhaps we play as the Son of Spyro? Feel free to take the idea Activision.
18 Linked In... (Link Again)
Although some Console Characters did prove a challenge to acquire old age reimaginations, I found two of Link from The Legend Of Zelda series. Nobody else appears twice in this list, given that the renditions of Link are very different, I deemed it appropriate to show you both of the takes on the Console giant's old age. This one, of course, is much more suited to a younger audience, it portrays the protagonist in his old age but to a much more cel-shaded appeal. This version of Link looks as though he could barely lift the Cucco on the end of his boot, nevermind his trusty Master Sword in hand.
17 Grey Behind The Horns... (Bowser)
This image takes a fan favorite boss like Bowser from the Super Mario Bros games and spins it on its side. Bowser could look so much more different if we gave him a grey wig and some thinly-framed glasses. He definitely looks more inviting company than before. In all seriousness, to all you artists out there, this image of Bowser was one of the only ones I could find, we'd love to see your renditions of Bowser in his old age. Send some others our way!
16 Drake's Retirement Fund... (Nathan Drake)
Looking close to the big six-o, we see Drake looking somewhat happy and content with life.
Coming soon: Uncharted 5: A Thief's Pension...
To be fair, Drake deserves it out of many gaming characters after the hassle he's been through in previous adventures, it's a surprise he's still walking. There may never be an Uncharted 5, so here's looking at you Drake, cheers.
15 Residential-Home Fighter... (Ken & Ryu)
This image made with Microsoft Paint depicts two of Street Fighter's most iconic characters, still at it in their old age. The two look as though they're readying themselves for the round one announcement. I half expect their care-taker to come from the hall behind them and take them back to their beds. Although this image makes a good case for a retirement spin-off to the Street Fighter games. All your favorite characters, forty years later. The biggest question raised is what are they feeding Ken?
14 Mega-Old-Man... (Mega Man)
This image of Mega Man in his old age really paints the picture of a senile robot, long passed his technology renewal. It's good to see the artist allowed Mega Man to keep his weapons. I drift away into my imagination, with visions of a grizzled Rambo-like Mega Man who protected the world .. Until his retirement. Once the people loved him, now they fear him. He's gone nuts, lost his marbles, and he's coming for you! Don't worry, he's due a robotic hip replacement this Christmas, you could out-walk him.
13 Rise Of The Reclaimer... (Master Chief)
After recent experimentation in Halo 5: Guardians, I think we can all agree that Halo needs the chief. The image at the far right is the commonly accepted image of Master Chief's "Old Age."
We expected to see him like this in Halo 4, then Halo 5, maybe he'll look like this for us in Halo 6 or 'Infinite'? Maybe they'll carry it into another saga and make him appear like this in Halo 9? Who knows, Master Chief has and always will be a great character to watch develop in the console scene.
12 Passing Of The Storm... (Ulfric Stormcloak)
The noble and self-righteous leader of the Stormcloaks from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has seen much anguish in his life. This image depicts his life after the storm has passed in Skyrim, following the outcome were Ulfric lives to the end of the Civil War. As the dust settles on the Skyrim chapter of the Elder Scroll's timeline, we see Ulfric overlooking the land of Windhelm, a fitting end. Although, the Dragons in the background are unsettling - where's that Ebony Greatsword?
11 He's Over 9000... (Goku)
This image of Goku in his wrinkled up, over-exaggerated, old-age. Though we can all admit that Dragon Ball wouldn't as been half as popular if Goku was living off his pension, it's funny thinking of him as an old man. A character like Goku would never be seen as old, he wouldn't make it that far. It's also fair to point out that Goku isn't really a console star for true Dragon Ball fans, but for a lot of gamers, the console is the closest they'd come to the Dragon Ball universe. So for the sake of mainstream acceptance, here's Goku!
10 Grove Street, Home... (Carl Johnson)
The main protagonist of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas can gain muscle, grow a beard, even get fat! But he can't age? This artists hard-work has paid off as they attempt to show us a believable interpretation of how Carl Johnson would look in his later years. He looks like he's had the bad end of age thrown at him, but nevertheless, he looks ready to be a high-definition star. I think that ideas of meeting CJ in Grand Theft Auto 5 have always been widely talked about in the GTA community. Sadly, an idea is all it remains.
9 Toad In The Hole... (Battletoads)
A Rare classic, Battletoads! Now we see the Battletoads in much higher definition, looking as old as toads get. The thing with anthropomorphic beings like this is that it's hard to distinguish what their real-life, old-aged, animal kingdom counterparts look like.
How old do toads live to be anyway? (10-15 years apparently).
It's fair to say that we won't be venturing to these guys' pond anytime soon to feed the ducks. It does get you thinking of an ideal world where we get an HD-revamp of the original side-scrolling Battletoads games.
8 Boiled Eggs And Toast... (Eggman Nega)
Those of you Sonic fans acquainted with the recent entries to the franchise will no doubt know who Eggman Nega is. He is the direct descendant of the original Eggman and the main foe of Silver the Hedgehog and Blaze the Cat. So in a sense, Eggman Nega, as old as he may be, is like looking at the original Eggman as an old man. I didn't have to look hard to find Dr. Nega, he's a recurring villain from the Sonic games. Traditional Sonic fans are forgiven for not knowing who he is.
7 Nothing Is True... (Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad)
Altaïr is the man who started the ball spinning, the very first Assassin's Creed game gave us the memories of Altaïr to play with. Although many people would suggest Etzio is the greatest assassin of all time, Altaïr will always be the first playable assassin of the creed. During the events of Assassin's Creed: Revelations we see Altaïr as an older man, nothing like him is seen here. This redesign works well and does its job perfectly. It is a striking piece of fan-art.
6 It's just a number... (Soldier 76)
Soldier 76 from Overwatch is hugely popular. Inside the game, he is a useful lone-wolf character and assault unit for any team. Outside the game, he's romanticized for his good looks? One thing I know for certain is that this is the most agreeable image of the character in his old age. Probably knocking on sixty in this image, the soldier doesn't look a day under forty. Will this hero ever hang up his cape?
5 Boyish Charms... (Atreus/"Boy")
One of the most massive games from this year was the critically-acclaimed God Of War. The game stars Kratos and his Son — who everyone accepts is called boy (or Atreus. This image takes Areous and throws him twenty or thirty years into the future.
Maybe a design for the second installment in God of War?
This guy looks ready to be the star in his own game, leaving dear old Dad the rights to God of War. Be wary that looking into it too much could spoil certain things about the new God of War — proceed with caution.
4 The Great Big Farm In the Sky... (Dogmeat)
Diehard fans of Fallout 4 have probably already uncovered this aged variant to the faithful wasteland companion. This Old Dogmeat mod allows the player to see their little buddy age right before their eyes. Resembling his Fallout 3 counterpart a lot more now, this versions most striking feature have to be the eyes. A more distinguished and handsome Dogmeat is the result to be gained here. Personally, I belong to the Fallout communities group of people who think this version of Dogmeat is better suited to the game, what's your favourite?
3 Happy Birthday Banjo-Kazooie... (Banjo & Kazooie)
This fanart of the famous bear and bird combo (created by Rare) was made to celebrate the duo's twentieth birthday. Their first adventure was in 1998, and it's sad to think they've not been on as many journeys as some of us would like. This fan art goes to show that even after all these years —and the mixed reviews on Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts— that the Banjo community is still strong. I was part of the community that didn't mind Nuts & Bolts but would have preferred a traditional Banjo for his third title. I know I'm not alone in saying that a Banjo four would be appreciated in the next few years - but it probably won't happen anytime soon.
2 Mar-ster Of The Wasteland... (Jak)
The Jak & Daxter franchise was Naughty Dog's spiritual-successor to Crash Bandicoot. I recently played through all three of the PlayStation 2 Jak & Daxter titles —and it felt as good as the first time. Jak has always been a fan favorite of PlayStation gamers. When we last left him he was a young man. This picture paints the image of a grown-up Jak, ready to live out his adult saga.
1 The Shepard's Flock... (Commander Shepard)
There's something poetic about this piece, a fitting portrait for a Shepard that lived passed the events of Mass Effect 3. The man looks to have a few screws loose, but he still radiates a sense of patriotism for humanity across the Milky Way. What's with the cat you ask? Well... We can't rightly say. Maybe it has something to do with him standing with the living despite the events of the finale.