As more materials and make-up are invented and made available to the public, the art of cosplay levels up. New heights have also been reached with nerd culture becoming more mainstream and trendy. With all that in mind, present cosplay has been feeling limitless. In a world where you can buy contact lenses, PVC foam, dozens of glue types, sanding twigs and sticks, painters tape, and polymer clay, or just buy a finished prop piece, the world is one big cosplay oyster.
The amount of work and study that goes into the prop and costume making has not gone unrecognized either. With reality T.V. shows like Face Off, the world and work of cosplay has been showing more of its bare bones to society. Now both professional and hobbyist photographers are a common sight at any convention where cosplay is afoot.
Video game cosplay, in particular, is huge. Robots, colossi, witches, animals, ghosts, and ghouls are all on the cosplay menu. When playing a video game, maybe you can daydream about cosplaying your favorite character but think “I could never look like that.” However the talented, creative, and those willing to spend some (or a lot of) money make magic happen and can turn themselves into these characters we know and love. Here is a list of some amazing video game cosplays.
29 Isabelle From Animal Crossing: New Leaf
The town secretary, Isabelle, from the cute Nintendo franchise, Animal Crossing, seems like a difficult cosplay since she is well...a dog. However, this cosplayer makes it look easy! What’s probably most striking is the hair, a blonde and neat core with then a curlier strawberry blonde outer layer.
Is it two wigs or is only one part a wig?
She even nailed down Isabelle’s little bell that ties a knot on the top of her head! If there was ever a live-action Animal Crossing, this would be a perfect Isabelle.
Cosplayer is Lulu.
28 BioShock’s Big Daddy And Little Sister
Age should never limit the imagination and dreams of a cosplayer, but it’s still very cool when a little kid cosplay’s a little kid character. She looks like she just walked out of the game!
The Big Daddy is a big cosplay in every way, in size and probably the time to make. He looks like he’s wearing heavy gear, even if the materials might be light which is evidence of an amazing paint job.
These two amazing individual cosplays together are a powerful duo.
Cosplayers are unknown.
27 The Nameless King From Dark Souls 3
If you’ve played Dark Souls 3 but do not recognize this character, it is okay, he’s an optional boss. Accomplishing to create his wild hair, crown, armor, and weapon all seem like daunting tasks.
While there is a lot of discussion about the effort and difficulty of making a cosplay, what about just wearing it?
This cosplayer’s sight is obviously going to be hindered by the mask. Even if the armor is foam, shouldn’t their muscles ache from the lack of dexterity?
Cosplayer is niamash.
26 Destiny’s Cayde-6
How do you even start with Cayde-6’s beautiful robot face? According to the cosplayer themselves, “From sintra sheet and other odds and ends around my shop. All hand built with homemade templates.” For those who want more detail, they published step-by-step instructions on this Instagram, @roshprops.
For those who don’t know, Cayde-6 is the Hunter Vanguard in the Destiny franchise. He is a fan-favorite due to his humorous banter, fearlessness, and roguish personality. The writers of the franchise definitely had fun with his lines.
Cosplayer is rosh_props.
25 Fenris From Dragon Age II
Fenris can win an award for being one of the most broody video game characters. Who can blame him though when he was an abused slave and has amnesia when it comes to anything other than that? It certainly makes him a popular romanceable character.
No one can resist his deep voice either.
What particularly makes him a difficult cosplay is his lyrium (magic voodoo) markings and spikey armor. That takes an individual skilled with paint and foam crafting. Elf ears are very easy to buy nowadays at any convention or even Renaissance Faire.
Cosplayer is twinfools.
24 Fallout 4’s Hancock
What makes Hancock so daunting to cosplay is the ghoul skin. This does not look like it was accomplished with a mask, but some very fine make-up skills. Of course, they could not sacrifice their nose, but the minor nose detail is blended in so well with the make-up that it does not seem to matter.
Conventions don’t allow cosplayers to carry real weapons, but the knife (probably made of foam or plastic) looks spot-on. The clothes, of course, are amazing, down to his flag belt.
23 Mikomori From Fatal Frame V
The Japanese horror franchise, Fatal Frame, deserves more recognition for its elegant and spooky character designs. It gives cosplayers beautiful ghost characters to work with.
This cosplayer is dressed as one of the shrine maidens who would oversee horrific sights so that others can be at peace.
The headgear is the crowning achievement of this cosplay piece. It’s identical to the ones the priestesses wear in the game. The cosplayer even included the oriental design on the black cloth covering the eyes.
Cosplayer is Soryane Cosplay.
22 God Of War’s Kratos And Atreus
There are a number of traits that make this duo cosplay so well. Firstly, Kratos’ skin isn’t completely white. Many cosplayers layer that white paint on until it looks like they are made of marble. This Kratos cosplayer actually looks like he’s covered in ash like in Kratos’ backstory.
The scars on Atreus look crazy realistic and his hair is identical to the in-game kid.
This photo and cosplay are from the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, a seasonal college football bowl game that Sony sponsored.
Cosplayers are unknown.
21 The Harvest Goddess From Harvest Moon: Animal Parade
The wig on his cosplayer looks like a huge undertaking. Luckily, the cosplayer answered many questions as to how she accomplished this goddess look on her deviantart page. The braid is actually a big plush toy that she glued hair on top of.
She said it took 40 hours to accomplish.
“I started by creating 3 tubes of fabric, the same color as the wig hair I will be using,” she wrote. “I filled these tubes with polyfil...and braided them together. For mine, it needed to be a circle so I curved and sewed the ends together accordingly.”
Cosplayer is tailstastic.
20 Kingdom Hearts’ Aqua
Beautiful and blue, this Aqua cosplayer is a model, artist, and photographer based out of Russia. While details of how she created her amazing cosplay could not be found, it’s evident that she’s a professional from the many realistic layers she put into Aqua’s outfit. Not only did she include all the layers, but they have the appearance of being made of different materials.
Other photos of this cosplay can be found on her deviantart page, where there are close-ups of her face to show beautiful Aqua-themed make-up as well.
Cosplayer is Katy-Angel.
19 Bowser From The Mario Franchise
Fans are able to be very creative with Bowser cosplays. Some try to go as realistic as possible and mold a massive helmet-like headpiece. Others, like this cosplayer, take a more gender-bent and human route.
Honestly gender-bending cosplay is some of the best because we see don’t just see a character, but we see them at a new angle.
It’s the same with making an inhuman characters human.
Spikes are a must for any Bowser cosplay, and this cosplayer hit the mark with the armor, shell, and horns.
Cosplayer can be found here.
18 Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Peebee
This cosplayer, known as Nebulaluben, made everything in this cosplay such as the jacket, pants, headpiece, and the M5 Phalanx heavy pistol. She even has a website that documents how she made everything at nebulaluben.com. She’s from Spain though, so it’s mostly in Spanish.
According to the cosplayer, the headpiece alone took one month to make! Unfortunately, the cosplay garnered a lot of haters to spit on the source material in the comments of her Kotaku article and deviantart. It can’t be said enough, respect and applaud your cosplayers for their passion and work!
17 Edwarn Kenway From Assassin’s Creed IV
An assassin from Assassin’s Creed has become a common sight at any convention. When it’s done with every little detail right though, some assassins stand out! This Edward Kenway is fantastic and done by someone who knows what they are doing.
This cosplayer, Leon Chiro, is based in Italy.
That goes to show that cosplay is a worldwide art. Like the Aqua cosplayer, Leon is also a model. Modelling does give you an edge to cosplay, doesn’t it? He also makes his own costumes.
Cosplayer is Leon Chiro.
16 Bloodborne’s Lady Maria
Lady Maria is a boss is from downloadable content called “Old Hunters” for Bloodborne. This character is a great chance to display some gothic make-up. It’s easy to picture them wandering around the dark world of the game too. The weapon also looks authentic. The markings, colors, and bandages are not too clean and not too messy, making them look used and deadly like in the game.
According to the cosplayer, this photo is an edited bathroom selfie! Photo editing really is amazing.
Cosplayer is toniji-arts.
15 Gladiolus From Final Fantasy XV
To highlight the magic of cosplay, we decided to show the same cosplayer twice! This cosplay is done by the same man who did Assassin’s Creed’s Edward Kenway. That’s right; it’s Leon Chiro from Italy again.
One of the most impressive things about this cosplay is the realistic tattoo work.
The arm tattoos perfectly match Gladiolus’. Also are those muscles real? If so, their body type is a perfect match to the buff character. He’s got the hair, the scar, the clothes, everything!
Cosplayer is Leon Chiro.
14 Metal Gear Rising Revengence’s Raiden
Metal Gear is known to be a creative franchise with some crazy characters. When it comes to his cyborg body, Raiden’s design is probably one of the most difficult characters from the franchise to cosplay. Especially that lower jaw piece! Can the cosplayer even speak without the cosplay getting worn down?
All the armor is probably made of foam but it looks real and true to the game armor. Little information is available to how this one was done. How long could it have taken?
Cosplayer is Farreh Fouad.
13 Samus From Metroid
This cosplayer tackled probably the most difficult version of Samus. This is the character’s signature suit, given to her by the Chozo. She’s had multiple suits, but this cosplayer went big by picking the most recognizable outfit.
Those shoulder pieces are huge!
Also, the cosplayer probably has difficulty handling anything with that arm cannon. This is another example of how just wearing the cosplay can probably be a task on its own. Imagine having to use the restroom or just bending down to pick up something you dropped.
Cosplayer is unknown.
12 Monster Hunter World’s Palico
Cosplay has not even been limited to just humans. Some conventions have their share of Dogmeats from the Fallout series. Far rarer is it to see a cat cosplay, but here is one! This cat is wearing the starter armor your Palico gets in Monster Hunter World.
For those that don’t know, Palico’s are cats, just smarter and can speak human. Your Palico helps you hunt monsters. Other photos of this cosplay from its owner’s tumblr show it even has the starter shovel weapon! Too cute!
Cosplayer is Fawkes the cat.
11 Moira From Overwatch
Featured in Cosplay Kotaku, this Moira cosplayer was actually company-sponsored by Blizzard in celebration of their announcement of a new Overwatch hero back in November 2017. The cosplay was not built by the cosplayer, but by the professional Henchman Studios.
The cosplayer, Libby Ives, is actually a pole dancing instructor! That’s an effective way to get an action hero body.
Some cosplays look like they are made for nightlife because that’s when you can appreciate the lights. Lights add a futuristic flair to any cosplay.
Cosplayer is Libby Ives.
10 Pokémon X And Y’s Valerie
When the Fairy-Type Pokémon came out, they, of course, needed their own gym and gym leader. In comes Valerie with her crazy sleeves! On her deviantart, the cosplayer explained her secret to getting the sleeves to stick up was...cardboard! Some cosplay challenges can be overcome with the simplest of materials.
Gym leaders have always been a fantastic group to cosplay, but few cosplayers would have the patience and guts to wear and make Valerie’s butterfly-like dress. The cosplay certainly takes up a lot of room.
Cosplayer is Elreca.
9 Gaius From Shadow Of The Colossus
Just because a convention is called “Animazement” does not mean it’s not also filled with video game fans and cosplayers. This cosplayer, Nickolas Phillips, made jaws drop and cameras flash when he came in his larger than life colossus cosplay.
According to a 3D printing blog, Phillips did so to help promote his wife Candace’s business, AFK for Cosplay.
The blog also mentions that the cosplayer could only wear it for about 20 minutes at a time due to its weight. “He spent 300 hours working on the cosplay; he made everything by hand except for the stilts.”
Cosplayer is Nickolas Phillips.
8 Skyrim’s Nightingale Armor
If asked what their favorite thing to wear in Skyrim was, many fans would go with the Nightingale Armor. According to this cosplayer, her character wore the gear all the time.
“Most of it is sewn out of leather and vinyl which I then treated with black paint, silver spray paint, hot glue, model magic, and way more black paint. I made the pattern by cutting out pieces of paper and holding them up my body to see if they would be the right size and shape. Then I used those paper pieces to cut out my fabric.”
Cosplayer is beebichu.
7 Zelda: Breath Of The Wild’s Mipha
Cosplayer, Lara Wegenaer, actually cosplayed Mipha for a love of the challenge more than the character.
On her website, she wrote “Mipha is for sure not my favorite Character. But she is a Zora and I love to transform into Zora. It’s always a challenge to transform into a non-human race. I’m also doing again one of the normal Zora Guards with the same suit. I really love the Zora Design and backstories and also Mipha’s Design.”
Materials used included a foam mattress, white cotton, thin foam, Cosplayflex, and different color 4-way stretch jerseys.
Cosplayer is Lara Wegenaer.
6 Bayonetta From Bayonetta
What’s most difficult about this cosplay is Bayonetta’s beehive-styled hair. The cosplayer’s hair does not look like a wig either! That’s not to say the skin-tight suit would be easy either, complete with belt buckles, gold chains, and long white gloves.
The long red ribbon in her hair even has the demonic language inscriptions on it from the game.
Seriously put this cosplay photo next to a screenshot from the game. The only thing missing is Bayonetta’s beauty mark, which is the smallest detail about her.
Cosplayer is Beaupeep101.
5 Portal’s Chell
The best aspects of this Chell cosplay are the shoes and the portal gun. While how she accomplished making these pieces is unknown, there are a lot of pages that explore how to make a cool Portal costume. Some tips include buying Portal-themed socks or good places to get an orange jumpsuit to decorate.
Researching how to make the gun proves it’s a lot of work with a long list of materials, tools, and electronics. Of course, you can also buy one for about 300 dollars.
Cosplayer is Angela Bermúdez.
4 Max From Life Is Strange
This is one of the more simple cosplays on the list, but the cosplayer nailed down the character so well, it’s scary. Even the photo itself looks like one of Max’s Polaroid selfies from the game, especially when it comes to the lighting. The face and expression perfectly captures Max.
The hair is beautiful, and this is a guess, but it’s probably a well-cared for wig.
Perhaps a lot of Photoshop went into this cosplay, but that just celebrates the fact that this character is all about photography.
Cosplayer is Lie-chee
3 Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy
There is a lot to love about this cosplay. The hair is a big trait for Aloy’s look, so the braids and color are beautifully done. This is with her most recognizable outfit, “The Nora Brave.” While it’s unknown what this particular cosplayer used, it’s well known that this character wears many layers so their cosplay isn’t for the faint-hearted.
There is the under the armor layer, the leather layer, and a silk and fur layer. The layers don’t even include the weapon and machine parts of her look.
Cosplayer is LiliDin.
2 Clementine From Telltale’s Walking Dead
What makes a great cosplay for a Telltale game is to copy their graphic comic-book style. Since most of their games are based on comic books, their games contain thick and thin lines around their characters to be reminiscent of a comic book.
Clementine may seem simple until you recognize the amount of make-up detail that went into the Telltale style lines around the neck bone, nose, and even clothes.
Knowing where to put the lines probably takes a lot of staring at screenshots.
Cosplayer is Irina Sabetskaya.
1 The Witcher’s Iorveth
The second broody elf to make it into this list! The cosplayer, Holly, really nailed down his scowl.
“Not many people cosplay him and being how I really wanted to try and do something special to bring some justice to the character,” she said. “I gave it a go with minimal knowledge of crafting attire all from scratch with no patterns. It was a big challenge and even a risk. But it was fun.”
According to Holly, hardware stores, Wal-Mart, and Home Depot really came in handy for their cosplay.
Cosplayer is made by Bunnyvaltir Designs