Heroes in most stories tend to display a number of "heroic" characteristics, like being just, kind and selfless. While playing those characters can be fun, at times, it does get a little boring. That's where the anti-hero comes in. Anti-heroes usually have personality traits that most wouldn't associate with a person meant to save people. They can be cold, violent, cocky and even selfish.
Most of the time their morals are fairly gray, and though they might save the day, it's kind of a happy coincidence rather than something they intentionally set out to do. Sometimes their motives are questionable, but they don't (usually) have any malicious or evil intent, which sets them apart from being a villain. Anti-heroes are a great way to test the lines of morality and really dive into what makes a person "good" and what makes them "bad".
Here are The 10 Best Anti-Heroes In Video Games, Ranked.
10 Rayne - BloodRayne Series
Vampires are usually seen as evil creatures of the night who want nothing more than to feed on the living. And in the games of the BloodRayne series that isn't exactly wrong, but the series' protagonist, Rayne is a bit different. She's a Dhampir, a half-human vampire who mercilessly kills any vampire that stands in her way as she tries to find her father.
Rayne gets recruited for an organization called the Brimstone Society whose goal is to rid the world of vampires. While she joins them her main objective is the find and kill her father in revenge for what he did to her mother and the rest of her family.
9 Zero - Mega Man Series
Zero made his debut into the Mega Man series in 1993 with Mega Man X. He's a Maverick Hunter, along with X, Axl, and the others who stand for humanity. Mavericks are Reploids who have turned against humanity and Zero fights against them ruthlessly.
Compared to X who's more of a pacifist, Zero at first has no issues with fighting. He even fights against his love interest, Iris, during the events of Mega Man X4 and ultimately kills her in his quest to defeat the Mavericks. As cold as his actions can be seen he's always been on the side of "good" and genuinely fought for the more peaceful ideals of his friends like X and Dr. Ciel.
8 Nina Williams - Tekken Series
Nina Williams is an assassin who is cold and indifferent for the most part. She was hired to assassinate Heihachi in the first game and then Kazuya in the second. When she failed, Nina was put into a cryogenic sleep where she was experimented on for nearly 2 decades, lost most of her memories, and was controlled by the main boss of Tekken 3, Ogre.
Despite being an assassin, most of her missions were for the greater good of the world, often fighting against Kazuya's forces. It's revealed in Tekken 4 that Steve Fox is her biological son, who was born synthetically with her ovum while she was in a cryogenic sleep by the Mishima Zaibatsu. She has no real emotional attachment to him, but she does, however, decide not to take his life when she was ordered to assassinate him.
7 A2 - NieR: Automata
A2 is first introduced as she destroys the Forest King and encounters 2B and 9S. The two end up fighting A2, after being told that she's a wanted android for betraying YoRHa. She has a temperamental personality and acts without really thinking about the consequences of her actions; however, later on in the game when 2B becomes corrupted, she does try to carry out her dying wish to save 9S.
She also fights the machines to save humanity and even despite her hatred for them so spares the machine Pascal when she sees that he's docile.
6 Joel - The Last Of Us
In the post-apocalyptic world of The Last of Us, morality is a very grey subject as every day is a fight for survival. Joel is a prime example of that, as he's lived the past 20 years thinking of nothing but how to stay alive. Even when he first meets Ellie and the two begin their journey, he considers her as a means to get what he wants.
That changes as the two grow closer while they fight against Infected and hostile groups. All the people that Joel and Ellie fight in the game, objectively, got what was coming to them.
In the final moments of the game, Joel makes a selfish (though totally understandable) choice that might have possibly doomed humanity.
5 Dante - Devil May Cry Series
Dante is one of the main characters of the games in the Devil May Cry series. Despite being a Devil Hunter and facing off against powerful and dangerous foes, Dante has a very flippant and laid back personality, almost to the point of seeming disinterested. He's also a bit of a showoff and taunts his opponents when he can.
Despite all this, Dante does have a strong sense of justice and values his friends and family. Even his brother, Vergil, who he's been at odds with throughout the series. Though in Devil May Cry 5, he puts his rivalry with Vergil ahead of more important matters, until Nero stops them both from fighting.
4 Bayonetta - Bayonetta Series
In the first game, she's introduced as an Umbra Witch with amnesia, who seems to genuinely enjoy fighting Angels, and she has a pact with a powerful demon of Inferno. Bayonetta fights to recover her lost memories in the first game and fights to rescue her friend Jeanne in the second one. She taunts her enemies, whether their angels or demons and is cocky and determined to get what she wants.
That said, she does show genuine concern for a few certain individuals.
3 Geralt Of Rivia - The Witcher Series
Geralt is a "witcher," a genetically enhanced human who develops special powers and is trained to fight monsters. Throughout the series, Geralt faces the worst examples of monsters and humans alike, with both sides pretty much despising him for various reasons.
It makes Geralt very cynical and helps the narrative that the game's system of morality sets. A player's choices affect future outcomes and even the ending, resulting in possibly good or bad ones. Players can make Geralt kill monsters without hesitation or even spare a few in certain situations.
2 Ada Wong - Resident Evil Series
Ada Wong stands out as one of Resident Evil's greatest examples of an anti-hero. She's first introduced in Resident Evil 2 as a corporate spy who came to Raccoon City to steal a sample of the Golgotha Virus from Umbrella. Even to this day, not much is known about Ada, only that she works for her own benefit and will work for villains like Wesker if her mission calls for it.
Despite sometimes working against the good guys, Ada helps them out as well, specifically Leon, who she has helped and saved many times. Ada isn't out to save the world, but if it's in her best interest to she'll do it.
1 Kratos - God Of War Series
If there was ever a video game character that embodied the trope of an anti-hero, it's Kratos. The hero of the God of War series is pretty much just as ruthless as the antagonists of the series. After killing Ares, in revenge for the god tricking him into killing his family and at the behest of Athena, Kratos becomes the new God War in the first game.
The games that followed have him pretty much destroying the rest of the Greek pantheon. The newest game in the series, 2018's God of War, features Kratos at his least homicidal and in a new place with his son Atreus.
Kratos' journey with his son to spread the ashes of his second wife feels like a redemption arc. Though, in Kratos fashion, one of his choices does set off the catalyst for the Norse edition of the end of the world, Ragnarok.