Don't Starve is an incredibly unique survival game rife with a stunning amount of depth. Ever since its release in 2013, the game has been highly-regarded for its art-style and crushingly-unforgiving gameplay. There's a ludicrous amount of depth here that the only way to understand is to play the game.
Part of the depth in the game comes from different playable characters you can unlock. Each character plays quite differently from the rest, and certain players will have more success with some than others. While there's no possible way to have a definite list ranking the characters in Don't Starve since it's mostly up to personal preference, this list is a decent starting point:
Wickerbottom starts the game with two Papyrus in her inventory. She can also craft items that require some tier of Science Machine at a lower tier than every other character, giving her access to better items much faster. She also has the unique ability to craft books from Papyrus, each of which gives a different effect when read. Reading the books costs her a hefty amount of Sanity, but the effects given from the books can be super-useful.
Wickerbottom suffers from insomnia and prefers fresh food more than other characters.
Wolfgang starts with a higher maximum Hunger than most other characters, and for good reason. The fuller Wolfgang is, the more damage he's going to do, the faster he's going to move, and the more Health he's going to have. The lower the hunger, the opposite the effect, until he's much less useful than other characters.
Wolfgang is scared of the dark, and in it loses extra Sanity, as well as when he's around monsters. If you can manage to stay close to full most of the time, Wolfgang is an astonishingly powerful character.
WX-78 is a robot and has the unique ability to upgrade himself incrementally. By eating Gears, WX-78 can upgrade his health to 400, his Hunger to 200, and his Sanity to 300. However, certain weather effects can have a drastic impact on WX. If uncovered in the rain, WX-78 will take constant damage. When struck by lightning, WX will gain a slight glow for a little while and will be able to move a bit faster.
WX can eat stale and spoiled food without any negative effect.
Maxwell starts with quite a few items at his disposal, the most useful of which is the Codex Umbra. The Codex allows Maxwell to spawn up to three Shadow Puppets of himself, all of which do his bidding. Spawning each of these Shadow Puppets decreases Maxwell's maximum Sanity by a good chunk, but when they die he gains the Sanity back.
Other than the Codex, Maxwell spawns with his own fighting gear, along with some other valuables. Maxwell also constantly restores his own Sanity.
Wendy loses less sanity in the dark and while near monsters. She can also summon the ghost of her dead sister Abigail to aid her in combat, at the cost of fifty sanity. Wendy starts with Abigail's Flower in her inventory, and when it blooms, it can be placed to summon her ghost. To summon her, a mob must die near the flower.
Wendy deals less damage than normal, greatly increasing the value of having Abigail around to help out.
Wilson is the default character in Don't Starve. His only unique ability is the beard that he grows, giving him some respite from the cold in the winter. Wilson can shave his own beard and collect the beard hair.
Stat-wise, Wilson is the default from which every other character deviates, meaning he's not particularly bad at anything, but not particularly great at anything, either.
Willow starts with a lighter in her inventory, which works like a less-useful torch, though it can burn indefinitely. Willow is immune to fire damage, and when she's close to a fire, she'll gradually restore her sanity. The bigger the fire the better, and don't be afraid to get up close and personal to it. Once Willow reaches sixty or less Sanity, she'll randomly set a fire at her own feet. While this can't damage her, it could potentially turn your life's work into ashes, so keeping her Sanity higher is an absolute must.
Woodie starts with Lucy the Axe, which can cut down trees faster than a normal axe and has infinite durability, though it deals half the damage of a normal axe. If Woodie gets a little too busy chopping down trees, or on a full moon, he transforms into a Werebeaver. While a Werebeaver, Woodie cannot access the map, his inventory, or see his stats. Over time he'll return to his normal state, but at fifty Health, thirty-seven Hunger, and fifty Sanity. This could be an increase or a decrease depending on what you were at before, but if you return to your normal state at the wrong time, it can be a death sentence.
Wes really has nothing going for him. His Hunger drains faster than normal, and he deals less damage than average. Wes spawns with a Pile o' Balloons, which cost five Sanity each to blow up. The Balloons have a small chance to distract mobs and will pop when they're attacked or another balloon near it pops, dealing five damage. Wes was created for a bit of an added challenge, and in this endeavor, he succeeds with flying colors.
1. PLAY WHO YOU WANT
And, please keep in mind, this is not even remotely a definitive list. Most characters have strengths and weaknesses, just like most players. Some of you may absolutely love playing as one character with their strengths fitting perfectly into your playstyle, while others may find that character completely and utterly useless. My best advice would be to try each character out a couple of times and give each of them a legitimate chance to surprise you. Figure out what works best for you, and above all, have a good time experimenting!