What would the video game industry be without the characters that drive them? It’s impossible to imagine a world in which the Mushroom Kingdom didn’t have it’s Princess Peach or the heroic Mario working to restore order from the nefarious Bowser. The gritty reality of the Hitman franchise wouldn’t be the same if Agent 47 and his bar coded head wasn’t infiltrating these worlds and taking out targets left and right. The Flood would have destroyed the universe long ago if Master Chief hadn’t led the charge against them in then are of humanity and all life in the very same universe of Halo.
Yes all of these characters and more are the driving force for the video games we all know and love. Few games are able to survive without a memorable character leading the franchises they are building. Yet few ever stop to think about what these characters would look like if they survived the harrowing circumstances of their individual games and lived into their old age. Think about it for a minute. Unless the character is miraculously immortal, these heroes and villains all eventually have to age, right? What would they look like if they made it to that point in their lives?
That’s what we are here to examine today. Some of the best online artists in the fandom have created truly one of a kind fan art that depicts these iconic characters in their old age. Some will shock you, and others will amaze as we explore the thirty video game characters we found in their old age.
21 Ash And Pikachu
Any fan of the Pokémon franchise will know these next two characters. Here we see Ash Ketchum and his loyal friend and ally Pikachu. Ash is the young boy who dreams of being a Pokémon Master, while Pikachu is one of the many Pokémon who roams the world and has untold lightning power at his disposal. They have definitely become the icons of that franchise, and this artist showcases the duo well into their elderly years, having survived battle after battle.
One of gaming’s biggest titles in the last decade has to be GTA V, (Grand Theft Auto 5).
The large open world game saw three criminals from very different walks of life crossing paths and taking on the criminal world in the city of Los Santos.
One of the characters you play as in the game is Franklin, a young man seeking to make a name for himself and get away from the gang life he has lived in for years. This artist shows Franklin in his elderly years, having survived the events of the game and the subsequent years following their heists.
19 Gordon Freeman
One of gaming’s most sought-after endings has to be the conclusion to the Half-Life franchise. After the second DLC game of Half-Life 2 left gamers on a massive cliffhanger, fans have waited for years for the franchise to conclude. The hero of that series is none other than Gordon Freeman, a time-displaced scientist turned hero who battles alien and human invaders trying to suppress the human race all the way from another world on the opposite side of a portal. This artist shows Gordon finally living life in real time, aging but still proving his heroic worth.
18 Sly Cooper
Now, this next one is truly unique, as it explores one of gaming's more popular yet underrated heroes, Sly Cooper. The infamous thief turned world-saving hero has battled monsters, rival thieves, family ending foes, and even time-traveling darkness. Along with his love interest Carmelita, a fox and cop who spent the entire franchise trying to catch him, this artist showcases a future, older Sly with what appears to be possibly a grown-up daughter of his own, or perhaps someone else altogether. Either way, we see a sophisticated older thief in the heroic Sly Cooper.
A bad back and a few wrinkles aren’t about to stop everyone’s favorite Nintendo hero, now are they?
This first image takes us to the industry’s most iconic (or one of the most iconic) heroes of video game history, Mario.
His heroics battling Bowser and other villains as they took Princess Peach and threaten to destroy the world are well documented over the course of several decades now. Seeing the still mighty Mario continuing his heroics well towards his elderly years is a refreshing sight thanks to this artist.
Now moving onto another iconic Nintendo hero, we get our first glimpse at what would happen if we saw Link of The Legend of Zelda fame getting to be a warrior in his old age. Any fan of Zelda knows that there have been many incarnations of Link, each bestowed with the Spirit of the Hero. Throughout the years, fans have seen the hero Link rise within a sword wielding young man and into adulthood, but now we have our first glimpse at the hero as an elderly man.
15 Link (Part Two)
We know that Link was already on this list, but this next artist’s depiction of an elderly Link is just too good to pass up. After spending years saving the world, battling ancient evils and finding new hosts time and time again to continue his heroic legacy, Link has finally gotten to a point in his career where he can hang up the sword and live in relative peace, at least according to this artist.
14 Desmond Miles
The modern-day hero who brought us into this Assassin’s Creed world was Desmond Miles. A young man who rejected his parent’s life-taking ideology but was forced into the fight by the sinister Templars rose to become the world’s greatest hero, sacrificing himself to stop a cataclysmic event. Yet, what if he hadn’t perished in that final moment? If he had survived, this artist showcases the powerful Master Assassin he would have become in the near future, leading the fight against the Templars himself.
One of the more difficult characters to imagine getting into his old age has to be Bowser.
The giant dinosaur looking creature who constantly tries to destroy Mario, take Princess Peach and tries to take over the Mushroom Kingdom is always beaten by Mario in the end, and it’s hard to imagine one of his nefarious plans won’t backfire to the point where he won’t survive. However, this artist took the character straight out of a Nintendo 64 era game and added a hilarious grey wig.
12 Mega Man
Who ever would have thought that the robotic young boy who battles evil robotic creations of the evil Dr. Wily would get the elderly treatment?
Mega Man has been a mainstream video game hero for decades.
With a powerful hand cannon blaster and a mission to stop Dr. Wily’s army of robotic foes, Meg Man has stood the test of time as one of gaming’s more well-known heroes. This artist showcases the young boy robot as an elderly man, unable to see but still willing to fight the good fight.
A truly iconic PlayStation hero, the infamous Jak of the Jak and Daxter franchise is well known to many dedicated PlayStation fans.
Beginning as a young mute boy who saved the world, then traveled back in time and found his voice to lead a revolution in the future and saved the world countless times, Jak is considered one of the more powerful heroes of the PlayStation world.
This artist shows an older, elderly Jak in what may be his final battle, fulfilling his ultimate destiny finally.
10 Ezio Auditore
The ultimate Master Assassin, this next hero served as the historic life-taker in three consecutive games, known as the Ezio Trilogy.
That is none other than Ezio Auditore, Master Assassin from Renaissance Italy.
While gamers did see Ezio in his old age in the games and even his final days in a subsequent animated film, this artist showcases the Master Assassin in that elderly stage, still fighting but nearing the end of his very long struggle against the Templar forces.
One of gaming's more legendary female heroes and one of Nintendo’s more action-fueled sci-fi protagonists has to be Samus of the Metroid franchise.
An ex-soldier turned bounty hunter, Samus has fought against powerful space pirates and the monstrous, parasitic creatures known as Metroids.
Appearing in every game in the franchise, Samus is a powerful warrior and hero, so seeing her aged to an elderly era with a fantastic new exosuit and still fighting the galactic fight is cool to see here.
8 Agent 47
A stylish, secretive and powerful life-taker in his own right, the hero of the Hitman franchise, Agent 47, never seems to age. After several revivals over the years, including a recently upgraded franchise in the last year or so, the barcode tattoo wearing life-taker is finally shown here in his elderly age. Despite his age, his skills have not disappeared at all. Instead, we see him using his age to disarm his targets, getting close enough to finish the job personally.
7 Marcus Fenix
After battling the locust horde time and time again throughout the original trilogy, Marcus Fenix led the final push for humanity against the locust and lambent armies to ultimately destroy them both.
He was forced to sacrifice his father in the end and lost his best friend Dom in the process.
Now in the second set of games in the Gears of War franchise, we see a much older, more grizzled version of Marcus being forced back into the fight with the return of the Locust forces, and watching as his son and his friends get caught up in a whole new war.
6 Sora And Kari
With the upcoming conclusion to the Kingdom Hearts original trilogy coming in just a couple of months, this next artist has given us a glimpse into the future of the story to see the two young heroes of the series as much older versions of themselves. Sora, the keyblade wielder who has saved Kingdom Hearts from the darkness time and again, is reunited with his friend and love interest Kari. Always depicted as young kids or teens, this artist shows two mature, grown-up versions of the characters in battle suits, stronger together and fighting against the darkness even into adulthood.
A fan favorite PlayStation hero, Ratchet of the Ratchet and Clank universe is next up on our list.
Always portrayed as a young man (or Lombax, as he’s commonly known), the galactic hero who uses a wide array of powerful, funny and creative weaponry to take down the latest sinister forces trying to destroy everything has never been seen in a future setting. That is until this artist brought a much more mature, rough and tumble soldier version of the hero into the limelight.
4 Arno Dorian
While Assassin’s Creed: Unity is not one of the franchises most popular games, the hero within it is a truly unique, dynamic hero nonetheless.
That hero is Arno Dorian, the man whose father was tragically taken from him at an early age and spent years being raised by a rival Templar family.
After the Templar’s demise, he is blamed for the man’s end and is forced into the battle between Templars and friends, splitting him up from his beloved Elise. The game studied the gray areas and darkness on both sides of the war, and the complex nature of this longstanding battle. This artist shows Arno after the events of the game, living to become a powerful Master Assassin.
3 Sonic The Hedgehog
Known as the speedster of the gaming world, Sonic the Hedgehog is a fast paced action hero who was the king of the Sega Genesis era years ago. Still a household name, the hero has battled some powerful foes in order to save his world. In reality hedgehogs don’t have a long lifespan, so this artist showcased Sonic in his older years, still powerful and fast but nearing the end of his short life. He looks poised to go out on top as a true hero.
2 Princess Peach
One of gaming’s first damsel’s in distress turned hero has to be Princess Peach of the Super Mario franchise.
Often the object of the evil Bowser’s mad plans to take over and destroy the kingdom, Princess Peach is often portrayed as being young and in need of saving.
However, this artist imagines Peach as an older Queen, having gained great power and wielding some powerful weapons and creatures to defend herself from the evils of the world.
1 Geralt Of Rivia
With the latest news of the Witcher Netflix series and star Henry Cavil set to play the iconic role, how could we not include Geralt of Rivia in our list. The iconic fantasy hero with extraordinary powers got his start in the series of short stories and novels in the Witcher franchise and became the hero of the sequel video game franchise which continued his tale. This artist showcases the powerful hero aging and becoming the powerful, wise old warrior of the land.