Gamers vote Lara Croft as the most iconic character in gaming

Tomb Raiders Lara Croft is the most iconic character in gaming, according to the results of a new poll from BAFTA.

Ahead of the 20th BAFTA Games Awards on April 11, the organisation shared a survey to determine the most iconic gaming character of all time. Over 4,000 people from across the world took part in the survey, and now BAFTA has announced the results.

Lara Croft has topped the poll, beating out Mario (who came second) and Sonic, who was voted the fourth most iconic character of all time.

'Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered' screenshot
‘Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered’ screenshot. CREDIT: Crystal Dynamics

The top 20 most iconic video game characters are:

  1. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
  2. Mario (Super Mario)
  3. Agent 47 (Hitman)
  4. Sonic The Hedgehog (Sonic)
  5. Sackboy (LittleBigPlanet)
  6. Pac-Man (Pac-Man)
  7. Link (The Legend Of Zelda)
  8. Master Chief (Halo)
  9. Kratos (God Of War)
  10. Shadowheart (Baldur’s Gate 3)
  11. Arthur Morgan (Red Dead Redemption 2)
  12. Pikachu (Pokémon)
  13. Steve (Minecraft)
  14. Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid)
  15. Crash Bandicoot (Crash Bandicoot)
  16. Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy 7)
  17. Astarion (Baldur’s Gate 3)
  18. Kazuma Kiryu (Yakuza)
  19. Ellie Williams (The Last Of Us)
  20. Nathan Drake (Uncharted)

In a statement Shelley Blond, the original voice actor for Lara Croft said: “I had no clue when voicing the original Tomb Raider game that it would be such a global phenomenon and neither did Eidos or Core Design. They had only ever done children’s games before and of course they hoped it would be a success, but I think it went above and beyond any and all expectations.

Blond went on to say Croft is a “female Indiana Jones type of character, ballsy and well spoken”.

“Lara is very special to me purely because she means so much to the gamers. I love hearing stories from people around the world who played the game and channelled Lara to escape their bullies or to help them feel stronger when they wanted to come out to their loved ones. And most beautiful of all is hearing how gamers used to play it with their parent/s who are no longer with us and the sound of my voice, the music from the game and sound effects are all wrapped up in their memories of that loved one. I’m honoured to play a part in that for them,” she continued.

At the 2023 BAFTA Games Awards, Christopher Judge won the award for Best Performer In A Leading Role for his portrayal of Kratos in God Of War. Speaking about the character, Judge said: “Playing Kratos has truly been a great joy of my professional career. How often do you play a character that gives you, the actor, as much as you give him? From being a father to even making me redefine what it truly means to be a man. Being a man isn’t about muscle, and it isn’t about how loud you are – ultimately, Kratos gave me that it’s about listening, and loving, and ultimately about opening your own heart and accepting being loved… what a gift!”

Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered was released earlier this year, bringing the first three Lara Croft-starring games to modern consoles. Amazon Games are also currently working on a new Tomb Raider title which will “unify” the series. 

“It includes all the elements that have made Tomb Raider one of the most revered franchises in gaming, giving players control of the confident and multidimensional hero Lara Croft in an environment that rewards exploration and creative pathfinding, with mind-bending puzzles to solve, and a wide variety of enemies to face and overcome,” said a joint statement from Amazon and developers Crystal Dynamics when it was first announced in 2022.

In other news, Tekken creator Katsuhiro Harada has responded to numerous memes about fast food restaurant Waffle House being added to the game.


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