Today we’re dedicating this post to honor the ill-fated lot that is video game fatherhood. Whether it’s sacrificing yourself in heroic fashion to inspire your child to save the world, or heroically wandering a post-apocalyptic land in search of your son we’ve got our list of the Best Father’s in Gaming. Happy Father’s Day!
John Marston – Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar‘s gun-slinging outlaw is one of the most fully formed, distinctly human fathers ever seen in a video game. Sure, he can somehow slow down time to score headshots and almost singlehandedly fend off a zombie apocalypse, but at his core, John Marston is a true family man. He’s made mistakes, run with the wrong crowd, and done plenty of things he shouldn’t have done, but he’s always owned up to them and taken responsibility for his actions. If there’s any video game man about whom real dads should teach their kids, it’s John Marston. Besides the whole killing half of Mexico part, of course.
Harry Mason – Silent Hill
Harry Mason spends his time trying to save his kidnapped daughter, which sounds like a pretty standard task for a video game father. But taking into account that his daughter Cheryl was kidnapped by the demonic entities of a terrifying ghostly town called Silent Hill, it makes his role much more spectacular. Depending on what the player does throughout their journey in Silent Hill, Harry is either partly successful in his attempt to rescue Cheryl, or he’s kidnapped by aliens. But let’s face it any father that’s willing to walk around a foggy town full of monsters in search of his lost daughter is a great dad by anyone’s count.
Ethan Mars – Heavy Rain
Press X to “Jason”!
Okay so maybe Ethan wasn’t a great dad in the beginning… considering that one of them got run over by a car and the other got captured by serial killer with daddy issues. But what comes after is a no hold bars rescue mission, where Ethan will do anything to save his son even if that means cutting off a finger, driving against highway traffic, crawling through tunnels of glass, even potentially sacrificing himself—nothing is off limits if it means rescuing his boy.
If you have yet to play Heavy Rain and potentially miss out on the timelessness that is Ethan’s dinner-making adventures with his kids, Sony has confirmed a remaster for Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls to be remastered for the PlayStation 4.
Kratos – God of War
Kratos sends some somewhat mixed messages on fatherhood in God of War. On the one hand, he went on an epic quest to find Ambrosia to save his daughter from plague. On the other, he then subsequently killed his wife and daughter, but he was sort of tricked into it by Ares and then wrecks vengeance for the rest of the series killing every God e comes across in response. So you know probably a good dad on the inside.
In Sony‘s latest trailer of God of War we get to see Kratos receive a second chance at being a father and it looks like he’s doing a good job, even taking an arrow in the chest. Oh kids can’t live with them, can’t chop of their head with an axe.
Sole Survivor – Fallout 4
Whether the Sole Survivor is a fantastic dad or a terrible one really depends on how you play the game. A good father would definitely follow the main story line of the quest to rescue their son and not get distracted by anything… ooo bottlecap. Sure, your kid has been kidnapped out of time from a cryogenic facility but wasteland can be so gosh darn distracting but don’t worry Shaun I’ll be coming for you… eventually! Also by the end (spoilers) it may not have been worth it meh. Hey, points for trying!
Joel – The Last of Us
Out of all the entries on this list, Joel’s experience with fatherhood is probably the most tragic. The opening scenes of The Last of Us are absolutely Earth-shattering for any father, and watching Joel’s transformation and character arc throughout the game is truly something to behold. The hardened killer who mourns the loss of his daughter does what anything it takes to survive in a world gone mad, but when Joel becomes a surrogate father to Ellie, treating her with even more dedication and protectiveness is just heartbreaking.
Eli Vance – Half-Life
Eli Vance doesn’t shoot aliens with lasers or hack down robots with a crowbar, and he doesn’t embark on any all-consuming journey to save his daughter Alyx. Instead, Eli is shown to be a great father through his talks with his daughter. Every scene between Eli and Alyx shows their love for each other. Eli cares for his daughter, and Alyx cares for her father. Their bond is magical and you can see he does everything he can to protect her, including building her a hulking protector robot called Dog. This simple relationship is one of the most heartwarming in gaming history… god dammit who let all these ninja cutting onions in here?!
James – Fallout 3
Liam Neeson has playing the best of all superdads on the silver screen and now takes his legendary father figure into the gaming arena. He comes to us in Fallout 3 as Neeson’s James, a brilliant scientist who has a plan for removing the radioactive contamination from the water surrounding the remains of Washington, D.C.. Unfortunately, part of that plan involves abandoning his child to the highly constrained indoor life of Vault 101. He’s not mean or evil or any of that, but like many other brilliant scientist/dads, he’s too preoccupied with his own pursuits to worry about the needs of a single, solitary child.
Big Daddy – BioShock
Some of the scariest and most incredibly well-designed characters in videogame history are the Big Daddies from BioShock. While these lumbering beasts appear evil, they were created for the sole purpose of protecting the Little Sisters, young girls who have been implanted with powerful levels of ADAM, a mutagen that allows genetic change. In fact, the Big Daddies will not harm a fly unless their “daughters” are threatened. The Little Sisters are lucky to be protected by such surprisingly gentle giants. The Little Sisters themselves love their surrogate fathers and undoubtedly feel extremely protected. How else could they get away with incessantly calling a giant killing machine “Mr. Bubbles?”
Barret Wallace – Final Fantasy 7
Barret is the token badass of Final Fantasy 7, leader of the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE and wielding a gun instead of an arm, it doesn’t get more badass then that. But all that gun totting tough attitude goes to hell when confronted with his adopted daughter Marlene. All he wants to do in the world is be with his daughter but he makes the sacrifice to fight and defend the planet so that she will have a better place to live.