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5 Best Video Game Protagonists of 2022

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5 Best Video Game Protagonists of 2022

Imagine a story without a protagonist. It’s an all-over-the-place plot with themes affecting each character differently. One minute, you’re following this enchanting character’s journey, and on the next, you’re trying to connect the dots to some other random character’s story. There’s only so much you can do in just a few hours of gameplay, which is why developers often weave the plot around the main protagonist. The best ones draw you into their lives, tagging you along on every decision they make, and making you truly feel like you’re in their shoes. Others are so memorable, whether, for their personality or character traits, so much so that it’s easy for both gamers and developers to expect a sequel because the protagonist is just that good. Regardless of the reason, here are five of the best video game protagonists of 2022.

5. Kirby – Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Kirby and the Forgotten Land - Official Trailer

Starting off our list of the best video game protagonists of 2022 is Kirby. The Kirby video game series has been around for what seems like millennia, back when platformers were popping, and everyone wanted a piece of it. This pink hero, Kirby, has time and again come to the rescue of her home, Dream Land, and even the planet, Popstar, fighting to preserve its peace. 

As early as Kirby’s Dream Land in 1999, and now, Kirby and the Forgotten Land in 2022, Kirby remains an all-time favorite in our hearts. I mean, if more than thirty titles so far over three decades aren’t proof, I don’t know what is. Just how do you resist a floating, pink, yet powerful puffball with two stubby arms and two red feet? He’s so cute the character has crossed over to featuring in several mangas, and comics, and even to co-starring on Mario

In 2022, the Kirby franchise took a step up to feature the character in 3D, which I must say, looks as surreal as you can get. The flattening and expanding like a balloon jumps off the screen so beautifully, and the inhaling of enemies, copying their abilities, slide kicking, hovering above, headbutting, and more, all look and feel surreal. Top that off with Kirby’s positivity, innocent, and caring personality, and you have yourself a deal!

4. Aegis – Steelrising

Steelrising - Story Trailer | PS5 Games

Aegis is far from your everyday-looking protagonist. She’s a female robot whose original purpose was to be an automaton dancer at court. However, King Louis XVI’s automata army threatens the peace in Paris and grows more powerful by the day. So now, Aegis has to leave her entertainment duties and face an army of machines working for King Louis XVI, which goes without saying, are better trained for battle. 

The mere sight of Aegis will have you throw your hands up in defeat. But soon it becomes apparent how versatile your skills can be. So what if you were a dancer for the court? Now, you have the chance to showcase your hidden talents as a fighter in service of the Queen, and the last hope of saving France. No pressure!

Steelrising so tactfully created an unexpected protagonist. With the basic idea that robots can learn and adapt, they created Aegis as a low-level machine, capable of learning and improving her skills onward into the game, and creating a learning curve that evidently points out your progress. In the end, Aegis transforms from a petite ballerina robot into a death machine, still maintaining her grace and elegance while at it.

3. Stray

Stray - Official Launch Trailer

While we’re on the same thread of unexpected protagonists, 2022 stunned many gamers when a stray cat won people’s hearts thousand times over. The same way cats leap across buildings and scale up walls is the same way gamers could control Stray. Furnish it up with Stray being a lost, forlorn cat separated from her family and trying to find her way home, and you have a surefire way to win people’s hearts.

It’s funny how perspectives change when you’re controlling a cat and seeing the world through its eyes, especially in a cyberpunk-inspired future metropolis. Dystopian in nature, Stray faces obstacles along its way. She’s in a world full of darkness that even her small size can’t get her past. And in no moment at all, it starts to feel like you’re indeed a fearless feline who can take anything that’s thrown her way. How purrfect is that?

2. Tiny Tina – Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands – Official Gameplay Reveal Trailer

Tiny Tina is an iconic character, no questions asked. Despite her name, Tiny Tina thrives in danger, handling powerful weapons with ease and having a flawless, over-the-top personality. 

She’s so good that she needed her own spotlight, graduating from her previous supporting character role in the Borderlands franchise into one where the focus is all on her in the spin-off trilogy, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, and the sequel, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands.

The recipe is precise, throwing in whimsical wonder, magic, and dangerous weapons. As chaotic as Wonderland’s fantasy world may be, Tiny Tina remains the unstable thirteen-year-old explosives expert you can’t resist hitching a gaming ride with. And rightly so makes her one of the best video game protagonists of this year.

1. Aloy – Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden West - Announcement Trailer | PS5

Aloy’s personality in Horizon Zero Dawn and the sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, is hard to resist. She’s all things exquisite, brave, determined, and a machine hunter of unmatched prowess. Call her a genius even because she’s an expert at her job, a noble warrior, and reliable when push comes to shove.

It’s easy to see the work put into developing her character, from her backstory to the nuances that make her stand out. In most demo pragmatic, Aloy could be a loner, having been exiled from her tribe and raised as an outcast. But her charisma pushes her to go out into the world and find the answers she’s looking for. 

In fact, it’s her balance between tenacity and compassion that makes her stand out above the rest. It’s no surprise she continued to feature in Fortnite and Genshin Impact, and, evidently, there was nowhere else to go but up.

And there you have it, the five best video game protagonists of 2022. Do you agree with our ranking? Are there more protagonists that should have made it to the list? Let us know down in the comments or over on our socials here.


Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video demo pragmatic, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video demo pragmatic or watching F1.