(Big Daddy didn’t make our list, but we would be remiss not to give him an honorable mention!)
With Father’s Day on the horizon (June 18! So it’s not too late to get your Father’s Day gift), the KontrolFreek office has been discussing dads in video games. From a loving protector, to a bitter rival, some of the best storylines follow the developing relationship between a father their children. Featuring the best and the worst, this is the KontrolFreek Top 5 Video Game Dads!
Heihachi (The strict disciplinarian) – Tekken
“Lions push their cubs over a cliff and raise only the ones that climb back up.”
– Heihachi Mishima
Kicking (haha) off our list is arguably one of the worst fathers of all time, but hey, we never said this list was just for good dads! Heihachi Mishima starts off the Tekken storyline by throwing his son, Kazuya Mishima (who would later become a pretty crappy dad in his own right), off of a cliff. This event would spur a cycle of hatred between father and son that has been one of the driving forces in the Tekken storyline from the very beginning. You are more likely to find the Mishima family beating the hell out of each other than playing catch, but without a doubt, Heihachi is one of the most iconic dads in gaming!
Joel (Tough but fair) – The Last of Us
“I’ve struggled a long time with survivin’. And, no matter what, you keep finding something to fight for.”
The Last of Us introduced the world to Ellie, a quick-witted teenager with an immunity to a world-ending disease, and her reluctant and grizzled guardian, Joel. While their introduction to each other was strictly transactional and rather cold, the player watches Joel’s demeanor gradually change from stoic bodyguard, to devoted father-figure as they journey together through a terrifying, and often brutal, post-apocalyptic world. The opening sequence of the game reveals that Joel was not always the gruff hired gun that begins the journey with Ellie, but was, in fact, father to a daughter similar to Ellie’s age. His tragic history, coupled with the similarities his ward shares with his lost child all help explain his icy demeanor, but the shared moments of joy and pain bring Joel and Ellie closer in what is undoubtedly one of the greatest stories ever told in a video game. The paternal bond that develops throughout the game should undisputedly cement Joel as one of the best video game dads out there!
Oryx (Isn’t mad, just disappointed) – Destiny
“I will take your worlds as you took Crota!”
– Oryx, The Taken King
While the lore in Destiny can be a little disjointed at times, the game does a great job of developing a sense of presence and power for its main villains. One of the most terrifying amongst the primary antagonists was Crota, Prince of the Hive and final boss of the aptly named raid, Crota’s End. Following the grueling confrontation, Guardians were given little respite before word of Crota’s demise reached his father, Oryx, the Taken King. Daddy was none too pleased and brought his massive army to finish the war his son had started, and avenge his death. It’s hard to imagine Crota and Oryx having a particularly loving relationship, but Oryx’s anger and willingness to wage war with any entire galaxy to avenge his son makes him one of the top video games dads for sure!
Bowser (Never misses your sporting event) – Mario Bros Series
“The royal Koopa line is strong as ever!”
– King Bowser Koopa
One of the oldest and most iconic villains of all time, Bowser has been a staple in the video game world for over 30 years. From bringing his armies to attack Mushroom Kingdom, to playing every sport imaginable in the popular Mario Sports series, the sinister King Koopa is nearly as synonymous with Nintendo as Mario himself. As the Mario universe continued to expand, Bowser would become a daddy with the introduction of Bowser Junior in Super Mario Sunshine in 2002. Bowser Junior would continue to join his father in future sinister endeavors. Though they can never quite seem to gather all the stars, hold on to a princess, or stop Mario from foiling their plans, their continued hijinks and often hilarious relationship lands Bowser squarely on the list of top video game dads!
John Marston (Back in my day…) – Red Dead Redemption
“Don’t be too eager to grow up. It ain’t as much fun as it looks”
– John Marston
There are many stories about fathers that would do anything for their family, but few of them match the struggles of John Marston in Red Dead Redemption. When his wife and young son are kidnapped, Marston is forced to traverse the American Southwest to find and kill his former band of outlaws in exchange for his family’s’ safety. The entire plot of Red Dead Redemption revolves around John’s attempt to leave his outlaw history behind him, and build a more peaceful future for his family. Though his path to peace is paved by shooting A LOT of people, John’s devotion to his family and his son’s future clearly define him as one of the best video game dads out there! “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed the KontrolFreek Top 5 Video Game Dads! Make sure you remember Father’s Day is June 18, and if your dad is a gamer, give them the gift of better gameplay with KontrolFreek and today is the last day to enter to win in the KontrolFreek Father’s Day Giveaway! If you have a favorite video game dad, leave a comment below and let us know who you think should have made the list!