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Top Ten Tuesdays: Videogame Voice Actors

Felix Kemp
David Hayter, Features, Nolan North, Top Ten, Top Ten Tuesdays

It's not long before videogames make the leap beyond the so-called 'Uncanny Valley' and enter the realm of true drama, with the likes of Red Dead and Heavy Rain utilizing advanced mo-cop and lip-sync to startling realistic effect. Technology continues to advance at such a rampant rate, Pixar-quality animation isn't an impossibility, it's an inevitability.

We're not lacking in the audio department, however, with a roster of recognised screen, radio and theater actors breathing life into our pixellated puppets. And so, in honor of their craft, we at Dealspwn have collated a list of the ten best voice-actors to lend their vocal charms. So, read on, for the Top 10 Videogame Voice-Actors.

10. Billy Murray (Captain Price)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Videogame Voice Actors

Finally, an American-produced title with an English character sans that 'quintessentially British' accent the Yanks love, and we detest. Price is a great character, and Murray, best remembered as Eastenders crook Johnny Allen, lends a soft, likable edge to the grizzled veteran. I can't help but impersonate him when requesting a bar of alkaline-treated hydrolyzed vegetable oil. Soap. Geddit?

9. Jodie Forrest (Jade)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Videogame Voice Actors

The name might not be familiar, but the voice of Jade, Beyond Good and Evil's intrepid photojournalist, most certainly is. Jade was a fun, lovable character, brave and bold in equal measure, and Forrest imbues her with a charm and wit we don't often see in female protagonists. We hope if the Beyond Good and Evil sequel does materialize, in whatever form, Forrest isn't overlooked for a return.

8. Michael McConnohie (Voice of the Agency)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Videogame Voice Actors

The Voice of the Agency, Michael McConnohie, is a prolific voice actor, having lent his reassuring baritone to over 170 English language dubs, according to Wikipedia. Your omnipresent companion never shows his face, but is always at your side to offer advice, often when stuff is blowing up. "Agent, I'm warning you..." Oh, Michael, you and your harmless threats. I'm a superpowered monstrosity of nature, what could your inept police force possibly do?

7. Jen Taylor (Cortana)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Videogame Voice Actors

Despite being a respected theater actress, Jen Taylor is best known as the glittering blue AI hologram, Cortana. Smart, sassy and with a keen wit we don't usually expect from silicon-based entities, Taylor totally sold the character to us, and added a touching slant to her relationship with the Chief, a man who often felt less human than her, a machine. Aw.

6. Brian Cox (Scolar Visari)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Videogame Voice Actors

Either Killzone 2 was written by two separate scribes with differing talents, or the sole writer in charge, when he wasn't penning Visari's epic monologues, endured extreme bouts of mental-degradation conjuring the brainless infantry dialogue. It's such hilarious juxtaposition, listening to Cox's commanding voice, just as Rico utters yet another profanity-laden utterance that passes for plot exposition. It's like watching The Wire and Hollyoaks in the same room.

5. David Hayter (Solid Snake)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Videogame Voice Actors

Hayter's gruff, coarse, so-gravelly-stones-should-be-spitting-from-his-mouth performance as Solid Snake is a fan-favourite. He also voices Big Boss, who is pretty much the same guy, only a clonal forefather, if I'm following the MGS saga's convoluted plot correctly. Hayter is also an accomplished screenwriter, having penned the first X-Men and Watchmen films. He pitched an MGS script to the Konami brass, too, but was rejected. Pity.

4. Steve Downes (Master Chief)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Videogame Voice Actors

"I need a weapon". No man, be him cyborg, super-soldier of whatever else, can pull off this line like Steve Downes, the Master Chief himself. The Chief's dialogue across the entirety of the Halo trilogy would barely fit an A4 page, but Downes ensured each and every line filtered through MJOLNIR's comm systems was a stirring experience. He's a disc jockey, too. Cool.

3. Nolan North (Nathan Drake)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Videogame Voice Actors

Nolan North's resume is staggering. Check his Wiki page for the videogame credits alone. However, his role as Uncharted's thieving rogue, Nathan Drake, propelled him into the mainstream. Now, he's in just about everything. Whenever a game needs an everyman hero with a sly sense of humour, Nolan North's phone rings. With the theme to Uncharted, I expect. Or Bad Cops.

2. Martin Sheen (The Illusive Man)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Videogame Voice Actors

Sheen's role as the chain-smoking Illusive Man was the highlight of Mass Effect 2. We've come to expect terrific vocal performances from Bioware's cast, but the Illusive Man was something else. It's not just the knowledge that it's Martin Sheen, an actor so good I forgive him for siring Charlie Sheen. It's the entire performance; calm, assured, but with a lurking menace. Like a coiled spring, primed to strike.

1. Armin Shimerman (Andrew Ryan)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Videogame Voice Actors

I had to dig deep to find the voice responsible for bringing life to Rapture's larger than life creator. Armin Shimerman, perhaps best known for Star Trek and Buffy. Andrew Ryan is, in my opinion, a monument to character design, our proverbial Citizen Kane. It's quite amazing to hear the snide, slimy principal from Buffy as Rapture's despotic ideologue. "A man, chooses. A slave, obeys." Indeed.

Who's your favourite voice actor to lend their vocal charms to our budding industry? As always, sign off in the comments below!

Add a comment35 comments
Matt Gardner  Nov. 9, 2010 at 13:21

I think Michael Ironside's Sam Fisher would have to make the list for me too...

...and Mark Hamill in Anything He's Ever Done

...otherwise, cracking list :D

Alan  Nov. 9, 2010 at 13:52

Andrew Ryan is Principle Snyder from Buffy??? Amazing.

What about the voice actors from Half-Life 2, Leonard Nimoy's narration for Civ IV or the Final Fantasy XIII cast (great voice actors reading awful dialogue) as some alternative picks?

Dave  Nov. 9, 2010 at 14:06

I was expecting Michael Ironside (Sam Fisher) to be at No.1 & am shocked his not even in the top 10!

ODB  Nov. 9, 2010 at 14:16

2 things

1st - you need to have Keith David in that list purely due to the amount of work hes done both with films and games and being a reconisable voice. Also he was in Platoon! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_David

2nd - Charlie Sheen was in Platoon...therefore complete legend, even if he is a complete mental now

Didnt realise Johnny Allen was Capt. price though...still cant see it lol

Ark  Nov. 9, 2010 at 14:20

Ramirez! Take out that AC-130 with your throwing knife, then reject their lies! Rebel! Or all your hives will parish!

Gunn  Nov. 9, 2010 at 14:38

Always been impressed by the VA that were used in Kingdom Hearts. Billy Zane and Christopher Lee are the ones that stand out for me since they were not Disney or Square related VA for their own characters.

Reigen  Nov. 9, 2010 at 14:53

lol xD
this list is hilarious


Matthew  Nov. 9, 2010 at 15:08

Sorry Dealspwn, but for me at least, no voice actors from LucasArts adventures = not really a comprehensive list.

Matt Gardner  Nov. 9, 2010 at 15:14

Keith David = Utter Legend!

And, following on from last night's Twitter discussion of whether or not Lux Aeterna would be suitable for FPS setpieces...he's also in MW2 and Requiem For A dream too.

Bob  Nov. 9, 2010 at 15:20

Jesus christ this list is bad

TaylorMade  Nov. 9, 2010 at 15:22

What about god of war kratos

HeavY  Nov. 9, 2010 at 15:28

What the hell???? Where is Kratos????

Spark  Nov. 9, 2010 at 15:34

Why is Jennifer Hale not included in this?

Leo  Nov. 9, 2010 at 15:35

No Claudia Black or Mark Hamil? :(

Simisan  Nov. 9, 2010 at 15:37

What about Mark Hamill's Joker in Batman: AA?
Terrible list.

ODB  Nov. 9, 2010 at 16:04

I see the comp has brought in a fair few new people to Dealspwn!

Snake  Nov. 9, 2010 at 17:26

yeah, she's one of the best. Heck, she was definitely the best in Mass Effect. Don't know how 'the illusive man' makes it in.

haha  Nov. 9, 2010 at 18:00

racist list
where the fuck is Keith David? voice of the arbiter and much more

direx  Nov. 9, 2010 at 18:21

Andrew Ryan, Dr. Nefarious from Ratchet, and Raz's dad, Augustus, from Psychonauts. Quark DS9 FTW! Armin Shimerman FTW!:D Some other credits... Resistance: FoM, GOW II, Mass Efect 1/2, Onimusha 3.

And a little fact... Clank from R&C is Nathan Hale from Resistance: FoM/2 - David Kaye.

Felix Kemp  Nov. 9, 2010 at 18:36

Shouting at someone.

Felix Kemp  Nov. 9, 2010 at 18:36

It's the lack of Mark Hamill on the list. An oversight I sincerely regret :(

Brendy  Nov. 9, 2010 at 20:33

Yes! Michael Ironside should have been on the list without a doubt!

Celes  Nov. 9, 2010 at 20:35

No Robin Atkin Downes? No Cam Clarke? No Keith David? So many missing amazing voice actors not listed. Jamieson Price is another great voice actor, and Cristina Valenzuela. Oh wells, I can respect this list to a point.

qwertyuiop  Nov. 9, 2010 at 20:46

Question: Was this the top 10 list according to Felix or not?

Jodie Forrest? WHO?

Michael McConnohie? WHO? (now that I realize who he is thanks to this dreadful list I have an even greater reason to disagree with it - his voice grated on me so much that it ruined the original Crackdown for me and of course I didn't bother with the shameful follow-up either. If I hear another single person utter the words 'skills for kills, agent' just once more I will make it one of my life's goals to track him down and remove that which earned him the role in the first god damn place!

Where is Dominic Armato? Where is Earl Boen? Where is Charles Martinet? Where are god knows how many other actors who need a place on this list over a good portion of it's current inhabitants.

And you people STILL deem yourselves gamers? Hang your heads in shame!

TheCreSta  Nov. 9, 2010 at 21:17

John Marston! Where's John-god-damn-Marston?!!


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