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Top Ten Tuesdays | Pirates in Video Games

Matt Gardner
Best Gaming Pirates, Metroid, Monkey Island, Pirates, Pirates in Video Games, Sid Meier's Pirates!, Skies of Arcadia, Top Ten, Top Ten Tuesdays

Top Ten Tuesdays | Pirates in Video Games

Our Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag review is running a little late, but in the interim here's a rundown of ten of the best pirates you'll find in video games. As always, let us know if you think we've made any glaring omissions in the comments box at the end.

10. Romulus Slag

Top Ten Tuesdays | Pirates in Video Games

Hooks are only really good for opening tin cans, catching fish, and rock climbing. But Romulus Slag has hands that can transform into hammers as well as hooks, and he can forge himself a naval grog mug that'll give him the ability to breathe fire.

A master of sea shanties, his first-mate Rusty Pete eventually opens a school for piracy.

9. Zack

Top Ten Tuesdays | Pirates in Video Games

Who needs a parrot as a sidekick when you have an enchanted monkey on hand? Certainly not Zack, who lit up the Wii with a devlishly smart platformer that was suitably stuffed with booty.

8. Cervantes de Leon

Top Ten Tuesdays | Pirates in Video Games

A pirate captain turned into a ghost and then reanimated by a magical evil sword, Cervantes has had a turbulent life. He also has a sword with a gun in the cross-guard. And he can teleport. Just the best character in the SoulCalibur universe, apart from Necrid.

In any case, Ivy's dad is a bit of a badass.

7. Balthier

Top Ten Tuesdays | Pirates in Video Games

The first of the sky pirates to make this list, Balthier was pretty much James-Bond-meets-Han-Solo in a Final Fantasy game. Not only was he a badass British daredevil pilot, but he managed to just about salvage FFXII from the vacuous inanity of its dull protagonist Vaan. Armed with terrific one liners and throwaway remarks, Balthier even had a trusty Chewbacca-esque companion, even if she was a 7ft-tall bunny girl who seemed to hate wearing clothes.

6. LeChuck

Top Ten Tuesdays | Pirates in Video Games

LeChuck is probably the most stereotypical ARGH ME HEARTIES! type of pirate to be found on this list. But then again, he's also impossible to kill (whether human, ghost, zombie, fire demon -- he just keeps coming back for more) and all of his nefarious activities are really just pursuits of love for Elaine. A warped, twisted, undead sort of love, but love nonetheless.

5. Aika

Top Ten Tuesdays | Pirates in Video Games

Man, Skies of Arcadia was awesome.The reason I've plumped for Aika over Vyse here is simple: hers is a more stereotypical piratical story, and we already have someone on this list who fights with two cutlasses. The orphan-turned-Blue-Rogue sky pirate is fiercely loyal to her crew and obsessed with treasure, so that helps.

She's the only pirate on this list who likes to kick butt with a giant boomerang too.

4. Tetra

Top Ten Tuesdays | Pirates in Video Games

One of the best things about The Wind Waker was the fact that Nintendo finally started to flip the whole damsel-in-distress thing on its head. As such, it was great to see that the manifestation of Zelda in this game came in the form of a plucky pirate captain named Tetra. Strong, brave, in charge of a motley crew, and in possession of a much bigger ship than Link's, Tetra is one of the reasons that were glad The Wind Waker is back in our lives on Wii U.

3. Ridley

Top Ten Tuesdays | Pirates in Video Games

The leader of the Space Pirates and a constant thorn in Samus' side, Ridley completely destroyed Samus' home planet and constantly pops up throughout the Metroid series to be a bit of a nuisance.

He's also an enormous, purple, pretty fugly, fireball-spitting dragon. Not your traditional pirate, no, but certainly one of the most memorable to grace the industry.

2. Guybrush Threepwood

Top Ten Tuesdays | Pirates in Video Games

Many would place Guybrush at #1, and we'd have absolutely no problem with that. He constantly gets the best of his undead nemesis, is a master thief (a highly-prized asset among pirates), and can just about take anyone down in a battle when it comes to insult sword fighting. He's even got the t-shirt to prove it.

Armed with rapier-like wit, a nose for curiosity, The Monkey Island star is, by his own proclamation, a "mighty pirate" indeed.

1. YOU!

Top Ten Tuesdays | Pirates in Video Games

Given that Sid Meier's Pirates! is still the best game about pirates to be found out there on the virtual high seas, the best pirate in video games is you, dear reader. Starting out with nothing, venturing forth in the waters of the Caribbean blue, chasing down Spanish frigates and nippy sloops, assisting various colonial powers for a bit of gold and chance at advancement. This was a game in which you could happily live out your piratical fantasies, taking down luminaries who sailed under the black flag as you made a name for yourself in the Tropics, and became the most feared name on the high seas.

Add a comment5 comments
stevenjameshyde  Oct. 29, 2013 at 15:26

Anyone remember Overboard! on PS1? I'd be surprised if AC4 gets anywhere near it's majestic piratical simplicity. Also, the pirate outfit on Costume Quest was full of win

Late  Oct. 29, 2013 at 15:45

Does Vaas count as a pirate?
I think he does, though you don't see him on the high seas...
Fantastic character. :D

ChrisHyde  Oct. 29, 2013 at 15:46

Would never have thought about Space Pirates! Good call.

Was thinking as I was reading of Cervantes, Guybrush and Vyse, and you've got them all covered (sort of) so consider me fully on board with this.

AAARRGH! *dons parrot*

JonLester  Oct. 29, 2013 at 18:53

Nice Skies Of Arcadia shout-out. Utterly superb game, and awesome air pirates.

I'd give an honourable mention to either Luffy, Zoro or Smoker from One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 - though they were manga/anime characters before they got a videogame. Plus they're arguably not very good pirates. Especially Smoker, who's not even a pirate. Actually forget it.

Either way, glad to see Risen 2 didn't come anywhere near this list. Does this count? ;) http://www.dealspwn.com/pirate-digitanks-protest-sopa-89719

Last edited by JonLester, Oct. 29, 2013 at 18:56
SavageDonkey  Oct. 29, 2013 at 19:50

Proving Dealspwn have got no class ;) ... what about Dancis Frake? He would be in my top ten with Guybrush number 1.

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