Video games have had no shortage of adorable characters over the years. Whether they’re playable protagonists, villains, or friends, we can’t help but fall in love with them! Today, we’re going to focus on the cutest boys in gaming history. To make it onto the list, a character needs to have the perfect balance of childlike charm and a certain masculine magnetism that can grab the older audience’s attention too. So channel your inner squealing teenage girl and join us as we countdown the top 10 cute boys in gaming!
10. K.K. Slider from Animal Crossing (Doubutsu no Mori+)
Who doesn’t love a guy who serenades you with his guitar when you’re feeling down? K.K. Slider from the Animal Crossing series is a traveling musician dog who rolls into town every Saturday night after 8:00pm to play whatever tune you request of him. Our favorite appearance of his is in the DS title Wild World, where K.K. Slider’s concert takes place in the local coffee shop shortly after closing and it’s just you, K.K., and the stoic shop owner sharing a quiet moment at the end of a long week. K.K. Slider, whose Japanese name is Totakeke, is based on longtime Nintendo composer and sound director Kazumi Totaka. The most obvious inspiration taken from Totaka is K.K. Slider’s large black eyebrows, which elevate him from a normal dog to a cool cat who knows what’s good. Take a souvenir CD to play in your house and think of that evening at the coffee shop whenever you hear it. That’s the magic of music.
9. Sackboy from LittleBigPlanet
Sackboy may look like just a regular plush toy (with visible crooked stitching and everything), but look closer and you’ll find that he’s stuffed full of personality. The star of LittleBigPlanet gallivants around his colorful 3D world with a mischievous smile on his face, always looking for something new to play with. He has loads of costumes to try on, an array of friends to accompany him, and endless amounts of user-generated worlds to explore. This walking ball of wool doesn’t have much masculinity to him, since he’s essentially a genderless cartoon character, but Sackboy’s Bugs Bunny-like wit and silliness give him a unique edge that nudges him onto this list. When you need a dose of lighthearted anarchy in the form of a stuffed animal, Sackboy’s got you covered.
8. Papyrus from Undertale
Undertale quickly became a smash hit when it debuted back in 2015 thanks to its innovative gameplay, inviting retro style, and colorful cast of characters. One of the standouts was Papyrus, a skeletal sweetheart who desperately wants to capture a human so he can be part of the royal guard. He’s technically a villain, but you can actually hang out/go on a date with him since Undertale allows you to befriend your enemies. Papyrus is quite childish in an endearing sort of way. He has a huge ego, sleeps in a race car bed, and has a bizarre obsession with spaghetti. But despite this, he’s so sweet and caring that he’ll never kill the player no matter how ruthless you act towards him. He’ll stick with you for the whole journey, just a cell phone call away, to help you out. Skeletons aren’t normally this cute, but when it’s Papyrus, we can’t help but smile.
7. Mega Man from Mega Man (Rockman)
Mega Man has had so many different incarnations over the years that we couldn’t choose which one we liked best. So we just chose all of them! But luckily, Mega Man Volnutt, X, .exe, and all of the others are pretty similar in terms of personality. In general, Mega Man is a robot who acts like a confident young boy. He has a strong sense of right and wrong and can use the signature powers of any other robot once he’s defeated them. He’s like an adorable bright blue swiss army knife... with guns! It’s no surprise that Mega Man is partially based on Astro Boy, one of the most successful early anime characters. The Disney-esque rounded design with large eyes gives Mega Man an innocent demeanor that distracts from how he’s got such massive firepower that he could level a city if he wasn’t programmed to be a nice guy. It worked for Astro Boy and it works for us! Mega Man is mega cute. Just don’t get on his bad side...
6. Sly Cooper from Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
For those of us who grew up during the Playstation 2 era, Sly Cooper was a popular choice for a first gaming crush. He’s a suave gentleman thief who has a knack for cracking jokes and always keeps his cool no matter what surprises come his way. Backed up by his intrepid team and his feisty girlfriend Carmelita Fox, Sly sets out on quests to steal back priceless items from the clutches of honorless fiends. Sly’s roguish charm and devotion to vigilante justice paints him as a sort of cutesy alternative to Indiana Jones (or Nathan Drake, to use a more medium-appropriate example). Especially in the first game, his design is intentionally cartoonish and unthreatening, so you’re free to adore this morally (and literally) grey raccoon as much as you’d like.
5. Garrus from Mass Effect
He looks like a giant lizard, but his voice is as gentle as a cat’s gentle purr. He’s trained all his life to be a perfect fighting machine, but always finds time for a joke. He’s Garrus, the cutest man in Mass Effect. Luckily, he’s present in every game and romanceable in two of them, so you can join him in “running some calibrations” if you play as a female character. Garrus, like many of the members of your crew in the Mass Effect series, has a checkered past and just wants to get through this mission alive. Nevertheless, he keeps upbeat in his own way, teasing Tali and others while tending to his own responsibilities as perfectly as possible. This talkative and tender turian proves that you don’t need to look traditionally cute as long as your personality makes up for it.
4. Gladion from Pokémon Sun and Moon
What was the best thing to come out of Pokémon Sun and Moon? Alolan Exeggutor? Nah. The first ghost-type starter evolution? Not quite. Ya boi Guzma? ...Okay, that’s a close second. But above anything else, the greatest gift bestowed unto us from the Pokégods in November of 2016 was none other than everyone’s favorite angsty son and meme machine – Gladion. You can almost see the Simple Plan lyrics typed on his MySpace page or the artistically ripped Linkin Park shirt he hides from his mom. His intense theme song, ridiculous hairstyle, and Dutch angle scowling/hand clenching is almost too much, but it all balances out to make Gladion an adorable character who really needs a hug (and maybe some hair conditioner). Despite his emo tsundere persona, he actually cares deeply about both his Pokémon and his sister Lillie. When he finally ensures their safety, that rare moment of happiness is enough to melt our hearts. Who knew such an angst-filled troubled teen could be so cute?
3. Wheatley from Portal 2
In a similar vein to Garrus, Wheatley’s high status on this list is proof that looks aren’t everything when it comes to cuteness. He’s essentially a sentient robotic eyeball that follows you around for the majority of Portal 2, trying to help you with puzzles and maneuvering your way out of the ruined facility. He’s voiced by comedian Stephen Merchant, whose English West Country accent makes Wheatley’s dimwitted behavior sound endearing and almost authoritative to American ears. In fact, Wheatley is so impossible to dislike that he remains that way even when he (spoiler alert for a 7-year-old game) turns evil part-way through the story! He gets drunk on GLaDOS’s stolen power and attempts to trap you inside Aperture Science’s headquarters forever, but still goes about it in his same dopey, silly way. We know he tries to kill you and everything, but we still think it’s a shame he had to end up banished to the Moon with the hyperactive Space Core until the end of time.
2. Sora from Kingdom Hearts
How is it possible that a game combining classic Disney characters and the wild world of Final Fantasy could be so monumentally successful? It makes no sense, and yet here we are. Sora, the main character designed specifically for the Kingdom Hearts series, is our number two pick for the cutest boy in video gaming history. His design combines the best aspects of Western cartoon cuteness and Japanese bishounen dreaminess to create a fun and charismatic character we can’t get enough of. We couldn’t begin to rattle off every detail of his ludicrously complicated backstory, but we can say that Sora possesses a strong heart and does all he can to protect everyone he meets from the forces of evil. But deep down, he really just wants to reunite with his childhood friends Kairi and Riku, one or both of whom he may have romantic feelings for. And if Kingdom Hearts III ever actually comes out, we’ll finally know if that comes true. For now, though, we can only dream.
1. Link from The Legend of Zelda (Zelda no Densetsu)
Who else could’ve taken the number one spot other than the quintessential hero of Hyrule himself? No video game character has the same combination of boyish cinnamon roll cuteness and dashing masculine aura that Link has established over the decades. Throughout his many child and adult incarnations, Link has always been a lone adventurer with a heart of gold, seeking to rid the world of evil and protect his own humble way of life. The cutest versions of Link, at least in our opinion, are in Breath of the Wild and Wind Waker. BotW Link is perhaps the most feminine looking of the bunch, and not just because he can dress up in a sexy Gerudo outfit to sneak among the all-female tribe’s ranks. And the surprisingly expressive WW Link warms our heart with his devotion to his family, and never fails to crack us up with his sassy side-glances at whatever catches his attention. No matter what kind of cuteness you’re looking for, Link is guaranteed to satisfy.
Cuteness is in the eye of the beholder, it’s true. Throughout our list, we’ve chosen a wide variety of characters who we feel represent the cutest boys that video gaming has to offer. Do you prefer cuddly types like Sackboy, tsunderes like Gladion and Wheatley, pretty boys like Sora and Link, or wildcards like K.K. Slider and Garrus? What kinds of cute characters did we miss? Did we pick any of your personal favorites? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!
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