Since Father’s Day is meant to honor and celebrate fatherhood, it is only right that we take the time to remember the most important fathers in the video game artform with this list of the 10 Best Dads of Gaming. Biological or not, father figures can play a keen influence on the interpretation of a character. Traditionally, a good father will produce good offspring (and vice versa), but we have started to see games change this dynamic over the past two decades. Many of these dads are overlooked in their actions, whether it is getting a character ready to go out into the world, or saving it completely. Today, we pay homage to the 10 Best Dads of Gaming.
Mike Haggar – Final Fight Series
In any other city, if you kidnap the mayor’s daughter, you deal with the police force. In Metro City, the mayor beats the crap out of you.
Barret Wallace – Final Fantasy 7
Barret’s devotion to Marlene, his adoptive daughter, throughout his anti-Shinra adventures in Midgar, is unparalleled. His reaction to her alleged death in Sector 7 is unforgettable in its abundance of machine gun fire and cursing.
Delta – Bioshock 2
The big daddy of Big Daddies, Delta trekked throughout Rapture and put the final say in the age-old argument of, “My dad can beat up your dad!”
James – Fallout 3
In one of the most unique opening sequences in the history of gaming, James is the first face the newborn wanderer sees as he brings you into the world. He also throws an awesome birthday party and can make a really clean cup of water. He happens to be voiced by Mr., “Where is my wife and daughter?” himself, Liam Neeson.
Harry Mason – Silent Hill 1 & 3
Harry Mason literally went through the hell in Silent Hill in order to find his daughter, Cheryl. His untimely fate in Silent Hill 3 shows that he loved his daughter more than anything in the world.
Lee Everett – The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)
Fatherhood does not require a biological link. Handcuffed by fate, everything that Lee did throughout The Walking Dead was for Clementine.
Dr. Light – Mega Man Series
When Dr. Thomas Light found out he was unable to have children, he focused on robotics in order to create the family that he could never have. Light’s care for his creations expanded well beyond Rock, Roll, and Rush, as seen in his post-mortem appearances in the X series.
Big Boss – Metal Gear Series
Big Boss and his cloned son, Solid Snake, may have fought to the death on multiple occasions, but that doesn’t mean that Naked Snake’s last redemptive feat of fatherhood and righting his wrongs were forgotten. We are counting down the months until we can play as Punished Snake!
John Marston – Red Dead Redemption
Not only did John Marston teach his son how to survive during the latter-end of Red Dead, he also killed all the members of his old posse in order to liberate his wife and son from the clutches of the government. We will never forget that barn scene.
Bowser – Super Mario Bros. Series
Some fathers spoil their children, but this one lets them fly his airship, command parts of his army, and gave them castles scattered across the Mushroom Kingdom.
BONUS ENTRY: Joel – The Last of Us
In one of the most shocking intro sequences ever made, we see how devoted and loving Joel was in regards to his daughter. 20 years later, we see that the breakdown of society has warped Joel into being the ultimate survivor, trying to live regardless of cost. His ventures with Ellie rekindle the fires of fatherhood and we see the coexistence of both the father and the survivor within Joel develop.