PlayStation over the years has built a roster of series and characters that feel unique to the brand, and serve as iconic ambassadors to the beloved gaming platform. Sure, some of PlayStation‘s exclusive series has only come to fruition in recent years, but the history of the company has decades of characters to draw on.
From Uncharted to Ratchet & Clank, it’s neat looking back and seeing how these video games and characters sounded and felt at their inception. At this point, people are familiar with who Nathan Drake or Aloy are, but not everyone remembers how they initially introduced themselves to gamers around the globe.
“Hey Jak, old green stuff told us not to come here.” – Daxter
Jak & Daxter are a beloved duo of PlayStation mascots that have fans returning to their trilogy every year. Jak is the playable character and is a silent protagonist in the first game, whereas Daxter is the overly vocal comedic relief, in both human and ottsel form.
Following the narrator introducing players to the world and these two characters, Daxter warns his friend that the wise old guy they never listened to warned them about the island they just landed on. It’s not common that the comic relief character is the one providing guidance and wondering if the pair is making a big mistake.
7/8 Sly Cooper
“Yeah. I read you. Loud and…very loud.”
Most friend groups have a member who is likely a bit more shy and nervous than everyone else. Sometimes these feelings lead to unnatural actions and responses. For the slippery thief known as Sly Cooper, this means that his anxiety-filled turtle friend named Bentley corresponds much louder than he needs to.
The neat thing about this first interaction is that Sly isn’t rude or upset, he responds in a way to let his friend know what he’s doing is a bit much. People don’t know what they’re doing is off-putting unless others properly communicate that that’s the case. Sly handled the situation in a manner that most good friends would and should.
6/8 Ratchet & Clank
- Clank: “Interesting, you’re quite handy with that wrench.”
- Ratchet: “You bet, I built that ship with it.”
These days, the pairing of Ratchet & Clank is viewed as an unbreakable friendship that’s linked at the hip. They didn’t start that way, as the two had a rather awkward introduction to one another. Following his crash landing on a planet following his escape from a robotics factory, Clank is saved by Ratchet and placed in front of the handyman’s home.
As Clank wakes up and takes in his surroundings, his first instinct is to applaud this random person for their work. Ratchet responds confidently and in a way that makes it clear he’s proud of the work he does. This small moment makes it clear why their friendship blossomed so well. Clank understands what Ratchet is capable of, and Ratchet knows that he’s the type of person that can make anything work.
5/8 Joel Miller (The Last Of Us)
“Tommy. Tommy, listen to me. He is the contractor, okay? I can’t lose this job. Let’s talk about it in the morning.”
Joel from The Last of Us can be labeled a number of things, but at his core, he is a protector. The relationship he had with his daughter Sarah is the initial representation of the role he naturally finds himself in and over the course of the game, it also becomes clear with him and Ellie.
His initial phone call with his brother brilliantly showcases two other aspects of Joel as a character. The first is that he’s not perfect, and understands nothing is guaranteed. Secondly, he’d rather talk about an issue at a later time when his mind is clearer, knowing that nothing good comes from overreacting to an unfortunate hand being dealt. Each of these are pivotal reasons why he’s able to survive in the post-apocalypse of The Last of Us.
4/8 Aloy (Horizon Zero Dawn)
Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn is immediately endearing to players as they witness her as a kid being bullied and shunned due to being what they deem to be an outcast. She’s just a little kid wanting to be accepted and included.
The game starts with her ignoring the call of her adopted father, but the first words out of her mouth happen to be a call for help to the one person she trusts: her adopted father. She’s calling for help due to her accidentally slipping into an underground cavern after crying in her hands while running away from the people who harshly shunned her.
3/8 Kratos (God of War)
“The gods of Olympus have abandoned me.”
Kratos in the original God of War trilogy feels like a completely different character from the one presented in 2018’s soft reboot. That trilogy was intentionally edgy as it wanted to showcase a man with nothing else to lose. How could a man overcome the power of gods?
Kratos voices the thoughts that ran through anyone’s mind who experienced unrelenting loss and grief. It’s hard for him to believe in gods when they’re often absent or responsible for the worst things humanity has to experience. He started his journey as a man with no reason to live, and becomes a killing machine almost incapable of dying.
2/8 Ellie Williams (The Last Of Us)
“Get the f@#$ away from her!”
Ellie’s story throughout The Last Of Us is initially one of survival, but over the course of the series, it becomes clear that her life is ultimately defined by violence. In hindsight, this makes her initial appearance quite fitting when she confronts Joel and Tess as they burst into her hideout with an injured Marlene.
Ellie has never been afraid to protect those she cares about, and doesn’t care if she’s outnumbered or out-skilled. She presents herself to Joel as a fighter, and as the two form an unbreakable bond, they both help one another come closer to trusting and loving once again.
1/8 Nathan Drake (Uncharted)
“You make it sound so dirty.”
Nathan Drake, over the course of the Uncharted seriesm grows into a man who is loving and knows what he wants, but he never loses that wry smile and sense of humor. From the beginning, he showcases that he wasn’t beyond making a joke in an uncomfortable scenario.
The original game opens up with him replying to Elena Fisher after she asked if he preferred to defile the remains of his long-dead ancestors. This flirty relationship builds over time into a partnership that results in the birth of their daughter. To think it all started with an inappropriate joke about a dead relative.