10 Most Iconic PlayStation Studios Heroes, Ranked

Kratos from God Of War 2018, Sackboy from LittleBigPlanet, and Jin Sakai from Ghost of Tsushima

While Nintendo might have the most recognizable stable of characters and IP in all of video games, Sony is not far behind. In 2020, Sony formed PlayStation Studios as a collective for all their game studios. As a result, the PlayStation-exclusive characters created by those studios were all gathered under one banner.

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This menagerie of iconic characters runs the gamut from fun and family-friendly to dark and mature. This impressive collection of diverse personalities, appearances, and abilities all contribute to establishing PlayStation Studios’ unique identity in a crowded market. While there are many lovable PlayStation heroes, a handful deserve special mention.



10 Selene Vassos (Returnal)

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Returnal might be a relative newcomer to PlayStation Studios, but it has made an impression with its deep story, fantastic art direction, and roguelike elements. As the main character of this beloved game, Selene Vassos has earned her seat at the table with the other PlayStation heroes. Few can say they’ve experienced death as often as her.

When investigating a mysterious signal, Selene crashes her spaceship on an alien planet inhabited by hostile monsters. If she is killed while exploring the planet, she then wakes up in the middle of her crash landing. This strange death loop is only the first domino in Selene’s compelling adventure.

9 Astro Bot (Astro Bot)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>An official screenshot from Astro's Playroom; Astro Bot running from enemies.

If any PlayStation character has a chance of becoming the console’s cute, family-friendly mascot, it’s probably Astro Bot. First appearing in the Robot Rescue minigame in The Playroom VR, Astro became so popular that he got his own VR game, Astro Bot Rescue Mission. He then starred in Astro’s Playroom, a tech demo bundled with every PlayStation 5.

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Gamers love cute things and robots, and Astro became very popular for being both. Astro’s Playroom was similarly loved for being both a fun platformer and a touching love letter to all things PlayStation. There are many gamers who would love to see Astro become PlayStation’s answer to Mario.

8 Sackboy (LittleBigPlanet)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>LittleBigPlanet Sackboy sitting on a globe.

Another contender for PlayStation’s adorable platforming mascot, Sackboy, made his first appearance in LittleBigPlanet. While he and the game were first intended to be blank slates for player customization, he has recently come into his own as a character in his own right. He had the starring role in the story-based Sackboy: A Big Adventure, which gave his world more lore than ever.

Sackboy’s cute appearance and heroic nature have endeared him to many fans. While he can still be customized to suit player preference, many fans love him just the way he is. With his presence in both platforming and kart racing games, he is seen as another contender for PlayStation’s Mario.

7 Jin Sakai (Ghost Of Tsushima)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Jin Sakai in a field in Ghost of Tsushima.

Set during the Mongol invasion of Japan, Ghost Of Tsushima stars Jin Sakai. As one of the few samurai who survived the invasion of Tsushima Island, Jin is caught between his honor as a samurai and his need to protect his people from the invaders. After realizing that traditional tactics don’t work, Jin begins adopting more underhanded methods.

These methods make him both a monster and a folk hero in the eyes of the people, who dub him the Ghost of Tsushima. Jin is a fascinating character in that he is extremely kind, thoughtful, and gentle to almost everyone he meets. But he is also a master swordsman who is capable of brutally beheading anyone who threatens his people.

6 Aloy (Horizon)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Aloy in Horizon Forbidden West holding a bow and a dagger.

The protagonist of the Horizon series, Aloy, was born in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by gigantic killer machines. In this dangerous world, Aloy uses her bow, spear, stealth abilities, various gadgets, and sharp wits to survive. She can also override the programming of some machines to make them fight for her.

With her striking appearance, impressive skillset, and incredible setting, Aloy is one of the more popular characters in modern PlayStation games. Fighting animal-shaped robots is a persistent fantasy among gamers, and Aloy helps them live it. As the hero of a compelling story through a fascinating world, Aloy is a beloved character in PlayStation’s lineup.

5 Ratchet (Ratchet & Clank)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ratchet talking in Ratchet & Clank - Rift Apart.

The more action-oriented half of the Ratchet & Clank duo, Ratchet is one of the last few remaining Lombaxes in the universe. Teaming up with the little robot Clank, Ratchet fights various villains in his adventures. Being a mechanic, Ratchet uses various gadgets, impossible weaponry, and his trusty Omni-Wrench to save the day.

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Though he started the series as a bit of a jerk, Ratchet has gone through an incredible amount of character development since then. Though Clank is still the voice of reason of the two, Ratchet has grown into a selfless hero. This journey, combined with his series’ wild and wacky gameplay, makes him a PlayStation staple.

4 Joel Miller (The Last Of Us)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Joel Miller from The Last Of Us grimacing.

Joel Miller was a simple family man until his life was tragically upended by a world-changing fungal outbreak. Faced with The Last Of Us‘ nightmarish zombie apocalypse, Joel resorted to dark methods in order to survive. Though his personality is darker than a traditional hero’s, Joel is still a protector at heart.

Joel’s complicated but ultimately good nature made him a hit with The Last Of Us players. His relationship with Ellie brought out a more loving side that he thought he had lost, but he’s still willing to perform morally-questionable acts to protect the ones he loves. He’s an imperfect hero for an imperfect world.

3 Ellie Williams (The Last Of Us)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ellie plays her guitar in a forest in key art for The Last of Us Part II.

Though she began The Last Of Us series as Joel’s sidekick, Ellie Williams grew into a protagonist in her own right and was the lead character of The Last Of Us: Part II. Being a child born into the post-outbreak world, Ellie is at the same time childish and willing to accept harsh realities. This mix makes her a compelling character with plenty of fans.

Since she started as a companion to the player, gamers grew attached to Ellie and became just as protective of her as Joel was. When she became a protagonist, those gamers welcomed her with open arms. Ellie’s fascinating journey and complex personality make her one of PlayStation’s most iconic heroes.

2 Nathan Drake (Uncharted)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Nathan Drake pointing a gun in front of an explosive action background in Uncharted.

In 2007, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune took the video game world by storm with its sharp script, incredibly cinematic story, and lovable characters. While less uncommon now, Uncharted started a revolution by showing the world that games could be a tool for cinematic storytelling. But it wouldn’t have been half as successful without the charming Nathan Drake.

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Nate came across as a younger and hipper Indiana Jones, always ready with a smart-ass quip or a bevy of historical knowledge. His status as a thief makes him a lot more morally ambiguous than most heroes, but he always does the right thing when the chips are down. With his hilarious one-liners and adventuring skills, Nate has become a classic PlayStation hero.

1 Kratos (God Of War)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Kratos from the God Of War reveal at E3 2016.

Perhaps the only thing keeping God Of War‘s Kratos from being PlayStation’s de-facto mascot is the blood-soaked nature of his games. Kratos is an incredibly powerful character, wielding many powerful weapons and magics to kill horrifying monsters and the Gods themselves. But what makes Kratos PlayStation’s greatest character is his incredible character development.

In what is probably one of the best slow-burn character arcs in all of fiction, Kratos has gone from being obsessed with revenge to being a selfless hero. Told over 17 years, the story of Kratos’ transformation never once felt forced or rushed. The strength of his story, combined with his literal strength, makes him the greatest of Playstation Studios’ heroes.

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