Top 10 Character Costumes of the Generation

Assassin's Creed characters

November is only two months away, meaning the next generation of consoles is just around the corner. It’s an exciting time for gamers, as everyone is eagerly awaiting the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. All eyes and attention are looking toward the future.

But gamers should also take this time to reflect on the last eight years of console gaming. The last generation of consoles has done more for the industry than any previous generation. Video gaming went mainstream, yet, toward the end of the generation, we also saw a strong revival of the independent designer and small studios’ independent projects. We also saw some of the coolest character and costume designs… ever.

Let’s explore the ten (well, eleven) best, most awe-inspiring costumes and characters from the seventh console generation: the ones that will stick in the minds of gamers for years to come.


10): Minecraft – Player characters, Steve, just about any creature from Minecraft

Simple, block love is all there is to it. The character design is about as retro as it gets, but that’s the charm. Originally developed for PC, thankfully the 360 saw a version of this crafting-centric game. Minecraft’s character design lends itself to easy cosplay ideas, too!

Portal 2

10) Portal – Chell

Chell isn’t seen very often throughout Portal and Portal 2, but when you do, she has a simple, functional design that is rather unique. Chell’s orange Aperture Jumpsuit and Advanced Knee Replacement components are her signature characteristics and show how the concept that “less is more” can be executed very well.

Mirror's Edge

9) Mirror’s Edge – Faith

Speaking of “less is more,” nothing personifies this expression more beautifully than Faith’s character design in Mirror’s Edge: a cool costume of black and white with splashes of red. Faith stands out, and yet could easily blend in with any metro crowd. The entire overall design of Mirror’s Edge is edgy and artistic but also very beautiful, and Faith is the biggest example of this throughout the game.

Dark Souls

8) Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls – Your own custom character

Demon’s Souls was a new concept combining elements from a number of old ideas. But the characters you create come to life as you trudge across some of the most challenging environments of the last generation. Will you load your character down with heavy plate armor in hopes of being able to absorb one or two more blows? Or do you don the leather armor and trust your evasion skills? Will you play a knight, a rogue, or a wizard? The detail in the armor design is top notch, and lends itself very well to the overall aesthetic appeal of the games, becoming a large part of how you play this game.

Raiden Ripper Mode

7) Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – Raiden

Never has a character seen a more awesome and radical transformation than Raiden from the Metal Gear series. Introduced in Metal Gear Solid 2, Raiden was disliked for his femine looks and moral backbone, but, in MGS4, a drastically different, cyborg ninja Raiden was revealed. Raiden’s character transformation is what really makes the costume design so cool. We know Raiden questioned violence, but he has literally become the thing he hates. Raiden is now violence incarnate. He is a cyborg soldier, and he also reminds players of Gray Fox, the character everyone wanted to play as in Metal Gear Solid but never could.

The Xbox 360 version of The Witcher 2 gets its first developer diary.

6) The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – Geralt of Rivia

This game is just flat-out beautiful. The character design of Geralt followed classic hack ‘n’ slash stereotypes, but it did so with a grace and fluidity that hadn’t been seen before in that genre. If it were the 1980s, Geralt would be the cover art for a fantasy RPG game cartridge, but it’s precisely why his costume and design have so much appeal. Much like Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, Geralt looks like he is right at home in his world, and it’s simple things like this that leave such an impression.

5) Borderlands 2 – Salvador, Maya, Axton, Zer0, Gaige, Krieg, and Handsome Jack

Borderlands had style and a great concept. Borderlands 2 had style, and was so polished it made for hours of looting fun. The cell shaded look and feel of the overly cartoonish characters works perfectly to help shape the development of the story as you battle Handsome Jack, one of the great villains of the generation, for the future of Pandora.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

4) Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Skyrim – playable characters

Elder Scrolls is an older series, but the latest additions in the series have thrust this RPG series to the masses. Oblivion was a large reason the then-next-gen systems started so strongly and Skyrim was the polished swan song of the generation for Bethesda. The armor details of characters are top notch in both games, and the series is one of the best at using in-game cultures, backstory, and world-building storytelling to justify the design of outfits and armor. The horned, iron helmet from Skyrim is just awesome! Too bad it wasn’t more defensive.


3) BioShock and BioShock Infinite – Big Daddies and Booker DeWitt

BioShock introduced a different look and a different style of play and storytelling to the FPS genre. Big Daddies are instant reminders of the changes BioShock brought to the gaming world, and examples of enemy characters that can instill fear with just their look alone. With heavy diving gear and armor, Big Daddies look menacing and difficult to overcome. As for Booker, from BioShock Infinite, we see the best elements of early 20th century fashion integrated with popular steampunk culture. The combination results in an outfit that is classic and timeless.

Mass Effect

2) Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3 – Shepard and his party

Mass Effect games are some of the best at immersing players in a wondrous universe filled with aliens and advanced technology. Elder Scrolls games implement design supported by culture and backstory; Mass Effect games take this to the next level by incorporating race-specific armor and design that embodies each different type of character players encounter throughout the adventure. Shepard’s N7 armor signifies the epitome of functional, simplistic, interstellar armor design. Borrowing from traditional armor and infusing it with futuristic textures and believable technology, the Mass Effect series sets itself apart in the design department.

Assassin's Creed

1) Assassin’s Creed series – Altair, Ezio, and Connor

Arguably the most iconic costume designs of the last generation of consoles come from the Assassin’s Creed series. Borrowing from elements of historical garments and blending them convincingly to create the image of a deadly, calculated assassin is what this series does best. Also, it’s no coincidence that players cannot see the face of the character as you play; this helps players feel like they’re taking on the persona of the Assassin they’re controlling. Nothing is more fun than continuing this series as players progress through different periods in history, taking on roles of individuals whose looks embody the eras in which they’re based.


Written by Robert Browne,


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