Earlier this week, Nintendo made an announcement that shook middle-aged video game enthusiasts to our very core – Charles Martinet, the beloved voice actor who provided the voice of Mario since 1994, will no longer be the voice for the mustachioed plumber.
While this might not come as a surprise to fans with super hearing who thought Mario sounded different in the debut trailer for the upcoming Super Mario Bros. Wonder, I personally was shocked and saddened to hear this news. Yes, Mario is a character who speaks only in short blurbs (in video games, that is), and yes, the character will endure long after Martinet passes, but this change is a true end of an era.
Childhood-crumbling announcements aside, this announcement has reignited the timeless debate: who deserves the crown of the best video game voice actor in history?
Charles Martinet’s legacy notwithstanding, you can’t have a discussion about video game voices without discussing the legendary Mark Hamill. Known not just as Luke Skywalker but also as the Clown Prince of Crime itself, the Joker, in the groundbreaking Arkham series of games. Hamill’s ability to switch between heroism and malevolence is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Perhaps you are partial to Jennifer Hale, best known for her portrayal of Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect series. The depth and versatility she brings to each role is a standard to which most video game voice actors should be judged against.
Another contender for the throne is Nolan North, who effortlessly oscillates between wit and charm as seen with his portrayal of Nathan Drake to his very real and vulnerable performance as Desmond Miles.
And we can’t forget the multifaceted talents of Troy Baker, who is responsible for bringing Joel from The Last of Us and Booker DeWitt from Bioshock Infinite to life.
The list goes on and on, but the question still remains – who do you think is the best video game voice actor of all time? Let us know in the comments below!
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