5. Proto Man – Mega Man 3
Proto Man is a simple character when you get right down to it. He’s the mysterious, aloof brother/mentor/rival to his “brother” Mega Man, the Racer X to Mega’s Speed Racer. He seems to have a simple outfit made to match that: take Mega Man’s base body, give him a sash, slap a visor onto the helmet, and add on a shield and a scarf. Bam! You’ve got yourself a mysterious badass. While it may look like a basic reskin, Proto Man’s outfit acts as both a companion and counterpoint to the one Mega Man rocks, ditching the bomber’s blues for a red ensemble. His color coordination is on point; the red stands out against the muted greys of the suit, the white trim on the helmet matches well with the black visor, and the yellow scarf ties the whole thing together. As well, though the scarf and visor combo may be considered stereotypical for an edgy, loner kind of character these days, nobody can deny that it looks stylish as all hell. It may not be especially complex, but neither is Proto Man, and both of them are still pretty cool all the same.
~ Donovan Bertch
4. Armor of Altaïr – Assassin’s Creed II
Assassin’s Creed is known for their badass killers and their killer outfits. Literally. The iconic armor is not only deadly fashionable, but is designed to make assassinations as smooth as possible. Double daggers, hidden swords, grappling hooks, and poison darts are all tucked away in the many layers. The best of the best, though, is the Armor of Altaïr from Assassin’s Creed 2. The armor is discovered by Ezio during the story and can only be obtained by collecting all six Assassin Seals. But the best features of the armor? Highest level of health and a resilience that can’t be beat. Though, the cape is probably my favorite aspect. What’s a hero without a cape?
~ Laura Chandler
3. Sho Minamimoto – The World Ends with You (Spoilers)
In The World Ends with You, fashion plays a huge role in gameplay and story alike. A good example of this lies with one of the game’s villains, the egotistical mathematician Sho Minamimoto. At first, Sho seems to have just your typical Square Enix look, a sort of gaudy, punk rock-inspired piece complete with a random belt buckle and ginormous boots tailor made to fit his pompous attitude. Things get a bit more interesting once he transforms into his monstrous Noise form, the Leo Cantus. If you look closely, you’ll see that the creature’s lion-themed design is actually foreshadowed in Sho’s outfit-the shredded jeans he wears look like they were torn into by sharp claws, and the popped collar resembles a lion’s mane. That’s not even mentioning the guy’s facial “whiskers”, or his even wilder outfit later on in the game. TWEWY is filled with this kind of fashion-as-character, with every piece of clothing the characters wear having a purpose in developing their personalities and identities throughout the game. Out of the whole cast, though, Sho’s outfit is a standout, king of the jungle of style that is TWEWY’s Shibuya.
~ Donovan Bertch
2. Miles Edgeworth – Ace Attorney Investigations
Most of the characters on this list have very specific in-universe reasons for why they wear what they do. Some need their outfits to survive the challenges and trials they’ll face over their journey. Some need them to carry on a legacy. Some need them to live, period. Miles Edgeworth just needs something to wear to court. His job doesn’t require anything other than a plain old suit. “Plain” isn’t in Edgeworth’s vocabulary, however. Not only does he sport a very gaudy magenta suit and jet black dress shoes, but he accents the outfit with a goddamned cravat-and it all somehow works. How the hell does he do it? Sure, his mentor Manfred von Karma also rocked the gaudy suit-and-cravat combo, but it just made the guy look like a colossal prick (go figure). It may not be especially functional, and it’s definitely over-the-top, but Edgeworth’s outfit still manages to cut an imposing figure in the courtroom, striking fear into the hearts of defendants and defense attorneys alike. Maybe it does have a purpose after all-if Edgeworth can make a ridiculous look like that work, then it shows all who face him that he is definitely not a man to be trifled with.
~ Donovan Bertch