A video game character’s appearance is our first insight into who they are. And who among us doesn’t have a soft spot for a good outfit? One that’s aesthetically appealing, one that serves a practical function, and/or moves the story forward. So let your cosplay dreams run wild and enjoy our list of Top 10 Character Outfits.
10. Raiden Cyborg Ninja – Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriots
This one makes the bottom of the list because, since much of it is infused as part of his body, the armor thing is debatable. However, we had to include it because it just looks that good. What I love about this “outfit,” is how much Raiden appears as part ninja, part creature. It is form fitting (for obvious reasons) and the dark colors suggest stealth. Yet the high heeled feet and the claw-like hands add to how inhuman Raiden has become—in terms of biology.
Cyborg Raiden appeared as a result of being experimented on. The exoskeleton enhancement surgery created extreme physiological upgrades, resulting in abnormality. But what really makes this look noteworthy is that it appears in the Metal Gear franchise, a game known for soldier stealth. Cyborg Raiden, who has super strength and can fight without sneakily using weapons, disrupts that narrative in interesting ways.
~ Janet Garcia
9. Nightingale Armor – Skyrim
I couldn’t tell you how many hours I sunk into Skyrim, but I can tell you that I probably missed a few of my classes because I was so obsessed. I have predisposition to rogue, sneaky characters, so the thieves guild was a perfect fit for my sly dark elf. I immediately fell in love with Karliah for her attitude and skills, but mostly for the amazing armor she was sporting. An all black leather light suit that comes with a cape? Hell yes! This armor is a thief’s best friend — it increases the wearer’s stamina (making it possible to nick all those goodies) and make those sweet long-range bow shots, it muffles the wearer’s sounds making it easier to traverse in forbidden places, it gives the wearer a better edge over lockpicking, and decreases the magic needed to cast illusion spells. Stylish and practical, I need an outfit like that in real life.
~ Laura Chandler
8. Mario (Tanooki Suit) – Super Mario Bros. 3
I cannot begin to tell you how difficult it was to choose a Mario suit. There are a lot of great ones and all serve a practical purpose. But I think we all have a preferred outfit and the Tanooki Suit is mine. First appearing in Super Mario Bros. 3, the Tanooki Suit made me feel adorable and invincible. The ability to fly and turn into a statue (thus avoiding enemies) was a godsend. However, the suit has undergone several changes since its first release. In Super Mario 3D World, it is merely used to perform a tail attack/spin and to hover jump. Still, the tail attack comes in handy. Allowing me to focus on other things aside from my depth perception. To me, that’s the beauty of these suits and power-ups. While they open up new gameplay possibilities, I really just use them to hack and slash my way through enemies. And there’s something really satisfying about that in a game where jumping prowess is so heavily emphasized.
~ Janet Garcia
7. Samus’ Fusion Suit – Metroid Fusion
I haven’t played as much Metroid as one would think, considering what a big Samus fan I am. But as a kid I was completely in love with Metroid Fusion for the Game Boy Advance. This was, in part, because Samus’s suit was gorgeous. I loved the way the aqua blue and yellow complimented each other and contrasted against the fuchsia helmet. But most of all I loved hot the yellow spots looked like a space disease infused into Samus and how the spikes on her left arm made her look “other.”
This makes sense when we think about the origins of the Fusion Suit. After being attacked by the X Parasites Samus was treated by doctors. Because she was incapacitated, they were unable to take off her Power suit. Parts of the suit physically attacked to her and had to be surgically removed. On the brink of death Samys was given Vaccine “Metroid.” The X Parasites were destroyed but her cellular makeup was altered—some how resulting in no change to her actual appearance, because science.
It’s not a great outfit without a great story.
In addition to looking sleek and alien, The Fusion Suit works with Samus’ new chemical make-up—allowing her to absorb “X” to regain health and ammunition.
~ Janet Garcia
6. Isaac Clarke RIG System – Dead Space
I’m a big fan of space and the awesome armor in space. The most agonizing part of the last two Mass Effect games was designing Shepard’s ass-kicking armor (hey, you gotta look good when you’re taking down reapers left and right!) Isaac’s suit in Dead Space is the right kind of celestial armor for a survival horror game in space. While the aesthetics of the suit draw my eye, it’s the RIG system that really makes these suits unique. The RIG system monitors Isaac’s health, helps him navigate the derelict USG Ishimura, and projects a holographic display in which he can communicate with others. The RIG system is not only useful, but it looks down-right stunning. The system runs like a neon-blue river down Isaac’s back. A perfect set of armor for a fantastic survival horror game
~ Laura Chandler