Players who finished The Last of Us will fondly remember Joel and Ellie’s remarkable father-daughter relationship throughout the game. After all, the post-apocalyptic experience cemented that no mutation or disease could win against the love family has for one another. And while The Last of Us 2 received mixed remarks from players, Joel remains a stellar father figure for gamers out there. However, Joel isn’t the lone contender for Best Video Game Dad.

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In fact, other gaming dads aside from Joel prove that parenting in games can exist — no matter how chaotic things get. Aside from Joel, just which gaming dads deserve the Best Video Game Dad award?

10 Joel (The Last Of Us)

Joel and Ellie Last of Us - Best Game Dads

Fans of the critically-acclaimed The Last of Us would fondly remember Joel and Ellie’s tale. However, while Ellie captivated gamers with her maturity and wit (despite her age), Joel let players explore their parental instincts. In the story, Joel Miller lost his daughter Sarah in the early parts of the CBI Outbreak, making him a cynical hunter. In his days of smuggling and scouring areas for food and resources, a mission to “escort” a young Ellie would make him question his perspectives on grief and loss.

As such, Joel and Ellie eventually form a bond throughout the game. Originally just protecting Ellie for his “reward,” Joel would soon grow fond of Ellie and see her as his own daughter. And at the end of the game, Joel shows a parent’s unconditional love when he makes the decision to protect Ellie instead of saving the world.

9 Geralt (The Witcher 3)

Geralt and Ciri Witcher 3 - Best Game Dads

In the vein of men acting like fathers to other children, Geralt of The Witcher would find the closest thing he would have to a daughter in Ciri. In The Witcher 3, the adventurous Ciri would be able to break through Geralt’s rough and fractured exterior, allowing the Witcher to show more of his emotional side to everyone. In fact, Geralt would be spending time training Ciri in the many ways of protecting herself. However, he would end up being more lighthearted in her presence.

As such, Ciri’s disappearance in The Witcher 3 had Geralt search for her throughout the realm. Moreover, Geralt would go so far as to annihilate everyone who stepped in his way. It seems even roughed-up monster hunters like Geralt have a soft side, after all.

8 Ethan Mars (Heavy Rain)

Ethan Mars Heavy Rain - Best Game Dads

Players of Heavy Rain understand the rather tragic and emotional tale of Ethan Mars and his ordeals against the Origami Killer. In the game, players find Ethan Mars as a struggling protagonist as he deals with his grief over the death of his son, Jason, in a car accident. Meanwhile, the stress and psychological strain of the kidnapping of Shaun, his second son, also kept Ethan on edge.

Despite his frail and fractured state, Ethan showed gamers that fathers — no matter how weakened — will do anything to help save their children.

7 Sam Fisher (Splinter Cell)

Sam and Sarah Fisher Splinter Cell - Best Game Dads

Stealth fans fondly remember Sam Fisher for his signature Tri-Goggles in the Splinter Cell franchise. Moreover, this super-spy can single-handedly dismantle entire groups of enemies to stop their nefarious schemes throughout the games. However, despite his rather busy spy career, the game reveals that Sam does have the time to be a full-time dad.

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In fact, Sam serves as the loving dad to Sarah Fisher, who at first had a fractured relationship with him. Fortunately, Sam got to repair his relationship with Sarah after saving her from a few kidnappings in the events of Double Agent and Conviction.

6 Kazuma Kiryu (Yakuza)

Kazuma and Haruka - Best Game Dads

Granted, members of the Yakuza have a reputation for violence. However, Yakuza‘s Kazuma Kiryu proves that even tough guys have a soft spot. In the game, Kazuma proves his skills in combat. However, when he meets the orphaned Haruka Sawamura, Kazuma took it upon himself to take care and protect Haruka.

Soon, the game explores Kazuma and his desire of being a parent of his own, and he even opens up an orphanage to help other children in need. That, and the occasional beat-downs of unruly gang members and ne’er-do-wells that may harm kids under his care.

5 Dr. Light (Mega Man)

Light and Mega Man - Best Game Dads

Fans of Capcom would recognize the Blue Bomber from a mile away. After all, it’s only Mega Man who sports that iconic blue jumpsuit and signature Mega Buster. However, Mega Man’s courageous efforts to stop Dr. Wily’s Robot Masters in the Mega Man games would’ve been in vain if it weren’t for his creator, Dr. Light.

Granted, Dr. Light “created” Mega Man. However, he’s served as a great father figure in his own right. He programmed Mega to demonstrate a wide range of emotions. Moreover, Dr. Light gave Mega the ability to replicate the powers of Robot Masters he defeats in Mega Man’s mission to stop Dr. Wily’s schemes. In other games, Dr. Light even designed special armor to support his surrogate son in his battles.

4 Harry Mason (Silent Hill)

Harry and Heather Silent Hill - Best Game Dads

Not all video game dads end up being swole and powerful dudes ready to protect their children. Sometimes, dads face their own sins for the sake of protecting their children. In Silent Hill, Harry Mason ventures deep into the enigmatic city of Silent Hill to look for his missing daughter Cheryl. Unfortunately for Harry, his mission would have him uncover the mysteries plaguing the rather abandoned town and its hellish landscapes and creatures.

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Despite his rather awkward and clumsy nature, Harry demonstrates quick-thinking and sheer courage throughout the game. Moreover, his work as a non-fiction author may have helped him solve the many puzzles and riddles that plagued his journey. Considering the hellish nature of Silent Hill’s Underworld, Harry shows how a parent would go through Hell and back just to save their children.

3 Chuck Greene (Dead Rising)

Chuck and Katey Dead Rising 2 - Best Game Dads

Fans of Dead Rising love the franchise for its quality entertainment and brutal zombie action. However, Chuck Greene of Dead Rising 2 needs to survive the zombie apocalypse while protecting his daughter, Katey. In the game, Katey gets infected after being bitten by her zombified mother, Pam.

Throughout the course of the game, Chuck needs to find Zombrex and treat Katey in order to stave off the infection. Despite the comedic nature of the game, Chuck’s devotion to Katey remains the most lovable quality of his character. After all, nobody messes with his kid.

2 Octodad (Octodad)

Octodad - Best Game Dads

Unlike other dads in video games, Octodad is an actual octopus. In fact, his main objective in the Octodad series is to make sure his family doesn’t discover that he is, in fact, an octopus. Fans of the series love Octodad for its hilarious approach to the stealth genre, as well as its challenging controls. After all, it’s hard controlling a character with boneless tentacles.

However, outside the funny nature of the game is a dad who simply wants to keep his family together. In the original game, Octodad makes sure he spends quality time playing with his son in the day. Meanwhile, he also defeats “monsters” for his daughter at night and helps his wife with chores.

1 Kratos (God Of War)

Kratos and Boy - Best Game Dads

A list of Best Video Game Dads won’t be complete without Kratos from God of War. In this 2018 title, Kratos, now an older and calmer version of his angrier self, finds himself in Midgard. Throughout the game, he and his son Boy (also known as Atreus) journey to the highest peak of the Nine Realms to scatter the ashes of his wife and Boy’s mother, Faye.

Unfortunately, Kratos has his past haunt him and future threats appear in the form of the Norse Gods. Throughout the game, players have to coordinate battle tactics between axe-toting Kratos and bow-wielding Boy. However, their journey would eventually help Kratos reconcile with his past and reveal Boy’s true nature. It seems even the angriest of fathers can be calmed by the need to protect their children.

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