The Top Ten Robots In Video Game History

By James Hawkins in Lists!
Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 11:00 am
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In the expansive sci-fi genre of video games, it is not uncommon to have robots as important, even headlining, characters. They simply exist in the future, with either our best interests or ultimate demise occupying, or sometimes marinating in, their machine minds.

This week, we're doling out props to the many robots that populate our video games. They come from all generations, typically span the science fiction genre, and make up some of the most memorable characters we've ever encountered. Here's the ten most memorable, most charismatic, and most iconic video game robots of all time. Please, do enjoy it.

10. ClapTrap
ClapTraps bounded onto the video game scene about two years ago and immediately established themselves as a lovable, though slightly irritating, race of robot characters to define the up-and-coming franchise. As the tutorial and a function of the game's narration, ClapTraps played a vital part in our Borderlands experience. We expect to see them back in the next entry of the series, were they'll likely be as squealy and charming as ever.

9. Smoke
Mortal Kombat Series
Smoke is a mechanized cyborg ninja assassin who has swapped between robot and human throughout the series. In his most prominent form, however, he has the innards of a machine, and can be programmed and reprogrammed to serve a certain master's cause. He stars in many entries in the MK series, taking on varying levels of cyborg-ness, and serving different sides. If you recall, he also made a brief and hilarious appearance in the Mortal Kombat movie, a move that has etched his name in the annals of robotdom forever.

8. R.O.B.
R.O.B. The Robot, aka Robotic Operating Buddy, was intended to reinvigorate the ailing mid 1980s video game market. He's a controller, first and foremost, but he has also appeared in a number of games -- like the Super Smash Bros franchise -- as a throwback to that early era. Only two games were ever produced for R.O.B. support, but he's become a staple of the retro, and a familiar, early Nintendo icon of video gaming. Also, he's got a ton of fans on YouTube that utilize his goofiness to create videos.

7. Robo
Chrono Trigger
Robo isn't like all the other R-series robots. He's vibrant and warm -- relatively, for a robot -- and a vital piece of the Chrono Trigger story. Robo is a tough companion who, as the game goes on, grows from a simple hunk of metal to a beloved member of the crew, due to his lighthearted demeanor and endless utility in combat.

6. D0G
Half-Life 2 Series
The wonderful, lovely Alyx Vance is made a better character by the relationships she builds within the broken underground of City 17. One of her most distinct relationships is with D0G, an enormous, powerful robot that has many canine qualities. Throughout the episodes of Half-Life 2, we're helped by D0G -- glad to see it whenever it hops a fence or tunnels beneath broken cars, and thankful for its almost organic cognizance. The unique and varied characters of Half-Life 2 make up a large part of its greatness, and D0G is right in the thick of it.

5. Atlas + P-body
Portal 2
Incorporating a cooperative mode in Portal 2 was one of the most brilliant aspects of that holistically brilliant game. The two featured characters, Atlus and P-body, didn't have a whole lot of deep character, but they were quirky and goofy and we all loved playing as them as we traversed Aperture Labs for a few hours with a friend. And hopefully, their roles will continue into a long and storied franchise in the future.

4. Clank
Ratchet & Clank Series
Clank is a Swiss Army knife of a robot. He's got gadgets here, and power-ups there -- pretty much any and all necessary items to aid Ratchet on his adventures. Clank is a cool little dude, charming and charismatic, intelligent and almost academic. So, not only does he land points for his utility, he's a very capable and endearing sidekick that we love to have follow us around on our journeys.

3. HK-47
Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic
Tough-talking, straight-shooting HK-47 is probably the most memorable peripheral character in BioWare's grand KOTOR. He's got oodles of attitude, and manages to be a badass combatant throughout all stages of the game. His wry and devious prattle make him a bit of a caricature, but his incredibly dense and nuanced story line make him one of the best robots, overall, to date.

2. Mega Man
Mega Man Series
One of the most expansive and seminal video game franchises ever starred this dude right here. Mega Man, that little boy who was built by that older dude to overcome evil, is a Capcom staple, and has seen over 50 games released in nearly thirty years. Outside of Nintendo's largest series, you don't get much more impressive than that. Plus he has a pretty awesome blaster on his arm.

1. Metal Gear
Metal Gear Series
For one of the biggest franchises of all time to feature you as the catalyst for action in many of its games, you've got to be pretty damn iconic. Metal Gears are just that -- bipedal nuclear armaments that are sent on various missions for wreaking various sorts of hell upon the earth and those who inhabit it. Our mission? Stop them before it happens. Always. Each and every time.

Follow @JamesHawk1ns on Twitter for insights, chats, hopefully some occasional hilarity and prize giveaways. He'll follow you right back.
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