Blizzard Entertainment has been one of the most successful gaming companies out there, creating some of the most popular gaming franchises in the world. Their success with games like World of Warcraft and Starcraft would later influence them to try their hand at games way out of left field. This is partially why their attempt at a first-person shooter, Overwatch, has been a surprising success and taken out competitors left and right. For every game they’ve made, you know there’s a pretty hefty fandom following it.
One of the reasons Blizzard has done such a great job with every game is because they invest a lot in their character development. If a game doesn’t have a good story, what’s the point in playing it? Besides, Blizzard has always produced amazing cinematic shorts and stories that really involve their players on a different level if they choose to engage with the world and with the content. Each character is a part of a greater influence in the story; they interact with each other and they’re made individuals in their own right. Even in games that have larger ground to cover, such as World of Warcraft, still take the time to flesh out each character and make sure that nothing goes to waste. If you love Blizzard Entertainment’s work, even if it’s only one franchise, you probably have a favorite character in mind. We’ve looked into some of the best characters they’ve ever created across their multiple franchises; here’s 25 of the best characters they’ve ever released in game.
Tracer was certainly one of the biggest names for Blizzard’s latest success, Overwatch. The first-person shooter did exceptionally well after its release, and Tracer was the poster child of the entire brand.
Blizzard would also eventually release that she had a girlfriend, which was a massive deal for the LGBTQ community to finally see themselves in such a successful franchise. Tracer has been one of the most-played characters in the game and, even story wise, she’s been one of the better developed characters.
You can’t mention Blizzard Entertainment and not mention World of Warcraft. The addictive MMORPG has always been one of their longest-running successes and it featured numerous characters with incredible storylines. Among those was the Lich King himself, Arthas.
As a reoccurring character since the original Warcraft series, Arthas has played a huge role in Azeroth. Raising the undead Scourge and causing mass amounts of damage to the planet has left so much scarring that we often see his influence in later expansions.
If you’ve played any of the Diablo games, you probably know that there isn’t a ton of common characters to chose from. However, Tyrael is one of the best-known faces from the franchise -- and we can see why.
As someone who participated in the Great Conflict, Tyrael’s battles are infamous and often considered legendary. He was the Archangel of Justice and is now the Aspect of Wisdom, but no matter his title, he is always considered the defender of humanity.
When the original Overwatch cast came out, we often heard her name in the background but had no idea who she was. Sombra has been there since day one of the Overwatch franchise, so when there were rumors that she would soon be a playable character, people were more than a little excited.
Memes asking for where she was could be found on every fan page in sight and, after her release, people simply fell in love with the booping hacker.
Sylvanas has always been important to the World of Warcraft franchise and storyline, but as the current Warchief of the Horde, she’s definitely been a hot topic since the Battle for Azeroth expansion dropped.
An undead highborne elf, Sylvanas watched the fall of her people as the Lich King scorched the land with his Scourge. After her demise and enslavement to Arthas, she’d become a liberator to the undead. Her current storyline has her doing some unethical things, but her fanbase is still pretty loyal.
As one of the smartest, and quite frankly adorable, characters of Overwatch, Winston has a pretty large following. It’s hard not to love him or his constant craving for peanut butter.
As the person who initially tried to help and get the Overwatch team back together, he was one of the first characters we ever met. When his background story dropped, we all couldn’t help but to fall in love all over again but this time with a small, baby gorilla.
Zeratul definitely has one of the most interesting and complicated background stories out of many Starcraft characters. Despite his hatred for the Conclave, during the Great War he allied with the Khalai Tassadar. He would later be manipulated by Sarah Kerrigan during the Brood War and killed the Second Overmind and Raszagal.
It would be because of all these horrific events that we would later see him isolate himself and really reflect on himself. He’s one of those tragic characters that just makes the story that much more interesting.
Khadgar has been a pivotal character in the World of Warcraft storyline thanks to his magical capabilities and incredible deeds for Azeroth. As a student of the last Guardian, Khadgar found himself toe-to-toe with the demon Sargerus himself.
This would cost the mage years of his life as they were literally sucked out of him. Despite this young man being trapped in an aging body, he’s helped Azeroth and its inhabitants through bad events such as the Iron Horde’s rise and the invasion of the Burning Legion.
D.Va has always been a popular character amongst Overwatch fans. Aesthetically, she may seem like she’s just a cute girl, but her job and all-around background story have made fans rally around her for so many different reasons.
Originally, fans loved the fact that she was a gamer whose skills were recognized as being perfect for her operating a mech. However, after Blizzard created her own cinematic, people saw how her efforts were keeping South Korea safe even at the cost of her own life.
Anduin has always been an interesting power figure in World of Warcraft because he is one of the few that often calls for peace. Whereas many of the other rulers and prominent characters seem to feel that war is either a necessity or the only answer, Anduin has always called for understanding on both sides and tried to put a stop to the fighting.
The Battle for Azeroth expansions has definitely tested the new king as he has to go to war in order to protect the Alliance.
As the edgy character of Overwatch, it’s not hard to see why people enjoy Reaper as a playable character from a looks perspective alone. His powers and abilities, not to mention his infamous voice lines, are part of the reason fans love his design.
However, his storyline has always made him an important role in the Overwatch series because he’s essentially the reason things went wrong in the first place. For some people, knowing his past just adds more to the reason that they love him.
14 SARAH KERRIGAN
Sarah Kerrigan is not only one of the characters most known from the Starcraft series, but she’s also one of the most interesting ones. She was originally just a psychic terran human female that was a Confederate ghost. Her job would later progress when she became the second-in-command to the Sons of Korhal.
She was relatively well-known before she defected and became a part of the Zerg, but now almost everyone knows her name. Now, she’s more commonly known as the Queen of Blades or the Zerg Queen.
Bastion may not be the most popular character when it comes to gameplay, but after its background story was released, fans were in tears. The cinematic featured the aftermath of the Omnic Crisis as Bastion had lost most of its combat programming. The robot would wander around its surroundings, but particularly enjoyed the company of a small bird that would follow it around.
Unfortunately, when Bastion senses danger, it goes into combat mode; a few scenes showed us just how bad the war really was. When Blizzard has you crying over a robot, you know they did a good job with the story.
12 JAMES RAYNOR
James used to be a terran marshal before he became a rebel with one goal -- to take down the Confederacy. He’s been one of the major figures in the Koprulu sector and has made massive strives to take down their successor, the Dominion.
Blizzard did a fantastic job with his character because he was so relatable as a young farm boy turned solider who’s done a lot of scarring deeds. It’s definitely made him one of the most fleshed out characters in the series.
In the World of Warcraft storyline, Saurfang has always been an important orc, particularly because he is always by Go’el’s side, but his popularity has recently gone up since the Battle for Azeroth expansion.
As someone usually in the Warchief’s room that provides guidance, everyone has always revered him for the tragic loss of his son, his warrior’s prowess and his loyalty to the Horde. However, under Sylvanas’s rule, we’ve seen his anger as the Horde he believes in turns down a path of dishonor.
No one ever seems to talk about Athena because, technically, she’s not a physical being. However, she’s been one of the most important characters in the Overwatch series because she’s essentially the person who sends out the signal to get the team back together.
Not only is she taking care of the beloved Winston by looking after his health and being his emotional companion, but she’s really advanced as a computer system. While she often goes under the radar, we think she was really important to the storyline.
9 ARCTURUS MENGSK
Arcturus Mengsk is one of the best villains to come to Starcraft. Sure, the Queen of Blades is a little more iconic when it comes to the overall series, but he definitely had a role to play in the storyline and Blizzard made him pretty cool when it came to his character.
During the Great War, he’d be the reason that the Terran Confederacy would fall and would go on to rule the Terran Dominion. While he was taken out in the Second Great War, we appreciate the work and effort that went into him while he was still around!
Tyrande Whisperwind is yet another classic Warcraft character that has followed us into the World of Warcraft expansions. She has always been one of the stronger female leaders on the Alliance side and is considered exceptionally powerful as both a priestess of Elune and a leader of the Kaldorei people.
What makes her interesting as a character is how dedicated she is to both her craft and the benefit of all of Azeroth. Unlike some night elves, she’s always been about working with fellow races, particularly the Alliance, in hopes of a brighter future for all.
It may seem strange to see Genji on this list but not his brother, Hanzo. After all, a lot of their background story is woven together, so you could almost argue that you can’t have one without the other.
While Hanzo, as well as most of Overwatch’s cast, is a very well-written character, Genji’s story of retribution is one that anyone can get behind. His character development has changed him a lot and that’s part of what makes him one of the better members.
King Varian, the ruler of Stormwind, was one of the most revered rulers in the World of Warcraft lore and a huge reason that a lot of people chose to follow the Alliance in the first place.
His dual personality and prone fits of anger would make him a reckless leader at times, but the love for his son Anduin pushed him to be a better king and more open to the idea of working with others. His passing made a huge impact on the fandom in the Legion expansion.
There are definitely a lot of cool robots and mechs in Overwatch, but Orisa is probably one of the coolest. While she’s a fairly new character, her announcement and background story had people following her from day one.
Built from OR15 defense robots, she’s become her city’s sole defender. The only person who made a bigger splash than her was her creator, Efi, a young genius. Efi’s involvement in the protection of her community by building Orisa is very touching and also makes her a great role model for younger players.
Originally named Thrall, which means “slave” in Orcish, Go’el is probably one of the most inspiring characters to come out of the World of Warcraft series. Go’el was definitely one of the most popular Warchiefs, especially because he was determined to have a Horde built on honor above everything else.
While his legacy was left to Garrosh Hellscream, who effectively committed war crimes in Go’el’s absence, the shaman’s influence on the Horde is still prominent. He’s definitely one of the most beloved characters.
Jaina’s background story was heart-wrenching as she watched Arthas become the Lich King, lose most of her family members and have her home consider her a traitor and criminal. All of this lead her to becomes a completely different person than the young mage we saw studying in Dalaran.
It’s interesting to see how Blizzard has developed her story in the Battle for Azeroth expansion, which brought her back as one of the most powerful characters on the Alliance’s side.
Ana’s story, especially when it intertwines with her daughter Pharah, has been one of the saddest background stories to every come out of Overwatch. As a deadly sniper and one of the older members of the original Overwatch team, Ana was known for finishing off her foes cleanly; she didn’t want to cause pain, despite that being a typical part of a sniper’s job.
Every notch on her gun represents a life she’s taken and it has weighed on her heavily. However, her daughter Pharah seems to follow her mother’s strict teachings of duty and honor.
Illidan Stormrage is a character that everyone loves because he’s not always bad, but he’s certainly not always good. After giving up everything in order to defeat the Burning Legion, Illidan and his fellow demon hunters were considered monsters that their people could no longer accept into society. For every demon hunter, it’s extremely difficult to keep their demonic influence at bay so that they can be effective in battle.
We’ve seen Illidan struggle with this time and time again as he tries desperately to defeat his enemy and keep Azeroth safe, even if he knows his people will never again accept him.