First off, if you do not understand the ‘Jill Sandwich’ joke in the intro pic and outro pic to this piece, you should probably be reading something else. Just saying. Anyway, people do not give enough credit to video game voice actors. But if we got more games that sounded like the original Resident Evil I bet we would. For a very long time, voice acting in video games sucked. All we got was stilted, poorly read dialogue from someone clearly not invested in the part. This would end in a game feeling disjointed and unfinished, even if the rest of the game was polished. This plagued gaming for a long time, and would often pull us out of the best gaming moments because it just didn’t gel. But then something switched. Around the PlayStation one era. Games started relying on the power of good voice actors more and more, and this caused a surge of very talented voice actors who often worked in TV or film to step up and start taking gaming roles. This, in turn, changed how we perceive and play games. Suddenly, the voice acting was matching the writing and the graphics and really making gaming into an all-encompassing medium. Believe it or not, that has a LOT to do with the following 5 best video game voice actors in the business.
Part of me genuinely wants to just hit publish on this right now, and end it here. Nolan North is THAT good of a video game voice actor, that many consider him “THE” guy. If you are wondering what game you know Nolan North most from, it is probably his run as the main character in the Uncharted series. But that really is just the icing on the cake for this guy. He has essentially played everyone ever, and to list his accomplishments would take me hours, so here you go.
A dude as well known for his personal sense of style as he is his incredible voice work, Troy Baker has been doing this for a short time but made a huge impact, despite his somewhat young-guy looks. The problem some have with Baker’s performances is that they think he sometimes goes to Baker. What that means is, he doesn’t stray too far from his base ‘cool guy’ voice, and some are starting to find that a bit distracting (especially in examples like Infamous: Second Son when they use his actual likeness, too). I like the guy a lot and think he has amazing range, but just saying what some other’s have said.
There is a fine line between voice actor and Kanye West, and Baker straddles it a little too much, TBH. But a very talented guy who has brought a lot to the voice work in games, no doubt. Maybe that Kanye vibe will prove justified. Who knows?
Time for my personal favorite. You all know DiMaggio best as Bender in Futurama and Jake the dog in Adventure Time, but there are about a trillion games you can add that to, as well. Think Gears of War, Destiny, Skylanders, Guild Wars 2, and I could just keep going. What I dog, I mean dig so much about Dimaggio’s work is, he knows when to dial it up and dial it back. Though he has kind of grizzly voice, he knows how to emphasise that for Gears of War, and dial it back so much in another role you don’t even know it is him.
Now THAT is talent. Plus, he is the singer of the greatest song of all time, so there’s that.
I really hope you didn’t think this list would be just dudes. Not cool. Tara Strong is well-known in the voice industry as being the girl who can do it all. From the Arkham games to Lost Odyssey and Lollipop Chainsaw, she just brings a certain sweetness and likability to all the characters she voices.
Also, Harley Quinn. That is an instant win, people.
Though next to no one knows the name, I have to shout this guy out for being the first voice acting performance I ever heard that really stuck with me. I am talking about playing the titular character in the Max Payne games. That series brought some serious brevity to voice acting, and that has much to do with the fact that McCaffrey was so damn believable as the gravel eating hero who had lost it all.
He may not work as much as the above people, but they would probably not be working as much as they are if this guy didn’t raise the bar first.