The gaming industry is absolutely booming with majestic and noteworthy voices, some of which have loaned their godlike cords and pitch-perfect harmonies to creating the biggest and most ambitious creations on the market. 2022 alone has seen a surge of golden voices blossom from beneath the ice especially, and you can bet we’ve been keeping track of each and every one of those talented artists for a later article, for sure.
Anyway, that’s a topic for another day. Right now, we want to shed light on some of the biggest stars in the field, those who have brought charisma to a slew of virtual carcasses and helped develop memories that were well worth living. So, here are, in our opinion, the five best video game voice actors of all time.
5. Nolan North
To be honest, if you’ve ever played a game with a male lead in it, then there’s a 97.8% chance that they were voiced by Nolan North. The guy gets around, we’ll say that, and when he’s not hosting some of the biggest releases in gaming, he’s offering his voice talents to smaller roles. The bottom line is, he’s always doing something, and it’s rare that you’ll find ol’ North having a snooze under the stars.
North started his voice acting career way back in ’99, pitching his newfound talents to Windows’ Interstate ’82. From there, it was only a general ascension to stardom, with roles in Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed, The Last of Us, Call of Duty, Saints Row, and Marvel’s Avengers. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg to a whole nexus of voiceover work. Let us not forget the hundreds of feature films, animations, and TV shows the guy has also loaned his god-tier voice to. An all-round VIP, and arguably one of the most recognizable voices in the industry.
4. Laura Bailey
It’s hard not to picture Laura Bailey as being the female equivalent of Nolan North. Although it may not be an instantly recognizable voice that connects your brain to a pipeline of distant memories, it does go on to prove the range its beholder is capable of executing. And honestly, if you want to give a standing ovation for anyone in this line of work, then you might as well throw in a Mexican Wave for Laura Bailey.
From Rayne in the vampire-themed BloodRayne saga, to the sophisticated Jaina Proudmoore in Warcraft, Bailey planted strong roots from an early age. And now, you’re looking at the voice behind some of the most prominent video game protagonists ever produced. To many, she’s Abbey from The Last of Us: Part II. To a select few, she’s The Boss from Saints Row. Other credits go on to include Fiona from Tales from the Borderlands, Kait from Gears of War, and Nadine from Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. But if you want a more in-depth background check, then you might want to clear your schedule for the next few days.
3. Troy Baker
Troy Baker is another top-shelf voice actor that has made more contributions than most, if not in the art of gaming, then the world of anime and other noteworthy formats. At heart, though, Baker is an outstanding performer, and one that has gone on to deliver more memorable content than the vast majority of Capcom’s brain-dead protagonists combined.
From Booker DeWitt in Bioshock Infinite to Pagan Min in Far Cry 4, Talion in Middle-earth to Joel in The Last of Us, Baker has written the 101 on how to claim textbook perfection time and time again, using a wide range of abilities to conjure some of the most celebrated video game characters ever received. In short, everything Baker has swung for has been a knockout, and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t think every game he’s been involved in has been a home run.
2. Steve Blum
Steve Blum holds a 2012 Guinness World Record for most video game credits ever recorded, with the actor taking on around 16 major game roles every year since 2007. And that’s just a fragment of an overwhelmingly large portfolio of works, with other projects being devoted to the world of film, anime, and live-action TV. But if you were to sit and count each and every credit since his ’92 start, then you’d probably need a couple of notebooks to get it all down on.
One of the most memorable roles Blum has loaned his voice to is Ares in God of War. That, as well as a treasure trove of deep-voiced and often deranged psychopaths. Basically, if the vessel contains a distinctively deep voice, then it’s more than likely Blum had some say in how it came to life. Games that might jog your memory are Pitfall: The Lost Expedition’s very own Pitfall Harry, X-Men Legends‘ Wolverine, and Bulletstorm’s Grayson Hunt.
1. Keith David
Well, the good news is, when the room rumbles with bass and gravel, you know that it’s Keith David sifting through your speakers. It’s practically impossible to misplace such an iconic and irrisistably booming personality, to be fair, and we know a good handful of folks who would give a left leg to have the guy narrate their everyday lives. To us gamers, though, we’re just happy to see him still turning up the volume on relatively quiet works.
Anyway, if you haven’t been able to place the industry vet just yet, then allow us to bring you into the picture. To some, he’s Captain Anderson in Mass Effect; to others, he’s Julius Little in Saints Row. But for most, he’s Thel ‘Vadamee in the universally acclaimed Halo series. And if that hasn’t rang a few bells for you yet, then you can dig a little deeper by checking out his whole portfolio, films and all.
So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there any voice actors we should have put on this list? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.