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Father’s Day 2022: 5 Greatest Video Game Dads of All Time, Ranked

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Who are the greatest video game dads? What makes a good father? Generally, one has to be caring, protective, compassionate and above all, present. Only a select few video game dads can stand out among a chunk-load of fathers we get to see in the games we play. There are a number of admirable fathers in some of these video games. They add weight to the storylines and similarly, serve as motivators to some of our favorite game characters. They prove that good parenting is still possible, however chaotic their situations may get. 

Some of the video game dads in this list deserve the dad of the year award. Mainly due to the extent of trouble they have had to face to ensure their kids are protected. As Father's Day approaches, it's only right to highlight and appreciate some of the greatest video game dads of all time. Let's go through the list to understand why these five dads are considered the best out of the rest.


5. Ethan Mars – Heavy Rain

The tale of Ethan Mars is rather emotional and unfortunate. After he loses one of his sons in a tragic car accident, he moves away to deal with the ordeal of his divorce amid the grief. Two years after he separates from his family, his second son Shaun is taken captive by an Origami Killer. This tragic event gives him a glimpse of a potential second loss. Despite being burdened by his failures, he still goes above and beyond to save his remaining son.

Heavy Rain players can witness the struggle Ethan Mars has to undergo in the pursuit of his child. An FBI investigating the Origami case determines that Shaun has only three days to live, which puts Ethan on edge such that he's willing to do anything to retrieve him. Shaun's abductor sends Ethan instructions and tasks he's required to complete in order to get his son. These instructions include crude actions like crawling through broken glass, speeding on the highway and even cutting off one of his fingers. Ethan has to complete all these demands to prove how much he loves his son.


4. Eli Vance – Half-Life 2

One of the most emotionally competent fathers on this list is Eli Vance. He's a Black Mesa incident survivor and has remained protective of his daughter Alyx all through his life. As a scientist, Eli Vance has invented a lot of gear for his daughter; this includes a pet robot Alyx keeps around for protection. He has also made other helpful inventions like the gravity gun, which manipulates the weight of large objects.

Despite all the responsibilities he has in his role as the Resistance leader and inventor, he is still a devoted father. He demonstrates this by the many times he shows up to rescue Alyx. For instance, he breaks into a secure facility known as the Nova Prospekt to rescue his daughter. It is not easy to find such committed fathers in most games, but Gordon is a true example of resilience.


3. Kratos – God of War

Father's Day 2022: 5 Greatest Video Game Dads of All Time, Ranked

Ou list of the greatest video game dads won't be complete without the mention of Kratos. Although it takes him a while before he gets used to the idea of being a single father, Kratos eventually comes to terms with it. At first, he refuses to address his son by his name and instead refers to Atreus as ‘boy.' Kratos still ends up in the good-dad book for the role he plays in his son's life. Through their journey together, the two get to bond, and Kratos begins to warm up to his son. The relationship between them is not as traditional as the rest of the characters in this list; nonetheless, it is praiseworthy considering the icy nature of Kratos.

We can see them going through ups and downs through the game alongside each other. Kratos strives to make a decent warrior out of his son and, at the same time, tries to keep him safe. Besides, what's not to love about a bad-ass father-son team harmonizing flawlessly to take down enemies.


2. Joel – The Last of Us

Greatest Video Game Dads

The Last of Us defines Joel as a protective father who tries his best to protect his child. Unfortunately, he fails to protect his daughter, Sarah, from a maniac soldier whose main agenda is to hunt and gun her down. Nonetheless, he's one father who offers protection to the best of his abilities. He redeems himself by becoming a father figure to Ellie when he safely escorts her through zombie-infested terrain. By doing this, Joel displays the type of courage and sacrifice it takes to be a good father.

He ultimately discovers that the trip has further endangered Ellie by placing her within the grasp of people who would put her in harm's way. Joel goes on a rampage and takes out anyone he deems as a threat to Ellie, making him one of the most protective father figures of all time.


1. John Marston – Red Dead Redemption

Greatest Video Game Dads of All Time

John Marston may be a notorious former outlaw, but he has a soft spot for his family. His past certainly did not stop him from being a decent father; since he quit his life of crime to become a family man. However, the US government does not let him enjoy this parenting journey for long. In order to force Marston to work for them, the FBI kidnaps his wife and son to use as leverage. Marston is forced to hunt down his former gang members to ensure the safe delivery of his family back to him. 

He does as requested and succeeds in getting back his son and wife, which shows the extent to which he is willing to go to protect them. Unfortunately, his actions come back to bite him as the G-men return to retaliate against his actions. They gun down Marston, who sacrifices himself so his family can get a chance to escape. Thereby,dying a glorious death that leads to the survival of his family. This final act of heroism is what makes Marson the best father on this list.


Which father from the list above do you think is the greatest of all video game dads? Share your pick with us in the comments below or over on our socials here!

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Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.