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Top 5 Voice Actors
The videogame industry is on its way to becoming as large as Hollywood. Franchises rake in millions of dollars, people line up for midnight releases and, more recently, voice actors are beginning to build fan bases. Most interesting to me is the idea that voice actors are beginning to have actor-level recognition. Some actors have even tried their hand at voice work. So with this area of gaming becoming more and more important I figured I would give you my picks for the top 5 voice actors in games today.
5. Fred Tatasciore
Fred has played so many roles in so many games that, when a title comes out, it’s pretty safe to assume that he found a way to sneak his pipes into a character. Known for his deep, stone-hewn voice, Fred has graced our ears as a myriad of characters, recently lending his talent to games like The Amazing Spider-Man, Lollipop Chainsaw, Mass Effect 3, Syndicate, and the upcoming Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. The only thing keeping Mr. Tatasciore at number 5 is his lack of leading roles, and though he has starred in movies (9, Team America, and Tangled) he’s still on his way to being recognized for his videogame work. Perhaps his return as Baird in Gears of War Judgment will give him the push to the front that he needs. Regardless, next time you hear a Brute in Halo or the Incredible Hulk in a game or cartoon, remember, Fred is under the surface of everything.
4. Steve Blum
What kind of list would this be if Steve Blum wasn’t on it? Blum is probably the only voice actor today with more credits than Tatasciore. And recently the two have been sharing the screen; Blum has been in each of the titles in Fred’s list. But Steve’s activity doesn’t stop there. This man of many voices has also appeared in Assassin’s Creed Revelations, Saint’s Row: The Third, and the upcoming Sly Cooper. Blum has also spent time on television, playing the arch nemesis of the new Avatar, Amon, in The Legend of Korra. So what was Steve’s favorite voice acting role? Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop. I tip my hat to you Mr. Spiegel.
3. Michael Wincott
Michael Wincott has a voice of gold. Sure, it may be gravelly and dark, but it’s gold nonetheless. The villain of the Crow and Three Musketeers may have only begun his foray into the gaming world in 2004, but he dove in head first. His first role was as the Prophet of Truth in Halo 2, a role that was not only huge, but one that he played with seasoned expertise. Shortly after he voiced the drug lord Mr. Big in the 2005 NARC remake. This year Wincott has returned to the industry, voicing Merit, fellow Eurocorp agent in EA’s remake of Syndicate and Darksiders 2 protagonist Death. Though he has appeared in far less than Blum or Tatasciore, his voice is (in my eyes) far more unique. Not to mention, all the roles he has played have been relatively big roles.
2. Nolan North
Nolan North. The man of the hour. Nolan North has quickly become one of the most recognizable voices in the videogame industry, voicing both Uncharted’s Nathan Drake and Assassin’s Creed’s Desmond Miles. Those massive roles aside, North also played the villain Alistair Smythe in the Amazing Spider-Man, El Jefe in the upcoming Sly Cooper, Captain Walker in Spec Ops: The Line, and the Penguin in Arkham City. And as if that wasn’t enough North will voice Deadpool next year. Fred Tatasciore might have his hands in everything, but Nolan North is everything.
1. Mark Hamill
Number one goes, hands down, to Mark Hamill, and if you have to question why then you may want to reassess your life values. Aside from playing one of the most iconic roles is the sci-fi genre (Luke Skywalker), at night Hamill is the Crown Prince of Crime, the Joker. He has voiced several other characters from titles like Darksiders, Spyro, and Yakuza including the role of Fire Lord Ozai in the popular series Avatar: The Last Airbender. And though Arkham City marked his resignation from the Clown, Mark Hamill’s Joker will always be known as the best Joker ever. No villain, or character for that matter, has ever had so much life and meaning in the history of animation or videogames.