Evolution of video game characters


E3 has got me thinking about video game characters that I have known my entire life and how they have changed during the ages. These video game characters have not just changed graphically, but also adopted a new personality, and some of them might have “died” along the way.

Sonic the Hedgehog

We all loved a Sonic game sometime in our lives, and he has been one of the game characters to age during his adventures. With every generation of consoles comes a new Sonic design.

We have gone from the short plump Hedgehog, to a tall adult hedgehog with some fashions sense at last. The latest Sonic from Sonic Boom looks completely different form the Sonic 20 years ago.


I am too young to have played Pac-Man on an over-sized arcade machine, but I know what Pac-Man looked like at least, a flat circle with a mouth.

Look at Pac-Man 20 years later – he has legs, sneakers, and gloves. Pac-Man has evolved from his simple sprite to a full-fledged character capable of running around and jumping.

Lara Croft

No surprise that Lara is on this list, she makes almost every comparison list these days. 18 years after the release of the original Tomb Raider it is hard believe that the Lara that was impaling herself on trees was actually a simple low-polygon, and blurry-textured PS One character. Yes Lara has changed but she is more relevant than ever.

Mario and Luigi

These two Nintendo characters have evolved thoroughly over the past 20 years, and we all have fond memories of them running around as 8-bit sprites. If we look at Mario on box art you can see that he has not changed much, but with every game that gets released he graphically gets better and better. Luigi has had more of an all-round transformation compared to Mario, at one stage he even had light brown hair.


Bowser is the most iconic Nintendo villain around, and he started as a weird looking lizard thing back in 1985. Out of all the Nintendo characters, Bowser has had the most significant change of them all, changing almost everything about himself.

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Evolution of video game characters

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