Top 10 Video Games with Black ‘Playable’ Lead Characters [Linwood’s Picks]
Our inclusion in video games has often been relegated to being a side-character or an afterthought when the call for diversity is made, whether due to marketing purposes or associated with the title’s story. I know it’s difficult these days, however, imagine playing an early ‘Tony Hawk Pro Skater’ entry on PlayStation in your parents’ garage and the only Black character that could be selected was Kareem Campbell during a local split-screen session with your friends. With no disrespect intended toward our living legend, I wanted there to be more available options. Later on, there would be, especially in genres such as fighting games. With that said, I feel it’s important to highlight Black characters that contribute to the story, even if they are, in a sense, a “token draw”.
Below is a list of my favorites that stood out based on my experiences playing them because they aren’t just a “Generic/Knock-Off Black-Figure” to select for the sake of encouraging Black gamers to feel more connected to the plot. They either subvert stereotypes, allow the creative freedom to control their path, or explore the realm of storytelling by exaggerating what the audience might expect. Make sure to comment down below and tell us your picks, along with what you would like to see from one!
Linwood Storm is an American musician, executive producer, filmmaker, director, actor, publisher, voice-over artist and comic book writer from Fredericksburg, Virginia. He is currently the host of the ‘Black Grindhouse’ podcast and founder of GameCargo.