Video games have come a long way since the 90s, with different characters becoming household names. When most people choose characters, they often go for the strong ones and with good reasons. But just as important is being smart. Smart characters come up with solutions easily. If you’re looking for characters with amazing intellect, here are ten smart video game characters you may want to look into.
1. Jimmy Hopkins
Jimmy Hopkins is one of the smart video game characters in the video game ‘Bully’. Because of his troublesome behavior, Jimmy has been expelled from seven other schools because of issues like initiating fights and vandalism. His mother and stepfather finally decide to send him to Bullworth Academy, one of the top private schools in the country. This is his last chance to change his behavior or go to Juvenile detention.
His character is smarter than most people expect. He is more mature and calm than his peers and solves problems quickly, using his surroundings to his advantage. For example, after completing chemistry classes, he was able to make stink bombs, itching powder, and firecrackers using a tiny lab set. He can also sneak around mental asylum orderlies, police officers, teachers, and prefects without getting noticed.
Although Jimmy can appear standoffish and mean, he cares for people’s needs, reflecting his emotional intelligence. He has had a bad past, with his biological dad leaving and his mum dumping him in a boarding school. His self-reliance and tough exterior are because of emotional neglect. As such, he feels like he always has to defend himself. But as players find out, he is a nice person who defends his fellow students from bullies.
2. Phoenix Wright
Phoenix Wright is a character from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney video game. He is on this list of smart video game characters because he is an intelligent criminal attorney. As a lawyer, he uses manipulation, bluffing, and other unorthodox traits to win cases in court. One of the reasons Wright has become so smart is because he was earlier manipulated and got disbarred temporarily, which taught him a lesson.
His bluffing tactics in the courtroom, which he learned from Mia Fey, his first employer, are some of the things that make him stand out. He can stubbornly cling to whatever will make him win the case. Even when he doesn’t understand the logic of something, he can make up a story and convince the court he is right.
He has also used weird tactics like cross-examining animals which surprisingly lead him to win cases. In fact, he has even tricked witnesses who end up implicating themselves in crimes. As much as such tactics have given him a bad reputation among his enemies, one can’t deny he is smart for using them. That’s why he is popular for taking on unwinnable cases and winning them.
3. Joshua Graham
Joshua Graham, popularly known as the Burned Man, is a character in the video game ‘Fallout: New Vegas.’ He is considered among smart video game characters for several reasons. For starters, he’s fluent in multiple dialects, hence able to communicate with many people. In one instance, a certain tribe takes him and his group hostage. Graham is able to turn the situation around by teaching the tribe how to fight. He ends up being the commander and leading the tribe into battle with their enemies.
He also has endurance, physical strength, and motor accuracy, as witnessed in his fighting skills. In another world, he would have made a great employee for an asphalt company. His story is about redemption and reflecting on his past. This level of self-awareness indicates he is an emotionally intelligent being.
4. Bruce Wayne
Bruce Wayne features in many video games. But considering he is Batman, one of the greatest and most popular video game characters, it’s no surprise. That said, he features in this list of smart video game characters because of his brain. For starters, he can hide his Bruce Wayne identity from many people. As Bruce Wayne, he is perceived as a fun-seeking and irresponsible character who is always partying, having corporate lunches with investors, or traveling. But in the real sense, he is Batman saving the city from harm.
One of the ways in which he is smart is that he makes his weapons. Of course, it helps that he owns a tech company where he can get materials. But most of the time, he modifies equipment to help him fight. He also converts the cave under the Wayne manor into his headquarters. Since he can’t hire contractors to do the job as they would reveal his identity, he does all the work with the help of Alfred, his butler.
Lastly, he has defeated the Joker on many occasions. While the Joker is known for his cunning abilities that test Batman’s intelligence, Bruce defeats him and saves many lives in Gotham City. Not even the Joker is a match for Batman!
5. Trevor Philips
Trevor Philips is one of the protagonists in the Grand Theft Auto series. At first glance, one might assume he is a mentally unstable meth head living in enclosed trailers. However, he is among the smart video game characters to be created, which is seen on several occasions. For instance, he runs a huge drug operation. One doesn’t get to such a position without being smart.
Admittedly, he is chaotic and erratic, but he is somehow cultured. Among the main protagonists in the GTA series, he is the most eloquent and occasionally uses complex vocabulary. This is a result of studying at a military academy for four years. He is also the only protagonist with a college degree.
Aside from that, he is very professional and focused on his job. He displays exceptional planning and calculation skills even under duress. A good example is during one big heist where he and his crew are hauling gold bars into their getaway truck. When the bank manager struggles to convert the gold bars into cash, Trevor quickly comes up with the figure before the manager can add the numbers. He also follows plans to the tee and has great ideas, which lead to successful heists like stealing drugs and weapons.
6. Big Boss
Big Boss from Metal Gear is among the smart video game characters because of his brains and skills. In fact, he is considered among the greatest soldiers in the Metal Gear Series universe. This explains why many video game enthusiasts are likely to approach a custom t-shirt printing company for a Big Boss t-shirt.
John underwent training under The Boss, where he learned survival skills, weaponry, espionage, and combat. He is fluent in many languages and subjects, including psychology. Using his fighting skills, he has managed to defeat the entire Cobra Unit, Colonel Volgin, the Shagohod, the Boss herself, and the Ocelot Unit. Aside from that, Big Boss can quickly analyze situations and act intelligently despite being under his pressure. This allows him to tend to his injuries while on the battlefield.
Mario is a portly plumber in the Mushroom Kingdom. But besides being your go-to guy for local plumbing service, he is also on the list of smart video game characters because of his sharpness. For example, he wears many hats. Aside from being a plumber, he is a carpenter in Donkey Kong, a doctor in Puzzle Game Series, and an archaeologist in Mario’s Picross. In Mario Sports Games, he is the president of a toy-making company. He also takes other roles such as athlete and kart racer. Being able to adapt to different roles shows a certain level of intelligence.
He is also resourceful in that, in situations where he finds himself without weapons to fight, he finds items in his environment and uses them as weapons. This portrays him as someone who can quickly think on his feet.
Although he is the chubbiest and shortest video game superhero, don’t let that fool you. He always finds clever ways to overcome obstacles in his path, thanks to his problem-solving abilities. Throughout the video game, Mario encounters challenges and puzzles, which he intelligently navigates and saves the day.
Lastly, Mario’s character is depicted as funny. He is constantly telling his friends jokes and will even make a joke when fighting villains in the Mushroom Kingdom. Being able to make puns or jokes are signs of an intelligent person.
8. Johnny Gat
Johnny Gat is one of the main protagonists in the Saints Row video game. He has brown eyes, a lick haircut, and wears dark glasses, almost resembling someone who works in turbo repair shops. So, why is he among the smart video game characters? Gat joins the 3rd Street Saints to end gang wars and successfully climbs the ranks, becoming second in command. This shows he is a smart character with leadership qualities.
He also has a tactical mindset. This is one of the reasons he is responsible for plotting the destruction of the Vice Kings, a warring gang in Stilwater. Gat, Playa, the main protagonist, and Aisha, Playa’s girlfriend, are quite strategic and can formulate plans to take down gangs. He is also a resourceful character which speaks a lot about his smartness. When Zinyak abducts him, he finds a way to outsmart him and escape.
Gat has cheated death on multiple occasions. For example, he got stabbed in the stomach on one occasion and shot in the knee on another and managed to survive. Also, thanks to his tactical mindset, he has taken out cops and other gang members, coming out alive on the other side.
9. James Sunderland
Like other smart video game characters, James Sunderland from Silent Hill is also quite smart. One cannot say he is highly intelligent, but his emotional depth is quite impressive. Silent Hill is more of a psychological video game that takes James on a self-reflection journey as he battles with suppressed emotions, including guilt. This self-awareness journey is the reason players consider him a smart character.
During his journey of self-awareness, James meets other tortured souls like himself. For example, he meets Angela Orosco, a woman who is haunted by her past, where her father abused her. He also meets Eddie Dombrowski, a man who shot a footballer in the knee, making it impossible for him again despite undergoing a chiropractic adjustment. Being able to interact with characters facing their own demons and his ability to engage with and understand them reflects his level of emotional intelligence.
During his time in Silent Hill, he investigates things and connects several clues, which eventually lead him to the truth. At the end of the game, James realizes that he has been suffering from a mental block that made him imagine situations. The monsters he encounters are simply his manifestations as a way of dealing with the guilt of killing his wife. The game has several endings based on a player’s abilities, but all lead to Sunderland becoming self-aware.
10. Joel Miller
Joel Miller is among the smart video game characters that quickly won the hearts of players. His occupation before the outbreak is a residential contractor, specifically a carpenter. Following the outbreak, he resorts to ambushing people for supplies. He also participates in black market dealings, smuggling people and items through quarantine zones without the authorities capturing him.
His dealings have allowed him to learn how to survive the post-apocalyptic world. He can scavenge for resources and navigate through hostile environments, showing his practical intelligence and adaptability. This allows him to successfully deliver Ellie to the Fireflies. Scarcity is a major theme in this game. Still, Joel can manage his supplies, including food and weapons, ensuring he and Ellie have something to eat at all times. This shows his practical intelligence.
Players also see his emotional intelligence as he develops a relationship with Ellie as the game progresses. He understands her emotional needs and adapts his behavior accordingly to be a better companion. Eventually, though, his emotions get the better of him.
These are the top ten smart video game characters. If you love exploring a character’s mental capabilities, consider adding these games to your collection. You’ll have hours of fun getting to know these characters!