With February marking Black History Month, we gathered our favorite Black characters in a no-particular-order list! Who's your pick? Who else would you add?
Senna & Lucian (LoL)
Released in 2013, Lucian was a unique AD carry from the get-go. His light-blasting pistols had one target: the wraiths of the Shadow Isles, ever since Thresh, the most fearsome of the spirits, took away the soul of Lucian’s wife. Summoners had to wait another 6 years before that part of the lore became a fully shaped champion: Senna, a mix between a support and an ADC. Returned from beyond the veil of Black Mist, she and Lucian make for one of the most bad🍑 couples in video games.
Barret is brash and often violent as a leader of Avalanche, an eco-terrorist group resisting the Shinra company’s exploits of the planet. Despite hiding a personal vendetta under the noble fight to protect the environment, Barret’s heart is ultimately in the right place. He genuinely cares about Avalanche’s mission, as well as for his daughter, Marlene. On the battlefield, Barret’s high HP and a massive gun-arm come in handy whenever versatile tanking is needed.
Franklin Clinton (Grand Theft Auto V)
Franklin is one of the three main characters in GTA 5. A rocky childhood led to him falling in with The Families at an early age and committing minor crimes along with his best friend, Lamar Davis. Eventually, another of the protagonists, Michael De Santa, takes Franklin under his wing and includes the younger man in various profitable heists and robberies. What’s special about Franklin is that despite all the circumstances, he never loses sight of his dream to get out of the criminal lifestyle and make something more out of himself.
Hot-headed, quick, and confident, Phoenix hails from London and was recruited into the VALORANT protocol thanks to his mastery of fire. On the outside, he appears impulsive and often arrogant, but deep down Phoenix cares deeply for both his teammates and the civilians threatened by Omega Earth. As a Duelist, he’s in and out of the fight, capable of delivering heavy damage and getting away with it — especially since, as his codename suggests, Phoenix is literally capable of evading death.
Preston Garvey (Fallout 4)
In the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout the survivors face too many dangers to count — flesh-eating ghouls, gangs of raiders, and irradiated monstrosities like Deathclaws or supermutants are just a few of them. And once upon a time, a voluntary civilian militia group known as the Commonwealth Minutemen would defend people against it all, until time and traitors tore it apart. Preston Garvey is the last of the Minutemen, determined to keep their mission alive, and the Sole Survivor can join his cause, as well as become his significant other.
Sojourn (Overwatch 2)
Mission-driven and a brilliant tactical, Sojourn went from a member of Overwatch to its captain, loyal even into the organization’s twilight years. She fights not for personal glory, but for the civilians threatened by the evils of the world, and that’s why she voluntarily underwent multiple cybernetic upgrades. Sojourn’s speed, endurance, and mechanical limbs make her a rewarding damage dealer, albeit dependable on the player’s accuracy.
Bangalore (Apex Legends)
Another tough-as-nails military woman on this list, Anita “Bangalore” Williams' life has been dictated by the tragic loss of her brother, who sacrificed himself to save her. Following in the footsteps of her parents, she became a professional soldier with a skillset balancing strategy and damage. Anita participates in the Apex Games for money as she wants to hire a pilot capable of flying her back to her distant home so she can reunite with her family.
Jax first appeared in the Mortal Kombat franchise in 1993 and remains one of the most recognizable characters in the game series. With well-earned authority and a no-nonsense attitude, he leads the Earth’s Special Forces together with Lieutenant Sonya Blade. Much like Sojourn, Jax’s hallmark is the bionic arms he received after losing his limbs to Ermac in MK9; however, in the recent movie, it’s the giant Goro who cripples Jax.
Henry & Sam (The Last of Us)
TLoU’s brothers depict how far one will go to save their sibling. Henry, 12 years older than Sam, is fiercely protective of his little brother — even to the point of underestimating how capable the boy can be, or heavily chastising him over potentially compromising his safety. Being a young man himself, Henry makes mistakes in his care for Sam, but he always means to do whatever’s in the kid’s best interest. If you played the game, you know Henry and Sam’s story is one to stay with you for a long, long time, and now we’ll all (re)live it thanks to the brilliant TV show.