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The 7 Best Video Game Dads

Carla Sertin By Carla Sertin Published on May 20, 2016

Video game dads are a diverse bunch. Some will throw their kid into a volcano out of spite, others will literally go through hell to protect their children. To celebrate Father's Day, here are some of the best dads in video game history.

7.  Bowser, Super Mario series

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Photo from Mario Wiki

Bowser is best known as a villain, but he is also father to Bowser Jr. and seven Koopalings. He might not be the most attentive father, but he lets his kids fly airships, use magic wands, command armies, and gives them castles across the kingdom. Sure, he also kidnaps princesses and fights plumbers, but it's hard to deny that he's a pretty cool dad.

6.  Big Daddy, BioShock series

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Photo via Wikimedia

Big Daddies aren't technically dads, but they treat their Little Sister like one of their own. Their job is to take care of a little girl, their 'little sister,' as she travels through Rapture doing her work. If you lay a hand on their little one you won't live long enough to regret it (notice the giant drill attached to his arm). Maybe they're a bit over-protective, but they must be softies inside; most dads would be mortified if their daughter called them "Mr. Bubbles" in public.

5.  Mike Haggar, Final Fight

Mike Haggar, the mayor of Metro City and a former street fighter, has to rescue his kidnapped daughter. Most other mayors would have called in a SWAT team, but not Mike. Instead, he goes on a rampage and stops at nothing to save her. Just take a look at the video; that's a dad who really cares about his daughter.

4.  James, Fallout 3

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Photo via Fallout Wiki

James is on a quest to produce clean water for The Wasteland, but he puts that on hold to raise his kid, The Lone Wanderer. He throws his kid birthday parties and gives them a BB gun in the Vault. He eventually leaves to continue his quest, and The Lone Wanderer follows him. James dies on his mission, telling his child to run. He's a hero  he sacrificed his life trying to create a better world for his child. It also doesn't hurt that he's voiced by Liam Neeson.

3.  Harry Mason, Silent Hill 1 & 3

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Photo via Silent Hill Wiki

Harry Mason, like Mike Haggar, has to save his kidnapped daughter. There's only one hitch: she's been kidnapped by the demonic entities of the hellish Silent Hill. He has no magic, training, or other special powers. He's just a dad who will do anything to save his daughter – he'll even walk through hell and fight demons to protect her. He personifies devotion and familial love, and is easily one of the best fathers in video game history.

2.  Lee Everett, The Walking Dead Season One

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Screenshot via aaronbachmann.com

If a zombie apocalypse happened and you were struggling to survive, the last thing you'd want is a child to take care of. Lee finds Clementine and takes care of her throughout the first season of The Walking Dead, despite having no previous relationship to her. He teaches her to stay tough and survive in the new world, showing her how to shoot a gun and leading their group to safety. Though they aren't related by blood, Lee makes significant sacrifices to keep her safe.

1. Joel, The Last of Us

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Photo via Gamer Fit Nation

The opening to the game shows Joel's tragic experience with fatherhood. The rest of the game shows his growth and development through his relationship with Ellie, the young girl he has to take care of in a post-apocalyptic world. The game is story-driven and Joel is a well-crafted character with depth. I won't spoil the ending, but Joel makes an immense sacrifice to protect Ellie, the kind that only a loving parent could make for their child.

Bonus: The worst video game dad of all time

Heihachi Mishima, Tekken series

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I mean, look at this guy. This is a man who doesn't get any cards on Father's Day. Photo via Tekken Wiki.

What's Heihachi's parenting style? He threw his five-year-old son, Kazuya, off a cliff because he was 'too weak,' and when his son came back and defeated him, he killed Kazuya by throwing him into a volcano. He only cares about power and never even shows any remorse for his actions.

So this Father's Day, make sure you call your dad and tell him you love him.

Did I miss anyone? There are so many other video game dads that deserve to be on this list, share your favorites in the comments section!

Carla is a Lebanese journalist. She loves experimenting with new media for journalism and fiction storytelling. Received an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. ... Show More