Another Top 10 Celebrity Performances in Video Games!

Script written by Fred Humphries Hey...I know that voice! Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Another Top 10 Celebrity Performances in Video Games! Special thanks to our user “Jacob Koopmann” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Another Top 10 Celebrity Performances in Video Games

There may not have been an Oscar on the line, but these guys still turned out award-worthy performances. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for Another Top 10 Celebrity Performances in Video Games.

For this list, we look at voice work or motion capture performances in a game by individuals who made their name outside of gaming circles. They may have also appeared in live action sequences or played themselves within that game’s fictional universe – whatever the role, we’ll consider it. If you think anyone is missing, be sure to check out our first list on this same subject.

#10: Sharlto Copley as Jimmy

“Payday 2” (2013)

In the groundbreaking First Person movie Hardcore Henry this South African played a diverse selection of Jimmy clones and for a special tie-in DLC of this heist title, Copley reprises a version of Jimmy with a fearsome cocaine addiction. Like in the film, this particular clone is especially unhinged and Copley builds upon this frenzied character with a selection of foul-mouthed, taunting quotes delivered with the typically manic wit he has become famous for. We can’t wait for more games to feature other Jimmy clones – it’s still not too late for Call of Duty: WWII to include the impeccably British colonel Jimmy as a playable character… you listening Activision?

#9: Ricky Gervais as Himself

“Grand Theft Auto IV” (2008)

This British comic has offended or alienated nearly every demographic out there during his illustriously non-PC career, making him a perfect fit for a cameo in Rockstar’s famously controversial series. Gervais treads the boards of the Split Sides comedy club as his motion-captured performance pokes fun at charity, obesity, AIDS, cancer and, of course, himself with hilarious insensitivity. Wearing a similarly plain sweater and jeans combination as seen in his stand-up routines, his material complements GTA’s satire of modern life and is the ideal activity for Niko’s night out in Liberty City. All it’s missing is a brilliantly cringeworthy dance from the Brent Meister General.

#8: Kiefer Sutherland as Big Boss

“Metal Gear Solid V” (2014-15)

There was some fan trepidation when the man who ostensibly is Jack Bauer was revealed as David Hayter’s replacement –Hayter’s voice was synonymous with the series for over a decade – yet the Canadian’s somber performance soon silenced any doubters. Director Hideo Kojima wanted an actor of considerable caliber for his final involvement with the grand, cinematic franchise and Sutherland delivers despite having relatively few lines. His facial work is subtly emotive and his dialogue appropriately gruff for a stoic soldier who – like Bauer – has an uncanny ability to get the job done. Besides Kiefer really has one of those voices that can really intimidate his enemies, I mean did you hear him in Phone Booth?

#7: Michael Ironside as Sam Fisher

“Splinter Cell” series (2002-13)

The character of this iconic spy has developed considerably over the course of the last decade and Ironside has been there for nearly every step of the way, adjusting his own method to portray Fisher’s headspace. By treating the role with as much respect as any Hollywood part, he has captured Fisher’s gradual change from a detached, brutally analytical soldier to a veteran whose paternal instincts leave him more emotionally vulnerable. Ironside is often cast as a tough military man and so a perfect fit for a character whose personality has been so heavily influenced by the unenviable job he has – right down to the dark, honest humor Ironside expertly maintains throughout the series.

#6: George Takei as Emperor Yoshiro

“Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3” (2008)

Even before becoming a social media cult hero and living meme, Takei was stealing the show in this RTS as his oddball delivery fits in seamlessly within hammy and often surreal cutscenes. The game contains a number of unusual celebrity cameos but Takei stands out by flitting between the strict, stereotypical Japanese commander character and a comedic persona similar to what we’ve come to love online. As you struggle through your quest for world domination, there’s nothing better than Hikaru Sulu’s iconic voice to boost your morale. Don’t get on Emperor Sulu’s bad side, however, or he’ll hit you with one of his legendary insults.

#5: Christopher Lee as Ansem the Wise

“Kingdom Hearts II” (2006)

Whether he was playing Saruman, Dracula or the former sage-king of Radiant Garden, the late Christopher Lee carried a presence that many actors could only hope to possess. Before the events of KHII Ansem had been hounded by a responsibility to keep his people safe and that burden eventually corrupted his character – a very similar arc to the aforementioned villains he previously portrayed. In fact, we mostly see Lee as Ansem’s revengeful alter ego Darkness in Zero (or Diz), yet his voice still demands your attention and respect within this bizarre crossover universe. Although DiZ’s motivations are vague for much of the game, Lee creates a menacingly omnipotent antagonist.

#4: Andy Serkis as Monkey

“Enslaved: Odyssey to the West” (2010)

Despite the name, the protagonist of this adventure platformer isn’t another motion-captured primate in Serkis’ filmography. While Monkey won’t garner Serkis as much recognition as playing Caesar, the British actor followed the same processes he employs for any Hollywood mo-cap role in an attempt to address a deficiency in video game storytelling he himself had observed. He was personally involved in the project from its inception and his unmistakably kinetic style dominates absorbing cutscenes that critics felt elevated its story well beyond generic tales seen in other similar titles. Reviewers may have loved Serkis’ performance – and his bonus appearance in the climax - but consumers weren’t sold, meaning we’ll likely never see the character again.

#3: Keith David as Himself

“Saints Row IV” (2013)

First on our original list and third on our follow up: this Keith David fella sure is talented. His silky smooth voice has already graced the Saints Row series and other characters often remind him he sounds like Julius Little – an example of the surrealism that also allows his former “They Live” co-star “Rowdy" Roddy Piper to exist in the same universe. In fact, the former wrestler – wearing his trademark outfit -helps David’s fictionalized personality snap out of a betrayal that saw him become the temporary president of Virtual Steelport. He may not have been a legitimate leader but his words hold a gravitas that will undoubtedly bend you to his will.

#2: Mark Hamill as The Joker

“Batman: Arkham” series (2009-)

Since the end of the original Star Wars trilogy you might not have seen a lot of the man who found fame as Luke Skywalker, but there’s a good chance you’ve heard his voice – perhaps without even realizing it. As well as hundreds of other voice-only roles, Hamill has voiced Batman’s arch-nemesis in animated mediums since 1992. His turn as the clown-faced lunatic was only popularized during Rocksteady’s Arkham series, however, as his surprisingly nuanced portrayal finally reached a broader audience. Following two decades of practice, he knows the character better than any other as he uses the Joker’s laugh to display emotional fluctuations in a manic and hilariously theatrical performance of this terrifying anarchist.

Before we reveal our top pick, let’s take a look at some honorable mentions.

Nathan Fillion as Edward Buck
“Halo 5: Guardians” (2015)

Ray Liotta as Tommy Vercetti
“Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” (2002)

Eric Idle as Rincewind
“Discworld” (1995)

#1: Stephen Merchant as Wheatley

“Portal 2” (2011)

Nefarious, super-powerful AIs are a dime a dozen in today’s sci-fi climate, a villain cliché Valve decided to turn on its head for their platforming sequel. Wheatley is a bumbling moron – a natural role for Merchant – and his Bristolian accent humanizes him in a brilliantly ironic comparison to the typically cold and calculating nature of evil AI characters pervading popular culture. Merchant improvises many of his lines with an Extras-esque dry wit that masks his deception, provides subtle commentary on technology in society and singularly carries large portions of the narrative. Don’t tell Ricky Gervais that his collaborator-in-chief has easily beaten him to the top spot, however – he won’t be happy.


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