I don’t think I need to say that I love voice acting in video games and voice acting in general. It is just fun to find all these different characters from different games, TV shows, or films, and see that they are all played by the same person. For example, Seth Balmore, from Lost Odyssey, the big baby from Spirited Away, Juliet Starling from Lollipop Chainsaw, and Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, are played by the same female voice actress, Tara Strong. I could make one gigantic list of voice actors, but I had to be picky and pick the ones that stand out to me. Plus, it would be redundant to keep saying every single time, “I just love this male or female voice actor”. I am just going to pick the ones I find the most appealing, and the ones I think are a lot of fun to listen to. I usually like to have an honorable mentions list, and would have added people like Steve Blum in all of his coolness, Mauriche LaMare and his comedic timing, Phil LaMarr with his roles as Hermes Conrad and Samurai Jack, Clancy Brown for his role of playing a good sophisticated villain, Tom Kenny, in his eccentric charm, Grey Delise, with her ability to tackle both good and evil characters, and you get the idea. However, that list would be way too long. For this list, the ranking doesn’t matter.
1. Jim Cummings
Boy, this guy ruled your childhood if you were born in the late 80’s or early 90’s. I am not joking, he was everywhere, and he still is everywhere in terms of voice acting. He is the voice for Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Darkwing Duck from um, Darkwing Duck, The Terror Mask from the 2010 Splatterhouse game, so many voices in the PC adventure game Toonstruck, one of the main bad guys in Kingdoms of Amalur, Razoul from Aladdin, Cat from CatDog, King Allfire and the chancellor from Blazing Dragons, Totec and Xolotl from Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, and I literally could go on and on, but I won’t. He is probably more famous for his cartoon voice work, and I don’t hold that against him since there is something so warm and familiar with his voice when he does the voice of some of our favorite childhood characters, but I would like to see him do voice work for more mature shows or games, because I think he can do it. A good example of this is his crude and very sadistic role as The Terror Mask. Either way, whether it be a show or game for kids or adults, I will almost sure to find Jim Cummings wherever he might pop up
2. Nolan North
This guy is a lot of fun to listen to. He is best known for his role as Nathan Drake from the Uncharted franchise, the main voice actor for Deadpool, and a few other roles, but those are his best-known roles. He has done some surprisingly deep roles also, like the lead character from Spec Ops: The Line. I think my favorite thing about him is that he can do well with any character he is given. He makes Nathan Drake feel like a normal guy, and makes Deadpool delightfully zany without being too annoying. I honestly think he needs to get more characters under his belt like his recent gig as Penguin from the Batman Arkham games, and as two of the main villains in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. Other than those, the lineup of characters he is known for is small, but it is enjoyable to hear him do those characters.
3. Tara Strong
Oh boy, I have talked about this particular voice actress a lot. She is probably my favorite female voice actor of all time. She just brings life to the characters, and has a range of voices at her disposal that she can use. She can voice young women, teenagers, young girls, and even young boys. She is like Jim Cummings as she has been in what seems like every single cartoon ever made, My Little Pony, Fairy Oddparents, Ben 10, Drawn Together, Powerpuff Girls, Teen Titans, and you get the idea. She has also been in some really good games like Eternal Sonata, a handful of the Tales games, Lost Odyssey, and the recent Lollipop Chainsaw. It is a shame that more game developers don’t hire her because she is a very talented and I think could do well in the video game industry.
4. Rob Paulsen.
Need a zany cartoon character voice? Why not hire the guy who was Yakko from Animaniacs and Raphael from the 80’s TMNT cartoon actor, Rob Paulsen. I think my favorite characters he voices, besides Yakko Warner, is when he has to be a quirky character like Danny Phantom’s Jack Fenton, who is eccentric, but kind of stupid. His delivery as this kind of character is the best, but any cartoon character he has voiced has had a good sense of timing and punch. He has done some video game voice work, but it has always been a secondary character and not a lead protagonist or antagonist. His most recent role will be as Beak Beak in the kickstarter adventure game, Armikrog. I do think he can be utilized as a comedic main villain due to his experience in a lot of cartoons. If you need any more reasons why this guy is so great, just look up Yakko’s World on YouTube and find the video where he is on a stage reciting the entire song on the spot.
5. Jeff Bennet
If you need a guy that has a 50’s vaudeville sound in your character that can be threatening or silly depending on the situation, Jeff Bennet is your man. He has done many characters from Dexter’s dad from Dexter’s Laboratory, Joker from Batman: The Brave and the Bold, many characters from Kids Next Door, and numerous other characters. I think the voice that he uses where it sounds like something from the 40’s or 50’s radio dramas or Adam West’s Batman series is unique, and can be used in different ways. He has done other kinds of voices, but that is the one I love the most from him. I also think with a few of his characters, there is a little added insanity to them, and if you don’t know what I mean, watch shows like The Misadventures of Flapjack or Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He has done a few video games like Blazing Dragons, one of my all-time favorite PlayStation 1 and Sega Saturn games, and I would like to see him in more video games.
6. John DiMaggio
While known as a voice actor for snarky characters like Bender from Futurama, he is also rather good at playing villains in a serious or silly light. For example, he is the voice of Gorilla Grodd and Aquaman from Batman: The Brave and the Bold and as the Joker from Batman: Under the Red Hood. His roles in video games have been very minor, with only a few roles here and there, and again, more video game companies should hire him. He has also done silly characters like Jake, from Adventure Time, but whether you like him when he is being silly or serious, he is a good voice actor, and hiring him will always be a wise investment.
7. Frank Welker
Megatron, from the 80’s Transformers and the 2010’s Transformers Prime, Freddy Jones and Scooby Doo from almost every single Scooby Doo incarnation, Abu from Aladdin, Curious George from the mid 2000’s Curious George film, Ralph the Guard from Tiny Toons and Animaniacs, Slimer from Ghostbusters, The Ancient One from StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and Tortoro from My Neighbor Tortoro. I don’t think I need to say why this guy is so good. Moving on!
8. Mark Hamill
Oh boy, here is another voice actor I just love to talk about and praise to the gates of Valhalla. He is Joker from most Batman incarnations, Fire Lord Ozai from Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Watcher from Darksiders, and many other villain characters from games, shows, and film. To my surprise, he has done a good job with also being really funny, with certain characters he has voiced in the past. He just gets it, and I get so excited each time I see he will be doing a voice in a show, movie, or game.
So, be sure and stay tuned for another list of my favorite voice actors . There are simply too many for one list!