The people have spoken: Mario, Link, and Master Chief are the most beloved characters in video game history. Guinness World Records made the announcement this morning, providing a ranking of gaming's top 50 characters of all time based on fan voting.

More than 13,000 Guinness World Record readers cast their votes, making Nintendo's Mario the runaway winner, and Nintendo the most popular publisher with 11 of its characters in the top 50.


"The world has seen so many pivotal characters throughout the history of gaming that asking our readers to narrow it down to just 50 was a challenge in itself," Gaming Editor Gaz Deaves said in a statement. "Some of the choices on the list are obvious, some less so, but it's sure to get gamers talking about their favorites."

The Guinness Top 50 Video Game Characters of All Time:
1. Mario (Donkey Kong, Nintendo, 1981)
2. Link (The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo, 1986)
3. Master Chief (Halo: Combat Evolved, Microsoft, 2001)
4. Solid Snake (Metal Gear, Konami, 1987)
5. Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII, Square, 1997)
6. PAC-Man (PAC-Man, Namco, 1980)
7. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider, Eidos 1996)
8. Gordon Freeman (Half-Life, Valve, 1998)
9. Kratos (God of War, Sony, 2005)
10. Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega, 1990)
11. Crash (Crash Bandicoot, Sony, 1996)
12. Soap MacTavish (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Activision, 2007)
13. Nico Bellic (Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar, 2008)
14. Samus Aran (Metroid, Nintendo 1986)
15. Ratchet (Ratchet & Clank, Sony, 2002)
16. Nathan Drake (Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Sony, 2007)
17. Captain Price (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Activision, 2007)
18. Kirby (Kirby's Dream Land, Nintendo, 1992)
19. Marcus Fenix (Gears of War, Microsoft, 2006)
20. Pikachu (Pokemon Red/Green, Nintendo 1996)
21. Yoshi (Super Mario World, Nintendo, 1990)
22. CJ Johnson (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Rockstar, 2004)
23. Mega Man (Mega Man, Capcom, 1987)
24. Sam Fisher (Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Ubisoft, 2002)
25. Shadow (Sonic Adventure 2, Sega, 2001)
26. Jak (Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Sony, 2001)
27. Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem, Apogee, 1991)
28. Dante (Devil May Cry, Bandai, 2003)
29. Naruto (Naruto: Konoha Ninpoch, Bandai, 2003)
30. Altair (Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft, 2007)
31. Zelda (The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo, 1986)
32. Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII, Square, 1997)
33. Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong, Nintendo, 1981)
34. The Prince (Prince of Persia, Broderbund, 1989)
35. Ezio (Assassin's Creed II, Ubisoft, 2009)
36. Leon S (Biohazard/ Resident Evil, Capcom, 1996)
37. Ash Ketchum (Pokemon Red/Green, Nintendo, 1996)
38. Guybrush Threepwood (The Secret of Monkey Island, LucasArts, 1990)
39. Spyro (Spyro the Dragon, Universal, 1998)
40. Ghost Riley (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Activision, 2009)
41. Goku (Dragon Daihikyoe, Epoch, 1987)
42. Max Payne (Max Payne, Rockstar, 2001)
43. Jill Valentine (Biohazard/ Resident Evil, Capcom, 1996)
44. Princess Peach (Super Mario Bros., Nintendo, 1985)
45. Larry Laffer (Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, Sierra, 1987)
46. Augustus Cole (Gears of War, Microsoft, 2006)
47. Bowser (Super Mario Bros., Nintendo, 1985)
48. Eddie Riggs (Brutal Legend, EA, 2009)
49. Ryu (Street Fighter, Capcom, 1987)
50. Sackboy (LIttleBigPlanet, Sony, 2008)

Sharkey says: He's ranked way down at No. 40, but Ghost from Modern Warfare 2? Why, because he wore a mask with a skull on it? Come on Internet, you're better than that. Noticeable omissions: GlaDOS, John Marston, Garrett from Thief, Andrew Ryan, JC Denton from Deus Ex, and HK-47. Thoughts?