Father’s Day is upon us, which for many means BBQs, hanging out with dad, and partaking in plenty of other fatherly activities. For gaming families, this may include a Mario Kart tournament, slaying enemies in split-screen online multiplayer in Call of Duty, or even dusting off the old Atari so dad can enjoy some Pong-fueled nostalgia. However one celebrates Father’s Day, there are some virtual fathers that we may spend more time with than our real life ones.
Over the last 30+ years, gaming has seen its fair share of fathers. Not all of them are necessarily the “best” dads, but they are all certainly representative of fatherhood in gaming, and when people think of gaming dads, these 10 characters definitely come to mind first.
10. Mike Haggar (Final Fight)
Despite being created by Japanese company Capcom, Mike Haggar is about as American as a baseball-playing bald eagle eating apple pie. He’s a mountain of a man, a former professional wrestler, and in his debut game, Final Fight, he’s even working as mayor. Unfortunately for Haggar, his daughter Jessica is kidnapped by the devious Mad Gear gang, so Haggar does what any good father would do: he goes on a punching, stabbing, pile-driving rampage across Metro City to rescue his daughter.
9. Michael De Santa (Grand Theft Auto 5)
At the start of Grand Theft Auto 5, Michael is in therapy, in part because he simply cannot connect with his children. His daughter is buzzing on every drug imaginable, sleeping her way across town, and his son is a burnout who can’t be bothered to do much of anything except smoke pot and play video games. Despite all the trouble he went through to escape his dangerous life of crime, Michael’s “normal” life with his dysfunctional family is far from ideal.
However, over the course of GTA 5, we see Michael rebuild his relationship with his kids, bonding with them over insane boat heists and saving them from stalkers. Michael may not win the Father of the Year Award any time soon, but surely he’s done a much better job than Trevor ever could.
Up Next: Best Dad or Worst Dad?