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Who's Your Favorite Dad in Video Games?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Next week Kratos and Kazuma Kiryu are reigniting the bright flame that is fatherhood in video games.

Article by USgamer Team, .

It's Dad Season, apparently. At least judging from what's in the pipeline for next week. There's Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, about a newly-dubbed grand-dad on the search for his surrogate daughter's baby daddy. There's God of War, the soft reboot of super-masculine Kratos and the new kid he has. And there's Nintendo Labo, which will just inspire a bunch of dads this week, probably.

So for this week's community question, we ask everyone this: Who's your favorite dad from video games, and why?

Mike Williams Reviews Editor

This question is quite specific, because it's not "who is the best video game dad." No, friend, it's "who is your favorite video game dad?" The former question is a harder one for me. Kazuma Kiryu is the father with a heart of gold to an entire group of goddamn orphans. Mayor Mike Haggar literally tore off his shirt and beat up punks to get his daughter back. And who can forget Heavy Rain's Ethan and his "Press X to Jason"?

But far and away my favorite gaming dad is the King of All Cosmos from Katamari Damacy. Sure, he's not the best father in terms of being a loving parent that will listen to your problems and give you fatherly advice. Sure, he went on the drinking binge that destroyed the galaxy and left his son to clean up the mess. But look at him. LOOK AT HIM! He's so goddamn fabulous.

You can't even really be angry at him. He just wants his son to be better than he is. Isn't that the core of fatherhood in most of these games? And whether he's stretching, or playing tennis, or whatever, at least the King is always interested in what his son is up to. Such a lovely father.

Nadia Oxford Staff Writer

Gaming's best papa? Bowser, of course. Yeah, the big lizard has issues with how he treats women (especially women in pink dresses), but I can't help but admire how much he cares about his snotty-nosed heir. There's a reason why Nintendo chose the towering patriarch and his son as the spokesmonsters for the Nintendo Switch's video on parental controls, right?

There you have it. Bowser may kidnap Peach time and time again without a thought for what she wants, but he's damned if he's going to let his kid catch a glimpse of an anime boobie in the hottest new T-rated JRPG.

Matt Kim News Editor

There are a lot of dads in video games. Some good, some bad. But none of them hold a candle to papa bear Harry Mason from Konami's original Silent Hill game on the PS1. Name one other dad who would travel to a literal hell on earth to search for his missing daughter who was kidnapped by an evil demon cult? Not only that, but when his daughter came back wrong by the end of the game, he still took her in and raised her, even if her ultimate destiny was to become some kind of demon messiah? Harry Mason, father of the year.

Caty McCarthy Features Editor

I think… I think I have to go with Kiryu from the Yakuza series. Maybe I have a soft spot for him because I too only have a dad-like figure in my life and not a pops related by blood. My father figure's a great guy and helped shape me into the person I am today, and really stepped up when my real-life dad decided to not visit anymore. (Annnd, sob story over.) I see a lot of him in Kiryu, honestly, another man who stepped up to be a father figure to the orphaned Haruka when he didn't have to.

Kiryu, as we've written about in the past, is a criminal with a heart of gold. In his spare time, he helps manage an orphanage and take care of all the kids who are raised there. He's sweet to Haruka, who is basically his daughter. Kiryu goes very far to protect his dozens of sorta-kids, including allowing the yakuza lifestyle to pull him back in time and time again. Kiryu's a great dude. And more importantly, he's a great dad. (And grandpa too!)

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Comments 31

  • Avatar for DrCorndog #1 DrCorndog 13 days ago
    I want to say Dr. Light. He manages to screw up the entire course of human history, yet never takes any blame for it. He's gotta be doing something right.

    But I'm gonna go with Big Boss.
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  • Avatar for Xemus80 #2 Xemus80 13 days ago
    The telephone in Earthbound.
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  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #3 Flipsider99 13 days ago
    Harry Mason from Silent Hill 1! Just think about all the hell he goes through to find his daughter!
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  • Avatar for jeffcorry #4 jeffcorry 13 days ago
  • Avatar for Roto13 #5 Roto13 13 days ago
    If I never play another dad sim, I'll be OK.
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  • Avatar for InsertTokenz #6 InsertTokenz 13 days ago
    I kind of have a 3-way tie for this one:

    Mike Haggar (Final Fight) - When his daughter is in danger by a rampant street gang, he won't hesitate to save her by systematically MURDERING EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF THAT GANG.

    Pankraz (Dragon Quest V) - Like Haggar, he will do what it takes to protect his son.

    Arthur Wedgewood (Wonderful 101) - Sometimes you don't need superpowers to be a hero.
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  • Avatar for Godots17thCup #7 Godots17thCup 13 days ago
    Sojiro definitely did not start things off on the right foot, but damn, if he didn't completely win me over through the course of the main story and both his & Futaba's confidants in Persona 5. Just about everything Sojiro does over the course of the game is either for the sake of Futaba, the protagonist or Wakaba's memory; even when he messes up, it all tends to be rooted in concern for the well-being of the two kids under his care, Futaba especially.
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  • Avatar for Iliya-Moroumetz #8 Iliya-Moroumetz 13 days ago
    Dad Nier.

    Not many dads will inadvertently doom humanity's one last chance for survival to save his daughter.

    But hey, at least he's a badass while doing it.
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  • Avatar for MarsDragon #9 MarsDragon 13 days ago
    Terry Bogard found his worst enemy's son on the streets and took the kid in to raise him to be a fine fighting game protagonist in his own right. He's never anything but loving and supportive to Rock, and you can see how fatherhood has changed and matured him through the entirety of Mark of the Wolves.

    Terry's great is what I'm saying.
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  • Avatar for The-Challenger #10 The-Challenger 13 days ago
  • Avatar for AstroDemon #11 AstroDemon 13 days ago
    @Iliya-Moroumetz I agree completely. Nier, with Emil and Kaine destroy everything in their path unintentionally(?), and maybe do a little fishing, in order to save Yonah. Nier was a great dad, but were his choices "good?"

    Sam Fisher seems like a good 2nd choice in Conviction.
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  • Avatar for AstroDemon #12 AstroDemon 13 days ago
    Deleted 2 weeks ago by AstroDemon
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #13 SatelliteOfLove 12 days ago


    Cassius Bright

    Totally OP in-universe. (the plot revolves AROUND him in the Trails games to a certain extent)

    Totally understandable human needs

    Sharpie Mustache of Power

    Best Dad Jokes goin'.Edited 2 weeks ago by SatelliteOfLove
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #14 NiceGuyNeon 12 days ago
    The best parent in a video game is a dead parent. Tragic backstory and all to motivate the real hero to kill some dudes and all.
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  • Avatar for Neolit #15 Neolit 12 days ago
    Booker DeWitt and Joel.
    Both brought to life by one phenomenal actor.
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  • Avatar for docexe #16 docexe 12 days ago
    It’s between Harry Mason from Silent Hill and James McCloud from Star Fox. There is something admirable about someone who goes to hell on earth and back to rescue his daughter, as well as someone who temporarily returns from death just to guide his son to safety.
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  • Avatar for nimzy #17 nimzy 12 days ago
    I was going to pick "your character in Dragon Quest V." Then I started thinking about which dad has the most complicated relationship with his kids in video games, and the answer always came up Kain.

    (Honorable mention goes to Barry of Resident Evil, who is probably the most paternal character I've ever seen in a video game. He's a dad, that's what he does.)
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #18 VotesForCows 12 days ago
    I'm gonna run with Kiryu, having just finished Yakuza Kiwami. He never questions the fact that he has to fight (for example) an alley-full of twenty sword-wielding yakuza - bare-handed. He just does it, cos its the right thing to do. And Haruka at age 6 or whatever consistently provides great motivation - "beat them up, mister!"
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #19 MetManMas 12 days ago
    This is favorite dad, right? Doesn't have to actually be a good dad or even a good person, right?

    Jack Baker.

    A man who just wanted to do the right thing, twisted into a nigh immortal comedic psychopath due to forces outside of his own control.

    Things just weren't the same after he checked out (more or less) after the Chainsaw Scissorman duel.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #20 LBD_Nytetrayn 12 days ago
    Besides Kiryu and Bowser, I'm going to say Cranky Kong and Dr. Light.

    Oh, and Locke-- ha, no, just kidding. He's a terrible dad and doesn't even count any more.
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  • Avatar for hdthroh #21 hdthroh 12 days ago
    Donkey Kong

    Edit:@LBD_Nytetrayn I hadn’t seen your response before I replied. My Donkey Kong knowledge stops with the exterminator in DK3, but I understand there may be some doubts re DK’s parentage of Jr. :) I’m going to pick up DKC for the 3DS while it’s a reward title.Edited 2 weeks ago by hdthroh
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  • Avatar for moochan #22 moochan 12 days ago
    For Nadia I would have thought it would be Bowser or Hero from Dragon Quest V (sorry if spoilers). But really I would actually go with Torneko from Dragon Quest IV. Just a humble merchant trying to do right for his wife and son. He really is a lovable goof-off (seriously he takes a lot from the Goof-Off class from Dragon Quest 3) that loves his family.
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #23 SuperShinobi 12 days ago
    Joel from TLoU easily, even if he's a surrogate dad to Ellie. Octodad a strong runner-up.
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  • Avatar for AndreasStalin #24 AndreasStalin 12 days ago
    I’ll go with Joel too.
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  • Avatar for bigchaezit #25 bigchaezit 12 days ago

    Mine's Greil from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. He's pretty tough on Ike, but it's to his benefit. He's also a sort of father figure to the whole mercenary company (Titania is the mother figure). Beneath all of Ike's world-saving shenanigans, I think you could even sort of summarize his personal quest from the beginning of Path of Radiance to the end of Radiant Dawn as little more than a drive to be better than his father.
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  • Avatar for ojinnvoltz #26 ojinnvoltz 12 days ago
    Balbanes Beoulve. Screw War of the Lions, Barbaneth is stupid.
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  • Avatar for jeffcorry #27 jeffcorry 12 days ago
    Okay seriously, Cecil's father, Kluya, is pretty cool.
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  • Avatar for Wellman2nd #28 Wellman2nd 11 days ago
    Does Piccolo count? Because I would choose him.
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  • Avatar for Hoolo #29 Hoolo 11 days ago
    Innkeeper Karl from Bravely Default. This is a man whose frail and sickly son trained himself hard and became the Captain of the Caldislan guard before ultimately dying to Argent Heinkel. He takes it incredibly hard and becomes bedridden because he's sick and despondent. It takes taking a young child from a war-torn country to live with him to make him feel better. He's just the one dad that really sticks to mind, much more than Braev Lee.

    Though Madason (Hero V) and Pankraz are super good dads, too. For the period of time they're around, anyway.
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  • Avatar for ElectricBurgers #30 ElectricBurgers 11 days ago
    Sojiro Sakura.

    Thanks for the coffee and curry lessons and for feeding me and my friends, NotDad.
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  • Avatar for DalaranJ #31 DalaranJ 11 days ago
    Clive Winchester from Wild Arms 4.

    But Sojiro Sakura is a really good second choice. Persona has some good dads.
    Except Persona 2 which has really shitty dads.
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  • Avatar for Nuclear-Vomit #32 Nuclear-Vomit 10 days ago
    The dad from Heavy Rain. He's so cool that he lost track of his stupid son in crowded mall and I like how he shouts "Jason" every few seconds. Also, he's industructable! A car hits him while he shields his son. He lives but the Jason dies. He only inherited one copy of the industructable gene, clearly.

    What a badass! Spoilers for a game that everyone shits on, but I really like.
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