7 Video Game Mascots That MAYBE Need an Update

A good video game franchise can make a company. Where would Ubisoft be without Assassin’s Creed (a franchise that feels like it has existed since the dawn of man) raking in mountains of cash for them. Sure, some of them do not do so well, but a good franchise typically needs a good mascot, and some video game mascots are getting a little … dusty. The most egregious examples, in my opinion, are as follows…



bob hoskins as mario


Games are getting grittier and more realistic, but Mario seems stuck in the eighties. And not just in terms of his overall design, mind you, but even just in terms of textures. I mean those blue overalls; what fabric is that? Denim? Cotton? It’s impossible to tell! It looks like they’re made out of sweatpants material or something. Also, that mustache is very out-of-date. Maybe Nintendo could go with a hipster-style handlebar?



link combined with iron man armor


How many different generations of Time Heroes have there been? And they’re all still wearing pretty much this same green tunic, occasionally spruced up with a pair of white tights (a fashion choice that seems interesting, considering how quickly they must get filthy when you’re saving the world). I think in one of the games he has armor on, but come on, take a risk Nintendo!


Master Chief

master chief but cardboard boxes


A victim of his own success, there’s been a whole wave of “heroes in down-to-earth space armor” since Halo became such a landmark game. Because of that, ol' Chief is looking a little … bland. His update change doesn’t have to be too dramatic — he'd be livened up by just getting some kids to spray some cool graffiti on him (do kids still do that?).


Sonic The Hedgehog

sonic hoverboarding down the street


Nothing is more nineties than a “rude dude with attitude”, which is probably the perfect way for one of your parents to sum up what Sonic is like as a mascot. In the same way that no Sonic game has managed to capture our imagination in well over two decades, Sonic himself has become a pretty “blah” character. Sega tried to make him relevant again by surrounding him with new characters, but the problem with Sonic himself remains. I don’t have a solution, but as a '90s Nintendo fanboy, I just really wanted to grind this one in for a bit.


Gears Of War Guy

cast of gears of war


Does this guy even have a name? Sure he does, it’s “Generic Super Bad-Ass Army Guy Who’s Brought Back Into The Fold After Retiring/ Going To Jail”. The Gears of War games are tons of fun (although this is a low point for cheesy, exploitative narrative tropes) and it would be nice if they didn’t star a bunch of generic army grunts. Aliens had more well-rounded characters, and they all essentially boiled down to “tough latina”, and “sniveling Bill Paxton”.



guy in ryu costume doing haduken


We get it, you like karate gis. I think Street Fighter 4 finally gave Ryu the option of wearing a pair of jeans, but it’s still pretty sad when that represents a bold character design departure.


Duke Nukem

duke nukem watching strippers


First of all, that haircut/ always wearing sunglasses combo would probably make you say “Good lord, who is this douche?” if you ever saw it in real life. But even beyond his basic, terrible aesthetics, the very core of Duke Nukem no longer works. A total reaction against the “PC '90s” (gee, there sure was a lot of racism and homophobia for a decade that had gotten “too politically correct”), people have become much more aware of how problematic these kinds of characters are. A raging misogynist who shoots everything? That’s either going to be the main character of a gritty pay-cable TV show, or it’s going to be a guy who ends up being acquitted of a bunch of murders because he could afford a good lawyer. No one likes this kind of character anymore, so either acknowledge it within the game, or get rid of him completely.


What else needs fixing? Your life? Rough break. Let us know in the comments!


Check out 22 examples of video game logic here