Video game characters tend to be larger than life. From Kratos’ bulging muscles to Lara Croft’s unrealistic proportions, they are touched upon just enough to still resemble a regular person while being practically perfect. Although this fan service is mostly associated with female characters, with some preferring to show off their body rather than properly dress for the occasion, the guys are also idolized. Taking a page from cable TV, games exist in a world littered with gorgeous people and anyone who is fat and ugly ends up as a villain or a comedy side-kick.
The more popular heroes and heroines might seem too good to be true, but most fictional characters have a real-life doppelgänger. Some are based on a specific model, who might have lent their voice for the role, while others just look similar to a famous face. This is not actually all that surprising, as celebrities and fictional heroes represent some of the most gorgeous men and women. Some overlap should be anticipated.
OK, that is more than enough stalling – let’s get to the fun part. Today, we’ll be looking at video game characters who look exactly like real people.
25. Lara Croft In The Flesh
This should come as no surprise to someone who followed Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s development, as Camilla Ludington served as the model and voice actress for the legendary adventurer. While some liberties were obviously taken, we do not need to squint to see the similarities. Outside of the video game world, the 34-year-old actress is mostly known for her role as Dr. Jo Wilson on the hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy and a stint on Californication. While Lara is arguably the most known character to share her voice, the accomplished actress was also Supergirl in the free-to-play DC MOBA Infinite Crisis and Zatana for the Justice League Dark animated movie. As the two recent Tomb Raider games sold relatively well, there is a good chance we’ll get even more of Camilla’s Lara.
24. Nathan Drake’s Alter Ego As A High School Football Coach
From their wavy but stylish hair to those defined jawlines and five o’clock shadows; Naughty Dog’s globe-trotting action star and Coach Eric Taylor are cut from the same cloth. Kyle Chandler is one of those reliable TV actors who show up in a variety of shows just because they are so damn likable. Famously known for his runs on Friday Night Lights and Bloodline, he might not measure up to Nathan Drake in terms of heroics, but it’s always a blast when Kyle makes an appearance on screen. Naughty Dog has altered the charming lead character’s design quite a bit over the years, with the latest version being the one most similar to Chandler. With both hitting their 40s, maybe men really are like fine wine.
23. Miranda Lawson Is Yvonne Strahovski
More often than not, when an in-game character is modeled after a celebrity, they are touched upon just enough to be their own thing. Miranda Lawson is one of those rare exceptions, as it is impossible to not see Yvonne Strahovski in every aspect of her appearance. The extremely talented actress, remember for her role as Hannah on Dexter but loved for being Sarah Walker on Chuck, also lent her voice to BioWare’s massive RPG. Throw a blonde wig on Miranda and teach her how to smile properly, and the two would be a 100% match. If the world is ever blessed with a Mass Effect TV or movie adaptation, either cast Yvonne as the Cerberus Officer or leave Miranda out of it all together.
22. What If Samus Could Sing And Dance?
As Nintendo’s legendary heroine occasionally seems like she is made of plastic, her smooth and flawless features do not translate easily to real life. Dianna Agron is as close to a spitting image of Samus as the world is likely to get, sharing similar facial features and a close to identical body type. The young actress’ rose to fame with her role as Quinn Fabray on the cultural defining series Glee, showing a remarkable talent for not only acting but singing. Over the years, Dianna’s performances earned multiple nominations and resulted in a few awards. In 2011, Victoria’s Secret awarded the title of Sexiest Smile to Dianna, something which Samus is not so fond of doing.
21. Desmond Miles Is Modeled After A Model
Desmond Miles is far from the most interesting character in the Assassin’s Creed universe, mostly being treated as an afterthought in most of the later releases. In terms of looks, he definitely did not get the short end of the stick. Francisco Randez is a French-Canadian model turned actor, who was cast in the role after Ubisoft reached out to his modeling agency. With each new entry in the franchise, Francisco is called in to update Desmond’s profile. Remove the Assassin’s grisly scar, pencil in a stubble, and the two are near identical. As Desmond’s appearances are mostly kept to the previous generation, it can be hard to shake that uncanny valley feeling during some scenes. If nothing else, Francisco will always be remembered as the face of a bad-ass assassin.
20. Resident Evil’s Helena Harper Used To Be Married To An Iranian Prince
Resident Evil 6 might not be the most fondly remembered entry in the franchise, at least within America, but a few interesting characters were introduced, including Helena Harper. Part of Leon’s campaign, this trained operative works for the Division of Security Operations and serves on the President’s protection detail. Unfortunately, Helena kind of sucks at her job as the person she is meant to protect turns into a zombie. Helena is modeled after Natasha Alam, an Uzbekistani actress who moved to New York after meeting an Iranian Prince. Besides Helena, this gorgeous model was also a regular on The Bold and the Beautiful and appeared on an episode of CSI. As Capcom look to put the messy Resident Evil 6 behind them, Natasha’s Helena is unlikely to feature heavily in any future releases.
19. Uncharted’s Elena Fisher, Stephen King And Two And A Half Men
Nathan Drake’s better half, Elena Fisher features in every mainline Uncharted game besides The Lost Legacy. Since 2007, Emily Rose has not only provided her voice to Naughty Dog’s acclaimed series but also her likeness. Featuring prominently in Uncharted 4, Elena helps ground Nathan’s adventure, adding a sense of weight and finality to proceedings. The developers did enough to distinguish the in-game character from her real-life counterpart, especially since Elena is not meant to be a larger than life persona. Outside of the video game industry, Emily’s big break came in the form of Syfy’s Haven, a supernatural crime procedural loosely based on a Stephen King novel. The actress was also cast on Two and a Half Men, Ghost Whisperer and Private Practice.
18. Max Payne Takes After His Creator
It is not uncommon for writers to base the physical appearance of the protagonist on themselves, even if unconsciously. In this case, Sam Lake knew what he was getting into. Lake wrote the story and script for the first two Max Payne games, which was developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by Rockstar Games. As the original was still an unproven IP, and Remedy had a relatively small budget to play around with, Lake stepped up to serve as the face model for the iconic detective. Once Max Payne proved to be a hit, the developer could afford to bring in a real actor for the role, allowing Lake to focus on just the story. While he did not return for the final entry in the series, the writer has kept himself busy with Alan Wake and Quantum Break.
17. How About A Silent Hill And Star Wars Crossover?
One is known for birthing and then killing God, while the other played a pivotal part in the eventual takedown of a Galactic Empire. Heather Mason is the lead character in Silent Hill 3, although she makes an appearance in quite a few other entries in the series. Although she is only 17 years old, Heather shares more than a passing resemblance to the Rogue One actress. Felicity Jones is one of Hollywood’s current leading ladies, delivering highly regarded performances in The Theory of Everything and A Monster Calls, besides her famous role as Jyn Erso. As Silent Hill 3 came out 14 years ago, and Konami is determined to not revisit it, Jones might be the closest thing we get to an adult version of Heather.
16. Final Fantasy, Battle Royale, And Keanu Reeves
Final Fantasy X is a great game, with Yuna playing a huge part in its success. While most can take or leave the sequel, which saw the summoner upgraded to the main protagonist, the kind but naive humanitarian stole many hearts during the game’s original release. While the characters in the series tend to be the definition of exaggeration, there definitely is some of Yuna in Ko Shibasaki. By 2001, the actress had gotten her big break in Asia with a haunting turn as the psychotic Mitsuko Sôma in Battle Royale. When not convincingly killing her classmates, Shibasaki starred in a multitude of Japanese movies and TV dramas, while also hitting the stage as part of two musical groups. She received her full Hollywood debut in Keanu Reeves’ 47 Ronin, which was just unfortunate.
15. Sam Fisher’s Less Gruff Doppelgänger Is Brody Jenner
A former Navy SEAL operative, it is no easy feat to find a picture of Sam Fisher without some kind of gear covering half his face. Spending decades fighting for his country as the main character in Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Fisher is conventionally handsome, despite the rough exterior. The son of Caitlyn Jenner, Brody has had an easier go of things than his video game counterpart, so his features are understandably softer. Still – that’s nothing a sting in the CIA cannot fix. While Eric Johnson provided the motion capture for the agent’s last action-adventure romp, the highly rated Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Fisher’s appearance dates back to the older games and is not directly based on the actor.
14. Miranda Shepard Or Was It Jane Kerr?
Obviously, as Mass Effect allows players to edit their Shepard, it could very well be that your Jane looks like a completely different person (or even a guy!). Going from the basic version of the character, and the promotional material released for Mass Effect 3, Miranda Kerr might not pass for the Commander’s twin but they totally could be blood sisters. So, if an alien invasion ever breaks out, we know who to call. Kerr is an Australian model and gained worldwide fame as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. One of the world’s highest paid models, her weirdest claim to fame happened a few years back when a banker was caught viewing explicit photos of Kerr during a Channel 7 interview. To her credit, Kerr took this sudden and unexpected spike in popularity in her stride.
13. Parasite Eve, The 100, and Joss Whedon
Aya Brea is the reliable police offer and protagonist for the fantastic Parasite Eve series. As the first two entries date back to the days of the original PlayStation, Aya only really started to resemble an actual human being in the third and final PSP game. Dichen Lachman is an established TV actress, earning recurring roles on Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, The 100, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Supergirl. As she tends to portray strong-willed women, Lachman’s similarities to Aya go further than just skin deep. Although there is still quite a lot to compare on the surface. An actress who is a joy to watch on screen and a sorely missed video game character, both have secured their place in nerd culture.
12. Far Cry Owes A Lot To Michael Mando
Movies and TV shows often have a breakout star, something which rarely happens in the video game industry. Far Cry 3‘s Vaas Montenegro broke that rule, as he was everywhere for a short while. The sociopathic but charismatic pirate lord is practically the poster boy for Ubisoft’s popular franchise, thanks in no short part to Michael Mando’s gripping performance. While the series was already popular, Far Cry 3 marked the point when it really became a household name and Ubisoft started the yearly releases. While already an established actor at the time, the Canadian’s career really took off after being cast as Vaas. Following it up with brilliant performances in Orphan Black and Better Call Saul also could not have hurt. The similarities are obvious here, as Montenegro and Mando are one in the same.
11. Valve Sure Know How To Pick Them
The Left 4 Dead franchise might not have much of a story, instead offering players hundreds of zombies to shot in the head, but it does not mean the heroes cannot look good while doing it. Zoey’s features were based off Sonja Kinski, a model turned actress and the daughter of Nastassja Kinski. As the character designs used for the series are hardly the most detailed, since they do not need to be, Zoey does come off as somewhat of a generic brunette. Sonja’s natural beauty still managed to shine through, helping to establish the dual pistol wielding bad-ass as a fan favorite. With Valve yet to announce a Left 4 Dead 3, it is doubtful whether Sonja and Zoey’s futures are set to intertwine.
10. Quiet’s Model Loves The Otaku Culture
Leading up to the release of The Phantom Pain, Quiet ended up being the subject of quite a bit of controversy due to her provocative appearance. While going into a war zone dressed in a bikini might not be the most sensible of choices – no matter how Kojima tries to justify it – there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this sniper is a stone cold looker. Most of that comes down to her dutch model, Stefanie Joosten. Currently living in Japan, the young actress also voiced the ICEY character from the game with the same name and is building a decent career in the film industry. More awesomely, in an interview with Japan Today, Joosten expressed a love for the otaku culture and, especially, anime and games.
9. Mass Effect, Hugo Boss, And Zoolander
Jane Shepard is not the only one with a real-life doppelgänger, although John’s flesh and blood version is considerably more obvious. Serving as the default model for Commander Shephard, millions of Mark Vanderloos have saved the universe since the original Mass Effect was released. Viewed as one of the fashion industry’s biggest male icons, Vanderloo has worked with Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, and Giorgio Armani. He also helped inspire the name for Zoolander‘s main character. With both Commander Shepard’s sharing similarities with two icons of the model industry, it goes a long way to explain why their crewmates find them so damn irresistible. Honestly, considering the person he is based on, we are surprised Shepard doesn’t just walk around shirtless all of the time.
8. Cortana’s West Coast Model
One of the most recognizable AIs in gaming, Cortana received a noticeable facelift with the release of Halo 4, as 343 based their design on Washington model Paisha Coffey. While some fans might not appreciate the change in appearance, as Cortana was considerably more unique looking in the previous entries. There is no denying this edition was quite pleasing on the eyes. Coffey has worked with some major companies over the years, being photographed for Italian Vogue and taking part in an Adidas campaign, with 343 being another notch on her belt. Unfortunately, with Halo 5 once again changing the AI’s appearance, it is unlikely that this version of Cortana will resurface for future missions.
7. Heavenly Sword, Fringe, And Anna Torv
Mostly known for her role as Olivia Dunham on the sci-fi series Fringe, Anna Torv provided the voice and likeness for the main character in Sony’s short-lived hack and slash title. Released as part of the launch line-up for the PlayStation 3, Heavenly Sword earned a fair amount of praise due to its motion capture work, with Ninja Theory bringing in the master himself Andy Serkis. Nariko, a warrior who is tasked with defending her kingdom from the demented King Bohan, is voiced expertly by Torv and is considered one of the more attractive characters in Sony’s arsenal. While an animated movie was released in 2014, with the Fringe actress reprising her role, it is hard to see Sony returning to the franchise after all these years.
6. No Prison Can Hold Dante
Most people either love or hate DmC: Devil May Cry, with Dante himself coming under a decent amount of criticism. Set in an alternate reality to the rest of the series, this version of the demon hunter is Americanized and holds only a passing resemblance to the original character. Tim Phillips is the actor behind this portrayal of Dante, but he shares more than a few similarities with Prison Break star Wentworth Miller. Cut from the same cloth, the only thing separating them is their hairstyle, which is nothing a good wig cannot fix. While most are more than happy to leave this version of the wise-cracking hero behind, Miller’s career continues to go strong with recent appearances on Legends of Tomorrow and Season 5 of Prison Break.
5. Bayonetta And Children’s Music
Below the neck, PlatinumGames’ heroine is free from the shackles of reality, but her facial features give us something to work with. Although not a perfect match, singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb fares favorably to gaming’s most sensual female protagonist. Also, finding a playable character who actually wears glasses – even if restricted to cutscenes – is surprisingly challenging. Anyway, the similarities are really only skin deep, as the musician is mostly known for creating wholesome pop-rock ballads and nursery rhymes. Loeb has released multiple CDs and books catered towards kids, with 2003’s Catch the Moon adapting a few popular children songs into folk music. While a lot of adjectives can be used to describe Bayonetta, innocent is not one of them.
4. Julia Voth Took Cosplay To A Whole New Level
Cosplay is one of those activities die-hard fans of a character would love to be able to pull off. Sadly, dressing up convincingly as Resident Evil‘s Leon or Claire is much harder than just throwing on a grisly jacket. In 2016, Jill Valentine’s model decided to surprise fans by cosplaying as her popular video game counterpart. The Candian actress started out in commercials, working with global brands such as Shiseido and Calvin Klein, before landing the role of a lifetime as the character model for 2002’s Resident Evil remake. Later on, Julia Voth made the jump to primetime television, being cast in episodes of Supernatural and Castle. Valentine’s look has become so iconic, it is hard to imagine any other model stepping in for Voth.
3. Ignore The Accent – Tracer And Aoi Miyazaki
While Tracer’s face was not the body part which launched her into the public consciousness; her lovable persona, adorable accent, and tragic backstory quickly made her a fan favorite. Overwatch does not lack for attractive characters, but their cartoonish appearance makes them hard to imagine for real life. When it comes to Blizzard’s poster child, Aoi Miyazaki is probably as close as we are going to get. Tracer’s huge anime eyes make it practically impossible to get anything other than a passing resemblance, but the Japanese actress fits the bill in quite a few other ways. One of her country’s most decorated actresses working today, Miyazaki has won multiple awards for her fantastic acting and voiced Hana in the highly rated Wolf Children.
2. The Witcher’s Doppelganger
Okay, maybe doppelganger is pushing it – but the American actor could easily pass off as Geralt’s younger brother. It is only from the third entry in The Witcher series that the protagonist could arguably be considered handsome but considering all the women who end up falling for him, this version of Geralt is probably the most accurate. As CD Projekt did not use motion capture, the design is not based on a model, but Hawai Five-O’s Ian Anthony Dale could have easily stepped up to the plate. The actor is no stranger to the video game industry, as his likeness can be seen in Sleeping Dogs‘ Ricky Wong and Battlefield Hardline‘s Marvin The Thief. Dale is also the man behind Scorpion’s legendary mask in the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series. With such an impressive resume of tough-as-nails warriors, who would not buy him as Geralt?
1. Lara Croft In The Flesh, Part 2
Bringing the article full circle — Lara has had many faces over the years, with more than eight different models stepping into her skin. The earliest games in the series seem almost funny by today’s standards, with the adventurer resembling a squarish alien rather than a human. Things got better once the PlayStation 2 games started to hit the shelves, as Lara got proper full lips and some pretty kickass hair. Before she even raided her first tomb, Kirstie Alley was already turning heads as a regular on classic TV shows like Cheers and continues to be a reliable performer until today. Although it is unlikely she served as inspiration for Sony’s character, their facial features are spot on and Alley could have made a fantastic Lara back in the 80s and early 90s.