The Top Ten Tattooed Characters in Video Game History

The Top Ten Tattooed Characters in Video Game History

Body art is a big part of gamer culture nowadays.

The worlds of video games and tattoos have overlapped in exciting ways in the last decade or so. Not only are people frequently getting homages to their favorite games inked on their bodies, but games from all genres are starting to feature characters with tattoos of their own. Body art has popped up in everything from first-person shooters to open world adventures. Check out this list of the top ten characters with tattoos in all of video game history.

A shot of GTAV's tattoo parlor feature. #tattooedcharacters #videogames

10. Tattoo Parlors — Grand Theft Auto V

Alongside offering the opportunity to wreak havoc on the streets of Los Santos and the surrounding countryside of Blaine County, Rockstar's hugely popular open world action-adventure, Grand Theft Auto V, also features tattoo parlors, where you can ink you avatar up. If you're in the business of fucking shit up, like running over pedestrians and ramping cars between buildings, why not get a bunch tattoos while you're at it?

The quick-footed Faith from Mirror's Edge. #tattooedcharacters #videogames

9. Faith — Mirror's Edge

Faith — the main character from EA DICE's action-adventure platformer, Mirror's Edge — has a pretty badass abstract blackwork arm tattoo and a piece encircling her eye. Maybe if she didn't have this crazy cool body art, then she wouldn't have to constantly be running from members of her dystopian society's totalitarian regime.

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The badass Kratos via Gods of War. #tattooedcharacters #videogames

8. Kratos — God of War

The flagship Playstation series, God of War, was one of the first games to prominently feature a tattooed main character — Kratos, aka the "Ghost of Sparta." This deity-slaying antihero has a huge red tribal tattoo sprialing from his left eye down his back and onto his arms. Interestingly, the large-scale piece is a tribute to his fallen brother, and is closely tied into a prophecy about the "marked one" that drives the rather iconoclastic plot.

Edward Kenway from Assassin's Creed: Black Flag. #tattooedcharacters #videogames

7. Edward Kenway — Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Pirates and other buccaneers are best when heavily tattooed, and thankfully Ubisoft made the right decision to have Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's swashbuckling protagonist sport a few historically accurate sailor tattoos of his own. 

Agent 47 and his barcode tattoo from Hitman. #tattooedcharacters #videogames

6. Agent 47 — Hitman

The sneaky and sharp-shooting Agent 47 from the longstanding Hitman series was one of the first characters in video games to have body art. Since the onset of the franchise way back in 2000, he's had a barcode on the base of his skull. Interestingly, it's also where this coldblooded assassin gets his name, borrowing from the last two digits of the tattoo. 

Wei Shen a la Sleeping Dogs. #tattooedcharacters #videogames

5. Wei Shen — Sleeping Dogs

The hard-ass protagonist from Sleeping Dogs, Wei Shen, has some killer black and grey tattoos. What's remarkable about the body art in this game is that it actually draws inspiration from conventional genres of tattooing. For instance, he has an eagle done in the traditional American style and a Japanese dragon. All things considered, since he infiltrates what is pretty much the equivalent real-life equivalent of the Yakuza, it probably would have been better to give him a full-blown Irezumi bodysuit.

The heavily tattooed character Jack from Mass Effect. #tattooedcharacters #videogames

4. Jack — Mass Effect

Jack or "Subject Zero" from BioWare's epic sci-fi action role-playing video game, Mass Effect, is one of the best tattooed ladies ever. She has crazy blackwork biomechanical as well as black and grey portraiture all over her biotic body, including "N7" on one of her butt cheeks. 

Taboo Tattoos from Fallout 4. #tattooedcharacters #videogames

3. Taboo Tattoos — Fallout 4

Beyond tricking out your Power Armor with a slick paint job and bludgeoning Death Claws, one of the best features of Bethesda's Fallout 4 is that you can collect a number of flash designs called "Taboo Tattoos" throughout the wasteland of the Common Wealth. They feature images such as an eagle, skull, four-leaf clover, and an anchor. Hilariously, the only place your avatar can have these pieces of body art placed is on the face.

The main character from The Last Guardian. #tattooedcharacters #videogames

2. The Last Guardian

The Last Guardian is the most recent game to prominently feature a tattooed main character. The unnamed protagonist of this amazing action-adventure is covered head-to-toe in tattoos. Though they don't directly reference any particular tradition of indigenous tattoos in real life, they roughly resemble some body art from the South Pacific.

Hanzo from Blizzard's FPS Overwatch. #tattooedcharacters #videogames

1. Hanzo — Overwatch

Blizzard is constantly playing with body art nowadays. Though they are doing this in several of their titles, none exemplify this growing trend in tattooed video game characters than their FPS — Overwatch. For example, the character Roadhog has a pig's face on his big belly. However, when it comes to body art, the archer Hanzo takes the objective. His left arm features a Irezumi sleeve of a dragon, and what's even cooler is that when he fires his ultimate ability, it comes to life to obliterate the other team.

If you haven't played any of the aforementioned titles, you should consider picking some of them up. They're all fun games. Also, if you have any loved ones who are gamers, most of the titles on this list are fairly recent if not from this year, and any one of them would make an excellent gift for the holidays. 

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