The spookiest time of the year is almost here and from all of the ghoulish creatures out there, nothing makes our skin crawl quite like a skeleton. Sure there more magical, hellish and ferocious monsters out there but skeletons are the only one that well… exists. The idea of your bones coming to life and heading out to wreak havoc is a pretty spooky one and that’s exactly what these ten piles of femurs, skulls and tibiae did, and in the process also cemented their place in gaming history. So on the eve of Hallow’s Eve, we are giving credit to the best skeletons to ever spook us silly while playing a video game!
10 – Sir Daniel Fortesque (MediEvil)
MediEvil is a PlayStation classic that for reasons unknown hasn’t been given much time in the limelight by Sony since its 1998 release. Which is too bad since the game’s combat and visuals made for a fun experience back in the day. And at the heart of this game is the noble (dead) knight – Sir Daniel Fortesque who, even in death takes up the sword against the forces of evil. Noble to the end, Sir Daniel was also one of the playable characters in PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, so you know that at least Sony has at least not completely forgotten this lovable skeleton.
9 – Dry Bowser (Super Mario Series)
In the Mario universe, it seems that every character has an alter-ego or doppelganger. And for the King of the Koopas that honor falls to Dry Bowser, a skeletal incarnation of Bowser that often serves as a ‘more powerful’ version of Mario’s nemesis in the New Super Mario Bros. series of games. But this infernal beast has a softer side and enjoys go karting, sports and playing party games. I guess it just goes to show you can’t a judge a book by its cover.
8 – Gravelord Nito (Dark Souls)
Spoiler alert. Gravelord Nito from Dark Souls is the scariest (bunch of) skeleton(s) on this list. None of the other bones here can even hold a candle to this shambling deadly monstrosity. When I started writing this list I knew it was going to be pretty lighthearted but I had to include him just out of sheer terror that I would be murdered in my sleep for omitting him,
7 – Mr. Grimm (Twisted Metal Series)
While not technically a skeleton in the traditional, Mr. Grimm from the Twisted Metal series really, really… really wants to be one and here at Link-Cable we will definitely not stand in the way of anyone’s dreams, skeletal or not. And really, when you were a skull as a mask and head out to wreak mayhem on a motorcycle there’s nothing more you can do to earn your skeleton wings.
6 – Sheriff Skullface (TimeSplitters: Future Perfect)
His name is Sheriff Skullface, of course he makes the list. This multiplayer character from the excellent TimeSplitters: Future Perfect was actually a personal favorite of mine from back in the day, mostly due to his cool attitude, awesome cowboy hat and just the fact that he’s a freaking wild west skeleton sheriff!
5 – Spinal (Killer Instinct Series)
When it comes to deciding which character should serve as the mascot of the Killer Instinct series, you can’t really go wrong with Spinal. This skeleton pirate is a fan favorite for many reasons. He’s quick, agile and ferocious in battle and an obvious choice to earn a spot on this spookiest of lists.
4 – Scervo (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)
The Legend of Zelda series is known for its excellent bosses and Skyward Sword probably features the most well-rounded cast of them in the entire series. And standing out among this standout case is non-other than the robotic-skeleton-pirate-captain – Scervo. With an incredible battle with Link on top of a time travelling ship stuck in a dried ocean, this was one of the most memorable set-pieces that the series had delivered up to that point and a high point for the series in general.
3 – Gregg The Grim Reaper (Conker’s Bad Fur Day)
Not the be the bearer of bad news, but death comes for everyone in the end. Well if when our time comes we’re greeted by the wise-cracking, sarcastic and potty-mouth Gregg from Conker’s Bad Fur Day then maybe it won’t be all that bad. One of the best comic-relief characters in any game from the 5th generation of gaming, the character’s quotes have become the stuff of legends to fans of Conker’s legendary platformer.
2 – Sans (Undertale)
When people started really digging into Undertale, one of the characters that exploded in popularity right alongside the game was Sans the skeleton. And really its easy to see why, he’s lazy, self-absorbed yet lovable, charismatic and endearing, and his personality shines through thanks to his wonderfully developed expressions and sprite work. An instant classic.
1 – Manny Calavera (Grim Fandago)
Could it have been anyone else? Manny Calvera, the undead travel agent from the seminal Grim Fandango has become on of the most beloved game characters of all time, thanks to is acerbic wit, sharp personality, hilarious mannerisms and his disdain for the work that comes with being the grim reaper.
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