The List: Top 10 classic video game characters

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From the November 1, 2012 edition

With “Wreck-It Ralph” bringing a little old-school video game flavor to theaters this weekend, we decided to count down our favorite characters from classic games.

10. Link

Sure he kind of looks like a Keebler Elf, but how many hours did you spend hacking and slashing your way to rescue Zelda?

9. Bill "Mad Dog" Rizer and Lance "Scorpion" Bean

You’ll never hear the heroes of “Contra” saying “YOLO.” Thanks to that classic code we all still remember, it was more like “YOLTT” (You Only Live Thirty Times).

8. Sonic the Hedgehog

Sega’s answer to Nintendo’s dominance with Mario, Sonic instantly made the Genesis the hot game system in the early ’90s. Who cares if you had a mild seizure every time Sonic got going full-speed?

7. The “Duck Hunt” dog

We all had a love/hate relationship with this smug pup. He was great at retrieving the ducks you shot, but his cocky laugh mocking our missed shots still haunts us.

6. Mega Man

Mega Man revolutionized the video game world by being able to jump and shoot ― at the same time! No wonder they made countless sequels.

5. Bo Jackson

In Tecmo Super Bowl no player was more unstoppable ― he could literally run circles around the defense. Nicknamed “Tecmo Bo,” he was the reason you fought your friends for first controller.

4. Ms. Pac Man

She was way better ― and more popular ― than the original Pac Man, and according to the title, she’s single. Oh, Ms. Pac Man, you sexy minx.

3. Donkey Kong

DK’s tale is one of redemption. He moved from the villain who kidnapped Mario’s gal and tossed barrels at him to the affable big ape in a little car in the “Mario Kart” series.

2. Samus

Great moments in video game feminism: Battling all the way through “Metroid” to the big reveal at the end. Samus takes off her helmet to reveal that the badass you’ve been playing as the whole time was a woman.

1. Mario

Everyone’s favorite plumber has been in some of the greatest games ever. We admire his persistence, never letting the fact that the princess was perpetually in another castle stop him from carrying on.