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When starting a new video game, one of the first things we tend to notice is whether or not it contains voiced dialogue. Back when the original PlayStation was released, actors and actresses were hired to voice characters for titles such as Resident Evil.

Alright. I’m sure many can agree with me that we faced severe second hand embarrassment due to the lack of quality in voiced performance. It was downright awful.

Fast forwarding to the present, voice actors and actresses in this era either make or break your experience. This year we got another taste of Mark Hamill as the Joker in Batman: Arkham Knight as well as Robert Atkin Downes as the disreputable Kazuhira Miller in Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain. In addition to those respectable actors, Camilla Luddington thrived as the courageous Lara Croft in Rise of the Tomb Raider, Laura Bailey excelled as the mischievous Fiona in Tales from the Borderlands, and Ashly Burch kicked some punk ass as Chloe Price in Life is Strange.

To say the least, we had some exceptional performances this year, and they did not go unnoticed.

 

Nominees

Camilla Luddington – Tomb Raider

lara croft

When Tomb Raider was rebooted back in 2013, Camilla Luddington was hired on not only to voice Lara Croft but to also provide the motion-captured performance to attain a more lifelike take. With its sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider, Camilla outshined as the audacious Lara Croft, portraying a more confident Lara than we saw in the first Tomb Raider. The character development is indisputable as Camilla molds Lara as the strong-willed Tomb Raider she was meant to be, risking whatever it takes to acquire the answers she desires.

Robin Atkin Downes – Metal Gear Solid V

metal gear solid

As most Metal Gear Solid fans know, Robin Atkin Downes has voiced the character of Kazuhira Miller or “Kaz” since 2010, and he has done a remarkable job. Kaz assists Big Boss or “Snake” on his missions throughout Metal Gear Solid V, being his second-in-command and closest friend. Robin strongly portrays the anger pent up in Kaz. The prevailing yet vulnerable emotions Robin accomplishes as Kaz undoubtedly allows the players to get an immense understanding of the revenge he yearns to seek.

Mark Hamill – Batman: Arkham Knight

the joker

Those who are familiar with Batman recognize The Joker from practically anywhere. Sometimes he appears quite funny and other times he appears absolutely frightening. In Batman: Arkham Knight, Mark Hamill rendered the insane homicidal villain in such a way that makes Arkham Knight so damn good. Not only does Mark present an excellent vocal performance as The Joker, he also brings so much to the story through The Joker’s creepy yet humorous acts. He depicts the “insane” trait of The Joker so well that he is the fans most beloved Arkham Knight character. You really can’t help but love the bizarre scoundrel, really.

Laura Bailey – Tales from the Borderlands

fiona

Tales from the Borderlands, as many of you know, is an episodic adventure game developed by TellTale that is based on the Borderlands series. Evidently, it grew to be one of TellTale’s most beloved releases, and a lot of its praise came from how dynamic its characters were, one of them being Fiona herself. Voiced by Laura Bailey, Fiona takes immediate charge throughout TFTB, constantly butting heads with Rhys and rolling her eyes at his reckless suggestions. Laura conveys Fiona beautifully, allowing the players of TFTB to experience how her emotions work …which most of the time they appear to be nonexistent. But as the story unfolds, Fiona’s loyalty becomes fierce, and Laura captures her devotion flawlessly.


 

Winner

Ashly Burch – Life is Strange

chloe priceWhen the episodic emotional rollercoaster that is Life is Strange was released, fans were immediately drawn to the protagonist’s long lost best friend, Chloe Price. Masked by independence and a rebellious act, Chloe’s past is just enough to make anyone’s heart ache for her. Voiced by Ashly Burch, Chloe is characterized so brilliantly in a way where fans can easily relate to the emotion she bears often — fear. Ashly conveys the dismay that Chloe feels the way a lot of people do: by putting up a wall and giving the finger to anyone who vibes her the wrong way.

Though Chloe may not seem like the most compassionate teenage girl, when she cares about someone, she cares about them wholeheartedly. Ashly’s performance throughout Chloe’s character development and her devotion to Max as a friend does not go unnoticed, and Ashly makes fans of Chloe Price want someone in their life who is that badass and that hella faithful.


For the complete list, visit our Game of the Year Awards hub page to see the full list. To learn more about our grading policy, read our review policy.

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Amanda has been obsessed with the video game industry since she mustered through an array of nearly impossible Sega Genesis games. When she's not writing, you will typically find her with her gaming computer, eating pizza, or watching Dragon Ball Z.