Video games have a long and exciting history. Its popularity dating way back to the early 1980s, video games have grown into one of the primary forms of entertainment globally, rivalling that of TV, Film, and even Sports with the rise of eSports.
During this long history, there have been some outstanding voice actor performances. Some of the voice actors responsible for these performances have garnered the attention and praise that they deserve. However, some voice actors have slipped under the radar in comparison to others. These are the people this article will focus on, some of the outstanding voice actors that have not gotten the praise they deserve.
Here are my top 5 underrated voice performances in video games!
Robert T. Bogue – Red – Red Dead Revolver
Did you know that Red Dead Redemption 2 is the third instalment in the Red Dead series? Before Red Dead Redemption 2 and the original Red Dead Redemption came the arguably more obscure Red Dead Revolver.
Red Dead Revolver was initially released back in 2004 on Xbox and PlayStation 2 and is somewhat overshadowed by its forebears. Excluding the franchise’s hardcore fans, not many people know about the game other than that one cool western shooter they may have played once or twice when they were young.
Following its fall to obscurity, the main protagonist’s voice actor, Robert T. Bogue, would follow the same fate. He voices the game’s main protagonist Red Harrow, a rough, gruff gunslinger. You can also hear his voice in other Rockstar Games titles GTA IV and GTA V in supporting roles. It’s nice to see Rockstar and Bogue haven’t forgotten about each other!
Spoiler alert for the ending!
Young Maylay – CJ – GTA San Andreas
Arguably one of the best games of all time, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a game that has changed the course of gaming history. Seen by many as the golden game of Rockstar’s sixth console generation era, San Andreas still has today a vast online modding and multiplayer community for the game.
While the game itself is famous for the impact it has had on the GTA Franchise and gaming in general, not many people pay attention to Young Maylay.
Who is Young? He voices one of gaming’s most recognisable characters. Young plays the main protagonist for GTA San Andreas, Carl Johnson (aka CJ). Considering Young voice-acted alongside names such as Samuel L. Jackson in the game, I feel he is underrated and even overlooked for his performance.
Content warning for the video!
Jim Foronda – Claptrap – Borderlands
Borderlands has been a better single-player and multiplayer co-op game to come out in the past two decades. So popular that the original game spawned a franchise. A franchise that is taking steps to create a Borderlands movie!
One of the best performances in the game is Claptrap’s character, everyone’s favourite overenthusiastic robot. Claptrap has captured gamers across the world as a fan favourite ever since the original Borderlands was released. So loved that the one and only Jack Black will be voicing the character’s movie incarnation.
Jim Foronda does an excellent job with the character in the games and has forged a robot personality as nobody else has.
Content warning for the video.
Jon St. John – Duke Nukem – Duke Nukem
Here we have an iconic game from the 90s – Duke Nukem. It is regarded as one of the original games that helped kickstart the first-person shooter genre, along with Doom, MechWarrior, and Wolfenstein. Duke Nukem will always be known as one of the best game franchises in the industry for its impact on the industry and its controversial language and themes.
Fun Fact: upon its release, the game was initially banned from sale in Brazil (and other countries) due to its content. Its sale was also strictly regulated to ensure minors did not get access to it.
Aside from the controversy, Duke Nukem’s voice, performed by Jon St. John, is memorable for many reasons. Jon has voiced every iteration of the character since the franchise’s inception, and its many fans forever remember his one-liners.
Content warning (seriously).
David Scully – Sergeant Johnstone – Halo 2
For this last entry, we are looking at the Halo franchise. Halo emerged as one of the more unique first-person shooter games at the time of its release. It offered an alternative to the Call of Duty games and brought something fresh to the gaming scene, particularly for console gamers hungry to experience FPS titles on a controller.
Out of all the Halo games, Halo 2 stands out for its performance by David Scully, the charismatic Sergeant Johnstone. While Sergeant Johnstone plays a vital role throughout Halo Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3 (among other Halo games), I feel David’s voice acting in Halo 2 is the most overlooked.
Spoiler alert for the video—badass drill sergeant coming up!.
So, there you have it! My top picks for some underrated voice actors in the video game industry. Be sure to give them some love!