originals\ Nov 23, 2016 at 2:14 pm

Top 5 characters in the Mass Effect series

And the survey says...

I love Mass Effect and its lore. I was one of five people to get Mass Effect 3 early from the weather balloon launches and am cautiously optimistic about how Andromeda will carry on the storyline. 

Now that Mass Effect: Andromeda has been pretty much fully revealed, we wanted to go ahead and look back at the top 5 characters in the Mass Effect Universe. Commander Shepard is not included for obvious reasons being the main character and because I don't want to get into a debate of "Who's better, Shep or Fake Shep?".

For that reason, the five characters will be all those who have made a substantial contribution to the franchise in any combination of its three games. Seeing as these are my personal favorites, I ended up choosing five characters that had a decent backstory and/or personal dilemma at stake as they stood out to me more. Take a look below and let us know what you think.

 They are ranked from 5th to 1st, with 1st being the best of my personal favorites. 


5. Tali'Zorah

Tali is the epitome of the girl who tries to impress the guy. Normally, I hate these characters because they are so cliche, but Bioware did it right by her. She meets Shepard on a right of passage mission and is trying to impress him for the sole reason of earning the respect of her people. She mentions numerous times that the Quarians are usually looked down on, and Tali feels it's her responsibility and personal mission to right that. Bioware didn't go with a typical damsel in distress story with Tali, and it paid off as her story and mission flow extremely well into the overall lore. Her fighting skills are average at best, but she's a dedicated member of Shepard's team until the end. She died for me at the end of Mass Effect 2 unfortunately and was shot in the face as she opened the door in the suicide mission.


4. Jacob Taylor

A human, biotic male, Jacob becomes one of Shepard's mainstays in the game. I know many may pick Miranda over Jacob, but I can't do it seeing as she's a double agent for the Illusive Man and that bothered me. He's the most loyal to Shepard throughout the game, and his biotics play a pivotal role at the end of Mass Effect 2 with his shield ability. Jacob comes from a home with an absent father, which plays into his loyalty and desire for acceptance from Shepard. In Mass Effect 3, Jacob decides he just can't do it anymore and tells Shepard he and his wife are naming their child after him. It's a story of "I realize what's more important for me" and Jacob does what he needs to do in order to be happy. A story of personal sacrifice and dedication paying off in the end. 


3. Grunt

Yes, not Urdnot Wrex. I really preferred Grunt's unpredictable nature more than Wrex's analytical side. I got enough of that with Shepard and other characters and found Grunt to be just what Mass Effect needed from the Krogan race. Grunt is the Leeroy Jenkins of Mass Effect and always seems to go right into battle. He's the epitome of what a Krogan should be, as he's genetically engineered to be a super soldier after the Krogan genophage and their reproduction issues. Even being a "test tube baby", Grunt still manages to have some philosophical doubts about his existence and power. After all, he was just given them while others grew up and had to fight for them. It was an odd little side issue and helped develop Grunt overall as a character with choices made based on a combination of these two things and not just battle related. 


2. Jack

The one you don't bring home to mom. Jack is a female human biotic and the most powerful one alive at that. She is so bad ass that she had to be kept in cryosleep so she wouldn't escape. Cerberus kidnapped her as a girl, told her that her mom had died, told her mom that she had died, and experimented on her as a child for their own benefit. You know, typical Fortune 500 company stuff. She takes the name Jack and ends up becoming a pirate while murdering anyone who gets in her way or even thinks about bringing up her past. Jack is a Jekyll and Hyde psychopath who can barely keep her temper together. She's covered in tattoos, gets sexually aroused from fighting and yet somehow still has the where with all to realize she needs closure. Bioware does well to not let her go off the rails and Shepard helps her in her loyalty mission to try and destroy Cerberus. If you play your cards right, she's a romance option for him. She's a redemption story and I liked that. 


1. Garrus

Is there really any debate here? I mean, really. Garrus is the epitome of zero f's given and is basically the video game version of Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. He's a C-Sec officer and ends up helping Shepard in the medical wing from protecting the doctor. He joins the team here or later if you picked Wrex first in your choice. He chose to do what's right in the game, despite having orders for the opposite. Although it's possible to play all the games without ever using him, I haven't talked to one person who has done so. Unfortunately, he died for me in the end of ME2 and was lifted sky high into the air, so I didn't get to use him in ME3. Still, overall he's the best character for me in the game and remains the only one I believe who could have his own game. 

Honorable Mention: Javik the Prothean. He was a great character, but he, unfortunately, was only available in the DLC so I couldn't really consider him a "main character". 

Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay is set to be revealed next week on December 1st , live during The Game Awards. Until now, we've had to delight ourselves with cinematics and brief alpha footage. Hopefully, the gameplay will shed some light on new mechanics as well.

The game takes place in the year 2185 right between Mass Effect 2 and 3. In a last ditch effort in case their fight against the Reapers fail, humanity sends four ships to Andromeda in search of a hospitable environment to rebuild.

More to come next week at The Game Awards, and let us know what your favorite characters in the series are. 

About The Author
Mike Boccher Just a guy lucky enough to talk about games with you fine people. "Don't ever tell anybody anything, when you do, you start missing everybody".
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