Voice acting is one of those things in video games that has massive highs and lows. Enjoy the authentic accent of Nico from GTA IV but hate the false European/Jersey mish mash of Heavy Rain? Well, it gets so much better and so much worse from there. Over the years, big name celebrities have lent their voices to the video game world, while back in the day video game voice actors used to be nothing more than Ted from accounting trying to make a few extra bucks. These are our picks for the best and worst voice acting performances in all of video game history.
Grandia was one of those awesome cult classic RPGs on the PSOne that had a rabid fan base even though few people knew about it. Since this was the era of the PSOne RPG when it was perfectly acceptable to find your voice actors behind the dumpster, it was pretty much fated to have the blandest and most monotone performance you could hope for. Justin, the main character, is easily the biggest offender. First of all, he looks like a five-year-old girl and sounds like a 25-year-old man who has been kicked in the nuts. Second of all, his lines have no emotion whatsoever. Third of all, he seemed to make a lot of unintentional innuendos, which was sort of creepy . Bad writing, bad direction, and bad acting: it's the bad voice-over trifecta.
Goldman, the big baddie from House of the Dead 2, constantly sounded like he had a frog in his throat. Goldman spoke with about as much emotion as a cheap text-to-voice program from the 90s, and coupled with his horrible writing, he was easily one of the least imposing villains of his era. Then again, it's always fun to laugh a little before the "Fahnal Baddle!"
The voice acting in Baten Kaitos is so horrible that it would be tough to pick just one character to blame it on. Sure, some of the NPC actors are competent, but most of the main characters do that weird "Shatner Speak" thing video game voice actors do where they pause awkwardly at the end of… every line. Not only that, but the entire game sounds as if it were voice acted through a cardboard tube. Screwing up voice direction or using a horrible take is one thing, but just failing on overall voice quality and echo reduction just feels like a tremendous lack of effort. Then again, the plot of this game was kind of mediocre, and I suppose it does become a bit funnier when you imagine all the characters giving their dramatic JRPG monologues while holding a roll of paper towels to their mouths.
In Dr. Light's "outstanding" performance in Mega Man 8, he not only sounds like a stroke survivor, but he also manages to stumble over his lines twice. He blatantly forgets who he is talking to. I always thought Dr. Light was going senile, but this is ridiculous. For the genius who invented Mega Man, he sure sounds a lot like a drunken Elmer Fudd.
Resident Evil is one of the most loved video games of all time, but its voice acting was horrendous. Once again, it has the trifecta: bad acting, bad direction, and bad writing. Barry in particular has been blessed with all three. Sometimes he overacts. Sometimes he underacts. Sometimes he states the obvious. Sometimes he makes a "Jill sandwich." Jill may be "the master of unlocking," but Barry is the master of bad voice acting.