Today we look at several black voice actors who have provided their voice for popular video game characters, these voice actors have stood out in our eyes and left us with fond memories of the characters they were chosen to interpret. Black people have always been charismatic on and off Hollywood’s silver screen and the video game industry is no exception. Many black actors and actresses have provided their instruments to give voice to a number of video game characters, we take a look at some of our favourite voice actors who are not seen but heard.
With characters of colour already heavily under-represented in gaming, these voice actors have bought life to the characters they portrayed, winning our hearts through their characters’ voices with little acknowledgement or fame. This list is devoted to those black voice actors and actresses who brought life to their respective characters and captured them in such a way that we can never forget them. Here are 10 of our favourite black/African-American and black descent voice actors in video games.
Stand-out role: Franklin Clinton (Grand Theft Auto V)
Shawn Fonteno portrayed Franklin as one of the three main protagonists in Grand Theft Auto V, the voice of Franklin is a perfect fit and we couldn't imagine any other person voicing him, this also wasn't his first time working with Rockstar games as he also played a minor role in GTA San Andreas, oh and Shawn is the cousin of Young Maylay, the same person who voiced Carl Johnson, conscience? We think not. Playing as Franklin was all the more enjoyable thanks to Shawn Fonteno, which only disappointed us when we finished the game as Franklin's story was so short.
Stand-out role: Sazh Katzroy (Final Fantasy XIII)
Final Fantasy XIII didn't live up to a lot of people's expectations, there was a lot going on but at the same time it felt sort of soulless in comparison to early predecessors in the franchise. One character stuck out though despite all the mediocrity that shrouded him, that's right, Sazh was the stand out character in Final Fantasy XIII and it was all thanks to his English voice actor Reno Wilson who bought extra appeal to the character he portrayed.
Reno Wilson's voice acting made everyone of Sazh's action a memorable experience, whether he was looking after his son Dajh, attempting to talk sense into an unruly cast or injecting humour into a otherwise serious moment. Reno Wilson is also the English voice actor of Killer Bee from Naruto Shippuden and has featured in the Naruto Shippuden video game series.
Terrence C. Carson
Stand-out role: Kratos (God of War series)
Terrence has voiced a number of video game characters but his most prominent role has to be Kratos from the God of War series. Kratos is a take no bull opposing protagonist. And it's all thanks to Terrence Carson for producing a voice that mirrored an individual driven by heartache, payback and irrepressible rage. What's awe-inspiring about Carson's execution is the amount of humaneness he expresses through Kratos in God of War III. He presents it in a way that stayed genuine to Kratos while displaying his development as a character, lest we forget his role in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale was just as fierce and fiery.
Stand-out role: Sheva Alomar (Resident Evil 5)
Karen Dyer made her debut into the video game industry by providing the voice for Resident Evil 5's Sheva Alomar in 2009, she would later go on to voice Elena in Street Fighter X Tekken and Ultra Street Fighter IV. We absolutely adore her voice and she did a good job in portraying both African characters despite being American. We feel Sheva and Elena's charm are not just from their distinctive looks but also soft and elegant voices.
Stand-out role: Parappa (Parappa the Rapper)
Parappa the Rapper is an iconic Playstation musical rhythm game and it couldn't have been possible without Dread Foxx, the voice and soul behind the rapping dog known as Parappa. Dredd Foxx would later return several years later to fulfill his role as Parappa the Rapper in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, and we tell you the magic hasn't been lost, and quite frankly we couldn't imagine anyone else voicing the hip-hop pooch.
Stand-out role: Storm Ororo (Marvel vs Capcom 3)
The moment we heard Storm's voice in Marvel vs Capcom 3 was the moment we knew she meant serious business, Susan Dalian was able to create a voice for Storm that sounds fierce, determined and lady-like all in one package and dare we say she's one of the most underrated voice actors in the business. Susan was also the English voice actress of Haku and Yugao Uzuki from Naruto Shippuden who are both playable in the Naruto Shippuden video game series.
Stand-out role: Carl Johnson (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)
Carl Johnson's powerful narrative would most likely have been far less impressionable without Young Maylay's solid execution. As CJ works his way up the food chain Maylay was able to deeply express that in the script. He captured CJ's submissive beginnings and his uncertainty towards restoration of Grove Street. But by the ending of GTA San Andreas Maylay has CJ speaking with confidence, while holding onto a definite level of humbleness around his business friends and family members. That, along with his more humorous moments is why CJ is such an unforgettable significance character in the GTA universe.
Danielle Nicolet first major video game voice acting role was in Tom Clancy's Hawk 2, she's also featured in Grand Theft Auto V and Saints Row IV as Shaudi but it wouldn't be until several years that Danielle would catch our attention with her prominent role in Mortal Kombat X as new comer Jacqui Briggs. The actress bought life to Jacqui in MKX and gave us the chance to connect with Jaxx's daughter on a much deeper level, something that wouldn't have been possible without Ms Nicolet's charming voice.
Stand-out role: Emmett Graves (PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale)
Khary Payton video game voice acting portfolio is mighty strong, he's lent his acting talent to a number of noteworthy games, including Metal Gear Solid, Dead or Alive and The Sims 3 just to name a few but our personal favourite has to be his portrayal of Emmett graves from Starhawk. Our first encounter of Khary's voice acting in video games was PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, he played a mean Emmett Graves and ever since then he's won us over.
Tristan D. Lalla
Stand-out role: Adéwalé (Assassin Creed IV: Black Flag)
Tristan D. Lalla is the man who voiced Agaté in Assassin's Creed III: Liberation and Adéwalé in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, his portrayal of both characters is very strong.Tristan portrayed two black men with troubled pasts but great ambitions and ideals. Pride and naievete in the end lead to Agaté and Adéwalé downfall and Tristan voices those transformations with sheer conviction and sincerity. He also supplied his voice for the games Far Cry 2 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
To conclude this article we'd also like to know who's your favourite black voice actor in video game history? Let us know.