Most Recognizable Video Game Characters

For many millennials, socializing with schoolmates may have included internet buddies. Video game characters such as Mario, Luigi, and the rest of the cast were frequently vital parts of our childhoods. However, which ones left the strongest impressions? And will millennials identify these fictitious characters more than some of the world’s most influential leaders, professional athletes, and musicians?


With a few exceptions, the simple answer is yes; we know our video game characters better than our real-world politicians and pop culture stars. We polled approximately 600 millennials throughout the United States and asked them to identify photographs of notable people such as LeBron James, Cardi B, and Donald Trump. Continue reading to discover how the digital-only characters hold up against these real-world individuals.


America’s most iconic

If you’re a millennial and you can’t identify Mario, Pikachu, or Pac-Man, you’re in an extremely small minority. Just over 92% of this sample accurately identified Mario, 86.5% correctly identified Pikachu, and 85.5% correctly identified Pac-Man. Luigi, Mario’s little less well-known, green-suited sibling, was identified by 85% of respondents as such. Recently, a rare copy of “Super Mario Bros.” was sold for $100,000, making it the most expensive video game ever acquired and highlighting the appeal of the brand.



When you were younger, Pokemon may have also emptied your (and your parents’) pockets. The media empire has already amassed more than $90 billion in lifetime earnings, thanks to tremendous accomplishments in cinema and retail.


Pac-Man was a classic long before millennials’ prime video game-playing years, yet he remains etched in the minds of this generation. Pac-Man was accurately recognized by almost 85 percent of this generation, just edging out Sonic the Hedgehog and Luigi.


Princess Peach, the princess of a mushroom kingdom in the Mario universe, was the most recognizable female video game character. Her blonde hair, pink outfit, and crown prompted 81.1% of our responders to recall her proper name.


Rankings IRL

As millennials grew older, their favorite video game characters may have remained in their lives, but new characters began to appear on their screens. As shown in the preceding graphic, certain types of persons (both digital and actual) were more recognized than others. In reality, politicians performed rather well in terms of identification, with more than half of millennials accurately identifying each of them. Donald Trump would be pleased to learn that he is more well-known than Mario. Toad defeated Robert Mueller and Chuck Schumer by a wide margin. In contrast, Mitch McConnell narrowly defeated Charizard with a 58% recognition rate.



In terms of popularity, athletes, no matter how prominent they were, were no match for many video game characters. Less than half of respondents were able to identify Tom Brady, Serena Williams, and Roger Federer. Although they may not be accustomed to losing to actual opponents, these illustrious sportsmen were thoroughly defeated by Kirby, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong.


Compared to Electric Power

Nintendo characters continued to dominate in popularity competitions against politicians. Seventy-nine percent of respondents could identify Donkey Kong, while only 53.1% could do so for Boris Johnson. 65% correctly named Toad, while 61.3% correctly identified Beto O’Rourke. Five percentage points less individuals were able to identify Mitch McConnell’s name compared to Bowser, which was a blow to his ego.



Among millennials, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren would have lost her election versus Princess Peach. Eighty percent of respondents could identify Peach, whereas just 68.6 percent could identify Warren based on her photo. Perhaps Princess Peach might be an independent politician.


Lara Croft versus.

Lara Croft, the tomb raider, handily surpassed Cardi B in terms of recognition. Cardi B was a difficult opponent, though, as more than half (53.9%) of respondents correctly identified her. The popular artist has reportedly collected $8 million, so this competition is unlikely to knock her down.



Blake Shelton, presenter of “The Voice” and country music superstar, was frequently mistaken with another country artist, Luke Bryan. This cost him huge points versus Charizard, as roughly 17 percentage points more millennials correctly recognized Charizard.


Lil Nas X was connected to a surprise outcome. Although he topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 19 straight weeks, just 16% of millennials were able to recognize the rapper and performer. His voice, as opposed to his looks, is maybe his most identifiable attribute!


Combatants and Athletes

Stephen Curry lost a popularity contest to Sonic the Hedgehog. Even LeBron James could not compete with the Nintendo dinosaur Yoshi. Stephen Curry and LeBron James were only able to say the same phrase 53.6% and 61.4% of the time, respectively.



Finally, we put Crash Bandicoot against the MMA fighter “The Notorious” Conor McGregor. Not only did Conor lose this match, but he has also been accused of fighting without invitation and shattering a stranger’s phone inside his own octagon.


Virtual Recognition

Millennials embraced their favorite video game characters more than professional sports, influential politicians, and even some of the most famous singers in the world. Mario consistently surpassed basketball stars, musicians, and even global leaders in terms of recognition.


However, recognition for the sake of recognition is not necessarily a desirable thing. Seek to be well-known rather than well-known. No matter what, avoid taking oneself too seriously.



We presented 593 millennials with a sequence of photographs and posed the question, “Who is this person or video game character?” in order to collect the data presented above. Respondents were instructed to provide the name of the person or character; only first or last names were permissible. To qualify for this recognition task, respondents have to complete screening questions confirming their eligibility:


Participated in video gaming at least four hours every week.

Watched at least four hours of television every week.

Identified their political allegiance

Were members of a sports fan club

Audienced music

Regarding misspellings and evident signs of recognition, we leaned on the side of tolerance when approving respondents’ responses. To verify the accuracy of the data, we removed entries that properly recognized less than three figures. In some instances, aliases or “creative” responses were provided; nonetheless, every attempt was made to ascertain whether respondents knew the figures. This content was designed to be entertaining.


Fair Use Declaration

Want to see how many of these characters your friends and family can recognize? You may distribute this content for noncommercial purposes, provided you include a link back to this page and its writers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *