10 Best Examples of Character Animation in Video Games

If you have ever tried animation, you will know that it is far from an easy task. You need to account for the movement of the character, and you have to make it believable and lifelike. However, one thing that makes animation really scary is video games, which is why only the best animators are able to create a truly lifelike character that will satisfy the standards of gamers, which very quickly notice if something is out of place. Having that in mind, here are ten examples of character animation in video games that were done beautifully.

1. Prince of Persia (1989)

The first game on this list is far from new, but it is a masterpiece of 2D animation, considering the time when it was made. Every move of the prince is smooth and polished, which can be seen in the tiny details, like sudden stopping or jumping, which is far better developed than other games of that period.

2. L.A. Noire (2011)

This game, based on the genre of film noir, brought a breath of fresh air to the industry, when it comes to the animation of faces, as prior to it, faces were much simpler and cruder, whereas, in this game, they had to be made more complex, as one of the key points is for the players to be able to read the characters’ facial expressions.

3. Horizon: Zero Dawn (2017)

This is a more recent release, which features some beautiful animation of inanimate objects and nature, but also of the robots, which are at the same time very realistic, but not enough that they lose the ‘robotic’ quality that there is to them –it was certainly a demanding task for the animators.

Dronepicr [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)] – cropped

4. Bayonetta (2009)

The thing that brought Bayonetta to this list is the meticulous motion capture technology used to map out the main character’s movements, which are a combination of fighting moves and dancing. This was no easy job, both for the animators and for the models.

5. Tekken 7 (2015)

This is another part of the world-famous fighting game series, which features new character moves in every new edition, and it deserves a place on this list.

6. Tobal 2 (1997)

This is one more game that was released some time ago. Tobal 2, played on the good old PlayStation 1, features what is known as procedural animation, which enables for the animations to take place on the spot, and allows for a more realistic way of creating imagery in the game.

7. Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

Usually, when we think of great animation, we think of this game, which presents the very peak of procedural animation, and presents us with mind-blowing lifelike movements of the character as he encounters his surroundings.

Coastal Elite from Halifax, Canada [CC BY-SA -(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)] – cropped

8. Shadow of the Colossus (2005)

When we think of video game horses, we may think of the unrealistic horses in Skyrim. However, Shadow of the Colossus presents beautiful animations of this majestic animal.

9. Metal Slug (1996)

Although an old game, it serves as a monument to the animators who made the most of what they had, making every little dot count.

10. The Last of Us (2013)

This is by far one of the best examples of character animation, with impeccable movement and balancing around, which is breathtaking.

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