By Ben Grandis
This Top 10 List is dedicated to my Mom. She is not a gamer, but she is the best doctor and mom anyone could ask for. Happy Mother’s Day all the doctor moms out there.
There are plenty of scientifically-savvy characters in gaming. Some are trying to discover the next big breakthrough to help humanity. Some just want to rule the world with their superior wits and technology. Some want to do a little bit of both. Regardless of their intentions, we want to celebrate some of the greatest minds in gaming. Whether they specialize in medicine, engineering, physics, robotics, or a bit of all the above, these are some seriously smart cookies. The following doctors have all had a memorable impact on our games, and we’re grateful for that. Thanks, Doc!
#10. Dr. Mario – Dr. Mario
What better way to start our list than with one of the first doctors in gaming history? Riding off the incredible popularity of the original Super Mario games, 1990’s Dr. Mario proved that the world’s favorite plumber had a few more tricks up his sleeve than just rescuing princesses and stomping on Goombas. With future appearances in the beloved Super Smash Bros. series, Dr. Mario reminds everyone in the Mushroom Kingdom to stay healthy while having fun.
#9. Medic – Team Fortress series
One of the most thankless yet necessary roles in any Team Fortress game, the Medic is the key to any team’s victory. With his powerful Medi Gun, this German doctor can keep any teammate alive, and even make them invincible for a short period of time. Now that’s what I call good medicine!
#8. The Lutece Twins – BioShock: Infinite
These mysterious twins act as quirky and cryptic guides for Booker DeWitt throughout his mind-bending adventure through the aerial city of Columbia. Both physicists, Robert and Rosalind Lutece harbor many secrets among themselves and often present the player with intentionally deceptive choices, all in the name of their metaphysical research. They certainly may be some of the most eccentric characters on this list, but their ability to comprehend and study quantum mechanics is no small feat. Kudos to this duo for mastering science across multiple realities.
#7. Elisabet Sobeck – Horizon Zero Dawn
(WARNING: Contains spoilers for Horizon Zero Dawn)
A pioneer in robotic engineering and artificial intelligence, Elisabet Sobeck’s brilliance is matched only matched by her altruism. Having committed her life’s work to combating the effects of climate change, Dr. Sobeck truly sought to make the world a better place through science. Even when humanity was faced with its inevitable extinction by murderous machines, she had the forethought and compassion to produce GAIA and the Zero Dawn initiative, which would give life on earth another chance to survive thousands of years in the future, even after she and her contemporaries would perish. She has atruly selfless and intelligent mind unlike anything else in gaming.
#6. Gordon Freeman – Half-Life series
Arguably the most iconic doctor on this list, MIT-educated Gordon Freeman is the silent protagonist of Valve’s critically acclaimed Half-Life series. Despite never saying a word or even being visible in-game to the player, Gordon Freeman’s persona is defined through his interactions with the complex and interesting characters he interacts with. By allowing the player to always be in control of Gordon and his movements, even in scripted story sequences, Valve has provided gamers with a deeply immersive experience through this heroic physicist. We hope that we’ll one day see the conclusion of his narrative in the so far nonexistent and controversial Half-Life 3.
#5. Robotnik AKA “Eggman” – Sonic the Hedgehog series
The most comically nefarious doctor on this list, Dr. Robotnik, also referred to as Eggman due to his egg-shaped torso. has been the primary antagonist of the Sonic the Hedgehog series since its inception in 1991. A master of machines who is hellbent on ruling the world, he has all the qualities of a classic Saturday-morning cartoon villain. He’s always been a consistently fun bad guy to beat up time and time again with our favorite blue hedgehog.
#4. Alan Hill AKA “The Analyst” – Until Dawn
Creepy, clever, and wildly unprofessional, Alan J. Hill is not a great role model for how a therapist should behave. However, he certainly gets the job done in Supermassive Games’ Until Dawn. Acting as a conversational partner at the end of each chapter in this horror cinematic adventure, Dr. Hill will question you on what you fear most, then find creative ways to turn those fears against you. With an incredible motion-capture performance by Peter Stormare, he’s a Freudian nightmare that will continue to haunt gamers long after the end credits roll.
#3. Nathan Dawkins – Beyond: Two Souls
Another example of fantastic motion-capture acting bringing a character to life, Willem Dafoe’s portrayal of Nathan Dawkins from Beyond: Two Souls is one of the finest performances in gaming history. While the game itself may not be the strongest entry in Quantic Dream’s impressive story-rich games, Nathan Dawkins makes for a compelling father figure to the supernaturally linked Jodie. Is he an overly controlling scientist who is trying to manipulate Jodie and her supernatural gifts? Or is he a concerned protector doing his best to keep her safe? Mr. Dafoe’s nuanced portrayal of this character keeps us guessing throughout this captivating tale.
#2. Mercy – Overwatch
Perhaps the most recognizable character, other than Tracer, from Blizzard’s smash hit Overwatch, Mercy’s top priority is to keep you safe and healthy. Arguably one of the best support characters in the game, Mercy acts as a guardian angel for her team and provides invaluable support by both empowering her allies attacks and healing them whenever they take damage from the enemy team. With Mercy around, heroes never die!
#1. Mordin Solus – Mass Effect series
The very model of a scientist Salarian, Mordin Solus is easily our top pick as the best doctor in gaming history. He’s a Gilbert and Sullivan singing, laugh invoking, fire blasting, genius who ranks among the finest companions in Commander Shepherd’s quest to save the galaxy. He’s intergalactic wit and undeniable charm are hallmark traits of this delightful doctor. Cheers to Mordin!
Do you agree with our list? Who are your favorite doctors in gaming? Let us know in the comments!