The gaming landscape is changing at a rapid pace.
In the last few years, the industry has grown exponentially, and as a result, the popularity of video games as a whole is at an all-time high. We have seen the rise of both the mobile and F2P gaming markets who make gaming more accessible for casual players.
There has been a rise in celebrity endorsements for new titles. Plus, we have even seen huge names attach themselves to and even star in certain games. Keanu Reeves, Ellen Page, Conan O'Brien, and John McAvoy are but a few that we could name.
However, even in the primitive days of gaming, individuals offered their talents long before this wave of influencers jumped aboard. We are, of course, talking about voice actors. These individuals have dedicated their careers to the gaming industry, offering passionate and heartfelt performances in some of the most iconic games in recent memory. All the while, perhaps not receiving the acclaim they deserve.
With that in mind, we feel now is time to shine a spotlight on the industry's past pillars. Today, we are going to run through our top five voices in gaming, sharing what works you might recognise them for and explaining just why these people offer more experience and value to gaming than any old celebrity hire ever could. I'm Cal from VeryAli Gaming. Here are our top five voices in gaming.
#1 – Troy Baker
We begin with a voice actor with a resume so impressive. It almost defies belief.
Since Baker started his voice acting career in 2004, he has starred in titles such as Bioshock: Infinite, The Last of Us, Persona 4, Batman: Arkham Origins, Infamous: Second Son, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, and Silent Hill 2. Believe us when we say this only scratches the surface. Baker has won countless gaming awards for his performances on various projects and has become the go-to guy for any leading role. Well, besides one more male voice actor, that is.
It's also worth mentioning that he has also managed to balance this excessive workload with a modestly successful music career. Which makes sense considering the vocal range this guy has in his locker. Troy Baker is easily one of the most recognisable voices within the gaming industry, and even though you might not have known it, he's been making the games you played for the last fifteen years all the more special.
#2 – Nolan North
Remember I mentioned another guy besides Troy Baker, who could be considered the go-to male voice actor of this era in gaming? Well, Nolan North is that guy.
He has been in the business for a little bit longer than Baker, beginning his voice acting journey in 1997 and, as a result, has built up a long and impressive resume too. North is best known for his role as Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series. However, he has also starred in some iconic franchises such as The Last of Us, Assassin's Creed, Destiny, Spec Ops: The Line, Final Fantasy, and Prince of Persia.
A running joke within games media is that if Troy Baker doesn't get the role, you should assume Nolan North did. The latter has also seen success in the movie industry, voicing characters in The Spongebob Movie: A Sponge Out of Water and The Angry Birds Movie 2. Showcasing that his talents don't just lie within the gaming sector. Nolan North is a consummate professional and thoroughly deserves his place on this list.
#3 – Laura Bailey
If you thought Troy Baker and Nolan North's work in male roles was impressive, Laura Bailey would blow you away. This American voice actress began her career at the turn of the millennium, and since then, she has amassed one of the most impressive resumes you could imagine. Bailey has had significant roles in franchises such as Persona, Final Fantasy, The Elder Scrolls, Fire Emblem, Halo, Uncharted, Gears of War, and The Last of Us.
Not only that, but she has also had a very successful career as an anime voice actor, lending her talents to such franchisees as Dragonball-Z, Full Metal Alchemist, Naruto, and One Piece. Bailey is an experienced and talented voice actor leading the way for women in the industry for some time and has paved the way for more to enter the industry as a result. This more than earning her a spot on the list.
We would also like to congratulate her on winning the 2021 BAFTA for best performer in a leading role. A truly remarkable achievement for any voice actor.
#4 – Steve Blum
When we are naming iconic voices within the gaming industry, it's rather hard to avoid mentioning Steve Blum. This man was accredited with the Guinness World Record for the most voice acting credits in games in 2012, and this was no mere accident. He has built up these credits due to his unique deep vocal range and ability to bring characters to life with his expressive talents. He is best known for his roles within franchises such as Call of Duty, Valorant, Metal Gear Solid, Diablo, Mortal Kombat, and Guild Wars.
Then outside of the video gaming industry, Blum has also found a lot of success offering his talents to cartoons like Ben 10, The Legend of Korra, and anime series like Naruto, Cowboy Bebop, and Sword Art Online. In short, this man is voice acting royalty, and his service to the gaming industry is something not soon forgotten.
#5 – Ashly Burch
Lastly, we have a voice actor that is much newer to the profession than all those listed above. However, within this shorter time frame, Ashly Burch has managed to land some considerable industry roles. She has then proceeded within these roles to offer some of the most nuanced and memorable performances we've ever seen. Burch is perhaps best known for her role within Horizon Zero Dawn, playing the role of Aloy. However, she has also lent her voice to Borderlands, Life is Strange, The Outer Worlds, Valorant, Fortnite: Save the World, and Fallout.
Plus, she has also managed to carve out a voice acting career outside of gaming. Allowing her to star in such shows as Final Space, Adventure Time, and Steven Universe. Although Burch may be less tenured than the others, she is just as talented and has a long and successful voice acting career in gaming ahead of her.
So that's our picks for the five most iconic voices within the gaming industry. What do you think of our choices? Were you surprised to see just how many of your favourite games these individuals worked on? Are there any voice actors that you feel deserved a spot more? Join the conversation on Twitter.
About the author
Callum is VeryAli Gaming's Writing Mastermind. In addition to his passionate love for writing, reviewing and dissecting games, You’ll often catch him drinking way too many energy drinks and playing Kingdom Hearts for the millionth time while watching Peep Show simultaneously.