Latinos are generally as underrepresented in video games as they are on television. But, as anybody who plays fighting games knows, it’s quality over quantity. Here’s a list of the 9 greatest Latino video game characters who kick ass.
1) King in Tekken
Hailing from Mexico, King is the undisputed champion of fighting game characters. He entered The King of Iron Fist Tournament just so he could afford to build an orphanage. It’s hard not to love this jaguar mask-clad luchador.
2) Blanka in Street Fighter II
Blanka is the most electrifying character on this list. In the Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, he’s billed as “a feral fiend from the jungles of Brazil, who hones his skills by fighting man-eating predators.”
3) Eddy Gordo in Tekken
Although he wasn’t the first video game character to use the Capoeira fighting style, Eddy Gordo put the Brazilian martial art on the map.
4) El Fuerte in Street Fighter IV
For El Fuerte, being a chef is more than just a wrestling gimmick, it’s a fighting style. When the bell rings, it’s “Super Dynamic Cooking Time,” and this Mexican luchador cooks up an ass-kicking.
5) El Stingray in Saturday Night Slam Masters
The high-flying El Stingray is one of the earliest lucha libre-inspired video game characters. Rumored to have been based on real-life Mexican wrestlers Blue Demon and Lizmark, his style is as quick as it is fun to watch. His “Jalapeño Comet Attack” was ahead of its time when it debuted in 1993.
6) Pepe Rodriguez & Pupa Salgueiro in Rage Of The Dragons
Pupa Salgueiro is a wrench-wielding Brazilian fighter who got into tournament combat to find her missing brother. She’s the second fighter in this list who uses Capoeira, but she’s the first and only female. She’s joined by Pepe Rodríguez, a Mexican martial artist whose style is known (at least in the game) as Aztec Great Phoenix Style.
7) El Blaze in Virtua Fighter 5
“Hot dog!” It’s El Blaze! He’s on this list because his lightning quick style of lucha libre fighting was a highlight for anybody that played this Sega classic.
8) Sean Matsuda in Street Fighter V
Sean Matsuda comes from an accomplished Brazilian fighting family, but his inspiration for tournament fighting is his hero, Street Fighter OG, Ken Masters.
9) T. Hawk in Super Street Fighter II
T. Hawk is a feather-and-face-paint-wearing fighter from Mexico who kinda looks like an American sports mascot. Yep. You read that right. Ridiculous? Maybe. Despite that, he made the list because he blazed a trail as the first Mexican character to appear in the Street Fighter series. He’s tough to play, but if you can learn the Tomahawk Buster, you really got something.
All of these fighters either come from Mexico or Brazil. As our culture becomes more and more prevalent, where will the next Latino characters come from?