Voice acting has long been a gateway for actors and actresses to broaden their talents in many ways than in a live-action setting, or it has been used to test their skills for far better horizons. Certain artists have preformed on the radio or in recordings, whether it be for a play or musical, and there's even an advertisement every once and a while with an all-too familiar voice on the other end.
Some actors have made names for themselves by way of voice acting, and it isn't that so surprising, given that it's exponentially easier and far less grueling work. We've seen them in Star Wars, what with James Earl Jones's voice portrayal of the Sith apprentice Darth Vader, or even in television, thanks to Mark Hamill's various portrayals of the Joker, and practically anything else, since Morgan Freeman's voice narrates almost everything, nowadays. For fans and geeks alike, unlike the secrets of your favorite virtual friends with these popular video game characters with celebrity voice actors.
Frodo Baggins by Elijah Wood
Not so surprising is Elijah Wood's addition among most popular video game characters with celebrity voice actors, since he is after all the legendary Hobbit from the Shire who saved Middle Earth from the evil destruction of Sauron.
If you've ever seen Lord of the Rings, or likewise played any of their video games, you'll know the Hobbit I speak of, but it may not be the only place you've heard him. Video games like God of War III, The Legend of Spyro, and even Happy Feet have all featured the actor's incredible voice. Looks like tossing that gold ring into the pit really paid off.
James (Father) by Liam Neeson
The best RPG for the 2008 Video Game Awards went to Fallout 3, a superb and beautiful post-apocalyptic video game set in the wasteland of Washington D.C., where well-known monuments are left in ruin and your main mission is to find your long lost father, who just so happens to be another one of those popular video game characters with celebrity voice actors.
The characters of Fallout 3 are what captured players' attentions most of all, as is the case with Liam Neeson's role as the player's runaway scientist dad. The game literally opens up to the sound of his voice, which then leads into him raising you up until the age of 18, almost making Neeson every Fallout fans' virtual stepfather.
Sirius Black by Gary Oldman
Not to mention being an incredible actor, Gary Oldman's immersive career has also landed him among some of the most popular video game characters with celebrity vice actors with his renditions of Sirius Black, an Animagus and godfather of Harry Potter, himself.
That's not all Mr. Oldman's voice is known for, as his traits have seen him preform in the likes of Spyro, alongside Woods, and even in Call of Duty titles Black Ops and World at War. If you're of the lucky few, you may also hear ole Oldman in Lego Dimensions, too.
Officer Frank Tenpenny by Samuel L. Jackson
With their games being ranked as some of the most influential and playable open world shooters in existence, would it be anything less of a Rockstar title if they didn't employ one or two popular video game characters with celebrity voice actors? I think not.
Find him at 35th on PC World's The 47 Most Diabolical Video Game Villains of All Time: Officer Frank Tenpenny, Carl Johnson's mortal nemesis from the award winning Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. He's a badass, crooked cop with a sense of humor that makes Samuel L. Jackson's casting seem so fit for the role it's almost a match made in Heaven. Despite the relative blandness, you can't help but laugh when first meeting Tenpenny as he leaves you on the side of the road and hysterically utters:
"See ya 'round, Carl. Like a donut!"
Jeff "Joker" Moreau by Seth Greene
One of the most hilarious and satirical of all voice actors is the Family Guy and Robot Chicken star Seth Greene, but Mass Effect players have heard his voice since the first installment, which makes the Joker among popular video game characters with celebrity voice actors.
The avid flight lieutenant has some nifty skills that gets players out of trouble on numerous occasions. The science fiction game has even won some hefty awards and a following that spans as far as the stars can reach, thanks in part to Greene's prodding jokes in your ear.
DJ Veteran Child by Neil Patrick Harris
Originating from Saints Row 2, DJ Veteran Child was this series' version of Seth Greene, utilizing Neil Patrick Harris' comical sounds to voice this drug dealing villain, who's among many video game characters with celebrity voice actors. The game itself was a little over the top and far flung for most, but it attracted the same crowds that filled Grand Theft Auto's marketplace.
One thing the game did get right is casting Harris as an exceptional villain, one whose main goal is to literally destroy the Saints. He's also a highly exceptional DJ with a natural hobby of consistent drug use, and his full birth name? Unfortunately unknown, but I like to call him Neil.
Kairi by Hayden Panettiere
For many avid gamers out there, Kingdom Hearts is sure to bring back some heartfelt memories, like meeting your first video game crush: Kairi. If not, quickly travel down the road to Kingdom Hearts so you get a feel for this breathtaking world where one of the most popular video game characters with celebrity voice actors has survived.
You may or may have seen her in Heroes and Nashville, but Hayden Panettiere isn't hard to miss. Not just for her good looks, she's also a well received voice actor, most notable for Bug's Life, the first two installments of Kingdom Hearts, plus Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
Big Boss by Kiefer Sutherland
One of the more unlikely of video game characters with celebrity voice actors is probably Big Boss. He's from Metal Gear Solid, a stealth game that deals with assassinations and silent takedowns, reminiscent of series like Hitman and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon.
One thing those two games didn't have was the grueling voice of Kiefer Sutherland, most notable for 24. Sutherland has stated his love for the video game franchise and his own character's personal legacy, despite himself not being a real gamer. The cigar-chomping, eye-patched, machine gun toting mercenary spy is sure to be a fan favorite for years to come.
Jodie Holmes by Ellen Page
Imagine receiving a script for a new project that turns out to be over 2,000 pages long, which would then have to be shot in increments of 30 to 40 hours per day? That was Ellen Page's life when voicing Beyond: Two Souls' Jodie Holmes, a troubled young girl born with a psychic connection with an entity known as Aiden.
Among popular video game characters with celebrity voice actors, Jodie Holmes is a spellbinding performance played by Page. The two work seamlessly together, as you follow the protagonist through 17 years of life, in which Page's voice fills your ears in each successive emotion.
Ron the Narrator by Ron Perlman
Way back at the top I mentioned Fallout 3, which is by far one of the best open world games ever designed, but the overall story—"War, war never changes."—that's its true calling. That very quote, and the voice behind the words, are what gives us another addition to the popular video game characters with celebrity voice actors.
This simple narration, in which every Fallout begins, stresses the considerable dangerous and destructive atmosphere of the in-game world, and highlights the various factions living about it. We can all thank Ron Perlman for these exceptional excerpts, for which he was even given a virtual body in Fallout: New Vegas, fittingly coined "Ron the Narrator."
Steve Scott by Dennis Hopper
Coming in last, but certainly not least, among popular video game characters with celebrity voice actors is Steve Scott, the loud and raunchy porn director/producer from GTA: Vice City. Scott is apparently a spoof on the legendary Spielberg himself, voicing directorial complaints and screaming at people who sit in his chair.
If the voice sounds somewhat familiar, maybe even identical to Dennis Hopper's, that's because it is. Alongside names like Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, and Gary Busey, Hopper's addition upon the list only makes Vice City one of the best ranked Grand Theft Auto games, if not for the story, than its various and unbeatable characters, who truly make the game that much more special.