We’ve seen so many cool tattoos of video game characters, especially old school favorites like Mario, Zelda and Pacman. And while they’re fun expressions of a passion for gaming they do kind of peg you as a geek. Not that that’s a bad thing, but if you want to be a bit more subtle instead of getting a tattoo OF your favorite character get a tattoo LIKE your favorite character. Video game characters have sported tattoos since the days of the arcade and are becoming even more common today thanks to realistic graphics that allow for much more detail. Here are 21 video game characters with cool tattoos, as well as some real life replicas.
Faith from Mirror’s Edge
When you think of Faith from Mirror’s Edge you definitely think of that Star tattoo under her eye first, but she’s also got a cool circuit board tattoo on her arm, which inspired one gamer to get a similar design.
Sheva Alomar from Resident Evil 5
It makes sense for someone as badass and beautiful as Sheva Alomar from Resident Evil 5 to have such a badass and beautiful tattoo. For anyone wondering, it says “Shujaa” which means brave or warrior in Swahili.
Agent 47 from Hitman
We usually see barcode tattoos on people’s necks, but Agent 47 from Hitman is known to have one the back of his unmistakable bald head.
Tai Kaliso from Gears of War
As if the massive dudes from Gears of War needed to look any more intimidating, Tai Kaliso has some fierce looking tribal on his face and most of his body.
Francis from Left 4 Dead
Francis from Left 4 Dead may hate airplanes, elevators and Ayn Rand, but he sure loves tattoos, which is fitting of a tough zombie killing biker like himself.
Death Metal from No More Heroes
When you have a nickname like Death Metal and a gig like Top 10th Assassin in the United Assassins Association you’re not really concerned about concealing your tattoos.
Maero from Saints Row 2
Maero from Saints Row 2, leader of the Brotherhood knows how to look intimidating with black and red tribal tats all over his face and body.
Vega from Street Fighter 2
Vega may be a pretty boy but the snake tattoo that wraps around his arm and chest is pretty cool… even if it is purple.
Zell Dincht from Final Fantasy 8
For a guy with a tribal tattoo on his face Zell from FF8 was kind of a wuss… well maybe not a wuss, but that tattoo really set the expectations for toughness high.
Kratos from God of War
If you had a badass tattoo that covered your body like Kratos from God of War then chances are that no one but the Gods would mess with you (assuming you had that physique too).
Rei Kurosawa from Fatal Frame 3
Rei’s tattoo actually plays an integral part of the plot of Fatal Frame 3, when she sees a vision of a ghost covered in a mysterious tattoo and wakes up to discover the tattoo appearing on her own body.
Jin from Tekken
Even if you’re not a Tekken fan Jin’s tattoo is a cool example of tribal that’s bound to inspire more than a few real life versions.
Lars from Brutal Legend
How could a game that’s all about rock and killing demons NOT have a character with a cool tattoo?
A little known fact, but Duke Nukem has a tattoo on his butt that says “Lani” with a heart and arrow. You only see it if you make copies of his butt on the copy machine at the Police department.
Takaya Kuroda from Yakuza
Yakuza are known for their intricate fully body tattoos so there’s no surprise that Takaya Kuroda from the Yakuza game series has an amazing Asian dragon tattoo that covers his entire back.
Ferril from Bloodrayne
Crazy pale vampire chick covered in tattoos? Sounds like our kind of woman.
Salem from Army of Two
Say what you will about the Army of Two guys but Salem’s got cool taste in tats.
Kou Leifoh from The Bouncer
After Zell it seemed like Square was on a tribal tattoo kick (like the rest of us) when they released The Bouncer featuring Kou, who’s covered in tribals.
Sydney from Vagrant Story
Vagrant Story is another game where a tattoo isn’t just part of a character design, but an important plot point. This detailed back tattoo is known as the Rood Inverse. And no, that Sidney cosplayer didn’t just paint that on. It’s real. Source
Red XIII from Final Fantasy VII
Okay so Red XIII has marks on his fur rather than flesh, but you still have to admit that cat’s got some pretty impressive tribal.
Mattias Nilsson from Mercenaries
Mattias Nilsson has some tough tattoos that you’d expect from a Swedish Arctic Ranger turned biker gang leader turned mercenary.
Do you know any other video game characters with cool tattoos? Let us know in the comments.