This is a list of instances of voice acting I can remember that I really enjoyed. For each, I included a video so you can hear the voice; please read my introduction to the videos. Ranked in order as best I could put them:
01) Amanda Ripley (Alien Isolation)
Her voice allowed me to emotionally connect to the player character better than I ever have before in a first-person game. It’s personable and raw, with perfect conviction in the tense moments.
Video: My favorite moments are 0:24-0:57 and 2:14-2:50.
02) Tali (Mass Effect series)
In a game full of diverse, interesting personalities, hers was my favorite.
Video: I always go back to the “drunk” scene when thinking why I like Tali… It starts at 2:22.
03) Snake (Metal Gear Solid series (Snake Eater in particular))
Hayter’s voice is camp. He knows it and the fans know it. But Metal Gear Solid in general is camp, so it totally works.
Video: It’s a fun compilation of him doing the voice outside of the game.
04) Hal Emmerich (Metal Gear Solid series)
Hal is loveably pathetic. In almost every Metal Gear Solid game, there’s a scene where he’s crying and losing someone he loves. His voice is so fluent for the moments.
Video: Hal’s part starts at 4:50.
05) “Lady Fallout” (Fallout 4)
I really enjoy the voice work done for the female-version of the player character in Fallout 4. For a series not known for acting and emotions, I think it comes across pretty effectively in the key moments. The game may not care as much the mother aspect of the story, but I felt like the voice actor did.
Video: This is the best video I could find that featured an emotional performance by the female main character. The only problem is it’s a BIG TIME SPOILER! Watch at own risk. The moment starts at 3:00.
06) Maxine (Life is Strange)
I have quarrels with Maxine’s character, but the actual voice of the character, I love. It’s not so much that it’s right for the scenes or for her personality, though that’s true… I just really like the sound of the voice; a little raspy, frail, sincere. I’d be happy if my real-life friend has this voice. .
Video: It was hard to find a scene that well-represented what I like about her voice and didn’t involve big spoilers. The part I chose still could be considered a spoiler, but nothing huge. Watch from 1:02:25 to 1:05:02.
07) Hartsock (Brothers in Arms II)
I talked about his voice in my list of favorite video game characters. It’s just not what you expect from a lead protagonist.
Video: To put it simply, I love his yell during gameplay. Here’s some good gameplay.
08) Lorraine (The Park)
An exciting, “mad-heroine” take on a protagonist. I enjoyed her emotionally ranging, often sadistic rants quite a bit.
Video: Start watching at 35:10.
09) Alex (The Talos Principle)
Alex’s audio logs are the emotional center of the game. We never see her, but we don’t need to to feel for her.
Video: This is a beautiful compilation of her “time capsules”.
10) G-Man (Half-Life 2)
G-Man’s voice is a staple in my memory.
Video: Watch the first 50 seconds.
11) Drake (Uncharted series)
In adventure games, a likable character really helps the peril feel more urgent and exciting. Drake is a good example of this. I especially like his commentary during action sequences.
Video: This offers a nice range.