NPC awards splash screen.

In Honor of the First (and Probably Last) Non-Player Character Awards Here Are Some of My Personal Favorite NPCs

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Today, Xbox Game Pass announced the first-ever Non-Player Character Awards.

Now you might be thinking that this is yet another advertisement for Free Guy, or at the very least, an attempt made by Ryan Reynolds to win a contest on the Internet, and you’d be right, but it’s pretty fun anyway!

Besides, NPCs do be putting in work.

Who do you think is tasked with cleaning those shattered pot pieces when the Hero of Hyrule smashes them in an attempt to find some loose change—I mean rupees. And it has to be hard standing in one specific spot, all day, just to repeat quest dialogue for a would-be adventurer.

It’s about time they got the acknowledgment they deserved!

Here are the official nominees for the first (and probably last, according to Reynolds) Non-Player Character Awards:

Samuel Hayden, “Doom (2016)” and “Doom Eternal” – A high ranking UAC official who may or may not be entirely machine at this point. He’s always watching.

Parvati Holcomb, “The Outer Worlds” – Everyone’s favorite shy and empathetic mechanic. She’s the heart of the ship and the crew, and she’s the NPC for you.

Chief Trader Mollie, “Sea of Thieves” – Animal lover and vendor for the Merchant Alliance, she always has a voyage for you!

Guy, Free Guy– Portrayed by Ryan Reynolds, Guy is a creature of habit. He has the same daily routine and has never done anything all that extraordinary. Outgoing and perpetually cheerful, but a tad naïve, Guy is a teller in a big city bank who is a fan of mid-90s pop divas.

And you can cast your vote here:

In the spirit of celebrating background characters who do the absolute most, here are some of my personal favorite NPCs. They haven’t been nominated, but I’ll always have a place for them in my heart.



How she manages to give an optimistic morning report every day – even if there’s no news to talk about – is beyond me.

GLaDOS (Potato Variant)


Listen I know GLaDOS doesn’t like us all that much, but things change when you’re suddenly a potato.

Every fighting game announcer ever

Like. All of them.

Every single one.

Heaven or Hell, Let’s Rock!

Naru and Gumo


As parental figures of sorts, these two often worry about the safety of our protagonist, but instead of sitting back and waiting to see what happens, they set off to find their kids.

Naru actually does this TWICE!


She’s just a cute little miner bug, singing her happy tune as she keeps digging… until the game decides to remind you that angst is always an option.

Marvin Branagh

All he wanted to do was greet Leon on his first day of work, and, well, technically he does, and the remake really drives home the aw damn moment when you go back to him.


Everyone could use a giant, handsome shark prince who only speaks in encouraging dialogue and toothpaste commercial-worthy smiles.

Everyone who cheers for The Phantom Thieves

Because sometimes you need a literal cheering audience to boost your stats enough to save the world on Christmas Eve.

Any merchant who makes sure you stay fully loaded


Thank you for managing to find me before every single boss fight.

Who are some of your favorite video game NPCs? Who deserves their time in the spotlight before wandering off into the distance until you activate the next conversation prompt with them? More importantly, will Ryan Reynolds get the chance to announce that he, himself, is the winner of the NPC awards?

(Image: Xbox Game Pass/20th Century Studios)

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Briana Lawrence
Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)