Listen up, ASTRO faithful. There’s something we want to get off our chests. Hear us out. Video game characters’ ears? They aren’t made equal. There’s no way the ho-hum sound absorbers on the likes of Marcus Fenix could ever compare to the silken fur of Animal Crossing’s Isabelle’s floppy toppers.
There’s no way you can tell us you’d rather whisper sweet nothings into Sonic’s ears instead of giving Pikachu some much-needed scritches. With that in mind, we’re sounding off. We’ve chosen some of the best ears in gaming: the best t(ear) list, if you will.
Come with us and take a look at the most stunning aural content delivery mechanisms we’ve ever laid our peepers on in the video game world. And don’t be afraid to sound off on social if you think we’ve gotten this all wrong. We love it when you make our ears ring.
Pikachu – Pokémon
This is too easy. You probably already own a pair of Pikachu ears. If you do, we shouldn’t have to explain this to you. But if you really need to know, just look at them. They’re perfectly pointy. Check the yellow and black fit. Who doesn’t want to have Pikachu’s ears? Next to the electric mouse’s cheek sacs, those ears are probably the most coveted part of the entire little guy’s being. Don’t pretend like you aren’t already thinking about wearing your Pikachu-eared hoodie as soon as the fall sets in again.
Ori – Ori and the Blind Forest
Can you touch a guardian spirit? Should you touch a guardian spirit’s ears? Who knows? We want to touch this tiny creature’s ears, not because they make Ori look like a Pokémon, but because they’re always calling us to do just that. So floppy. So aerodynamic. So inviting. Have you ever seen something so ridiculously cute? Trust us. We hear you. Good stuff going on all around here.
Isabelle – Animal Crossing
Have you ever seen something as precious or as sweet as Isabelle? Do you think her ears are beautiful? Tell her that her ears are beautiful. We shall not tolerate any Isabelle slander in this house. And don’t you wish you had floppy, furry ears like this innocent little pup? We should all strive to be more like Isabelle.
Ratchet – Ratchet and Clank
Ratchet is a furry little guy known as a Lombax from the planet Fastoon. Sure, sure, but he also looks like an anthropomorphic cat with a poofy lion tail. But just look at those ears. How many times has Ratchet taken out an eye with those furry protrusions? It doesn’t matter if he happens to have two extra furry weapons on each side of his head with eye-seeking alt-fire. We love Ratchet and those majestic ears.
Vanilla Mario was cursed with the same boring, flesh-toned ears the rest of us have. But once he transforms into Tanooki Mario, this everyday plumber gains some of the cuddliest raccoon ears this side of Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket. You could give these bad boys some behind-the-ear pets for hours, and Mario wouldn’t feel them at all because they’re part of a suit. But who cares when they’re this cute? No one. These are some quality ears.
Moogles – Final Fantasy
This decision has nothing to do with the jolly red ball atop moogles’ cute little heads. But it does have everything to do with their soft, pointy ears. They’re ripe for petting between your thumb and pointer finger. Just look at those bad boys. Have you ever seen such a majestic sight? What? You think they look vaguely catlike? Perhaps. But never confuse a moogle with a cat. It won’t end well for you, and moogles have been known to do some serious damage.
Tails – Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic has pointy hedgehog ears that regular hedgehogs don’t have. Tails, though…he’s a fine specimen of a fox. Mr. Miles Prower’s golden fur makes for two ear-ily amazing extensions of this little guy’s head. They sure don’t make Tails listen when Sonic insists he should hang back, so we aren’t sure how useful they are when it comes to hearing. But aesthetically they’re a huge win.
Link – The Legend of Zelda
The Hero of Time is loved by millions for more than just great hair, a shiny sword, and a cool shield. Why else? Those ears, of course. Duh. This Hylian hero uses those ears for looking slick, though. They can also be used to send telepathic messages and receive messages from the gods. But we know they’re also just a cool excuse to have pointy ears when you cosplay.
Look at those long, majestic, cascading tendrils of fluff. Yeah, Klonoa can use them to float or whatever. But just imagine their other utilities. Those things are shelter from the elements. Makeshift clothing. Handles for carrying Klonoa if he gets tired. The latest fashion accessories for an on-trend, fashion-forward mascot. Remember Spirit Hoods? They’re kind of like that, but cooler.
Garrus Vakarian – Mass Effect
Where are Garrus’s ears? You can’t see them, and that’s what makes them so amazing. The bird-like Turians have ear holes instead of external structures. Think of Garrus like a big, hunky bird who can never wear earrings. Just think about it. Boom. That’s why he’s on this list.
Honorable Mention – Master Chief
What does Master Chief’s ears look like? Rumor has it that we’ll finally find out in Halo Infinite, when it launches later this year. We’d be willing to bet they resemble a little something like this, though we can’t say for sure. Sure, John-117 has his own set of ears inside his MJOLNIR armor, but wouldn’t adding a tactical set on the outside look pretty sick too?